Submission 0656-BOUCHARD

Submitter: Teresa Bouchard

Community: Whistler

Date Submitted: August 30, 2023

There should be stricter environmental regulations for fish farms so they are not harming the ocean and all the living creatures in it.

Dear Mr. Cohen, I have been following the news regarding your commission since it began. When the commission was initiated I was so relieved to finally have someone with an objective perspective look at what’s been happening with the wild salmon. I am also relieved to finally see that the information that Alexandra Morton has reviewed is now available to the public and she is now allowed to speak and write about her analysis of the documents. It is disturbing reading, regarding the findings of Kristi Miller & various scientists. There are several things that strike me in reading her commentary: the health of wild salmon is being compromised by the salmon farms; the DFO, provincial and federal governments appear to be disregarding, if not suppressing, concrete evidence to support Ms. Morton’s assertions that salmon farms are responsible for the decline of the wild salmon that pass by the farms; if concrete action isn’t taken soon the decline of the salmon will continue and over time compromise the health of the oceans & rivers of the cost. Having spent quite a bit of time on the coast kayaking, I have seen many fish farms and they are a blight on the water. I firmly believe that the manner in which fish are farmed needs to be altered to closed containment & moved onto land. I believe that there needs to be much stricter environmental regulations set for the fish farms so that they are not harming the ocean and all the living creatures in it. Wild salmon are the life blood of the ocean and the rivers – without salmon the larger animals like whales & bears will starve; without the wild salmon to fertilize the rivers, the rivers will die; without the wild salmon the people who rely on them for their livelihood will lose their livelihood. I trust that you will look deeply into all the information provided and make recommendations that will be beneficial not only for the salmon but for all the creatures that rely on the salmon. Whether or not the fish farms are fully responsible for the salmon decline, they are at least partially responsible and they do not belong on the coast, they truly need to be moved out of the ocean and onto land. It is our responsibility to care for the land and oceans that sustain us and from a larger perspective, the health of the wild salmon is far more important than industrial fish farms owned by foreign companies – we live here and have to live with the results of their disregard for our environment. One only has to look at what’s happened to their coastline to know that the environment isn’t on the top of their list of things to care about. Please don’t let them compromise our oceans any longer. Regards, Teresa Bouchard

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