Sunday, 27 December 2015

On-land Fish Farms – Note to Trudeau and Tootoo

I sent a note to Trudeau and Tootoo asking for them to take fish farms out of the water and set them up on land to protect wild salmon, eliminate environmental damage and end the free release of climate-change sewage.

My list of 123 on-land systems shows that the Norwegian fish farm claim that it is too expensive is disingenuous. As you will see, Norway has gotten fed up with the environmental damage that Marine Harvest, Cermaq and Grieg Seafood cause in their own country and is giving out free licences for on-land farms to move the industry out of the ocean. We should be doing the same in Canada with the same companies.

When I generate a figure, or accept one from a report, I do a lot of work so that I am sure of what I say before I say it. An example is the sewage cost of $10.4 Billion in BC, which equals the entire human sewage put out in BC. I looked at sewage treatment in Victoria, the CRD, Vancouver, GVRD, Calgary, Ottawa, Halifax, Milwaukee, talked with the engineers of the Calgary Bonnybrook plant, read several reports, including one right on subject from Nova Scotia, as well as investigated Scotland, Norway itself, and Chile, the saddest, dirtiest country of them all.

My figure is conservative and the other end of the reasonable spectrum is, surprisingly, triple the $10.4 Billion figure – hard to believe yet true. Do also scan the list of 220 News Bites of global news from the last six months. I think you will be shocked. Also, the BC Stats report I cite, was actually done for and paid by DFO. They have never used one stat from their own report, only had their economists increase the multiplier number for jobs 230% from 1700 to 3900. Sorry DFO, that’s bogus.

Anyway, for a whole slew of reasons the way of the future is on land and you can see the link below to an article that concludes we are on the tipping point from sea to shore.

Here is my Christmas day note. Please consider sending one yourself:

Dear PM Justin Trudeau and DFO Minister Tootoo

I am writing to ask you to get fish farms out of the oceans of this country, particularly in BC where I live, and to eliminate the conflict of interest that DFO has with fish farms; as the Cohen Commission also said: DFO needs to concentrate on saving wild Pacific salmon. This is as big an issue in BC as stopping the Enbridge pipeline.

The government of Norway, where Marine Harvest, Cermaq and Grieg Seafood come from, is so fed up with the environmental damage caused by its own companies that it is giving away free licences for on-land farms - to get the industry out of the ocean. In-ocean farms must pay an auction price of $9- to $12-million per licence. In BC the same companies pay a measly $5,000. That means the licence subsidy for in-ocean BC fish farms is: $1.17- to 1.56-Billion that grants them the use of BC water as a free, open sewer, that Norway will no longer tolerate from the same companies.

We don’t want fish farms in the water either. Where people have to live with fish farms they overwhelmingly reject them. In BC 110,000 people signed a petition to stop expansion and get the industry out of the water: This number far exceeds any petition against Enbridge that I have seen.

In Nova Scotia the public also rejects in-ocean fish farms, and the new weaker laws governing them:

I estimate the sewage cost in BC from in-ocean fish farms to be $10.4 Billion. In Norway, the sewage far exceeds that from the entire human population of 8.1 Million. And fish farms don’t contribute much to the BC economy – nowhere near the damage cost they inflict. They say 6,000 jobs and $800 Million, however, the only believable stats, by BC Stats, says 1700 multiplier jobs and $469 Million, with a tiny contribution to GDP, for all of aquaculture, of only $61.9 Million, less than 10% of the contribution from the rest of the fishing sectors.

I made a point of looking into the actual job numbers and found it is only 795 actual jobs in BC. So for the huge environmental damage we suffer, it is for only a handful of jobs. It makes no economic or environmental sense.

And the problems in the global fish farm and seafood industry are pretty shocking: This is a list of more than 220 items in the past six months, including that the CEO of Fredriksen, Jo Lunder (item 129), the company that owns Marine Harvest, was sentenced to six months in jail for corruption. There are other jail sentences in Norway. Why are we not dealing with these companies the same way they are in Norway?

The people of BC want our elected officials to do what we want: get fish farms out of our pristine ocean, or they can take their few jobs back to Norway and set up on land in their own country.

