DFO Fails To Meet Key Salmon Conservation Deadline

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In 2009, just 1.6 million Fraser River sockeye returned from the Pacific Ocean to spawn, shockingly lower than the originally anticipated 10.6 million. This crisis triggered a federal commission led by BC Supreme Court Justice Bruce Cohen — a 1100+ page report consisting of 75 recommendations to turn things around for Fraser River sockeye salmon.⁣

One of the key drivers in wild salmon decline in the Fraser is the net pen salmon farms on the BC coast, particularly in the Discovery Islands. Cohen decided that these net pen salmon farms were a serious threat to Fraser sockeye, but there were too many scientific unknowns, and decided to give DFO eight years to fill the knowledge gaps. He recommended that come September 30, 2020, fish farms should be prohibited unless they were proven to have minimal risk to Fraser River sockeye.⁣

Aquatic ecologists have found overwhelming evidence that the current open-net pen farm mode is extremely harmful to wild salmon, with an emphasis on the damaging effects sea lice have on wild fish. The deadline to end fish farming on Discovery Islands is quickly approaching and likely won’t be met.⁣

This isn’t just an issue for Fraser River sockeye. Up along the central and north coasts of BC, fish farms are wreaking havoc on other populations of wild salmon migrating through river systems and coastal waters of the Great Bear Rainforest. It’s time to #GetFishFarmsOut of our province!⁣

#SalmonCount

Read more via a new Hakai Magazine article: https://www.hakaimagazine.com/news/little-action-from-canadian-government-as-deadline-to-remove-salmon-farms-looms/