October 31, 2012
Vancouver, B.C.— The Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform (CAAR) applauds Commissioner Cohen’s finding that the potential harm from diseases from farmed fish is “serious or irreversible.” Cohen released his extensive report and recommendations to the public today in Vancouver.
“We also agree with Commissioner Cohen’s finding that DFO has a conflicted mandate in being responsible to protect wild salmon but also promoting a salmon farming industry that is causing harm to wild salmon stocks,” said Will Soltau from Living Oceans Society.
“CAAR has been demanding these kind of changes to government policy and regulations for the last 10 years and feel that the Cohen report has vindicated our work and our repeated calls for strong protection for wild salmon,” said Christianne Wilhelmson from the Georgia Strait Alliance.
“We agree with Justice Cohen that salmon farm siting must be completely reviewed and updated to take into account diseases and parasites from salmon farms impacting wild salmon and that badly sited farms be shut down,” said David Lane from the T. Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation.
CAAR is calling on the federal government to immediately and thoroughly implement the Cohen report recommendations regarding salmon farms including:
A revision of salmon farm siting criteria by March 31, 2013, retroactively applied to all existing salmon farms in all areas of the B.C. coast
Full transparency of disease information from salmon farms available to government and independent researchers
Special protection for Discovery Island wild migration routes by banning any new farms or production increases
The closure of all farms in the Discovery Islands if by 2020 it is not shown that risks are minimal to migrating wild salmon
A major research program into impact of disease transmission from farmed salmon to wild salmon.
“In the meantime there should be no expansion of production or new sites approved and this industry should begin a wholesale shift to on land closed containment where there are no impacts on wild salmon,” said John Werring of the David Suzuki Foundation.
For more information:
Christianne Wilhelmson – Georgia Strait Alliance – 604-862-7579
Will Soltau – Living Oceans Society – 250-973-6580
David Lane – T. Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation – 604-258-8119
John Werring – David Suzuki Foundation – 604-306-0517
For more information see: http://www.georgiastrait.org/?q=node/1093