Cohen Commission Gets Tough on Fish Farms
Justice Bruce Cohen focused much of his attention on salmon farms at the brief press conference he gave on the release of the final report from the Inquiry he’s led into disappearing sockeye over the past two years.
Cohen highlighted several key recommendations to protect wild salmon from open net pen aquaculture operations, including: 1. Removing the promotion of aquaculture from DFO’s mandate, which he found conflicts with the department’s responsibility to protect wild salmon; 2. Prioritizing the health of wild salmon over suitability for aquaculture when siting farms; 3.Conducting more research into diseases that may be impacting wild salmon; 4. Properly implementing the Precautionary Principle and removing farms in the Discovery Islands region (noted as particularly dangerous to migrating salmon runs) should more definitive evidence come to bear demonstrating they can safely coexist with wild fish. The full commission report can be downloaded here.