Alexandra Morton

Now is time to speak to MPs

The Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans was formed this week in Ottawa. The Minister of this department is Gail Shea and her knowledge of fish biology is, umm, shall we say, deficient (follow the link).

Can we rely on the parliamentary committee to make a difference? They are now establishing an agenda for this session’s work. I sent each MP on the committee an email that repeats the story told in the blog entry When gatekeepers hold the gates open.

I asked this:

The video evidence gathered by Alexandra Morton and colleagues demonstrates that commercial factors rank above environmental factors in present day fisheries management. The evidence seems clear, the time to act may have passed but you MPs have a chance to begin needed change. If the current trends continue, the children of our children will walk on lifeless beaches. Will you stand up for nature?

Sound your voice now. Here are the email links to members of the committee:

    Chair, Rodney Weston, MP

    Vice-Chair, Raynald Blais, MP

    Vice-Chair, Lawrence MacAuley, MP

    Member, Fin Donnelly, MP

    Member, Randy Kamp, MP

Damien Gillis‘ new short documentary, “Farmed Salmon Exposed: The Global Reach of the Norwegian Salmon Farming Industry” is now available online
(http://www.youtube.com/user/PureSalmon)
.

3 replies »

  1. Hi Norman,
    My letter:

    Dear Sirs,
    The first time I heard of “Fish Farms” many years ago I thought, “What a good idea. Aquaculture would seem to make sense in providing sustainable food for the world.” Then I started to hear of these farms opening up on the west coast – using Atlantic salmon. An introduced species done for the simple expedient of, “It’s cheaper for the farmer”. Alarm bells rang off instantly. I can’t think of an instance where an alien species has been introduced into another environment and it has gone well for the native population. There might be a positive instance but I certainly can rattle off lots of instances in the negative. Far too many, in fact.

    In my naivety I wasn’t too concerned about the fish farms releasing Atlantic Salmon because I thought the fish farms were closed systems. To my horror I discovered the farms were just netting placed in open water. A few years go by and I start to hear about sea lice and their effect on young salmon. Then I start to hear that the majority of the farms are all by the fresh water outfalls of our native salmon runs. Brilliant. Fisheries Canada can’t be bothered to do any monitoring of the sea lice issue so private citizens pay for a study to determine if the sea lice are becoming resistant to the agents used to control them in the farms. Answer: yes.

    Nowadays I read up on Alexandra Morton’s attempts to see kick start government agencies into monitoring and regulating the fish farms. Nope, the Liberals in BC have proven themselves to be worthy upholders of corporate rights over citizens right so nothing happens there. Now you gentlemen are tasked with the job of actually providing governance. I quote Norman Farrell’s question that he sent to you:

    “The video evidence gathered by Alexandra Morton and colleagues demonstrates that commercial factors rank above environmental factors in present day fisheries management. The evidence seems clear, the time to act may have passed but you MPs have a chance to begin needed change. If the current trends continue, the children of our children will walk on lifeless beaches. Will you stand up for nature?”

    Perhaps a little over the top but succinct just the same. Frankly I am surprised we have not yet seen wholesale domestic violence against the fish farm industry by the wild salmon fishing industry but I admit it takes an awful lot for Canadians to channel their violent responses.

    I do hope you folks will achieve something more than: “If it’s good for Norwegian corporations, it’s good for Canada”.

    sincerely,
    Theo Nelson

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  2. Norman, thanks, my letter;
    The Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans
    Dear Sir,

    As you embark on your inquiry into the failure of the west coast fishery, I need to add my plea to you. You must find that the Minister of Fisheries has failed completely in her mandate to manage and protect the wild salmon stocks on the west coast (after the spectacular failure to manage east coast stocks). She has failed to protect the public trust in refusing to apply the precautionary principle with regards to open net fish farms operating in the migratory path of the most important salmon runs in the world. She refused to consider the substantial peer reviewed science that has been presented to her ad nauseum by many of her own, as well as independant scientists. As a direct result of her negligence, incompetence, or misplaced loyalty, the entire west coast ocean environment is under imminent danger of total collapse. She must resign.

    After carrying ISA from Norway to Chile and wiping out 70% of the farm salmon there, along with the Chilean industry the Norwegian fish farmers who operate in all three countries are actually profiting. Introducing a virus into a new ocean should be considered a crime, but instead these companies are profiting. Our Minister of Fisheries refuses to close the border to Atlantic salmon eggs so according to the Norwegian scientists tracking this virus BC will get ISA and it will have unprecedented impact on our wild salmon.

    A month ago people started telling me about an unusual sea lice epidemic off Nootka Island. People are saying the lice are drug-resistant which is one of the things ex-Attorney General of Norway is trying to warn Canada about last week. People from the Discovery Islands, Jody Eriksson, Farlyn and Tavish Campbell, began investigating and this video by Twyla Roscovich is what we have learned so far. The statements by the provincial government of British Columbia do not correctly describe what we are seeing. The looming question in my mind is whether the provincial government is covering for Grieg and by so doing risking our wild salmon, including the Fraser River sockeye?

    You must ask yourselves, has the DFO been seduced by the Norwegian Fish Farm Lobby? How is it in the best interest of the major stakeholders (being the citizens of Canada, the citizens of British Columbia, our First People and most importantly, the entire coastal ecosystem, flora and fauna) to favour the interests of international corporations over the future of our children? Have the Norwegian Corporations contributed to CPC and BC Liberal campaign finances?

    I must caution you, as you enter into this investigation, that your employers, the people of Canada are watching. We will not stand for anything short of justice. Time is critical if we are to salvage BC's two biggest industries and to accomplish that we need to rise above partisan politics and make some tough decisions. Immediate and total ban on open net fish farms. Review and round table conducted by all major stakeholders, including First Nations, coastal communities, commercial fisherman, ecotourism operators and chaired by Alexandra Morton and her esteemed colleagues in the BC Biology community. Together, we can find solutions. Will you be part of the solution?

    Thanks for your time,
    Kim Poirier
    Victoria, BC

    Like

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