On April 12th, 2016, members of the salmon committee visited Ottawa to introduce our group and provide advice to the new fisheries minister, the Honourable Hunter Tootoo.
Along with our introduction letter, the MCC provided nine recommendations as listed below:
1. Commission an independent report on progress towards implementation of Cohen Commission recommendations (Cohen recommendation 75).
2. (a) Dedicate the resources to ensure full, robust WSP implementation (Cohen rec. 6); (b) hire an Associate Regional Director responsible for WSP implementation (Cohen rec. 4); and (c) provide sufficient resources to meet monitoring, assessment, and stakeholder engagement objectives.
3. Establish an independent body of experts on Pacific salmon, appointed by the Minister, to provide reports on the status of Canada’s wild Pacific salmon populations and whether they are being managed in a manner consistent with federal policies, international commitments, and public expectations.
4. Revise and apply salmon farming siting criteria developed through meaningful consultation with First Nations and stakeholders and an independent scientific peer review process (Cohen rec. 15-‐17).
5. Develop a stock monitoring and assessment plan and make it available to the public (along with relevant science and research as per Cohen rec. 73) through a central, independent repository, similar to the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s Skeena Salmon Program.
6. (a) Require the Strategic Framework for Fishery Monitoring and Catch Reporting be fully implemented within two years; and (b) review the role, membership, and funding of the Monitoring & Compliance Panel.
7. Establish formal arrangements with other government agencies (federal and provincial) responsible for monitoring ecosystems and habitats and integrate them into WSP implementation and climate change monitoring programs.
8. Increase core funding for DFO science to support policy implementation and engagement with external stakeholders.
9. Increase resources to support collaborations and engagement with First Nations, academics, and other stakeholders (e.g., WSP Strategy 4).