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NEWS: Harper budget supports aquaculture

CTV reports that in this most recent federal budget the Harper government allocated $57.5 million over five years to ‘enhance regulatory certainty’ in the aquaculture industry, while failing to respond to the recommendations of the Cohen commission on the protection of wild salmon, in particular from farmed salmon.

In his report, Mr. Justice Bruce Cohen had recommended that there be a moratorium on new aquaculture development near the Discovery Islands between Vancouver Island and the mainland.

CTV reports, “Cohen also pointed out a conflict of interest in the mandate of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). While the department is in charge of protecting wild fish stocks, it is also responsible for promoting the aquaculture industry. Cohen recommended that responsibility be taken away from DFO.”

Cohen stated, “As long as DFO has a mandate to promote salmon farming, there is a risk that it will act in a manner that favours the interests of the salmon farming industry over the health of wild fish stocks.”

Last week, the BC government decided to accept all 75 recommendations by Cohen, including on the moratorium. But, “(The) DFO says it is still reviewing the Cohen Commission’s report nearly five months after its release.”

In November 2011, Postmedia News reported, “Top bureaucrats in Ottawa have muzzled a leading fisheries scientist whose discovery could help explain why salmon stocks have been crashing off Canada’s West Coast, according to documents obtained by Postmedia News. …The documents show the Privy Council Office, which supports the Prime Minister’s Office, stopped Kristi Miller from talking about one of the most significant discoveries to come out of a federal fisheries lab in years.”

For more, please read:
UPDATE: Open pen fish farms an issue for South Shore chapter
UPDATE: Grewal marches in Vancouver for wild salmon protection
NEWS: Harper government silences scientist over salmon study