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BC's Salmon Farmers Support Continued Research in Fish Health

1 November 2012, at 12:00am

CANADA - With confidence in the health of the fish and the quality of farm information, British Columbias salmon farmers support a request by Commissioner Bruce Cohen for more research in the Discovery Islands area.

We know that the fish on our farms are healthy and Justice Cohen has acknowledged the impressive data we made available, said Stewart Hawthorn, Board Member of the BCSFA. We are committed to protecting the marine environment and our iconic wild salmon and we support the call for further research in this small farming area.

The final report from the Cohen Commission of Inquiry into the Decline of the Fraser River Sockeye was released, and included around 75 recommendations on different areas of fisheries management. Climate change and fish enhancement facilities were among the issues discussed that may have affected the 2009 return of the Fraser River Sockeye.

Justice Cohen commended the information that was collected by our salmon farmers and provided to the commission. He has recommended that salmon farm production stay the same in the Discovery Islands area of BC while more research is done. This area represents only a small part of BCs farmed salmon production, currently there are eight farms in the area.

Salmon farmers have shown repeatedly in the past a willingness to work with regulators, stakeholders and NGOs to collect, evaluate and react to new information with respect to potential impacts to wild salmon.

Our members are committed to farming responsibly - and that commitment will continue as we move forward in light of these recommendations, said Clare Backman, Board Member of the BCSFA. Its important that we continue with the important social and economic role we play in the coastal communities of BC while protecting our natural environment.

The BCSFA represents salmon farm companies and those who provide services and supplies to the industry. Salmon-farming provides for 6,000 direct and indirect jobs while contributing $800-million to the provincial economy each year.

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