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BC Salmon Farmers Have Say In Fraser Sockeye Commission

CANADA - The British Columbian (BC) Salmon Farmers Association has been granted standing for the Cohen Commission - a judicial inquiry set to investigate the decline in wild Sockeye salmon and failure of the 2009 return.

"We're looking forward to the opportunity to clarify much of the misinformation that is being spread about salmon farming and its impact on wild salmon stocks," said Mary Ellen Walling, Executive Director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association.

The federal government announced the creation of the commission in November 2009, naming Supreme Court of British Columbia Judge, the Honourable Bruce Cohen as commissioner.

Fifty applications were received by individuals and groups seeking standing on the commission - significantly higher than usual for such inquiries. By grouping some applicants and turning down others, a final tally of 20 representative groups have been given standing for the inquiry.

The BC Salmon Farmers Association will represent the 6,000 people employed directly and indirectly by the industry. Association representatives at the commission will provide accurate insightful information about farm operations, regulations, research and the environment.

The goal of the association is to answer any questions about the industry and its operations, as well as offer the extensive research and knowledge of BC's coast.

"BC's salmon farmers recognise that to be successful, we have to be accountable to the environment and our communities," said Ms Walling. "Our participation with the commission is an example of the increased transparency we're committed to."

the Fish Site Editor

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