In our Opinion: Time to modify DFO genetics

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced last week that genetically-modified salmon are approved for human consumption.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced last week that genetically-modified salmon are approved for human consumption.

If genetically-modified salmon are now good to go, the question begs itself: What is wrong with wild salmon?

Why do we approve genetically-modified anything that freely swims along our West Coast in the wild, but yet, cannot be harvested in sufficient numbers to sustain our workers, our canneries or our economy.

No, this is just another example of why the  government agency, seemingly in charge, (the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans) that must be re-sequenced.

In fact, like this new Frankensalmon, their very organizational DNA needs to be altered.

They have been, either through underfunding, under-education or inaction, asleep at the wheel while communities and fisheries along every damn coast in Canada goes over the cliff. They were responsible for the collapse of the cod fishery on the east coast and are quickly becoming the stewards of the eradication of a viable west coast salmon fishery.

The recent salmon cannery closing in Prince Rupert falls on the doorstep of, not only the DFO, but also the federal and provincial governments.

It’s not a lack of salmon, but a lack of political common sense. These are our North Coast fish, they are wild and they can be plentiful.

Allow wild salmon ranching where egg mortality rates increase and fingerlings can be protected just long enough to increase stocks to the legendary status that Alaskan fisheries have found and stop allowing virtual monopolies, such as Jimmy Pattison’s group, to dictate where local fish are processed.

And finally, get DFO staff out of their ivory tower chairs and into boats to do true scientific research, rather than squinting at monitors spewing out ridiculous and uninformed computer simulation models.

It truly is as simple as this.

Our fish, our processing, our stewardship.

It’s in our DNA.

Not with some bureaucrat who thinks salmon stocks can be better managed in a laboratory or an office building in Ottawa.

 

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