In fact, the on-land movement is global. I have found 123 different on-land systems comprising more than 10,000 on-land farms around the globe. Why are fish farms still in BC water? See:

I receive four global fish farm newsletters every day, and it is my opinion that we are on the tipping point globally, moving from oceans to land. Those on-land near large cities first are the way of the future. See:’s get there first, or they can go home to Norway.

Finally, my site is a global portal for fish farm environmental damage links, with more than 150,000 page views from all around the world. It will reach a quarter of a million in little more than a year: Not surprisingly, Norway leads the pack, with Sweden and Russia in pursuit.

Have a nice holiday season.

DC Reid

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Sometimes a Great Notion

Last year Tom Cole gave me a disk of Victoria area sport fishing history going back to the 1950s. One big file has the 50 year history of the Sport Fish Advisory Board as a Powerpoint presentation along with a lot of historical images of our sport; the other big file is text documents stretching over the horizon, including Alec Merriman columns from the 1960s, and so on.

Since I came to be the keeper of the Ring, I pondered, Frodo-Baggins-like, what to do with it. And I had an interest in seeing the history of the Saanich Inlet fishing being brought together as an e-book before we lose the people who made the history, or those who knew those who made the history. Of course, it was far more work for me to do than I anticipated.

And the CD languished in the piles I keep in lieu of proper filing cabinet stuff.  It has only taken me almost two years to have a bolt-of-lightning moment (and refind the CD among the heaps and ruins of good intentions). It dawned on me today that putting up a blog, which can be done for free on Google, and then slowly filling it with the information I have and hope to receive from everyone, so everyone can go take a read.

I’ll put up a ‘’ blog and everything I receive can go there, along with an index, so available instantly when stuff comes my way, and all Tom Coles stuff can be put up there, too. Images include a young Bob Wright with a ‘busty’ award from Western Speedway, an equally young Bing Crosby and the never-forgotten-once-you-met-him, crusty, vituperative, bites-like-a-Pitbull Bill Otway and etc. The history of the SFAB from its inception is worthy of being preserved for everyone interested in such things. If anyone has a good name, let me know.

And, for God’s sake, if anyone knows how to change a photo of a text document into a text document that can be copied and pasted, please let me know. I had to print a ‘photo’ and then enter it all by hand, rather than copy and paste.

Here is an interesting, historical, 1981 letter to the then DFO Minister, Romeo Leblanc (using the writer’s various text methods):


The Honourable Romeo LEBLANC
Minister of Fisheries & Oceans
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario.

Re: Sportfishing Restrictions announced by C. WAYNE SHINNERS – 11 February, 1981

Dear Mr. Minister:

            This Association is comprised of 546 active members in our current membership year, which is the approximate average for the last 25 years.  The membership is comprised of persons having two common basic similarities and they are:

(1)   A direct association with the Canadian Armed Forces, and
(2)   An interest in Sportfishing.

We believe that as CANADIANS  we have “paid our dues” and our loyalty is beyond question. You can take your united word for it, that sportfishing restriction as announced are unworthy and basically dishonest. These observation are made as a straight-forward assessment back by a great deal of history and practical knowledge.

            In 1963 this club wrote to the then area Director Me. W.R., (Rod) HOURSTON and expressed our concern over the declining stocks – which we attributed to the Juan de Fuca gauntlet net fishery. We received rebuke for our expression of concern.

            In 1964 as a member/club of the Amalgamated Conservation Society, we were party to a brief presented  to J. Angus McLEAN, the then Fisheries Minister, again expressing our concern over declining stocks and our belief that the Juan de Fuca gauntlet net fishery was the main contributor to the decline of the hook and line fishery.  To show our sincerity we voluntarily recommended a cut in our daily bag limit down to four salmon per day.  The Department gladly accepted our voluntary limit cut but continued on the path of fostering the net fishery and actively assisted in the increase of the Seine fleet.

            In 1967, with our sportfishing success still on the decline and again in conjunction with the Amalgamated Conservation Society, we protested so effectively as to finally obtain a public meeting in Victoria with Dr. NEEDLER,  the then Deputy Minister of Fisheries.  He conceded that the gauntlet net fishery did in fact impact on the Victoria-Sooke water front fishery.  His solution was to implement a sportfishing reserve in the easterly portion of Area 20.  We expressed out considerable doubt that this was the solution to our problem, and we have been proven right – it was not the answer.  Along about the same time we had commenced advocacy of salmon enhancement, and one of the tools we proposed was fish hatcheries.  We were told by the Department that salmon could not be effectively produced in hatcheries.  How wrong could they be?

