Editor’s note: This is a letter to MP Pamela Goldsmith-Jones that was also sent to The Chief.
Indications are that our Federal Government in Ottawa intends to promote further cultivation of salmon farming in our province of British Columbia. This controversial concept of open-net salmon farming has been practiced in our coastal waters for approximately 20 years and has been scientifically proven to be threat to our wild salmon.
Consider this: A foreign species (Atlantic salmon) was introduced into our waters bringing with it a whole new set of problems and diseases. Who approved this in the first place? This flawed concept may receive the approval of Eastern Canadian politicians, who are unfamiliar with the values we place upon our West Coast fishery. Needless to add, it will also be supported by “business interests” who are only concerned with their bottom line. It should also be stressed that those same business interests are responsible for wiping out the wild salmon in Norway, Ireland and Scotland.
The fish farms must be removed from the coastal waters and inlets of British Columbia if we are to save our declining natural salmon stocks. Open-net fish farms are in direct conflict with our efforts to protect and support our wild fish and contribute minimally to our economy.
Our neighbours in Washington, U.S.A., have acknowledged this fact and removed their fish farms. Why can’t we follow their lead?
Have we not learned anything from the collapse of the cod fishery in Eastern Canada? The cause may be slightly different in each case, but poor management is to blame in both circumstances.
It is time to get it right and do something positive for our unique fishery by electing responsible people to manage it. And another positive correction is to offer the companies of open-net fish farms incentives for them to switch to land-based fish farms.
Squamish Streamkeepers Society