Watershed Watch highlights public’s passion for wild salmon in response to blog post “Public hungry for salmon info?”
The Salmon Guy, David Loewen, asks some important questions about whether or not the public is following the Cohen Inquiry into the Decline of Sockeye in his latest blog post Public hungry for salmon info? Watershed Watch took the opportunity to respond and highlight the public’s passion for wild salmon, where they can get more information on the Inquiry and where they might be able to make the most impact—by ensuring that the information from the Inquiry is used in a way to improve salmon management and conservation.
Watershed Watch’s full response:
I think you’re right that if polling were done today it would show a dismally low number of avid Cohen followers in BC—especially if you go by how many people are attending the hearings in person! However, I think your blog might be more appropriately titled “Public hungry for Cohen info?” since recent polling done by Watershed Watch Salmon Society and SkeenaWild Conservation Trust shows that people in BC feel very passionately about the cultural importance of salmon and an overwhelming majority feel that “small salmon runs should not be traded off to favour the commercial fishing industry and economic development should not come at the expense of salmon habitat.” That’s a powerful statement, and one that suggests it may not be the subject of the information, but the source and delivery that’s the problem!
So, we know the public cares deeply about salmon. We also know that the Cohen Inquiry is in fact unearthing lots of interesting insights into sockeye “management.” Watershed Watch has attempted to bridge the gap between the concerned public and the information overload coming from the inquiry by developing Salmon Leaks—highlights of key testimony and evidence that is emerging from the Cohen Inquiry.
It will also be interesting to see if the public’s appetite for information changes later this summer as the Inquiry tackles the issues of disease and aquaculture. In the meantime, it’s also important to remember that it’s not simply about the information coming out of the inquiry now, but what’s done with it. This is where the public voice is truly needed to ensure that changes are made to improve sockeye, and all salmon, conservation in the future.
Trish Hall, Watershed Watch Salmon Society