            Under the same Dr. NEEDLER, statements were made regarding herring, one being that herring could be fished in every known fashion and because their numbers were so large and they were so prolific, the herring could never be fished out. We hasten to call your recollection  to the complete closure of the herring net fishery that was required to afford the recovery of the stocks. Another Department gem was that herring was not a major part of the Salmon’s diet.

            As proof that we were not insincere about our concern over declining stocks, we commenced voluntary work assisting fish guardians in stream work and fry salvage.  As early as the 1960’s we commenced ground works and negotiation to be allowed to enhance salmonids in
The Goldstream River.  Ever since the Amalgamated Conservation society has had an approved Salmonid Enhancement Program on the Goldstream, the R.C.N. Anglers’ Association members have actively and physically participated in the program which predates S.E.P by two years.

            You may wonder, Mr. Minister, why the foregoing history lesson; well, we simply wish once and for all to establish our credibility and to point out how the Fisheries Department alienated us as a user group through their insistence on being wrong.  The drastic restrictions imposed on the sport fishery is again a demonstration of this propensity for being wrong.

            We insist that a major influence on chinook escapement is the incidental catch of chinooks in the gauntlet seine fishery in Johnstone and Juan de Fuca Straits, just as it was 20 years ago.  The Department still fails to recognize this fact; this fishery takes place so far from the rivers of origin that stock management is impossible.

The effect of the gauntlet net fishery was recognized by a former Minister of Fisheries, The Honourable Jack DAVIS.  In a meeting with sportsfishermen in Victoria’s Empress Hotel when he was still Minister, he actively advocated the return of the net fishery to the river mouths, as a cleanup fishery where a finite stock management would be possible – he had our agreement in this policy even though it had little support by members of the Fisheries Department.

            These regulation changes have “reached in” and changed our our  quality of life; some measure of the importance of these regulations to our life style can be taken from the observation that it was the very first item of news on the front page of the TIMES-COLONIST  News paper of 12 Februarry 1981,  and was the lead story on CHEK Television News on 11 February 1981.  It is a topic of conversation throughout the whole city and disbelief and indignation are the emotions being expressed. With the Department’s past track record for making the wrong decision to resolve problems, you can hardly wonder at our lack of faith in them.

            If these regulations are implemented, which will result in the mostly innocent sportsfisherman being punished,  and if the gauntlet net continues the wild chinook stocks will NEVER recover – mark our words…  The name of LEBLANC and the Liberal government will never be forgotten by many thousands of Westcoast residents who have lost a jewel out of the joy of living.  Shame, Mr. Minister, shame!  Bloody shame!  You can, and must, do better than this.

                                                                                    Yours truly,

Mr. Alan McKinnon,  M.P.                             The Honourable Stephen Rogers
(Victoria, - Oak Bay)                                      Minister of the Environment B.C.
House of Commons                                        Parliament Buildings
Ottawa,  Ont.                                                  Victoria,  B.C.

Mr. Donald Munroe,  M.P.                             The Honourable Pat Jordan
(Esquimalt Saanich)                                        Minister of Tourism
House of Commons                                        Parliament Buildings
Ottawa,  Ont.                                                  Victoria,  B.C.

Mr. Ed Broadbent,  M.P.                                Mr.  Dave Barrett, MLA
House of Commons                                        Leaders of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition
Ottawa,  Ontario                                             Parliament Buildings

                                                                        Victoria,  B.C. 

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Q and As – December

Marine Traffic: Previously, I mentioned that Marine Traffic stations were being closed by the former federal government, which included the Kitsilano Coast Guard station. A reader got me in touch with Allan Hughes, President of Unifor Local 2182 – Marine Communicators Officers and he brought me up to date on the issue. I pass along what he has to say.

Traffic, like aircraft control at an airport, runs 24 hours a day, keeping boat traffic updated on current and upcoming ship position – all ships over 20 metres. As industry runs 24 hours a day, it is in the dark that you see the great benefit in knowing where everyone is. No one is out at night who doesn’t belong there, hence pleasure craft operate only in the day. Radar is mandatory on boats.

