Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Vote to protect wild salmon

Under a fish farm in BC from Alexandra Morton on Vimeo.

From Alexandra Morton:
"This is in the Broughton Archipelago, under a Marine Harvest salmon farm. The bubbles are methane. The waste is heaped in mounds devoid of life other than bacteria. This was once a productive crab ground. The Norwegian company just moved its livestock to another site and are carrying on business as usual. The federal government gave this site a licence to operate despite this obvious pollution, the province who is supposed to be managing our seafloor has done nothing."
The Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform (CAAR) (farmedanddangerous.org) asks you to make the protection of wild salmon a campaign issue in BC. Let candidates in your riding know that in order to get your vote, you need to hear an action plan around transitioning the aquaculture industry to more sustainable practices. The following recaps describe sannounced policies but the CAAR website provides greater detail and links.

New Democratic Party
All general policy statements on the party website pertain to the economy, families, seniors and health care. However the NDP’s BC specific platform under Better Stewardship Over Resources and Environment in British Columbia, “Jack Layton and New Democrats will: Protect wild salmon and ensure long-term sustainable jobs by moving fish farms to closed containment.”

The NDP MP for New Westminster-Coquitlam and Port Moody, Fin Donnelly, tabled a private member’s bill (C-518) in May 2010 called The Wild Salmon Protection Act that requires a shift to closed containment technology for the salmon aquaculture industry. Donnelly presented a petition of over 9,000 signatures to parliament in support of his bill and well-known Canadian actor William Shatner has spoken in support of the proposal.
Green Party of Canada
The 2010 Vision Green policy manual outlines several measures the Greens will take to protect wild salmon from open net-cage salmon farming, including:

“…implement measures to quickly phase out open-ocean net-cage fish farms and ensure that this aquaculture industry does not continue to harm wild fisheries.”

“A moratorium on new open-ocean net-pen salmon farms and a phase out of existing farms within 10 years.”

“…fallowing of sea pens during wild-hatch salmon runs.”

“Require that the management and conservation of wild fisheries take precedence over aquaculture, wherever there are conflicts.”

“Require evaluation of threats to fish stocks and include provisions to protect fish stocks and the marine environment.”

The Green Party makes no mention of closed containment aquaculture in its Vision Green policy document or on its website.
Liberal Party of Canada
In their election platform, the Liberals express a general sentiment that a “clean environment and clean energy are at the heart of the Liberal vision” and make a general commitment to protect our oceans as well as claiming to build “a future in which economic prosperity and environmental responsibility are mutually reinforcing.”

The document does reference Pacific salmon as a general policy emphasis with the statement: “A Liberal government will also recognize the fundamental importance of Pacific salmon for the economy, cultures and way of life on Canada’s west coast, and will ensure its conservation is the first priority in fishery issues there” but there are no specific details provided.

There is no reference to aquaculture or closed containment in the Liberal platform released to date.

Conservative Party of Canada
No specific mention of salmon aquaculture or closed containment in the policy section of the campaign website, nor is there specific mention in the party’s communications on the 2011 budget. The Conservative platform identifies past support for aquaculture through “regulatory initiatives.” No mention of closed containment aquaculture in the platform and no funds were specifically allocated in the federal budget tabled March 22nd.

Bloc Québécois
Où est la Colombie-Britannique? Qu'est-ce qu'un saumon?

Salmon Farming Factsheet
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