Friday, April 27, 2018

MP Nathan Cullen calls out Liberal government after Farmed salmon report

The aquaculture industry in Canada
was the subject of a Federal audit with
the report delivered this week
A report from the Federal Environment Commissioner that takes the Federal government to task over its management of the farmed salmon industry has provided Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen with some strong talking points, with the MP blasting the Liberal government on a number of themes this week.

“This is a damning report that highlights the failure of the Liberal government to protect our wild salmon stocks  ... 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.”

British Columbia's aquaculture
industry is found mostly
in the Central coast and
on Vancouver Island
As part of her extensive overview of the farm fish industry, Commissioner Julie Gelfand and the audit team made note of the government's failure to monitor and manage the risks associated with the salmon farming industry.

Among some of the Other elements of concern for the Commissioner were a lack of national standards to prevent escapement and a lack of oversight when it comes to regulating the volume of drugs and pesticides that companies can use.

The document also  includes eight recommendations for action by the Department of Fisheries, included among the eight: adherence to commitments made after the Cohen Report, clarifying the roles and responsibilities between DFO and the CFIA, as well as better communication on issues of uncertainty on the effect of aquaculture on wild stocks

You can review the full report from Commissioner Gelfand here.

In his comments from Wednesday, the Skeena Bulkley Valley MP also stressed how the Liberal government needs to step up its efforts to protect wild salmon, suggesting a shift to land based fish farms as one path to follow:

“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,”

Some of the media reviews of the Commissioner's report can be reviewed below:

Canada not properly managing fish farms, environment commissioner says
Federal government not doing enough to manage risk of fish farms, environmental watchdog says
Fisheries and Oceans Canada not adequately managing salmon farming risk: Environment Commissioner
Fisheries department doing too little to protect wild fish from salmon farms, federal audit finds

More items of note related to Mr. Cullen's work in Ottawa can be found from our archive page here.

You can also review the state of the North Coast fishery from our fishery archive page here.

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