Canadian Government Delivers Update on Cohen Recommendations

10 August 2016, at 1:00am

CANADA - The Canadian government is moving forward with the recommendations in Justice Cohens 2012 final report from the Commission of Inquiry into the Decline of Sockeye Salmon in the Fraser River.

Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, revealed the next steps to deliver on this important mandate commitment.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has already implemented over 30 of the recommendations it is responsible for and is working in collaboration with the Government of British Columbia, Environment and Climate Change Canada and other stakeholders and Indigenous groups to act on the recommendations.

While the Cohen Commission focused on Fraser River Sockeye salmon, the government is committed to the conservation of all wild Pacific salmon. DFO will begin consultations with Indigenous groups and stakeholders on the implementation of the Wild Salmon Policy beginning in Fall 2016.

“We value the work done by Justice Cohen and the Commission and we will continue to act on their recommendations in our efforts to support the conservation and sustainability of Pacific salmon. We also look forward to consulting with Indigenous groups, other partners, and stakeholders on the Wild Salmon Policy Implementation Plan as we continue our efforts to ensure the future of this vital resource,” said Mr LeBlanc.

Dr Brian Riddell, President and CEO of the Pacific Salmon Foundation, also welcomed the Minister's update, saying: "The Pacific Salmon Foundation welcomes the update provided by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and is very encouraged to hear directly from the Minister that full implementation of the Cohen Commission recommendations is a top priority for this new government. Wild Pacific salmon are a lifeblood that runs through our culture, environment, and economy in British Columbia."

"The Pacific Salmon Foundation strongly believes that conservation of wild Pacific salmon must be the ultimate consideration for governments, businesses and communities as we contemplate potential risks and benefits in our future. Healthy wild Pacific salmon populations provide their best assurance for surviving future developments and climate change."

Jeremy Dunn, Executive Director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association, also commented: “Salmon farmers have supported Justice Cohen’s plan from the day it was released, and our members are pleased to see the government’s acknowledgement of the work that has been done on implementing the recommendations, and that DFO will be continuing to move its spirit forward.”