Traffic also tracks and relays communications for boats in distress. All sport fishers have Traffic to thank when things turn ugly during our trips. The Leviathan II tragedy off Tofino is an example of the kind of situation Traffic could have handled. The problem is that the Ucluelet Traffic station was closed, and that closure included the weather from Amphritite Point. When you boat on the west coast, knowing current water conditions is vital.

Hughes has this to say: “In 2012, the Coast Guard Marine Communications and Traffic Services had 22 centres across Canada. In May 2012, the Harper government announced, via C-38, that it would consolidate centres across Canada, on the BC Coast, that meant the closure of the centres in Vancouver, Ucluelet and Comox. In April 2015, Ucluelet was closed and consolidated into Prince Rupert. In May 2015, Vancouver was closed and consolidated into Victoria.”

When my main engine went kaput in the fog south of Discovery Island many years ago and my kicker couldn’t outpace the tide, it was Traffic Vancouver that picked up my distress call and sent the Volunteer Unit from Oak Bay Marina to tow me in.

Comox is scheduled to close in the spring, taking with it the Cape Lazo weather report. This leaves the entire coast in the hands of only two stations: Victoria and Prince Rupert. Local knowledge is thus very compromised, on a coast that has 25,000 km from Tswassen to Portland Canal, and help could not be on the way. The Leviathan II situation was luckily spotted by Ahousaht fishermen and local First Nation responders saved many lives. The situation should not have happened, but if Traffic is closed, the reality is that it can mean people die.

“The union representing MCTS officers has been driving the campaign to stop the closures, Comox, the last centre left to close, has a chance if public criticism is brought to bear on the new government. The former Conservative government turned a blind ear to the cries against the cuts to the Coast Guard in BC.”

The Kitsilano Coast Guard station is being reopened by the new federal government. You might like to send Justin Trudeau and DFO Minister Hunter Tootoo a note of support for Comox, etc. It could be your rear end that is saved.

The Unifor site that has all the news releases of the past few years is:

Pacific Salmon Foundation: “In 2015, our donors helped support 33 projects engaging 33 different partners in the Strait of Georgia. In the weeks leading up to year-end we will send you highlights of these projects. That's because this year-end we're asking supporters to make a tax-receiptable year-end donation to support efforts to restore a wild Coho and Chinook fishery in the Strait through our Salish Sea Marine Survival Project. If you donate by midnight on December 31, 2015, your donation will be doubled through our matching fund. Also, you will be entered to win a hand-carved First Nations artist proof reel.”

The value of the fishery is reasonably estimated as a $200 Million shot in the arm for sport fishing revenues.

South Vancouver Island Anglers Coalition:  The pre-Christmas social occurs Tuesday, December 8, 7PM, at the Esquimalt Anglers Clubhouse, 1101, Munroe Street. In addition to the social, an update on SFAB activity regarding local waters will be given. Also, Jerrod Pinder will provide info on the South Island Aggregate’s Shawnigan toxic soil dump and possible effects on Shawnigan Creek and its coho enhancement project.

If you would like to pay your annual SVIAC dues, you may do so at: This is a good thing to support, as it works on our behalf for local salmon fisheries.

Watershed Watch Newsletter: This ENGO puts out a wide-ranging, weekly newsletter of salmon and fisheries information. You can ask for it here: Watershed Watch Salmon Society

Living Oceans: also an ENGO, has an update on several fish farms issues: lice that are out of control as much as 10 times the limit of 3 per fish; data on escaped Atlantics in identified rivers in BC (this is something that previous, conventional data suggested is not happening); and hiring someone to take on the file, as well as push the new Trudeau government to finally undertake enacting the Cohen Commission 75 recommendations that the previous government simply ignored.

You can request the newsletter at:<>. The site is:

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Winter Spring Time – 2

Winter Spring Time – 2

A few observations that you may find useful:

Net head first – because fish only swim forward, you want to net head first, so that if they struggle, they are only moving into the net. Also the centre of gravity is closer to the head, than tail, so you need less of the fish in the net before scooping up once the point is on the rim or into the net.

And with winter chinook, take that extra minute to play them because, unlike coho that roll continually, once they tire they tend to lie beside the boat granting extra time for the net routine.

Don’t stop the boat – particularly if you are on your own or have canopy stays on your deck. Once the boat is stopped, the fish can swim under it or pretty much anywhere. Being in motion means the fish is being brought in in one direction, not allowing it to swim in other directions.

