Plan would protect wild salmon while developing coastal employment
The Green Party of BC is celebrating Earth Day 2013 by releasing its new fish farm policy aimed at reversing the decline in wild salmon populations. “Preserving wild salmon is crucial to the health of traditional fisheries, sport fishing, and eco-tourism industries,” leader Jane Sterk commented. “We are proud of our bold vision for BC’s industries, economy, and environment as contained within this policy,” she continued.
The plan would phase out coastal open net-pen finfish aquaculture along salmon migratory routes. The areas affected cover the entire east coast of Vancouver Island, and the west coast of the mainland from the Fraser River north to the Broughton Archipelago.
The Green Party would provide transition funding to processing plants to find alternative seafood sources and to grow domestic and international seafood markets. Workers from closing fish farms would be provided retraining and job matching.
“The dramatic decline of BC’s wild salmon began when fish farms were introduced. Wild salmon cannot be saved until open net fish farms are removed from migration routes, because of their deadly role in spreading disease and parasites,” says Sterk.
Sterk will join Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May and biologist Alexandra Morton at the world premiere of Salmon Confidential, a film that follows Dr. Morton as she unravels the mysteries of BC's declining salmon stocks. The event takes place at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sydney BC at 6:30 p.m. and will be followed by a discussion of the film and the state of salmon in BC.
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See Green Party of BC policy on Protecting Wild Salmon from Fish Farms