For almost 20 years now, I have watched the salmon runs on the West Coast decline and I have waited for British Columbians to take notice and demand action from their governments. This is a watershed moment for wilderness in this province. If we cannot find a way to save the wild salmon, we will not be able to save wilderness as we know and love it today. Without the wild salmon, not only will humans and especially First Nations be impacted, but the Grizzlies, the forests, bird populations, orcas, and many other life forms that are connected to the salmon cycle may be irreparably harmed.
We cannot take that risk. I urge the commission to take an ecosystems approach to this issue. Farmed salmon must move to a land-based closed containment system. The wild salmon stocks need to be protected and a moratorium should be placed on some Fraser River salmon fisheries. Even this may not be enough to save the wild salmon, but it would send a clear signal that human needs do not necessarily trump all other needs. And that, at the very least, would be a step in the right direction.