Submission 0352-MERCEREAU

Submitter: Robert Mercereau

Community: Vancouver

Date Submitted: November 11, 2023

The decline of Fraser River sockeye, which are an icon to the province and the country, is a major problem that needs to be addressed. Among the multiple factors contributing to the decline are open cage fish farms, which cause disease and sea lice outbreaks. It is shocking that the commission is not seeking the full disclosure of data from salmon farms, as this data is paramount to any study on the decline of salmonids. The commission should seek the full disclosure of this data and make it publically-available.

I am very grateful that our government has created a commission of inquiry into the decline of the Fraser River Sockey run. It is a major problem that needs addressing. Salmon are an icon of our province and country. They have been paramount to the establishment and stability of multi millenia old First Nation cultures and Ancient Old Growth Forests, and to this day many in this province rely on the salmon. No doubt there are multiple factors contributing to the decline of the Fraser River Sockey. One factor that has had a corresponding increase while the salmon have declined is the introduction to this ecosystem of open cage fish farms and the outbreaks and epidemics of disease, particularly sea lice, that have occured. It has come to my attention that The Cohen Commission is not seeking full disclosure of disease data from the Salmon Farms on the B.C. Coast. This is shocking to me, because clearly this disclosure is paramount to any study of the decline of salmonids. The sockey runs have been declining for 20 years and the study should seek data for that entire time span. It behooves this commission to not only seek full disclosure, but to make 100% of it’s findings public knowledge. This is, after all, a public issue. You have an obligation to be as thorough as possible, and to push for positive change for the health of our wild salmon.

and in trust,
~Rob Mercereau.

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