LETTER: foreign fish farms are the major threat to wild salmon

Dear editor:

I have read all recent statements in the North Shore News by Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson on his measures to help our West Coast salmon survive and thrive.

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Not once has he mentioned a word about the foreign fish factory farms that dot our coastline and spew effluent, chemicals, sea lice, and the PR virus (for which DFO has avoided testing in spite of two court rulings) into the pathways of the migrating salmon on their journeys.

These fish farms are the major threat to wild salmon.

It is known to decimate wild salmon in other parts of the world, and it is now happening here. But as far as our federal government is concerned, it is the elephant in the room.

Why? Who benefits? Who profits? Why no mention of it when many citizens are on his doorstep and on the streets, asking for this specific urgent action in this crisis?

I understand that it must be huge business for Canada’s investment world now, and much fallout would come of properly addressing the invaders and exploiters in our natural world. However, unless the elected representatives of the people of this country have the courage and integrity to address the very real problems, they become nothing but enablers of the business world who are never responsible enough with the environment we all share when it interferes with profit making, and we have much evidence for that in this province of B.C. alone.

We will lose the iconic life-sustaining wild salmon if our elected representatives lack the honesty, integrity, courage, will, or intelligence to name the problem and change what needs to be changed.

It is past time the cruel business of fish farm factories was required to be in containment on the land where all the effluent and residue they produce can be dealt with out of the path of the wild salmon. I would urge the minister to take action to get these factories onto land now, before it is too late.

Gail Cotter
West Vancouver

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