Category Archives: Politics
Now this is an interesting turn of events.
Dr. Craig Orr, who has made a career out of being a scientific gun-for-hire and media go-to guy for negative quotes about salmon farming, is complaining that the new Integrated Management of Aquaculture Plan advisory committee just isn’t fair.
Orr is quoted as saying he thinks environmental groups should have more than three seats at the table, otherwise they will just be “shouted down.”
“All we’re saying is, make it fair,” he said. “Have some (federal fisheries) scientists, have some academics, have some NGO scientists.”
But that’s exactly what the committee has, Dr. Orr. how is it not fair?
The current make-up of the advisory committee already has more environmental group representation than regional districts, yet they are not complaining about fairness. The committee has seven First Nations representations, and seven salmon farm company representatives, which makes perfect sense because it’s all about the Integrated Management of Aquaculture.
How is this not fair? Does Dr. Orr think the First Nations and salmon farm companies should give up some of their seats so environmental groups, who have no direct stake in managing aquaculture, should be given equal footing?
Besides, isn’t it environmental groups who have the tendency to “shout down” anyone who disagrees with them? How did BAMP turn out? How did CAAR’s partnership with Marine Harvest turn out? The ENGOs got mad, took their ball and went home when they found they couldn’t shout and bully the salmon farmers at the table to bend to their will.
These are projects in which Dr. Orr participated. Maybe he doesn’t like to participate in groups where he doesn’t have control over the Talking Stick all of the time.
Or perhaps Orr simply isn’t qualified to sit on the committee, since he’s published more papers about East Coast birds and rabbits than he has about aquaculture in B.C.
Either way, it doesn’t matter because despite his complaining, Orr says he isn’t going to participate.
But Orr said his organization has decided not to participate in the committee. He said he’s been involved in similar processes in the past where “things get blocked.”
“We don’t want to get into an arena where that advice is going to go into a black hole or just give us ulcers,” said Orr.
That’s right. It’s only OK to participate in committees where “things get blocked” for the salmon farmers, and where advice from salmon farmers goes into a “black hole” and where salmon farmers get ulcers.
This response shows that when some salmon farming opponents are denied their bully pulpit, they really aren’t interested in participating and collaborating to help make things better. They just want a platform to berate and condemn the things they hate.
That’s not science, and doesn’t belong at the IMAP advisory committee table.
The biggest threat facing B.C. wild salmon is the federal agency tasked to manage it, suggests an interesting new manifesto by two former DFO officials.
Their document, titled “Epic Fail: Canada’s Fisheries Dilemma,” suggests wild salmon are threatened by a host of factors which have combined to whittle away at salmon numbers over the past century, and that if something doesn’t change, we will eventually catch and eat the last wild B.C. salmon.
The factors chipping away at the survival of wild salmon, according to the authors, include a mixture of archaic fisheries policies, inept management, changes to fisheries licences that have encouraged overfishing and deliberate misreporting during the past 30 years, funding cuts to enforcement and enhancement, and a system which ultimately does not prompt those who benefit most from wild salmon – fishermen of all types – to give back to salmon enhancement.
Before any fishermen get upset by that we are well aware that many sport fishers volunteer in enhancement projects, and donate their time and money to preserve wild salmon.
And we are well aware that many First Nations are involved in enhancement projects, because salmon are integral to their history and identity on this coast.
But as the authors point out, it’s simply not enough.
We were also heartened by one of their few comments about salmon farming. They do not see salmon farms as a threat to wild salmon; rather, as something that can co-exist with wild salmon under proper management:
Senior officials in key government positions cannot seem to understand that well managed wild salmon fisheries and well managed salmon farming together can best contribute to federal and provincial governments’ economic and social goals.
We think the authors of this report have some great ideas, and hope that their “Speaking for the Salmon” movement gains ground in B.C. We’re salmon farmers, but we’re also fishermen and First Nations and outdoors enthusiasts. We want to make sure wild salmon are here forever, and hope that by all of us working together to solve these management issues we can do that.