Submission 0304-MACEY

Submitter: Matt Macey

Community: Comox,

Date Submitted: October 21, 2023

It is frustrating that so many public submissions have targeted salmon farming. The commission should recognize that salmon farming is only one of many issues to examine. Urbanization, predation, non-retention fisheries, and, in particular, hatcheries, likely have a much more profound effect on wild salmon. The commission should conduct an extensive investigation of hatcheries and their threat to salmon abundance and biological diversity.

As a former commercial fisherman and an avid sportsfisherman I appreciate the complexity of the work the Cohen Commission has undertaken and the many issues that need to be examined.

Of all the issues, I find it frustrating so many of the public submissions have targeted salmon farming. I trust the commission is monitoring the anti-salmon farming campaign and recognizes the correlation between the number of submissions and the campaign’s activities. Salmon farming is only one issue for the Commission to examine and from my experience, I beleive, a very minor one in regards to impact to wild salmon.

The other issues the Cohen Commission has identified in their Discussion Paper, Urbanization, Predators (Seals,ie; Puntledge River,Comox), non retention fisheries, hatcheries, in my opinion, have a much more profound effect on wild salmon.

One of the issues that concerns me is the impact Salmon Hatchery reared fish have on wild salmon. Billions of juvenile salmon are released each year from hatcheries, DFO has acknowledged the risks hatchery fish have on wild salmon populations and a report released in October 2010 from SFU researchers warn that the dominance of hatchery salmon would decrease not only wild salmon abundance in the North Pacific but also their biological diversity.

Given the significant impact hatchery reared salmon potentially have on wild salmon; the Cohen Commission should be conducting an extensive investigation into the numbers/species/timing of fish released from hatcheries and more importantly, examine the fish health protocols and disease management of these fish prior to their release.

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