Petition to Protect Wild Salmon written by Alexandra Morton
Gordon Campbell, Premier of British Columbia
Wild salmon are the backbone of the BC Coast. On February 9, 2009
BC Supreme Court ruled that salmon farms are a fishery and a federal responsibility.
The science is in. The feedlot fishery is damaging wild salmon stocks worldwide
(Ford and Myers 2008). Fraser sockeye and all southcoast BC salmon and
steelhead are now at risk as a result of the Provincial policy of allowing the
feedlot fishery to use Canada’s most valuable wild salmon habitat .
We the undersigned demand that Fisheries and Oceans Canada
apply the Fisheries Act to this industry and immediately:
− Place observers during feedlot salmon harvest to assess unlawful by-catch;
− Examine feedlot salmon as they are cleaned for presence of wild fish in their
− Licence vessels transporting aquaculture salmon like all other commercial
− As per Pacific Fishery Regulation "Prohibited Fishing
Methods" ban grow lights on fish feedlots to end wild prey species
attraction into the pens;
– Remove the marine feedlot industry from wild salmon migration routes.
The landmark BC Supreme Court decision states, “The inclusion of fisheries in s.
91(12) of the Constitution Act, 1867 was a recognition that fisheries, as a national
resource, require uniformity of the legislation”.
We insist that the Fisheries Act be applied to the salmon feedlot fishery immediately.
Four Thousand, six hundred and seventeen (4.617) people have signed the letter attached to this email. �The rate of signatures is accelerating and already this number of out of date as more people have signed in the past 1/2 hour. �Three thousand, seven hundred and ninety six are from British Columbia. �Most of the remaining nearly 1000 people contribute to the BC economy as visitors.
I will continue forwarding this letter to both of you due to the recent appeal of the BC Supreme Court decision to assign fish �farms� to the federal government.
Minister Shea, I am hoping these signatures will help you gauge the level of concern here in BC. �Wild salmon bring $1.5 billion dollars to BC every year in wilderness tourism, the commercial fishery is worth another .5 billion and wild salmon are extremely important to the First Nations of British Columbia. �Anything that threatens all of this is harming the BC economy. �Initially, I know this industry was considered a benefit to small coastal communities, but the opposite has occurred in many places. �This is a failed social experiment. Wherever wild salmon are healthy, the economy is healthy. �What is the solution?1. Wild salmon cannot be moved, so remove the penned ones. �
2. Offer incentives to Canadian fish farmers to build tanks on land where they can work on farming a range of fish species and build a
����viable industry with permanent infrastructure, not disposable pens �
3. Form councils made of only local people willing to work hard to restore wild salmon, using the remarkably successful biology of wild
����salmon as the compass and instruct government to help, not hinder these people �
4. Apply the Fisheries Act fair and square to any aquaculture that remains in public waters. �
We got into this mess because no one read the road signs and now we are deep into the danger zone. Most recently the $5 million Pacific Salmon Forum, tasked to respond to the plummeting wild Broughton salmon stocks, confirmed there is a relationship between fish farms, sea lice and declining wild salmon. What did they recommend? �Leave farm salmon production at the same level as where all the damage to the pink salmon occurred. �This is simply not going to work. Any other fishery found damaging wild salmon would be reduced, not maintained at exactly the levels that saw the harm occur. There is something very wrong with this recommendation. Furthermore the impact on Fraser River salmon and steelhead is omitted.
I think the Norwegian fish farmers have failed us. �They are too mechanized, their product is not worth enough, their scale of impact is too great and they have destroyed the salmon market. �I feel certain we can build a better aquaculture industry on land where some species of fish will be farmed and we would have our wild salmon and jobs spanning several fish related industries. Diversity is the key to survival of the global economic storm.
Wherever there are wild salmon people thrive this has been so for 8,000 years in BC.
We are standing by,