Advocacy for science

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The science of sustainable management of fish stocks is very dependent upon funding for study, monitoring, experimentation, analysis and reporting. Our members are the best qualified to understand and predict the behaviours of species, the impacts of fishing and other resource uses and the responses of the our aquatic ecosystems.  This is a complex and dynamic environment which takes time, sometimes lifetimes, of study and reflection to unlock the mysteries of the aquatic world we so depend on.

Our government and the people of Canada have invested many years into our experiential and empirical knowledge about fish stocks, populations, life cycles, dependencies and interactions. Who best to turn to when needed to make difficult decisions affecting lives of citizens, the environment, the carrying capacity for fish stocks and the impacts of additional resource uses?  The government and the public have turned to public sector workers and scientists as trusted sources of sound advice and the ‘gold standard’ for science and opinion.  

Government must take a stronger stand to protect the integrity of public science workers and their well-reasoned scientific and experiential opinions and recommendations.  Only by standing by these dedicated individuals and using their expertise to manage our aquatic environment sustainably can government ensure that all Canadians will benefit.  Government must also fight against junk science which leads us away from the truth and impairs the flow of benefits that we can expect from aquatic resources.

December 13, 2013 •
From the dozens of media articles that followed my column on the Cohen Commission Report this fall, you will likely know that Fisheries and Oceans Canada has not responded to the report issued Oct. 31, 2012. What you may not know is that the entire Cohen site has been taken down as though this $26.4-million inquiry had never occurred. Some of us who follow salmon issues at the policy level have saved important documents so the commission can’t just disappear and wild salmon issues in B.C. along with it.
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