I’ve been involved in the campaign to remove factory fish farms from our coastal waters for many years, and we are definitely at a unique moment. September 30, 2020 marks the deadline for removing all salmon farms from the Discovery Islands, near Campbell River according to the 19th recommendation of the Commission of Inquiry into the Decline of Sockeye Salmon in the Fraser River.
The inquiry was headed by Justice Bruce Cohen, took over two years to complete and, in 2012, culminated in an 1100 page final report with 75 recommendations covering habitat protection, salmon farming, hatchery management, fisheries management, government accountability and more.
Prime Minister Trudeau promised to act on the Cohen Commission recommendations, but so far, we’ve seen no evidence he is taking this deadline seriously. Will you email your MP and ask they ensure fish farms are being removed from the Discovery Islands by the September 30 deadline?
This past spring, we saw skyrocketing parasite outbreaks on factory fish farms and up to 99% infection rates of juvenile wild salmon.
What was DFO’s response? They changed the rules, giving factory farms 42 days to reduce lice levels when they go over the limit deemed safe for wild salmon. 42 days! Essentially, this is a free pass to kill wild fish. No fines, no repercussions.
Over the years, I’ve heard many excuses from DFO and the factory fish farm industry about parasitic salmon lice.
- First DFO and farmers said the parasites weren’t coming from their farms.
- Then they said they weren’t killing juvenile salmon.
- Then they said they weren’t causing wild salmon population declines.
- Then they said their drug, SLICE®, would control their parasites.
- Then they said their new de-lousing boats would control the parasites.
The time for excuses is over. British Columbians expect our Members of Parliament to follow through with their commitments to get fish farms off B.C.’s coast and away from wild salmon.
Right now, farms are being removed slowly but surely in the Broughton Archipelago, thanks to decades of persistence from First Nations and activists there. Now it is time to start removing farms from the Discovery Islands too.
With 2 months until the September 30 deadline, we want to see action. If enough people contact their MPs, inundating them with letters and calls, they won’t be able to ignore us.
Let’s turn up the volume on this issue before the deadline and make sure our decision-makers take action. Wild salmon have no time to waste.