Submitter: Magnus Macnab
Date Submitted: August 14, 2010
Wild salmon stocks are integral to B.C.'s economy, ecology and heritage. Salmon policy must focus on sustainability and preservation. A conservative approach on both open net fish farming and harvest management should be adopted to ensure stock recovery.
What is happening to our wild salmon stocks is genuinely frightening. These are species that are integral to BCs economy, ecology and heritage. The focus of salmon policy must shift away from the relatively short-term gains of business dealings with aquaculture companies on a long leash and instead focus on sustainable farming strategies and preservation of the wild stocks that we have, until now, taken too much for granted. Open net systems simply pose too much risk to our wild stocks - we must take a conservative approach on this issue as the threat of the collapse of wild stocks is far too great a cost.
Salmon policy must be a 2 pronged strategy. There is promise in closed containment and while sustainable development of this technology may prove valuable we must also take action to preserve our wild populations. We need to give wild stocks a chance to stabilize by implementing more conservative fishing regulations while the populations still have a good chance to recover. For instance, can we reduce the catch of salmon as they migrate upstream to spawn? - This may well be an unpopular view, but I am positive that East coast fishers would gladly have made such concessions in retrospect. These spawning fish, which are caught by the thousands, are about to produce the next generation of salmon. Once these adults make it to the spawning streams, rather than gorging ourselves on large catches in the short term, it simply makes good sense to allow them to reproduce and keep the stock healthy for generations to come. This is a time for action! We need to develop policy that has long-term gains as a cornerstone to ensure the continued prosperity of BCs population, tourism, economy, wildlife, ecosystems and heritage.