Fight to save wild salmon heats up

Sign the petition to protect wild salmon.

The report of the Cohen Commission highlights the danger penned salmon farming poses to wild fish. There is growing evidence of exotic viruses spilling out of salmon feedlots, infecting passing wild salmon. Justice Bruce Cohen recently released recommendations of his 3-year, $26 million federal inquiry into the Decline of the Fraser Sockeye, one of the world’s largest salmon runs.

The Cohen report includes:

  • Salmon farms have the potential to import exotic viruses and amplify endemic ones
  • There should be an immediate freeze on farm salmon production on the Fraser sockeye migration route
  • DFO should be relieved of their duty to promote salmon farms
  • Mitigation into the impact of salmon farms on wild salmon should not be delayed and should be carried out in the absence of absolute certainty
  • DFO must assess ALL research done on the impact of farm salmon on wild salmon and if found greater than minimal, the industry must be prohibited from operating on the Fraser sockeye migration route!
  • Siting criteria has to be revised to include wild salmon migration routes.

As this report is tabled, you should know the Province of BC is in the process of renewing many salmon farm leases. If BC offers this industry long term leases, Justice Cohen’s recommendations and our $26 million will be wasted. The Province cannot at this point offer these lease renewals without consulting with the Fraser First Nations, because the salmon they have rights to are swimming through effluent from the salmon farms, Cohen is specifically reporting on.

Reknowned biologist Alexandra Morton says she is actively researching exotic salmon viruses, but if these leases are renewed in the next few weeks, there will be little chance of the Cohen recommendations being acted on.