Government Not Making it Easy for Concerned Citizens to Weigh in on Wild Salmon Issues

When it rains it pours! This summer has seen a deluge of public comment periods concerning wild salmon in BC. (See the list below.) While this suggests that government wants to hear from us on these issues – many of the people who are most affected by the impacts of fish farms are extremely busy this time of year and unavailable to participate in public consultation processes.
It’s also interesting that the Cohen Commission chose to hold public hearings just as fishermen are able for the first time in years to go out and harvest Fraser River Sockeye and ecotourism season is in full swing. And the rest of us? Well, many of us are out enjoying the summer weather, perhaps on vacation…who wants to be indoors writing submissions and attending meetings?
Forgive me for being a wee bit cynical, but maybe the federal government doesn’t actually want to hear what we have to say on these issues so critical to wild salmon. That’s why it is so urgent for each and every one of us to take part in at least one if not all of these public consultations.
We’ve already heard fish farmers claiming that this year’s anticipated large sockeye runs mean fish farms aren’t a problem, which is of course ridiculous. These Sockeye runs should be even bigger than expected as several dominant runs are returning this year, and while some Fraser River Sockeye runs are doing okay, specific stocks are in dire straits.
So don’t let the summer slide by without weighing in – wild salmon need your voice! Here are the opportunities for participation:
Tell the National Organics Standards Board (CGSB) NO! No organic certification of net-cage farmed salmon.
Tell Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) to fulfill their constitutional mandate and implement regulations that will protect wild salmon!
Tell Judge Cohen to recommend the permanent removal of all fish farms on Fraser salmon migratory routes to protect wild salmon!
Also, make sure to comment on the draft global salmon farming standards recently released by the Salmon Aquaculture Dialogue:
Tell the Salmon Aquaculture Dialogue (SAD) Not good enough! We need tougher standards to reduce or eliminate the ecological and social impacts of salmon farming.
Deadline: October 3, 2010.

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