Staying in contact with the fish – you will catch more fish if you fish more frequently. Your technique will improve, and you will have more current information on tackle that has been successful in the recent past, not two weeks ago.

It is no surprise that guides catch more fish. They are better fishermen because they fish more often, but they also know where the fish are. Fish move around, but tend to be in a particular area for a few days and then move en masse. An example of this is the Oak Bay Flats, not a high percentage place in late spring, but was one of the hotspots for fish in the 20s in May and June this year. And so, guides from many areas fished the Flats. As terminally directed, the fish moved from Sooke across the Waterfront and staged on the Flats, before moving on. There is no point fishing behind or in front of fish when the greatest number of them are in one spot.

Farr Better flashers – if you have never tried one of these Gibbs flashers, buy one and use it. The pin in the trailing edge pops out when the fish bites and you are not fighting the flasher shear when you fight the fish. The fight is more memorable because the fish is not hampered. And those fish you lose when a conventional flasher clears the surface, you will no longer lose.

You can make your own with the pins from teaserheads, and drilling a couple holes in the trailing edge of whatever flasher you use. If you don’t have a large plastic ‘ball’, a large split ring will work the same way for the leading edge, and it is a simple clip to the ball-bearing snap on your mainline.

Pay attention to the pattern of the tide when you fish. Winter fish are keeping close to lunch, and will be found in roughly the same spot based on the tide. Once, while fishing Pedder Bay and being skunked for hours, I followed the tide and found the fish on the west side of Church Rock, and landed five, with zero bites in the preceding five hours. Remember that it takes time to move fish, and to use the same example, you may find the fish behind the 47 foot rock just off Christopher Point a couple hours earlier in the ebb.

Saanich Inlet is dead calm, but chinook are so consistent in their behaviour, that on one piece of structure they will be on one side of it on the flood, then on the other side on the ebb, even though you cannot see a perceptible current on the surface. At Bamberton, for example, the V off the cement slag, and Jimmy’s Hole are consistent in this regard, as is where you veer off shore nearing Shepherd Point. In fact, it is so precise, that if you fish frequently, you can sometimes say, the fish will bite now, and it does so. There are five spots on the Bamberton troll that are consistent with this observation.

Spoons – can be fished with and without a flasher. If you fish them alone, rig up a dummy flasher and line to clip into the downrigger line at least five feet away, most often below, so it is the first thing that hits bottom, not your tackle, with the spoon mainline attached to the downrigger line.

Don’t hold fish with the new, thin slim, spoons like Coho Killers because they bend which can completely eliminate the fishiness of the spoon and you won’t catch a thing. Confounding this rule, remember that in the olden days we would introduce a bend across the longitudinal access of a Red Krippled K, meaning a bent bend, and that could make one of your spoons far out-fish the others that to your eye looked identical.

And, you should always remember which of the lures you are fishing so that you always use the fishy one in your first spread. And – another and – make sure you have at least two of the hot lure on board. It will be crystal clear why this is so when you lose a hot lure, but don’t have a back-up.

A similar point is to improve a lure by fishing it so that when you lose a hottie, you have another lure that has been nurtured into a lure you know will catch fish. This is common with plastics because a hot hootchy should never have its leader, etc. changed, only fished as a killer until you lose it. If you change it, you will ruin its magic and it will not catch all those fish before you lose it. If it’s a real dud, throw the lure out, so it is not around looking like a likely candidate for fishing; it will only give you a skunk.

Winter water is clearer water – that is why you can fish a spoon in deep water without a flasher. Fish can see farther, are more prone to bite, and light transmits deeper than in summer. A much nicer fight.

Troll with the tide – for covering territory, you want to fish with the tide, circling once you have contacted the fish.

Fish with what you are best with – Many fishers will recall the laconic Harold who bought Jimmy Gilbert’s boat rental in Brentwood Bay, and his huge boat that you could see ten miles away and his splay-legged, big, old, happy German Shepherd slouching around the docks. They made a real pair.

