Aquaculture for all

BC Salmon Report Finds a Better Way

Salmonids Biosecurity Welfare +12 more

BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA - The Pacific Salmon Forum has been praised for the release of their long-anticipated report. The report acknowledges the magnitude of the problems created by open net-cage salmon farms on the BC coast, calls for better environmental protection, and recommends that the provincial government get on with funding a commercial-scale closed containment project.

Even a cursory search of newspaper headlines in recent years makes it plain that wild and farmed salmon in British Columbia are synonymous with conflict, mistrust and confusion.

Story after story, scientific report after scientific report, court case after court case has presented a picture of impending doom - declining wild salmon runs, eternally squabbling resource users, rapacious developers, irresponsible salmon farmers - all presided over by inept and uncaring governments.

"We were charged, in part, to suggest a path upward to a better future"
Pacific Salmon Forum report

Now, the Pacific Salmon Forum have concluded that in terms of sustaining wild salmon the current system of governance for salmon is inadequate.

"We were charged, in part, to suggest a path upward to a better future. Where should change begin? Wild salmon begin their lives in watersheds and that’s where public policy change should begin as well. We know that in certain watersheds salmon populations are already struggling", says the report.

"We know that watersheds are under pressure from multiple human activities including urban development. We also know that climate change is going to intensify these pressures in ways that we have scarcely begun to imagine."

"Our governance systems have not adapted well to these challenges. Regulatory processes for salmon farming, forestry, mining, power development and other activities are not well understood by the public and do not enjoy a high level of public confidence."

"Everyone calls for facts and science-based processes, but every contending group offers its own ‘facts’ and the science itself is often contradictory and not always agenda-free. Public confidence in ‘the system’ is low. Public realization that all of us need to face some difficult value choices is only beginning to coalesce."

The recommendations made by the Forum in the report are designed to improve public confidence that wild salmon will survive and thrive in British Columbia. Their recommendations also see a future where salmon farming is viewed as an important economic driver and a legitimate user of the marine environment that is compatible with healthy wild salmon populations.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report BC Pacific Salmon Forum Report and Recommendations by clicking here.
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