Commissioner slams Libs for favoring farmed fish over wild Pacific salmon

 

OTTAWA – A scathing report by the federal Environment Commissioner released yesterday that slams the Liberal government’s mismanagement of the farmed salmon industry has serious risks for coastal BC wild salmon, MP Nathan Cullen said today.

“This is a damning report that highlights the failure of the Liberal government to protect our wild salmon stocks,” said Cullen.  “After so many years of neglect, we are expecting a devastating season in the Northwest.”

“Atlantic farmed salmon operations have exposed our wild salmon to disease and pesticides and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) hasn’t even bothered to monitor the impacts. The Northwest depends on its wild salmon and it is shocking to see such lack of oversight from the federal government.”

Commissioner Julie Gelfand found that the government’s failure to monitor and manage risks associated with salmon farming means there is no way to determine the impact of fish farms on wild fish.  She was also critical of Canada’s lack of national standards to prevent escapement and to regulate how much drugs and pesticides companies may use.

NDP DFO Critic Fin Donnelly (Port Moody- Coquitlam) pointed out the 2012 Cohen Commission clearly revealed shortfalls in Ottawa’s salmon aquaculture management.

Donnelly said the Trudeau Liberals have been as ineffective as the Harper Conservatives in taking any real action to improve Canadian aquaculture practices. Donnelley warned of far greater consequences to wild salmon if government does not require a shift to closed containment fish farms.

“The government has a responsibility to protect wild salmon and Canada has an opportunity to become a world leader in making a just transition to safe, land based salmon farming that will protect our wild salmon and allow stocks to flourish,” said Cullen.

In 2016, the Liberals defeated Donnelly’s Private Member’s Bill to transition the industry to closed containment, much to the dismay of many concerned Canadians.

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Contact:         Shelley Browne, 250-877-4140, nathan.cullen.c1@parl.gc.ca