The federal government isn't properly handling the risks that fish farms pose to wild salmon.
Trudeau's environmentalist-cred just took another shot thanks to Canada's environment commissioner.
In a series of new audits released Tuesday, environment commissioner Julie Gelfand takes a closer look at Canada’s management of the $1-billion salmon farming industry, which she warns is lacking when it comes to assessing the risk that diseases among farmed fish pose to wild salmon.
The department has no requirement to monitor the health of wild salmon or the status of the ocean floor beneath penned salmon farms, said Gelfand, and the department is also providing better funding for research related to fish farms than it is for research to help monitor their impact.
“The department is at risk of being seen to promote aquaculture over the protection of wild salmon,” Gelfand said after the reports were tabled in Parliament."At risk"? No, no, no. The "at risk" moment passed by a long time ago. This government, just like its template, the Harper government, was seen as promoting aquaculture over the wild salmon years ago.
The research gaps are extensive enough that there’s no way to determine the impact of fish farms on wild fish, she said. Those gaps include a lack of knowledge about the risk of disease, as well as the impact of the drugs used to treat those diseases. Canada also lacks an impact threshold to determine when to shut down or limit fish farming, she added.
Canada also lacks standards for the nets used to contain farmed salmon in the ocean — a particular problem in the Atlantic, where heavy storms often batter salmon farms and destroy nets.
In 2015, 40,000 salmon escaped from farms in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Better standards are in place in British Columbia, where fewer escapes have occurred, the report says.
In response to Gelfand’s report, Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc said the government is “committed to ensuring all of her recommendations are acted upon and acted upon quickly.”LeBlanc is playing possum. If he needed Gelfand's audit to realize the gravity and enormity of the farm fish problem he should explain what the hell he's been doing for the past two years. His supposed epiphany is utter bullshit.