Submission 0434-FULTON

Submitter: Kim Fulton

Community: Armstrong

Date Submitted: February 5, 2011

Summary:
I am very disappointed that the commission has been given more time to complete its mandate. The extension is unreasonably long and expensive. Rather than spending money on legal proceedings, the commission should take immediate steps to implement the precautionary principle and address viral diseases from open net fish farms.

Submission:
I am very disappointed that the Cohen Commission has been given more time to complete their mandate to:

"develop recommendations for improving the future sustainability of the sockeye salmon fishery in the Fraser River including, as required, any changes to the policies, practices and procedures .of the Department in relation to the management of the Fraser River sockeye salmon fishery"

ie. the plight or the Fraser River Sockeye.

The deadline now for a report is June 2012. I realize the commission is working hard, but this extension is unreasonably long and probably very expensive. More money is going to spent on the procedings which could better be spent on solving the problems.

Previous experience, for example, the Pearse Commission, shows that even after the report is submitted, it takes a long time for recommendations to be implemented - if they ever are.

Time is still of the essence. We had a large run this year, which may be causing us to be complacent. Rather than complacency, the unpredicted large run this year should be a signal of how vulnerable and unpredictable these salmon populations really are.

In my opinion, the Commission has become bogged down by trying to be too politically correct and too legally formal about making any decisions or recommendations. While no blame is to be attributed, there seems to me, to be a lot of "ass covering" - Looking at meeting minutes and who said what, when. To get a flavour of this go to the Cohen Commission Website https://cohencommission.ca and look at Calendar and Transcripts. While intriguing and very fair, there seems to be a lot of wasted time and legal formality.

Why not deal with the most critical chunks first?

How do you eat an elephant? One bite (byte) (bight) at a time!!

I believe some issues that are more urgent than others. The Commission needs to deal with the most urgent, and possibly most easily solved, issues first. For example: Open Net Salmon farms and viral disease concerns.

The Precautionary Principle is a must now. It is better to be safe than sorry. The Precautionary Principle is often cited but not always used.

Global Climate Change, urbanization, pollution, fishing allocations, and fishing practices are very complex issues and will take longer come up with viable solutions. All issues need to be addressed but priorities need to be set now.

Extinct is forever! Let’s get on with it and prevent an eternal catastrophe!!

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