Saturday, 18 January 2014

Q and As - December 2013

I have put here a column that had useful email addresses and weblinks, among them DFO Minister Gail Shea's email address, the Cohen website address and a study that shows that wild fish populations decline by a factor of 50% in the presence of fish farms. This includes in BC.

Q and As – December – DC Reid

A: I received many emails over the last week about writing to Minister Gail Shea regarding the Cohen Commission and its report on failing Fraser River sockeye. Her email address should have read:
And I did more sleuthing on the Cohen Commission site, finding that in addition to Watershed Watch’s download, that a pro-fish farm site, Positive Aquaculture Awareness has a link to an archived site:  I have put a link on my, too.

DFO has not responded to Cohen, but is moving forward to support farmed fish that Cohen said it should no longer be doing. It is putting together new licensing regulations: My Environmental Petition to the Auditor General carries with it their requirement for Minister Shea to respond in 120 days, so we shall see.

Fish farms need to be on land; that’s the bottom line. The actual number of jobs is small at 795 and gross provincial product is only $61.9 Million or 9% of the total from the fishing sector. Sport/commercial/processing contribute 91.3% of the $667.4 Million in GPP, and of the econometrically-derived jobs: 12,200 of 13,900. There is no need to have to shoulder the pollution and other environmental costs from an industry that could simply be on land using effluent for energy or hydroponics. And saving wild salmon, too.

A: I have received a number of great stories regarding Saanich Inlet which was the jewel of saltwater sport fishing in the in the ‘50s to mid ‘70s. It crossed my mind that we should put together an e-book of the fishing history so there is a tangible record of what otherwise slips away as the memories are lost.

Anyone who wants to send in a story please do so. Anyone who wants to help in putting the –e-book together, please send me a note. Here is another of my stories: I was jigging with Stingsildas at the Coles Bay marker on a warm summer evening half a mile offshore. I noticed wind picking up and turned to the noise of it. Down the Malahat slope came a wall of rain and Bamberton disappeared.  By the time I had stowed my rod in my nine foot ‘whaling dory’ and started its trusty 3.5 hp Evinrude, water spouts had formed and I was in four foot waves. By the time I reached the Dyer Rocks aiming for the north shore of Coles Bay the waves had reached 7 feet and spin drift was blowing sideways crest to crest.

Then I encountered a log boom stretched out with a tugboat just barely keeping it off the rocks. I had to turn sideways to the wind and take the waves sideways, being slid up to the top of one and then down into the trough. I did not think I would make it, but eventually got around the tug’s bow. At the beach, one second I was high above it, the next the boat smacked down on the rocks, throwing me out face first on the shore.

A: Anyone who is interested in one of the interesting phenomenon of the ocean, Agate Beach has smelt spawning on it. The fish come up on the tide, spawn in the sand and then get washed back out to sea. I remember watching on the Kits beach in the seventies as anglers with small nets hauled out dinner from the silver wriggle.

The science showing a 50% drop in wild salmon numbers in BC since fish farms were introduced:

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