Wednesday, July 30, 2014
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First Nations concerned wild salmon could be wiped out

First Nations and environmental groups say Cohen Commission recommendations being ignored

Sara Norman (Vancouver-based)

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is considering new aquaculture sites and projects, leaving many wondering where that leaves BC’s wild salmon. First Nations and environmental groups are now speaking up, worried wild sockeye stock will disappear altogether.

Two environmental petitions were filed to the Auditor General of Canada last at the end of February over concerns the 26-million dollar Cohen Commission recommendations on preserving Sockeye Salmon in the Fraser River are being ignored by the Federal Government–but that’s not all. Union of BC Indian Chiefs Vice President Bob Chamberlin says Ottawa has lifted the 2011 moratorium on open-net salmon fish farms, contrary to the spirit of the report.

“In the Cohen Commission there was a deep examination of disease transfer from fish farms to outward migrating wild salmon smolt,” says Chamberlin, adding “Those memories that you have of fishing with your uncle or your dad or your grandfather, the possibility is you will not have that opportunity to do that for your own grandchildren.”

Chamberlin is calling on all Canadians to lock arms and, without apology, fight to keep salmon stocks safe. “Now it’s a time for everybody that relies upon salmon to stand up and make some decisions about public disobedience, about emails to your Member of Parliament and MLA. Keep calling the government to task. If we’re going to be silent, we can just kiss wild salmon goodbye.”

Chamberlin says he feels very sorry that the government has lost sight of the economic value of a healthy and abundant wild salmon stocks.

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