LETTER: Wild salmon must come first

Weekly letters to the editor from within the Sooke community.

On May 26 Norwegian fish farm giant Marine Harvest and the federal government jointly appealed a court decision forcing them to stop putting diseased Atlantic salmon into wild salmon migratory waterways.

Perhaps a ban on exploitation of wild salmon may be needed but it will hurt so many of the stakeholders. If so, DFO bears much of the blame along with its corporate sponsors and the Harper government.

Ever since the Harper government put aquaculture under the auspices of the DFO and gutted waterways protection measures, wild salmon have suffered and will continue to do so until land containment systems keep these farmed fish away from wild stocks.

Let’s remember the decision to bulldoze the volunteer built dam that was to store water for salmon at DeMamiel Creek. The brain trust at DFO put the valve in backwards, didn’t want to fix the problem and got cold feet about similar dams across B.C.

It was easier to save a few bucks and bulldoze the dam which suited property owner Timber West. Salmon came second.

I live in Saseenos near Ayum Creek which struggles to host coho and chum runs, but the creek in fall is nearly impassible choked with windfall or more recently near to drying up while water is held back upstream.

DFO is a stumbling, bumbling bureaucratic giant that is too cozy with the corporate interests and needs a top down renewal.

Real enhancement of wild salmon stocks has to begin in the corporate offices. It’s regrettable that we can’t read their appraisals without a lot of skepticism.

Ted Roberts

Saseenos