Submission 1096-OUELLLETTE

Submitter: H. Dirk Ouelllette

Community: Cobble Hill

Date Submitted: December 14, 2023

The evidence shows that salmon farming has a negative impact on wild stock and should be removed from coastal waters.

I can’t express myself any better than Kathy Parton; “It is apparent that the salmon farms are disease incubators, and are exposing our wild salmon to disease, pesticide and pollution, all which I believe are in contravention of the Fisheries Act. As far as I can tell DFO has not been enforcing the Fisheries Act in regard to salmon farms so in fact are not doing their job. Is the DFO above the law? The Salmon Farmers apparently use the same PR firm used by the big tobacco and oil companies and use the tactics of the professional denial industry. One of these tactics used to avoid regulation, is to publicly challenge scientific consensus and to create controversy. DFO seems to be using these same tactics, so it was not very surprising then, to read that The Minister of Fisheries, Keith Ashfield, had used the term unfounded science to refer to the independent labs findings of ISA. He then went on to say that the CFIA used proper and internationally recognized procedures implying that the labs with the positive ISA results didn’t. The truth is the positive findings of ISA were found in a very reputable lab and in fact one of the only two labs in the world designated as an ISA reference lab. Through this whole procedure I have been appalled to see the BC Government, The Federal Government, and The Department of Fisheries and Oceans more interested in supporting the salmon farms than in protecting wild salmon and the BC Coastal ecosystem. It was telling to see the Government lawyers spend their time trying to discredit Alexandra Morton, they had no interest in her knowledge and experience of wild salmon and they appear to have no interest in protecting wild salmon and their habitat. I would request that you look at DFO’s actions very carefully as their actions speak much more clearly than their words. Why did the Federal Government give one million dollars to the salmon farmers for advertising, but did not have funding for Kristi Miller’s research? Why has DFO been allowing salmon farms to use eggs that haven’t been screened for disease. There is something really sinister happening to the fish on the BC coast. This fall thousands of wild salmon died in the Fraser River before they were able to spawn and apparently had lesions and bleeding fins. There were also yellow pink salmon with green livers. In Sointula this summer the harbour was full of herring that were covered in sea lice and by fall they were bleeding from their fins and dying. ISA fish viruses have devastated wild stocks and farm raised salmon around the world why would British Columbia be exempt? It is apparent that no one in Government is protecting wild salmon and that DFO has a conflicting mandate, this needs to change. Due to the world wide evidence regarding salmon farmings negative impact on wild stocks, I think that the number one step to protecting BC’s wild pacific salmon is to remove the open net farms(feed lots) from our BC Coastal waters immediately. Mr. Cohen, I would like to say thank you, you have a very important and difficult job to do and I am trusting that you will stay strong, and make recommendations that will protect our pacific wild salmon.”

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