Filed for publication with the Mirror…
Dear Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bernadette Jordan,
I have been a volunteer with a salmon enhancement society on Vancouver Island for 31 years.
I wish to congratulate you on your decision to honour the 2012 Cohen Report on wild salmon by removing fish farms from Discovery islands. In doing so, you help save wild salmon from virtual extinction. You aid the environment and promote jobs in sport and commercial fisheries and tourism.
Salmon not only provide jobs directly, but indirectly too: salmon feed whales and bears, and salmon carcasses result in productive rivers and productive forests. Salmon are the life-blood of the First Nations; they are an icon and food fish for many ‘settlers’ too.
The fish-farm industry has known since at least 2012, that the writing is on the wall. Yet as with other industries, like the fossil fuel industry, it has preferred quick easy profits over a sustainable business model. It is the salmon, the environment, and the rest of us, who pay the full cost of their arrogant indifference to sustainability. Fish-farms elsewhere are being moved onshore. It can happen here.
We must pay respectful attention to nature; she may be a mean mother if we don’t.