The results of the Cohen Commission Report are out and the news is spreading across BC like wildfire. The main points highlighted in the report are the following: there are many causes for the decline of salmon, not just one; the harmful impacts on the fish are during its life cycle in the ocean rather than their first year in the rivers; and there are challenges at the federal level to implementing previous policies created for salmon (for example, the government’s failure to implement the Wild Salmon Policies created in the late 1980s and in the mid 2000s). And finally, the report weighs in heavily on the salmon farming industry. It recommends that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ (DFO) mandate to promote salmon farming as an industry and farmed salmon as a product should be removed; farming practices have to change in order to minimize risks faced by sockeye.
The Cohen Commission presented 75 pointed recommendations to Ottawa for months to come; taking action on these recommendations lies in the laps of the federal government.
Some critics argue most of the information in the report was already scientifically proven and policies were created in the past, but few changes were implemented at the federal level. Now that all of this information, in addition to a compilation of new facts, has been placed into a nice and tidy 1,191 page report with clear outlines and recommendations, do you think the government and the DFO will take action to improve the conditions for sockeye? Was it worth 25 million dollars? What do you think?
For a report summary, refer to the Cohen Commission’s website.
Click here to read the final report.