Why do Americans think they can tell Canada what to do about Canadian fish?
Because there’s a little fact they don’t want to admit.
Without Canadian salmon, sockeye and other species, the Alaskan and Washington fisheries would only be about half of what they are today.
Americans depend on our fish. And Canada gets almost nothing for it.
Fish don’t respect borders so there have always been issues of Canadian fish being caught by Americans and vice-versa.
But in the past few decades Canadian cross-border catches have drastically declined while American catches have increased.
And Americans have been unwilling on numerous occasions to work with Canada on cross-boundary salmon management issues.
Is it any wonder American politicians are quick to try and tell Canada what to do about Canadian salmon? They depend on it.
Its no wonder American politicians and fishermen tried to use the latest ISA claims to try and grab more control of Canadian salmon.
They’ve been doing it for 100 years.
Hey Canadian politicians, are you going to let the Alaskan fishermen and their political reps talk about Canada like this?
This is a “Blame Canada” campaign that needs a decisive political response, grounded in science.
So, Canadian politicians, get to it. NOW. Before this turns into another mad cow scare.
Anyone remember that? The BSE (mad cow disease) crisis nearly 10 years ago?
The Canadian beef industry was crippled. They lost millions. Because of one cow found with BSE, Canadian beef exports were shut down for four months, affecting 5,000 jobs and costing the industry $11 million per day.
Canada still has to wait until 2015 before it can apply for “negligible risk” status. Some countries won’t import more Canadian beef until Canada has that status again.
Meanwhile the beef industry has suffered long-term damage and still continues to suffer.
Because of one cow.
In this case, we don’t even have a single confirmed case of ISA. We have lots of speculation, emotion and rhetoric from people such as Mr. Dale Kelley, mouthpiece for Alaskan fishermen, who would like nothing better than to see their biggest competitor – salmon farms in B.C. – go out of business.
Make no mistake. Their comments are purely economically motivated. Any environmental language is a smokescreen. Alaska may have “banned” salmon farms, but instead they started “salmon ranching” which releases billions of hatchery-raised fish, which spend a third of their life in net pens eating pellets, into the ocean to compete with truly wild fish.
And there are some ominous scientific implications to that they sure don’t want to admit, like the possibility that ranched fish could be out-competing truly wild fish and pushing the carrying capacity of the North Pacific Ocean to its limit.
Perhaps B.C. salmon are starving to death out in the ocean because the artifically-enhanced Alaskan fish got there first and ate all the food. This is certainly a huge concern, given that according to some research “areas of suitable ocean habitat in this region [the North Pacific Ocean] are forecasted to decrease drastically due to future climatic conditions.”
Our politicians need to speak up and look at the science here, and make decisions that consider Canada’s best interests, not the financially-motivated political rhetoric from a foreign country.