I stopped in once to get the day’s hot lure before going out in the evening, and was surprised by Harold’s advice to: fish with what you are best with, meaning what you catch the most fish with. In other words, it is not always a hot lure, but the hot presentation of a lure that works best. I was going to fish a couple of hootchies, but the real rig to perfect in Saanich is Large Strip from Rhys Davis in a pale green glow teaser.
I used strip and caught fish. That advice has stuck with me, and while you should always decide before you go out the first three lures you will try, keep in mind to return to what you are best with if all else fails. In the long run, you will catch more fish.

Circle in back eddies – this one is so obvious, that it is hardly worth mentioning, but because winter chinook are not going anywhere they will be moved by the tide keeping in contact with lunch, and lunch is even more prone to being moved by the tide. Circle that back eddy before moving on.

Form a 3-D image of the bottom – wherever you fish, make sure that over time you build a good mental image of the structure under, in front of and behind your boat. This way you are intentionally fishing, not simply putting along. Being wired with a plan makes you catch many more fish in the long run.

Try new things when there are lots of fish – when you are getting frequent bites, it is time to try new things, rather than throwing out something that you may not have faith in. You will still catch a fish to take home and also gain experience with something new.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

DFO Minister’s Marching Orders

Justin Trudeau, our new Prime Minister, sent notes to each of his new Ministers, apprising them of their mandate of action based on election campaign promises.

You can find the letter to DFO Minister Hunter Tootoo here:

Part of the Preamble to Tootoo: As Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, your overarching goal will be to protect our three oceans, coasts, waterways and fisheries and ensure that they remain healthy for future generations. Canada is uniquely blessed with an abundance of freshwater and marine and coastal areas that are ecologically diverse and economically significant. Canada has a responsibility to the world to steward our resources with care.
Specific objectives for Hon Tootoo:
·         Work with the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to increase the proportion of Canada’s marine and coastal areas that are protected – to five percent by 2017, and ten percent by 2020 – supported by new investments in community consultation and science.

·         Restore annual federal funding for freshwater research, and make new investments in Canada’s Experimental Lakes Area.

·         Restore funding to support federal ocean science and monitoring programs, to protect the health of fish stocks, to monitor contaminants and pollution in the oceans, and to support responsible and sustainable aquaculture industries on Canada’s coasts.

·         Use scientific evidence and the precautionary principle, and take into account climate change, when making decisions affecting fish stocks and ecosystem management.

·         Work with the provinces, territories, Indigenous Peoples, and other stakeholders to better co-manage our three oceans.
·         Support the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to renew our commitment to protect the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River Basin, and the Lake Winnipeg Basin.

·         Act on recommendations of the Cohen Commission on restoring sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser River.

·         Work with the Minister of Transport to review the previous government’s changes to the Fisheries and Navigable Waters Protection Acts, restore lost protections, and incorporate modern safeguards.

·         Work with the Ministers of Transport, Natural Resources and Environment and Climate Change to formalize the moratorium on crude oil tanker traffic on British Columbia’s North Coast, including the Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait, and Queen Charlotte Sound.

·         Work with the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the Minister of Natural Resources, to immediately review Canada’s environmental assessment processes and introduce new, fair processes that will:
o    restore robust oversight and thorough environmental assessments of areas under federal jurisdiction, while also working with provinces and territories to avoid duplication;

o    ensure that decisions are based on science, facts, and evidence, and serve the public interest;

o    provide ways for Canadians to express their views and opportunities for experts to meaningfully participate; and

o    require project advocates to choose the best technologies available to reduce environmental impacts.
·         Re-open the Maritime Rescue Sub-centre in St. John’s, Newfoundland and the Kitsilano Coast Guard Base in Vancouver.

·         Work with the Minister of Public Services and Procurement to meet the commitments that were made for new Coast Guard vessels as part of the National Shipbuilding and Procurement Strategy.

·         Work with the Minister of Transport and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to improve marine safety.

·         Work with the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the Minister of Science to examine the implications of climate change on Arctic marine ecosystems.

In response, here are a few comments:

Marine Protected Areas, this is one where the Sport Fish Advisory Board and the Sport Fishing Institute should become part of the consultation process. Sport fishers want these areas open for, at the least, salmon fishing. Also, let’s remember that the SFAB, after asking DFO for 12 years to set aside some Rockfish Conservation Areas, got them to take us up on this in year 13. The SFAB set up scores of these all along the coast line. In great measure, these were needed because of serial depletion of stocks by the commercial sector.

