Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dear Hedy, save the Fry

Hedy Fry at the 2009 Vancouver pride parade.
Photo Harper Valley

Hon. Hedy Fry
Member of Parliament, Vancouver Centre
Denman Place Mall
106 - 1030 Denman St
Vancouver, BC V6G 2M6

October 1, 2009

Dear Hedy,

I have been living in the West End for the past 13 years. I ask you to use the parliament question periods to relentlessly ask PM Harper what his plans are to bring the sockeye back from the brink. So far, his plans have been limited to PR campaigns in Norway to let people in power know that BC was open for fish farm business.

I don't need to tell you how essential the sockeye is to our entire coastal ecosystem. You live here. You know.

The link between sea lice and fish collapse is clear. Marine Harvest has actually helped better demonstrate that link by using the SLICE neurotoxin to delouse its farms. That boosted the pink salmon tremendously, they are back in great numbers this year. However, SLICE only lasts for 6 weeks, and by the time the sockeye smolts came out the sea lice had returned.

A striking short documentary by local film maker Twyla Roscovitch shows the extent of the sea lice infestation on sockeye, and also brings us some very sad news: based on observed levels of sea lice infestation, next year will be another disaster year for the sockeye. Please Hedy, if you have not seen this documentary yet, do it now.

Fish farms are at the epicenter of this calamity. How else can one explain that in a same year, pinks would be thriving while sockeye would be crashing? The climate change explanation, in particular, does not cut it.

SLICE, unfortunately, cannot be used as a long term solution because the sea lice adapt. This has been abundantly documented in Norway, a country which has learned this lesson the hard way by virtually losing all of its wild salmon runs to fish farms.

Hedy, your work is cut out. Talk, cry, scream, do whatever it takes in parliament to grab the attention of our autistic prime minister. Open pen fish farms must be shut down immediately.

If Marine Harvest wants to do the right thing and run closed fish farms instead, they will have my blessing and support. But we CANNOT afford to wait until they make up their mind.

Thank you,

Ivan Doumenc
Vancouver, BC

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