Submitter: Rod Matheson
Date Submitted: May 27, 2011
If salmon farming is permitted to continue in coastal waters it will have devastating effects on wild salmon and their habitat. Evidence shows that salmon farms pollute the sea and attract sea lice and marine predators, and that escaped farmed salmon destroy the genetic integrity of wild salmon. The Commissioner must not obscure the truth of salmon farming with misleading information provided by vested corporate interests.
It appears that only willful ignorance and great influence driven by corporate greed can be responsible for the choices that are putting the future of our wild salmon at risk. Salmon Farming HAS TO BE taken out of our oceans and onto land! Anything short of that will continue to pollute and destroy their environment at alarming rates and threaten to repeat the grevious error that decimated the Atlantic Cod industry!
Adding synthetic anti-parasitics and non-organic feed to 'organic' feed lots will only worsen the already devastating effects that Salmon Farming is having on our Wild Salmon. I view BC's Salmon as a part of our heritage and as such believe that you should be very careful in how you choose to act. Favoring corporate 'spin' over public input will preclude the demise of not only one of our most important local food sources but of any politician who chooses to ignore us. I think it's utterly disgraceful that European (Norwegian) companies have been allowed to pedal their influence to the point that they are endangering our Wild Salmon numbers as much as they did in their own country! I'm aware that the Norwegian Govt is completely supportive of their Farm Fishing community and all the tragic errors that they've made, but there is plenty of evidence that shows the intensive concentrations of penned fish in open water seriously pollutes the sea and sea bed with excrement, chemicals and drugs such enclosures attract and create swarms of sea-lice and other sub-lethal parasites; the cages also attract marine predators which then attack wild salmon as they migrate to and from nearby rivers. Large numbers of these artificially-raised fish inevitably escape from the pens and enter the rivers and by mating with wild fish, thus destroying the genetic integrity of the native salmon.
We didn't let Bovine Growth Hormones into our dairy industry just because the US allows it (although once the Grain Board is destroyed Monsanto may end up controlling that industry completely). Canada has fallen way behind in it's attempt to lead the world in 'green' industries and it is unfathomable to me that foreign corporations may be allowed to do their damage (and destroy our Wild Salmon Industry) without liability!
There is no excuse for not doing everything in your power to protect this incredibly valuable resource! If you choose to ignore the obvious truth of the matter (and merely obscure it with misleading information provided by vested interests) then you will pay the price with the lives of millions of Salmon, ruin an important part of our Provincial Heritage and allow shallow corporate interests to continue to make a mockery of our environmental protection policies (or lack of them).