Friday, March 18, 2011

BC Government Unwilling to Produce Fish Health Records


Despite a court order from Justice Bruce Cohen directing them to produce fish health documents for salmon farms the BC government has insisted that because farm location's are not inlcuded in disease sampling records, the documents are of little relevance to the Cohen commission. The commission had hoped to use disease records to understand the possible role of fish farms in spreading sea lice and disease to Fraser Sockeye. The fact that the BC government would protect disease records of potentially critical importance to a public resource only adds to the criticism that they have sought to mislead the public and conceal the truth about salmon farming impacts on wild salmon. If net pen aquaculture is not contributing to the decline of wild populations as they insist, the disease records should serve as vindication and their continued opposition to transparency these critical documents is disconcerting.

Any record of fish health should absolutely include the location of the sample, and the the fact that the data does not allow for robust analysis of impacts on adjacent wild populations highlights the lack of oversight coming from for the BC government. If fish farms are to continue operating in BC's coastal watersheds it should be incumbent upon operators to demonstrate that the practice is having no negative effect on the surrounding ecosystem. So far they have done little to ease concerns and instead remain staunchly opposed to any public scrutiny. See an article in the Globe and Mail.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/salmon-farms-investigation-hampered-by-incomplete-government-data/article1943653/

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