Salmon Leaks Part 10: Cultus Lake sockeye, Wild Salmon Policy, Human Impacts and Aboriginal Fishing

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CulvertThe Cohen Inquiry brought its focus to several new topics and a couple it previously examined.  A number of interesting documents were made public.

See transcripts for the sessions on predators, contaminants, fisheries monitoring and enforcement below:

 

On May 30, the inquiry discussed the decision of listing Cultus and Sakinaw Lake sockeye as endangered under the Species at Risk Act (SARA). Several internal documents were revealed and discussed (see page 8, line 17) on this issue, including discussions on why these two sockeye populations were not listed as endangered despite an emergency request from the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC):

 

Several drafts of a document reveal the changing decision from listing Cultus Lake sockeye to not listing and are discussed by commission counsel with John Davies of DFO (see page 13 line 47):

 

Given the political factors involved in the scientific recommendation to list certain stocks as endangered, counsel for Watershed Watch brought up a published paper (see page 60, line 31) entitled: Is scientific inquiry incompatible with government information control?

On June 15, Ecojustice—counsel for Watershed Watch—started questioning the wastewater panel about effluent from plants in the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) (page 55 line 34) and brought into evidence a series of letters from Environment Canada to various departments of the GVRD in regards to alleged violations of subsection 36(3) of the Fisheries Act via several wastewater treatment discharges:

 

Counsel asked Albert van Roodselaar, Division Manager with Metro Vancouver, about alleged failures of the rainbow trout acute lethality test—a test used for measuring and assessing the aquatic biological effects of toxic substances. Based on the letters and the Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant 2006 Annual Summary and Monitoring Results for Operating Certificate, Iona Island, counsel asked if it were true that there were failures “in the acute lethality test as long ago as 2000 or 2001…right up through 2009 and right up to 2010?”

Van Roodselaar replied, “Yes.”

Counsel then asked James Arnott, from Wastewater Section, Environment Canada, “what, if anything, is Environment Canada doing about these failures at Iona? Do you know anything about this” (see page 61, line 39)?

Arnott replied, “No, as I said before, that would be Enforcement Branch issues to manage.”

On June 16, Tim Leadem, counsel for Watershed Watch brought up a letter from Dr. Church regarding the ecological implications of Fraser River gravel extraction (transcripts: page 35 line 27) which included the statement:

“I have written this supplementary letter to indicate that there is substantial discomfort in the relevant technical community over the current trajectory of the sediment management program, variously expressed as concern that the program cannot attain the expected goals, and that insufficient cognisance is being taken of ecological issues.”

Leadem went on to ask Drs. Laura Rempel (DFO) and Marvin Rosenau (BCIT) on the gravel extraction expert panel whether they agreed with this state. Dr. Rosenau agreed; however, Dr. Rempel from DFO replied,

“I agree that there’s an insufficient level of information for biologists such as myself to fully assess the potential impacts of this program, but depending on how, I think, you read this, I do believe that the Department is working with what information is available to the best of our ability to make decisions that minimize impacts to fish and fish habitat.”

For more information see:

 

 

 

Salmon Leaks Part 10: Cultus Lake sockeye, Wild Salmon Policy, Human Impacts and Aboriginal Fishing (photo of human impacts? Not sure what photo could work here Trish?)

The Cohen Inquiry (link to wwss cohen page) brought its focus to several new topics and a couple it previously examined a number of interesting documents were made public.

