Media Release: Four months after Cohen Final Report on Fraser River Sockeye – No passing grade for government

Logos for Watershed Watch and SOSMedia Release
February 25, 2013

“Cohen Report Card” launched

On October 31, 2012, after 18 months of testimony and $26 million, the Cohen Commission’s Final Report “The Uncertain Future of the Fraser River Sockeye” was released. The Report was heralded as a blueprint for salmon conservation, providing 75 recommendations to Government, many involving deadlines and milestones.

The day the Final Report was released to the public, then Acting Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Gail Shea, tabled it in the House of Commons, but beyond that, there has been no meaningful response by Government.

Meanwhile, three deadlines related to the recommendations have already passed. These include critically important steps in moving forward with the 2005 Wild Salmon Policy, quoted to be “Canada’s expression of the precautionary principle applied to Pacific salmon.” Six more deadlines are pending for the end of March – and the clock continues to tick for Fraser River sockeye.

Out of grave concern for moving forward with implementing Justice Bruce Cohen’s recommendations, Watershed Watch Salmon Society and the SOS Marine Conservation Foundation have launched the “Cohen Report Card.”

This resource will track Government action regarding the Cohen Final Report recommendations and deadlines. The “Cohen Report Card” can be accessed at:

Watershed Watch Salmon Society’s Executive Director, Dr. Craig Orr, and Fisheries Biologist, Stan Proboszcz, are available to assist media with interpreting the timelines against the Cohen Final Report’s recommendations and their potential to aid the conservation of Fraser River sockeye.

They participated in the Cohen evidentiary hearings and conducted a comprehensive review of the evidence and the Final Report.

To arrange an interview please contact:

Dr. Craig Orr, Executive Director, Watershed Watch Salmon Society – 604-809-2799
Stan Proboszcz, Fisheries Biologist, Watershed Watch Salmon Society – 604-314-2713

Watershed Watch Salmon Society (WWSS) has been watching out for B.C.’s wild salmon since 1998. Our focus is to elevate the dialogue surrounding wild salmon and to improve our chances of saving them. Watershed Watch believes that real changes in attitude and behaviour are based on understanding, and that significant understanding requires a broad and deep appreciation of a wide range of habitat, harvest, and management issues.


The SOS Marine Conservation Foundation (SOS) is a group of successful business leaders, entrepreneurs and philanthropists brought together to protect B.C.’s wild salmon stocks and the marine environment from negative impacts of open net-cage salmon farms and establish B.C. as a leader in creating a globally renowned, stable and viable aquaculture industry.

Media Inquiries

For inquiries or to join our media list, please contact:

Meghan Rooney
Science and Communications Coordinator 604-762-5608

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