Jack Layton highlights NDP concern about B.C. wild salmon

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      Federal New Democrat Leader Jack Layton says the state of wild salmon populations and the fish-farming industry in B.C. are both of “grave concern”.

      Layton also emphasized the value of the Cohen Commission of Inquiry into the Decline of Sockeye Salmon in the Fraser River.

      “This inquiry is going to be very, very important,” he said. “I think people in British Columbia are extremely concerned about what’s been going on with the salmon fishery.”

      Layton made the comments during an hour-long interview today (October 12) with editorial staff at the Straight offices.

      He said the return of tens of millions of sockeye salmon this year “has a lot of people scratching their heads”.

      He added: “But I think the long-term decline that we’ve seen, the growth of fish farming that we’ve seen, is something that’s of very, very grave concern. So this is a high priority for us.”

      Asked what needs to be done around fisheries management, Layton responded:

      “The first thing that has to be done is that our fisheries department has to start to connect more with what’s really happening on the ground. I mean, if we had a department of oceans and fisheries that were operating management of resources in a sustainable fashion, perhaps we wouldn’t have seen the collapse of the cod stocks, perhaps we wouldn’t be seeing what’s going on here.

      “A policy-making process that engages the community is fundamental,” he said.

      Layton continued: “Secondly, on the whole question of the fish farming, we know that the issue of sea lice is a critical question and has got to be addressed with some federal policies.”

      “As far as we’re concerned, this is a very important area for action by the federal government, working, of course, with the province and with local communities and with First Nations, too, up and down the coast,” he added.




      Oct 12, 2010 at 7:37pm

      Sounds like Jack read a briefing note or two, and knows little about what actually goes on 'on the ground,' as he states.


      Oct 12, 2010 at 11:51pm

      All levels of government need to know about what actually goes on "on the ground" especially in regards to all the different habitats these salmon spend their life in (river/streams they are born in, the lakes they rear in, the rivers they migrate in and the ocean). Every one seems to think "little impacts" are no big deal, but when they are bombarded with "little impacts" it adds up to something huge and unmanageable. Sockeye can never be farmed because they are to fragile and stress very easy, so i am sure every part of their life cycle is stressed because our our "little impacts".

      Andy Walkin

      Oct 13, 2010 at 9:22am

      In other words, Jack said "I really have no idea what's going on in BC. I didn't actually know that pink salmon had record returns last year, and I just found out about the historic Fraser run 5 minutes ago. Chinook salmon? Isn't that only found in Lake Ontario? What I've been told to say is that everything is in grave danger and we must set policy to make it all right. Set policy I said. Set policy. Everything gets fixed when we set policy."

      Brilliant stuff Jack, brilliant.


      Oct 13, 2010 at 11:44am

      ===>>> Andy Walkin
      Your post sounds like something Brad Zubyk would say.

      Rod Smelser

      Pretty Frogs

      Oct 13, 2010 at 1:25pm

      Hi Jack,

      Can you please explain to all your NDP voters, why, Carol James site,


      Was up to 88,000 petitioners on the second day that it was up; whom had very kindly taken the time out of their day to sign; and yet today, now sits at 2,500(ish)?!


      Oct 13, 2010 at 4:52pm

      More political baffelgab. "A policy-making process that engages the community is fundamental" Sure. Lets see a copy of the policies he would put into place.


      Oct 13, 2010 at 8:36pm

      good work jack! you're the only leader that brings BC's issues to the national level.
      yes, we may have had a record run of salmon this year but that only proves the unpredictability of wild salmon. in any case, we need to move fish farming to closed containment. i'm glad fin donnelly is so proactive on this.