NAFTA environmental body recommends probe of Canada’s regulation of fish farms

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An intergovernmental organization set up under a NAFTA side treaty is considering launching an investigation into whether Canada is failing to enforce its own laws on fish farms in B.C.

On May 12, the secretariat of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation recommended the preparation of a "factual record" about the federal government's enforcement of section 36 of the Fisheries Act. The governing council of the commission has until August 12 to make a decision on whether this probe should proceed.

"For the reasons contained in this Notification, the Secretariat finds that having considered the Submission and the Response, central questions remain open about Canada’s enforcement of section 36 of the federal Fisheries Act in relation to salmon aquaculture operations in British Columbia," the secretariat's decision states.

Section 36 stipulates, in part, that "no person shall deposit or permit the deposit of a deleterious substance of any type in water frequented by fish or in any place under any conditions where the deleterious substance or any other deleterious substance that results from the deposit of the deleterious substance may enter any such water".

The Center for Biological Diversity and the Pacific Coast Wild Salmon Society are two of the four groups that petitioned for the investigation. In a May 21 news release, the groups noted their 2012 petition "challenged the Canadian government’s violations of its Fisheries Act in permitting more than 100 industrial salmon feedlots in British Columbia to operate along wild salmon migration routes, exposing ecologically, socially and economically valuable salmon runs to epidemics of disease, parasites, toxic chemicals and concentrated waste".

“NAFTA absolutely should investigate why Canada has failed to enforce the Fisheries Act to keep harmful pollutants, viruses and parasites out of water used by wild salmon, and the damage being done to wild salmon in British Columbia by the aggressive Norwegian salmon farming industry,” biologist Alexandra Morton of the Pacific Coast Wild Salmon Society said in the release. “The fate of our wild salmon runs is an environmental, economic, social and trade issue of international concern.”

According to the commission's website, its council members include Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq and high-level representatives from the U.S. and Mexico. The commission was established by the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation to "support cooperation among the NAFTA partners to address environmental issues of continental concern, including the environmental challenges and opportunities presented by continent-wide free trade".

Comments (3) Add New Comment
Lee L
Yes indeed. Start with examining how the RECORD 2010 Fraser Sockeye run (30 million fish) could have happened with Alexandra Morton's theory of parasite propogation via fish farms. I mean they didnt close the farms, how could that possibly be? I think they could start by asking HER. Better yet, if this year's returning fish from THAT run, which is currently projected to be over double and the biggest in recorded history of these runs, should that come to pass, have them investigate THAT. While the Alaska salmon industry is at it, haveit investigate the Western Family brand BC WILD SALMON frozen product where on the package it states "Made in China'.

THis isnt the first time NAFTA has been used against us. Dont we remember Softwood Lumber Tariffs? This is no different.
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Angler
Big cheques to the govt. keep fish farming alive. Cheep easy money.
For thousands of years fish farming has been done in ponds, on land.
The viruses that are amplified by crowded conditions in ocean fish pens is decimating wild stocks of Salmon.
A few people are getting rich. Canadians are getting robbed of a natural resource that teaches us about the values and struggles of life. If properly managed these wild Salmon can provide you with a healthy meal.
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Aquanut
The handy link provided by the author in this article reveals only a recommendation to council that a statement of factual record is warranted. This is because Canada has not responded to the allegations. and is far from any probe, inquiry or other such actions. If and when a Factual record is supplied by Candada; this is when the case falls apart and quietly disappears to accompany all the other hare-brained anti-science baloney trumpeted by this group of believers. All the while helping wild salmon not one iota! Awesome!
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