Monday, 3 February 2014

Q and As – February 2014

Halibut: Good news. The sport Total Allowable Catch is 1.057 M pounds. The season opened Feb 1, 2014, with the same regulations: one halibut per day, with two in possession, comprised of: one fish to 126 cm and one to 83 cm.

The new regulations come into effect April 1, 2014 – you can buy a licence on-line - with good news, too: one halibut per day, with two in possession, comprised of: one fish to 133 cm and one to 90 cm. So bigger fish and season opening earlier than last year, likely allowing Victoria-area anglers to fish past Labour Day again in 2014.
Swiftsure is currently closed, but expect change closer to the summer season.
Run of River Power: Such power dams run from small to large and little to enormous environmental damage. Toba Inlet is a moonscape of 15 drainages managed into one power project. Google: Toba Inlet run of river power. The images show pretty much the worst such an operation, by Plutonic Power, can look and that cannot be reconciled with the phrase ‘run of river’. Download the Pacific Salmon Foundation report:

On Vancouver Island, the most recent project is the Kokish River near Port Hardy. This is a canyon gem that like so many Island rivers has to be seen to believed. So, very sad, on a river with all species of salmon, steelhead and other salmonids to be dammed, with roads and hydro lines. At the time, when Gordon Campbell was premier, you may have seen the list of a couple dozen liberal ministers and deputies that got into power development.

On the other hand, with climate change and lower summer river levels, dams high on a river, allow for, providing the company would do so, to release water in August and September, before the rains begin. Chinook, in particular, cannot rise up rivers less than a foot deep. The Campbell River dams, for instance, manage river flow in many seasons.

Read CEO Dr. Brian Riddell’s introduction regarding loss of or compensation for salmon habitat. “It is important to note that it is standard practice under the Fisheries Act to use habitat as a proxy for fish abundance and conclude that compensation has resulted in no net loss if there is no net loss in habitat. However, without estimates of the reduction in salmonid abundance [and no baseline data from before the dam is put in, and no government plan for actually doing such work] as a result of the operation of the facility, and net change in salmon abundance as a result of the compensation habitat, the reviewers could not reach conclusions regarding any actual change in salmonid abundance” This means more research, but is a place to start. Recommendations address monitoring and data acquisition.

One sobering conclusion: add the controversial Site C and all run of river sites in planning, and they would supply only half of the 40% increase in power needed in BC in the next 20 years.

Rob Vann: I read your article regarding compensation payments made to fish farms and noticed you may have missed compansation for the Shelburne and Coffin Island NS outbreaks. I attach the FOIs.

A: For anyone who hasn't read it, you may find my article on our taxpayer dollars given to fish farms for diseased, slaughtered fish by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency on the Common Sense Canadian website: Posted Feb 1, 2014.

The bottom line in my article is $50 M from the CFIA, in two FOIs, mine and the Telegram, a St. John’s Newspaper. Add $1 M for Rob Vann’s. All three FOIs were for pretty much the same period of time and all three differed. Confusing and annoying.

And with DFO entertaining expansion of 11 farms plus 2 new farms in BC, sadly, this looks like the opening of the floodgates – and no response to Cohen. There are roughly 130 farms in BC. Look at Chile, with roughly 1175, ten times as many, in this article: This may be where BC is headed.

In Chile, $2 Billion was lost to ISA throwing 13,000 people out of jobs in 2008 - and it still has ISA. Farms have taken over three world biosphere parks in Patagonia. Farm escapes run from 1 to 4 million fish per year. Farmed coho and chinook salmon invade the rivers. Like BC, there was no ISA in Chile, until fish farms, Aqua Gen, transported it there. Now Atlantic ISA has been found by 7 different labs in BC. DFO says no.

Ottawa does not get that BC wants fish farms out of the water, and the same $400 Million it gave to the east coast fish farms, for saving wild BC salmon. Do complain: 

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