Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 12:40 EDT

Smoking Gun in Cohen Report is Lack of Knowledge about Factors Affecting Wild Salmon Populations

November 5, 2012

HALIFAX, Nov. 5, 2012 /CNW/ – The Canadian Wildlife Federation supports
the recommendations made by the Cohen Commission Inquiry into the
Decline of Sockeye Salmon in the Fraser River, particularly those on
open net-pen salmon aquaculture. However, CWF disagrees with
Commissioner Bruce Cohen’s statement that there is no single cause or
“smoking gun” to explain the decline in sockeye productivity.  Dr. Sean
Brillant, CWF Manager of Marine Programs says “it is clear throughout
the report that there is an inadequate level of knowledge on the effect
of human activities like net-pen aquaculture on sockeye salmon and on
the ecology of the wild salmon populations – that is the smoking gun.”

“Although the focus of the Commission was sockeye salmon of the Fraser
River, its recommendations clearly can apply to other parts of the
country where open net-pen salmon aquaculture is large or quickly
developing and where wild salmon populations are threatened,” says

The CWF position on open net pen finfish aquaculture is that it alters
important aquatic habitats and significantly affects indigenous
populations of wild salmon and other wildlife. Although the aquaculture
industry creates economic benefits, because of its significant impact
on wildlife, CWF endorses a phasing-out of net-pen finfish aquaculture
on both coasts of Canada over the next 10 years and, in the meantime, a
moratorium on new aquaculture operations.

“We fully support the recommendation to prohibit further net-pen salmon
aquaculture development in the BC Discovery Islands unless risk of
serious harm to wild salmon populations can be rejected or else
prohibit net-pen salmon aquaculture entirely,” states Brillant.

With more than 300,000 supporters, CWF is the largest conservation
organization in Canada and has provided a balanced voice on
conservation issues for more than 50 years.

About the Canadian Wildlife Federation
The Canadian Wildlife Federation is a national not-for-profit charitable
organization dedicated to ensuring an appreciation of our natural world
and a lasting legacy of healthy wildlife and habitat.  By improving
knowledge of human impacts on the environment, developing and
delivering programs, recommending policy changes and cooperating with
like-minded partners, CWF encourages a future in which Canadians can
live in harmony with nature.  For more information, visit CanadianWildlifeFederation.ca.


Source: PR Newswire