Since we have done this, we should be reminding Tootoo that we have already done our part, and been the leaders in the process. In addition, the South Vancouver Island Anglers Coalition, has received agreement from DFO to set up chinook netpens in the greater Victoria Regional District to provide food for killer whales and, by golly, a few for us, too. Good for Tootoo, too, to do.

Increased freshwater research expenditure, yes to this, and also binging back the Experimental Lakes that were vital for freshwater research in Canada and the world. In addition, do remember the research libraries that were axed, particularly the one in Winnipeg. We want them back.

Saltwater research. This one would bring back the scientists cut at many facilities by Harper. He intended to let go 200 scientists. Some of those that were let go, included staff close by at the Institute of Ocean Sciences at Pat Bay.

On the other hand if this includes leaving fish farms in the ocean, I think that is a non-starter in BC. You may recall that Chief Bob Chamberlain sent a letter to Tootoo last week pointing out that the association of First Nations of BC wants these out of the water. Also, the Ahousaht First Nation in Clayoquot Sound is taking its demand for all 22 fish farms to be out of the non-flushing Sound, a UN Bio-sphere, to Norway in January to join with aboriginal Sami in that nation that also wants fish farms out of Norwegian waters. See:

Then both move on to Oslo to present the petition to get them out in both nations. I would guess it’s not long before the aboriginal groups from Finland, Chile, and New Zealand will become part of this movement.

Cohen Commission. The 1,200 page tome with 75 recommendations has languished under the previous government and the Environmental Petition that I worked through with the federal Auditor General’s office received bland pap as an answer when I asked for a disaggregated budgets and FTEs – staffing. It is on that site, if you care to look.

The first 22 recommendations of the Cohen Commission regard fish farms in BC. The most important recommendation was taking the conflict of interest with respect to fish farm support out of DFO, and DFO getting on with the Wild Salmon Policy, etc.

Re-enacting Laws, for example, the Fisheries Act, Canadian Environmental Protection Act, and other legislation, with respect to salmon. The Royal Society of Canada, several environmental law organizations, scientists, previous DFO ministers and British Columbians told the previous government that the laws should not have been changed. See the Huffington Post’s searing article on weakening the laws:

The post with that link will take you to the Cohen Commission website. Or, look here:

DFO had deleted the Cohen site, but so many people across Canada complained that they had to bring back an archival version. It is complete.

The Tanker Ban has already been put in place, suggesting that the Northern Gateway pipeline is toast. On the other hand, the new government has said it supports the Kinder Morgan pipeline. We shall see.

Reopen Kitsilano Coast Guard Station. A popular move in BC, which should also include bringing back the marine traffic stations that have been closed. These stations are like airport controllers and keep tabs on all commercial vessels 24 hours a day. The Estevan site was closed, with Port Hardy, and Ucluelet on the way out as well. Having done the Inside Strait at night, I can tell you that there is more commercial traffic in the dark than all day long, and it is some impressive to be connected 24 hours a day to traffic control, so you know what is coming at you or catching up.

Climate Change. This should include ‘on the BC coast’. We have watched chinook not be able to get into rivers, even pinks on some northern Van Isle rivers this past summer, until late rains occurred. We need to plan for: dry, hot summers, of high water temp and low oxygen; elimination of side-streams and their essential coho fry; cold, dry winters putting ice on side-streams; and monsoons in October/November that bury or scour laid eggs. All of these need technical solutions. I hate to suggest high system dams as that just opens the Run of River power debate, but extra flow, such as the Campbell River system, and the Lake Cowichan weir, would be good to have during changing weather patterns.

To sum up, I think the big issues facing salmon are: habitat work, including the 70,000 culverts out there dissuading fish from crossing to feed or spawn; climate change response; changing DFO, making it a BC-centred department for salmon (rather than Ottawa), and perhaps by passing its habitat money to the Pacific Salmon Foundation that leverages every dollar seven times. Also, as noted, local decision making with respect to fish stocks, for example, Regional Aquatic Management in the Port Alberni style, would be good in other areas; getting fish farms out of the ocean and putting them on land rounds out the top five.

I have estimated BC fish farm sewage cost at $10.4 Billion, more sewage than the entire human population, and also that we are subsidizing them, compared with Norway that auctions saltwater licences for up to $12 Million each, $1.56 Billion because our licence fee is only $5,000.