BC Must Protect Wild Salmon

I received this email alert from the Wilderness Committee to write a letter to Premier Christy Clark, as well as BC’s Ministers of Agriculture and Environment urging them to deny salmon farm renewals in order to protect our wild salmon population:

BC Must Protect Wild Salmon and Deny Salmon Farm Renewals

Hello Eldy,

British Columbia’s wild salmon are in trouble, and they need our help. River systems across the province show drastic population declines, and the ecological, economic, social, and cultural repercussions of the loss of this iconic species are already being felt in many regions.

The recently released report from the Cohen Commission—a federal inquiry into the decline of the Fraser River sockeye—has identified the cumulative impact of several human-induced environmental changes as the likely cause of the decline. Key threats included climate change, habitat loss, and industrial salmon farming. All of this will be compounded by recent federal government legislation, which has gutted protection for fisheries and habitat management.

Of the factors that threaten salmon, the presence of industrial salmon feedlots is perhaps the simplest to address. Despite the industry’s insistence that massive feedlot sites and wild stocks can coexist, there is no evidence to prove this. Instead, in many places around the world the growth of this industry has gone hand in hand with the decline of nearby wild salmon stocks. Justice Cohen made this clear in his report, stating that “the potential harm posed by salmon farms to Fraser River sockeye salmon is serious or irreversible”. The only way to ensure this industry does not contribute to the irreversible and devastating loss of our salmon is to remove all open-net feedlots in BC now.

Cohen recommended a halt to expansion of salmon feedlots along the Fraser River sockeye migration route until 2020, so that the impacts of this controversial industry can be further studied. But outside of the areas addressed by the Cohen Commission, the salmon farming industry plans to continue business as usual, building new feedlots in the constant effort to increase output.

The provincial government is responsible for granting leases to salmon farms operating on crown land, and some of these sites are up for renewal right now. This is the only tool we have provincially to stop salmon farms, so it’s critical that the BC government protects wild salmon by refusing to renew these salmon farm tenures.

Jeopardizing wild pacific salmon is a risk that the proponents of industrial aquaculture and unfortunately, our federal government, are perfectly comfortable with. But for most British Columbians, wild salmon are too important to lose.

That’s why I’m asking you to write to Premier Christy Clark, as well as BC’s Ministers of Agriculture and Environment today and demand that the province deny renewal for existing salmon farm licences in BC’s waters. Please click here to write your letter now!

For those of you in the Vancouver area, there will be a rally happening next Wednesday, November 14th outside of Premier Christy Clark’s constituency office at 3615 W. 4th Avenue. I encourage you to join us that day to urge Premier Clark to do the right thing for BC’s wild salmon. For more details on the rally, visit the Facebook event page.

We can demand that our elected leaders put the health and viability of our wild salmon before the profits of the salmon farm industry. Together, our voices will be too loud to be ignored.

For the wild,

Torrance Coste | Vancouver Island Campaigner
Wilderness Committee


Thank you for supporting wilderness.

The Wilderness Committee is Canada’s largest membership-based, citizen-funded wilderness preservation organization. We work for the preservation of Canadian and international wilderness through research and grassroots education. The Wilderness Committee works on the ground to achieve ecologically sustainable communities. We work only through lawful means.

This is an important issue which has wreaked havoc on natural wild salmon on a worldwide scale wherever salmon farming has been allowed to take place.  I most definitely shall follow the link and write my letter of concern.

Today’s “stone” is Day 313  save the salmon, stop the devastation, the red flags have gone up worldwide


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