Chief Science Advisor Recommends Overisght for DFO
Report of the Independent Expert Panel on Aquaculture Science was released today by Dr. Mona Nemer, Canada’s Chief Science Advisor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: The Report of the Independent Expert Panel on Aquaculture Science was released today by Dr. Mona Nemer, Canada’s Chief Scientist. Prime Minister Trudeau appointed Nemer in September 2017, to the position which had been left vacant since 2008.
This report makes the bold recommendation that DFO’s Aquaculture science needs an external, non-government Science Advisor and Review Panel. It repeats throughout the 28-page report that DFO science on aquaculture must be more transparent, consider localized impact and be inclusive of indigenous knowledge.
“Dr. Nemer’s report is a breath of fresh air and perhaps a life line for an industry facing stiff opposition,” says Living Oceans’ Executive Director Karen Wristen. “She makes it clear that politics have to take a backseat to science and she doesn’t think DFO can do this alone.”
Nemer also recommends DFO develop a vision for aquaculture science to assist in the development of lower-impact aquaculture to address localized priorities. She chastises DFO for not anticipating impacts of aquaculture. Such impacts should have included the highly predictable sea louse and virus infections in wild salmon exposed to salmon farms.
“Nemer’s recommendations would have prevented the disastrous sea louse outbreaks in Clayoquot Sound and spread of the virus PRV through the Broughton Archipelago,” says Morton; “and her recommendation to include indigenous knowledge at the highest levels would protect us from the loss of understanding how incredibly productive this coast could be.”
The report also recommends DFO investment in the science to support cleaner aquaculture practices, such as waste water treatment and closed containment technologies. People were horrified to find that PRV-infected waste water is still flowing from farm salmon processing plants into the migratory corridors of wild salmon.
Alexandra Morton 250-974-7086
Karen Wristen 604-788-5634
Report available here: https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/052.nsf/vwapj/Aquaculture_EN.pdf/$FILE/Aquaculture_EN.pdf