Cohen report worth the read

Staff writer
November 30, 2012 01:00 AM


The rains are here, salmon are returning to spawn in the creeks, and it is a great time to indulge in a comfortable chair and a good read.

The latest must read is titled The Uncertain Future of Fraser River Sockeye by Justice Bruce Cohen. The Cohen commission of inquiry into the decline of sockeye salmon in the Fraser River released this key document Oct. 31, and a key document it is, for the future of our salmon.

Over 1,200 pages and in three volumes, the recommendations and executive summary (volume three, chapters two and four) cover main points of this rational, readable document. In these days of what seems to be a total lack of reason in regard to salmon, Justice Cohen's findings are a breath of fresh air.

According to the Fisheries and Oceans press release, "In his three-volume report, the commissioner reviewed all the evidence he heard at the inquiry's hearings and public input. Volume one reviews evidence related to the sockeye fishery, volume two discusses causes of the decline, and volume three presents recommendations and a review of the commission's process, as well as an executive summary of the report.

The commissioner also commented on recent amendments to the environmental assessment process and the Fisheries Act. "I find the thrust of some of these amendments to be troubling," said commissioner Cohen. "Many experts have emphasized the importance of protecting fish habitat, promoting biodiversity and adopting ecosystem-based management practices. However, the recent amendments to the Fisheries Act appear to be taking DFO in a very different direction."

Have a read for yourself, and you may be inspired to press our government to take action on Cohen's recommendations sooner rather than later.


Dianne Sanford, Halfmoon Bay

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