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Mainstream Welcomes Research to Help Fill Knowledge Gap

5 November 2012, at 12:00am

CANADA - Mainstream Canada has announced it was pleased to see that the Cohen Commission report urges research to fill in the knowledge gaps about wild and farmed salmon.

This scrutiny and research will help the public better understand how salmon farms operate, how they are sustainable and how they are part of the solution for protecting wild salmon.

"Without such work, scientists and managers alike are left speculating about the real effects that the diseases found on fish farms have on wild stocks such as sockeye," said Justice Bruce Cohen in his report.

The report was complimentary of the quality and depth of the fish health data provided by salmon farmers to Justice Cohen to review. He recommended that this information continue to be made public, and Mainstream Canada agrees.

"We are confident in the health of our fish and in the quality of our farm information and will continue to work with government regulators to show the public that we are committed to making sure our farms don't pose any risk to wild salmon," said Laurie Jensen, Mainstream Canada's Corporate Sustainability Manager.

Cohen's report makes a number of recommendations about how salmon farmers could work to protect wild salmon. He expressed some concerns about the potential risks posed by a small number of salmon farms in the Discovery Islands region. He pointed out that there is no clear indication if salmon farms are having any effect on wild salmon, but as a precautionary measure, he recommended more scientific research in this region to fully understand wild salmon populations.

Mainstream Canada supports his call for more scientific research and initiatives that protect and enhance wild salmon populations and habitat in B.C. More research by credible, accredited scientists will help us all understand the interactions in the wild and between the wild and farmed fish.

Mainstream Canada also agrees with many of Justice Cohen's other recommendations, including working to address the causes of warming ocean waters and climate change.

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