If independent scientists have found ISA virus, and those with a direct stake in NOT finding ISA virus (the fish farms and the government who has a certain appreciation for the support from the fish farms and also appreciates supporting the status quo) have lost the specimens, their assessment of ISA virus absence needs to be seriously investigated. The precautionary principle would suggest this precautionary step.
The "impact of environmental changes along the Fraser River, marine environmental conditions, aquaculture, predators, diseases, water temperature" (from Terms of Reference) are not factors that we can control, even though they MAY be factors in the decline of the Fraser River sockeye salmon. There is ONE factor that we CAN control, and that is the location of the salmon farms. Removing them from their present location for a period adequate to allow for the revival of Fraser River sockeye salmon would tell us if they have affected the FR sockeye salmon. Applying the precautionary principle in this way might cause economic hardship to the fish farmers, but if the fish farms are responsible for the decline of the FR sockeye salmon, we should find out now, not later.
"Only when the last tree has died
and the last river been poisoned
and THE LAST FISH BEEN CAUGHT
WILL WE REALIZE THAT WE CANNOT EAT MONEY"