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(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver) The Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs on March 28 issued a statement condemning the Harper Government's Budget 2013 allocating $57.5 million over five years to increase "regulatory certainty" in the aquaculture industry.

The Union said this budget ignores the critical findings and recommendations of the final report of the $26-million Cohen Commission, which was set up to look into the decline of wild sockeye salmon in the Fraser River watershed.

“Commissioner Cohen's exhaustive work highlighted the Harper Government's great efforts to undermine, under-fund and greatly restrict the federal government's role in fish habitat protection," Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs observed. "Cohen wrote about the duplicity and complete failure of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, created on the basis to preserve and maintain all fish stocks, most especially the indigenous runs of Pacific wild salmon, but as a department under this federal government has become a stooge for the open-net fish farm industry.”

Chief Bob Chamberlin, Vice-President of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, stated, "In regards to aquaculture, Commissioner Cohen’s most significant recommendation was that DFO should solely focus on the management of wild fisheries, and that the mandate for open-net fish farming be immediately moved from DFO to another federal department, as promotion of aquaculture development is in direct conflict with the interests of wild salmon stocks."

"Incredibly with Budget 2013, with all of its deficit reductions and programme cuts, the Harper Government snubbed one of the most vital recommendation of the Cohen Commission to the great peril of indigenous wild salmon runs. It is completely unacceptable and First Nations cannot continue to stand idly by as the wild salmon runs die off. We must fight to make wild salmon the first and foremost priority!”

The Cohen Commission was set up in 2009 to investigate the dramatic and unexpected decline of that year's Fraser River sockeye salmon run, according to CBC News. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) expected 11 million fish to return in 2009, but fewer than 1.5 million did. (

For more information, contact: Chief Bob Chamberlin, (604) 684-0231 or Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, (604) 684-0231,

Wild salmon are under attack by corporations and corrupt governments along the entire West Coast from California to Alaska. As expanding aquaculture operations threaten the existence of wild salmon populations in British Columbia, Sacramento River Chinook salmon are threatened by increasing water exports out of the Delta and Governor Jerry Brown's Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP to build twin peripheral tunnels. These tunnels will divert even more water out of the California Delta, the largest estuary on the West Coast of the Americas, resulting in the extinction of Central Valley salmon and steelhead, Delta smelt and other fish species.

Originally posted to Dan Bacher on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 10:54 AM PDT.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots, Native American Netroots, Invisible People, and Koscadia.

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Comment Preferences

  •  "regulatory certainty" Seems like that is the (7+ / 0-)

    go to phrase for these folks wanting to trash the environment. Disgusting.

    if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

    by mrsgoo on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 11:17:39 AM PDT

  •  Alaska bumper sticker (8+ / 0-)

    when I was up there maybe ten years ago:

    "Friends don't let friends
    eat farmed salmon."

    I remember it when I go to the supermarket and they're selling farmed Atlantic salmon for $6.99, and wild Alaska sockeye for $10.99. I'd rather eat it less often (and smaller portions) and get the real thing, which also has way more flavor (and undoubtedly more of the fish oils that are why salmon is healthy).

    •  and you don't see the "color added" line on WILD (7+ / 0-)

      salmon labels! -- why do you see it on the farmed stuff? because the farmed stuff is such a mingy, pastel color you wouldn't know it was "salmon" if they didn't DYE it the right color!

      we NEVER buy farmed anything! and we don't buy any of the fancy new names we never saw before the last 10 years or so.

      As you say, rugbymom, it may be more $$$ but at least we know we're getting the real deal when we do pay!

      PS Wild Alaskan salmon varieties may be expensive, but at least the Alaskan or Federal or whoever fisheries people recognized the destruction of the rest of the fisheries before it got TO the gulf of Alaska. So that area never got fished down to the bottom scrapings, which is why it is still there at all!

      Maybe the UN ought to call for a worldwide sabbatical on ALL food fishing for a couple of years, and see what happens. Isn't there a Caribbean island that some dictator closed off ALL fishing and harvesting around, and in like, 5 years, all kinds of stuff is back, including numerous species thought to have gone extinct. but with the protection, they revived! Preparations would have to be made to replace the missing fish for the closed period (and NOT with "jungle meat"!) -- maybe a real push for LOCAL inland fish farming?

      oh, and when the sabbatical ends, so does open-net commercial fish farming, AND fish-farming species far outside their natural ranges... if ya' wanna' farm "Atlantic salmon" DO IT ON ATLANTIC COASTS! maybe an industry for Labrador?

      "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

      by chimene on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 01:27:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've been told that Lewis and Clark recorded that (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LinSea, KenBee, mrsgoo, kaliope

    the streams had so many salmon that their horses were afraid to cross.

    Restore that habitat, restore wealth.

    •  Exactly what we have been saying. It is a (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mookins, kaliope

      re-distribution of wealth. Pitting farmer against farmer and fishermen against farmer. And why the hell we would fallow northern prime farm land to support selenium laced desert farm land is beyond me. It is all about the $$. Kern county has money and the political clout. When Kern county is holding fundraisers for Feinstein it better make ya think. DiFi is not on our side.

      if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

      by mrsgoo on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 10:20:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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