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May 07 2010

Debunking DFO Testimony

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This is my response to DFO testimony and the great blog Farmed and Dangerous

The signs in the Lumby Salmon Trail provide information on salmon and the protection of salmon habitat. Each sign bears Canada’s logo. The Welcome sign thanks all contributors and in the lowest right hand corner is the official logo of DFO (Fisheries and Oceans Canada).

Wild Coho salmon that spawn in the Bessette are called “endangered”. For educational purpose, the Federal Government and DFO were the major funders of this project. The information is obviously important and relevant to the protection of wild salmon stocks that are in decline.

The signs present fact and general knowledge that open net fish farms are a life threatening challenge to wild salmon.

One year after these signs were erected, Trevor Swerdfager became the Director General of DFO. Three years later, Mr.Swerdfager said:

…Our feeling at this point is that fish farms have not contributed to the decline of wild salmon. We have not seen anything that convinces us that fish farms are causing or accelerating that decline.

…we’re certainly not in possession of information that suggests to us that fish farms have had a negative effect on wild salmon populations in British Columbia today

…we don’t have information that suggests that the presence of fish farms is causing a decline in the wild salmon populations in British Columbia right now–or anywhere else.

In 2006 there was enough convincing information to identify fish farms as a factor in the decline of wild salmon when DFO funded a sign for the “endangered” Fraser River Coho. I think endangered is a declining population, don’t you?.

“Numerous researchers now believe that farmed salmon, in open net pens pose life threatening challenges to wild salmon”. If you can’t view this sign in person you can see it at: http://gordonjudd.ca/lst.

Life threatening!
If DFO didn’t “see” the research in their file cabinets or computers, they certainly were aware of it and funded a project that reported it as part of an education program. DFO is in charge of salmon and salmon habitat, endangered salmon and the management of the salmon fishery. It’s not likely that DFO allowed the posting of false information on signs that also have Canada’s logo on it.

Between 2006 and 2010 the DFO director changed. What does that say about Mr Swerdfager and DFO?

Why is Mr.Swerdfager regulating salmon habitat according to his “feelings”? What kind of feelings? Warm kind of fish farm friendly feelings or appreciative sort of feelings for fish farm profit? Or is it merely arrogance that allows DFO to ignore threats to wild salmon that legally belong to the First Nations people?

See my other postings on First Nations people starving in BC without salmon:

After our Lumby Migration in support of Alexandra Morton, I’ll be asking: Why is Mr.Swerdfager wasting public money, trying to defend the lowly seal lice by testing them on wild salmon in his labs?

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