See transcripts for the sessions on predators, contaminants, fisheries monitoring and enforcement below:

· May 30 (link) Cultus Lake Sockeye

· May 31 (link) Cultus Lake Sockeye

· June 1 (link) Wild Salmon Policy

· June 2 (link) Wild Salmon Policy

· June 3 (link) Wild Salmon Policy

· June 6 (link) Urbanization

· June 7 (link) Urbanization

· June 8 (link) Urbanization

· June 13 (link) Pulp and Paper/Mining Effluent

· June 14 (link) Municipal Wastewater

· June 15 (link) Municipal Wastewater

· June 16 (link) Gravel Extraction

· June 17 (link) Logging

· June 27 (link) Aboriginal Fishing

· June 28 (link) Aboriginal Fishing

· June 30 (link) Aboriginal Fishing

· July 4 (link) Aboriginal Fishing

· July 5 (link) Aboriginal Fishing

On May 30, the inquiry discussed the decision of listing Cultus and Sakinaw Lake sockeye as endangered under the Species at Risk Act (SARA). Several internal documents were revealed and discussed (see page 8, line 17) on this issue, including discussions on why these two sockeye populations were not listed as endangered despite an emergency request from the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC):

· Memo re: Emergency Listing Request for Two Sockeye Salmon Populations Under SARA 2004 (link to exhibit 887)

· Memo re: Species at Risk Act (SARA) Listing Decision Process for Cultus and Sakinaw Sockeye (ex 888)

Several drafts of a document reveal the changing decision from listing Cultus Lake sockeye to not listing and are discussed by commission counsel with John Davies of DFO (see page 13 line 47):

· SARA Listing Summary, June 30, 2004 draft (889)

· SARA Listing Summary, July 20, 2004 (889a)

· SARA Listing Summary, Aug 18, 2004 (889b)

Given the political factors involved in the scientific recommendation to list certain stocks as endangered, counsel for Watershed Watch brought up a published paper (see page 60, line 31) entitled: Is scientific inquiry incompatible with government information control? (link to exhibit 903)

On June 15, Ecojustice—counsel for Watershed Watch—started questioning the wastewater panel about effluent from plants in the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) (page 55 line 34) and brought into evidence a series of letters from Environment Canada to various departments of the GVRD in regards to alleged violations of subsection 36(3) of the Fisheries Act via several wastewater treatment discharges:

· Letter to GVRD from Environment Canada re: Warning Respecting an Alleged Violation, March 20, 2011 (link to exhibit 1065);

· Letter to City of Vancouver from Environment Canada re: GVRD Liquid Waste Management Plan, May 15, 2001 (link to exhibit 1066); and

· Letter to City of Vancouver from Environment Canada re: GVRD Liquid Waste Management Plan, June 14, 2001 (link to exhibit 1066).

Counsel asked Albert van Roodselaar, Division Manager with Metro Vancouver, about alleged failures of the rainbow trout acute lethality test—a test used for measuring and assessing the aquatic biological effects of toxic substances. Based on the letters and the Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant 2006 Annual Summary (link to exhibit 1061) and Monitoring Results for Operating Certificate, Iona Island, (link to exhibit 1055) counsel asked if it were true that there were failures “in the acute lethality test as long ago as 2000 or 2001…right up through 2009 and right up to 2010?”

Van Roodselaar replied, “Yes.”

Counsel then asked James Arnott, from Wastewater Section, Environment Canada, “what, if

anything, is Environment Canada doing about these failures at Iona? Do you know anything about this” (see page 61, line 39)?

Arnott replied, “No, as I said before, that would be Enforcement Branch issues to manage.”

On June 16, Tim Leadem, counsel for Watershed Watch brought up a letter (link to 1085) from Dr. Church regarding the ecological implications of Fraser River gravel extraction (transcripts: page 35 line 27) which included the statement:

“I have written this supplementary letter to indicate that there is substantial discomfort in the relevant technical community over the current trajectory of the sediment management program, variously expressed as concern that the program cannot attain the expected goals, and that insufficient cognisance is being taken of ecological issues.”

Leadem went on to ask Drs. Laura Rempel (DFO) and Marvin Rosenau (BCIT) on the gravel extraction expert panel whether they agreed with this state. Dr. Rosenau agreed; however, Dr. Rempel from DFO replied,

“I agree that there’s an insufficient level of information for biologists such as myself to fully assess the potential impacts of this program, but depending on how, I think, you read this, I do believe that the Department is working with what information is available to the best of our ability to make decisions that minimize impacts to fish and fish habitat.”

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