Environmentalists quit salmon farm advisory body

February 1, 2002
For immediate release

Environmental representatives appointed two years ago to the provincial Salmon Aquaculture Implementation Advisory Committee (SAIAC) have quit today in protest after a government decision yesterday to lift the moratorium on new salmon farm sites.

Groups are outraged that the letter informing SAIAC members of the lifting of the moratorium was dated January 10, 2002, several days before the January 15 SAIAC meeting, yet the committee was kept entirely in the dark about the government’s decision until yesterday.

“We have been left out of the loop on every major decision made by the province on salmon aquaculture, and the fact that this letter was withheld for three weeks is the final straw,” said Laurie MacBride, Executive Director of the Georgia Strait Alliance.

“All key decisions on salmon farming have been made behind our backs in private meetings with the salmon farming industry,” said David Lane, Executive Director of the T. Buck SuzukiEnvironmental Foundation. “The province is acting for big business and the handful of huge multinationals that control salmon farming, while sidestepping any input from those concerned about significant environmental impacts.”

“Yesterday’s decision to lift the salmon farming moratorium shows that government isn’t committed to good science or to proper consultation,” said Dr. Sergio Paone from Friends of Clayoquot Sound.

Arnie Narcisse, chairperson of the B.C. Aboriginal Fisheries Commission, is also outraged over the lack of any real consultation and has asked their representative to withdraw from SAIAC as well.