Paper by Fisheries Experts Ron MacLeod and Al Wood Asks, "Who Speaks for the Salmon?"

In this morning's email was the story of Ron MacLeod,  a former director-general of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and a brilliant paper he has just written with long-time colleague Al Wood. 88 year old MacLeod who worked for decades earning his salmon guardian status, brings his long term perspective to bear on B.C.'s rapidly declining wild salmon stocks. The central question asked by MacLeod and Wood in 'E P I C  F A I L - CANADA’S FISHERY DILEMMA', is "Who speaks for the salmon?"

Who speaks for the salmon, when, as MacLeod says, "Those who fish, process fish, service fishermen, speak only for more fish for their interest group – this attitude characterizes common property fisheries. It is as if the despoiling of Canada’s Atlantic herring reduction fishery in record time in the 1970’s did not happen. Or, the wipe-out of the huge Atlantic cod stocks never occurred. Or, the overcropping of whales on the B.C. Coast after WWII was a mirage. Or, the loss of many B.C. salmon populations is a myth. If the lessons from such disasters will not be learned, what hope for remaining stocks of Pacific salmon?"

"There is an urgent need for a Speak For The Salmon campaign across the length and breadth of British Columbia", says Ron MacLeod. The Speak For The Salmon campaign doesn’t have a website or a director yet, but Mr. MacLeod is hoping those things will fall into place soon. He invites those who want to join the salmon revolution to contact him at: jrmacleod@telus.net

Epic Fail, a 10 min. read, shows how the costly licence buy back plans plans have resulted in less small boats more huge boats that catch more than ever and it mentions how all the turns the story takes are driven by an an economist’s view of how the world should function. The report says that "...from a conservation perspective a better effect could have been achieved if gear limitations (reduce net length and depth, limit troll gear)  had been applied - at no cost to the taxpayer and with huge gains for conservation. But..."

But banks make big money by financing the building big new seine fleets not shortening trolling gear. New licence rules meant new boats, new loans, new interest 'earned'. There were thousands of small troller type mom and pop fishing families in the 60's and before, now there are a few multi-million dollar corporate fishermen going for every last fish as fast as possible in order to pay off the banks and regulators.

What happened to all those folks who used to be  in the fishing industry, those collaterally damaged by 'progress'? There's still lots of them around, ya often run into some of the old gang on Thursdays having lunch at the Sally Ann before a stroll down to the Food Bank.