Critical Public Input Required
by Alexandra Morton
The federal government has released their proposed Federal Pacific Aquaculture Regulations with a sixty-day
public input period.
These regulations role back the safe-guards we have
to prevent heavy industrialization and privatization of the coast at the
expense of our communities. Once these regulations pass there will be no
further public input on how each salmon feedlot licence is written, how many
wild fish they can take and what diseases they must report.
licences will be issued without First Nation or other consultation and can be
expanded without an environmental assessment.
I feel there has to be
enormous response or else we all lose, even the people working in the industry,
because no retailer is going to want to be in possession of a seafood product
authorized to “Harmfully Alter, Disrupt and Destroy” parts of the North
Pacific. Oddly these regulations will not apply to the east coast of
the Minister of Fisheries resides.
There are several options for you to act by the deadline September 12:
You can see my presentation on the strong correlation between disease in salmon
feedlots and decline of Fraser sockeye "What's New"
I know it is very hard to react to everything that comes at us, so I have tried
to make this easy for you. However, I can’t turn this looming disaster, it
requires each and everyone of you and your friends and family. Please pass the
petition to all you know.
To stay up to date please frequent www.salmonaresacred.org
I will let you know how many people
have signed. Volunteers are hosting events throughout BC this summer to
link all of us together and this information will be posted. The T-shirts left
from the migration are on my website www.alexandramorton.ca
and proceeds go to this effort.
The Get Out Migration brought thousands of people together, but government does
not want to hear from our communities nor of our need for good health in our environment
and our bodies. Clearly there needs to be more public response. That is
all that is required to fix this. I will continue to push for protection for
salmon feedlot workers, as this is a government mistake and they need not bear
the cost of this to our coast.
I think we will have a good Fraser sockeye run this summer and that should tell
us the ocean and the river are still highly capable of feeding this coast!
This generation of sockeye has shown one of the least declines and we
need to investigate why this run is good and the others have failed so badly.
If we allow government to let salmon feedlot companies hide their disease
outbreaks this investigation will be incomplete. If there is no salmon
feedlot disease problem, there should be no reason for secrecy.
Hundreds of people have said “I am behind you Alex,” but this is not
working. We have to stand shoulder to shoulder, where we are all peacefully and
strongly visible. This is the only way to save ourselves and our planet.
July 28, 2010
Ed Porter, Team Leader, Regulatory Operations
Fisheries and Oceans
Dear Mr. Ed Porter:
I am responding to the 60-day public comment opportunity on the proposed Federal Pacific Aquaculture Regulations http://www.gazette.gc.ca/cg-gc/about-sujet-eng.html
(left column “Part I Notices and Proposed Regulations” Vol. 144, No. 28,
When BC Supreme Court ruled that the federal government must take over
regulation of salmon feedlots, the intent was to bring the industry into
compliance with the Constitution of Canada. But what Stephen Harper’s
Conservatives are trying to do instead is remove safeguards established by
previous governments and open the door to privatizing the ocean, which is
prohibited by the Canadian Constitution.
With his document Harper not only licences massive ecological damage, he
depreciates the market value of BC feedlot salmon. No reputable retailer can
afford to be seen with a seafood product raised under a licence to “harm,
alter, disrupt and destroy” the ocean. The federal licences will be
issued without consultation with First Nations.
“Increasingly stringent international
standards are driving seafood importing nations to require
certify health (disease) status, not just food safety, of live aquatic animals
and their products. …
cannot meet these standards, and is facing increasing challenges to export
market access. Canada is already subject to a
lesser market access than the United States, Europe ..
Canadian pathologists warn against holding millions of diseased salmon in pens
(Traxler et al. 1993) and the graph below demonstrates the reason. There is a
strong correlation between salmon feedlot epidemics and the declining Fraser
sockeye. This must be examined, but the provincial government is
stonewalling release of salmon feedlot disease records and Harper is stepping
in to help.
These draft regulations ignore the International (OIE) and the Canadian Food
and Health Inspection Agency standards by exempting salmon feedlots from full
disease reporting. Harper is not only offering Norwegian companies the right to
leave infected salmon in the water, he is protecting them from liability. If
government and the industry are willing to throw away premium market value for
disease secrecy we are warned this is a dangerous and strong priority.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is also offering these Norwegian companies
blanket authorization for “Harmful Alteration, Disruption or Destruction” of
fish habitat (Section 35(1) Fisheries Act
This ignores the value of the oceans to communities across
. Oddly, these rules will
not apply to eastern
where the Minister of Fisheries resides.
Harper is going to legalize destruction of wild fish that become trapped in the
pens, attracted by the bright lights and food in the water. There are no
surplus wild fish and so this by-catch will compete with fishing quotas.
Many feedlots are in rock cod conservation areas where fishermen are not
allowed, but the feedlots will continue trapping unknown amounts. This is bad
management and will affect herring, sable fish, salmon, lingcod and other
important wild fish.
The federal Conservatives are proposing salmon feedlot licences be granted and
amended without environmental assessment. This violates strong public
demand for healthy coastal waters, but neatly resolves the irreconcilable issue
of dumping over a ton/day/site of industrial waste into salmon habitat. These
are the only feedlots that never have to shovel manure and chemical waste as it
flows conveniently into public waters.
It is dangerous to humanity, (risking food security, drug resistance, disease
mutation) to allow feedlots to contaminate natural environments with disease.
Feedlots remove all the natural disease control mechanisms and thus allow
viruses to mutate, multiply and jump to new species.
Because Mr. Harper is proposing to remove standards designed to protect the
ocean from Norwegian feedlots, retailers like COSTCO will have to decide if
their mission statements honor government or their customers. Promising to “Exceed ecological standards required in every
community where we do business,
” is meaningless if there are no
Salmon feedlots are an “ecology of bad ideas,” struggling to control disease
with drugs, corrupting the foodchain by using warm-blooded animal products,
plants and fish from the southern hemisphere as feed, displacing local
businesses, turning a public resource into a corporate commodity with no public
access, dyeing their fish pink to resemble salmon. If jobs were the goal, the
federal Conservatives and BC Liberals would be working with the BC companies
developing sustainable land-based aquaculture to create a viable, world-class
product. Instead Mr. Harper is proposing to change the laws of
unchecked pollution by a 92% Norwegian-owned industry associated wild salmon
declines worldwide. Wild salmon are thriving everywhere this industry does not
, western Pacific, areas of
These proposed regulations are a signpost. If this was about fish, attention
would have been paid to the market value of the product. Instead it risks one
of the last naturally producing salmon regions in the world for a depreciating
commodity. What these draft regulations do is clear away legislation
established to protect Canadians and our coast from industrialization and
Ed Porter, the proposed Federal Pacific
do not protect the interests of Canadians or
the world and must not be adopted.
The Fraser sockeye decline began at the same time government failed to cull
millions of IHN virus infected feedlot salmon on the
migration routes. Government ignored federal scientists who state infected
Atlantic salmon should not be permitted in pens (Traxler et al 1993). The
federal government also ignored warnings from their scientists that would have
cod. When the
cod went extinct the Hibernia Oil wells appeared on the
– the most generous food-producing area humanity will ever
have was exchanged for oil.