There are clear and present dangers directed at wild salmon. Habitat (spawning and rearing) destruction and commercial fishing are the undisputed lead causes impacting wild salmon. DFO licenses the killing, or harvesting, of over 13 million wild salmon per year. Killing wild salmon is an impact- obviously. Commercial fishing is a net drain on salmon stocks and the economy. Humans have failed all over the globe to manage commercial harvesting of wild stocks of any kind. the last wild cow died in Poland in 1444.
Not only has salmon farming in BC been shown to have no causal link to salmon population declines, there is not even a correlative link. Indeed some of the best returns of pink salmon in the Broughton, for example, occurred since the advent of fish farming. Predictions of pink salmon extirpation by Ms Morton in the early 2000's have not only failed to materialize, the exact opposite occurred. Thus we have only failed hypotheses and no evidence to support the theory that salmon farms impact wild stocks.
As obvious as it is that commercial fishing and habitat destruction are clear and present dangers impacting salmon, so it is obvious that farming salmon is actually a relief of pressure on wild stocks. Why eat potentially endangered stocks when farmed fish are available?
Money spent by ENGO's in BC to demarket BC farmed salmon together with taxpayer money lost in the attempt to manage the losing battle of a wild fishery and SEP programs can be used to rehabilitate streams and rivers effected by human activities such as farming and logging. It is not expensive-relative to the cost of mismanaging a wild fishery, and the reward is great and all but assured. Banning commercial fishing and slashing the beaurocracy managing it and aquaculture will free up 10's of millions of wasted tax dollars annually that can be used to repair salmon habitat and bolster enforcement of related regulations already in place.
I urge the Commission to recommend policies that support the banning of commercial fishing for an extended period. I also ask the commission to recommend the expansion of salmon farming in BC as a means to relieve pressure on the wild stocks and as a mechanism for raising tax revenue that, together with the savings from downsized beaurocracies, can be directed towards addressing the undisputed and assailable challenges faced by wild salmon in BC.