Protect wild salmon from fish farms

An open letter to MP Colin Mayes and MLA George Abbott:

An open letter to MP Colin Mayes and MLA George Abbott:

It was exciting and reassuring to see the tremendous return of the Adams River salmon run in 2010 after the disastrous unexplained collapse of the Fraser River sockeye salmon run in 2009. I’m sure you were as pleased as I was to see so many sockeye salmon in the Adams River and to witness so many salmon returning to Herald Park and the Salmon River. It made me think that if our wild salmon fishery were protected and managed properly, it would not meet the same fate as the East Coast cod fishery which collapsed in 1992.

The Cohen Commission investigating the causes of the collapse of the 2009 Fraser River salmon run has heard credible evidence which shows that the 2009 salmon were infected with the deadly ISA virus when the smolts swam past infected fish farms on their migration route in 2006. The commission also heard that these fish farms had no fish in their pens when the 2010 salmon smolts swam past in 2007. This explains why we had the disastrous collapse in 2009 and “The Run of the Century” in 2010.

The DFO, the federal government and the fish farms withheld information, questioned reliable information from other scientists and threatened DFO employees who suggested fish farms might be the source of infection of wild salmon stocks.

I don’t understand why both the federal and provincial governments have been protecting fish farms owned mostly by Norwegian companies and have not been trying to protect our wild salmon stocks which belong to the people of B.C.

The Adams River salmon run is part of our heritage and I expect you to protect it. I expect you to do all you can to facilitate the gathering of scientific information about the 2009 collapse of the Fraser River salmon run. If the Cohen Commission finds that fish farms located on the migration routes of the Fraser River sockeye salmon are infecting the wild salmon, I expect you to make these fish farms move their operations.

John Henderson