Thursday January 20, 2011


The Worth Of A Fish

An answer in a nutshell

Craig Hill/Voice


t was disheartening last week to hear Coun. Huttema at the regular council meeting ask what the value of the Salish Sucker was and if it was a big mosquito? My jaw sort of dropped as did a few others, or so it seems.

When you think about it, Coun. Huttema must have be joking, right? Is pushing an endangered species further to the brink really a joke? Not in my joke book and the councillor would be best served to throw out his defunct joke book. They made jokes about the dodo bird and even the spotted owl in the last century, but this is the new millennium.

It seems Coun. Huttema preferred to shoot first and ask questions later. Any endangered plant or animal is precious even if it has absolutely no intrinsic value. It's something that took millions of years to evolve, so why wouldn't it be precious?

What's the value of ecology, the environment and evolution? How can you do a value-judgement on the survival of a species that could be gone forever with one scoop of an excavator's shovel?

With questions like that, the insinuations are; if the fish have no monetary value then the species is of no use and therefore aren't a worry when ditch-clearing destroys their habitat.

Farm ditch-clearing is essential, if possible, the Nooksack Dace and the Salish Sucker need to be grown in hatchery settings so that ditches can be restocked after clearing them. The mayor called it a "good question" and one that Coun. Huttema might have been able to "find out more about" at the DFO open house earlier this week.

Citizens need confidence in City Hall and have a right to expect elected officials to have a basic understanding of what any species extinction means to the planet without having to ask the value of it. The issue really is bigger than Chilliwack because it's a planetary issue.

Coun. Huttema could partner with Tourism Chilliwack to bring in eco-tours of the habitat of the Nooksack Dace and Salish Sucker.

It's hard to believe that Coun. Huttema would engage in redneckism but questions like his last week do tend to make him look like a good ol' boy.

If it's survival of the fittest then "Hutty" needs to become educated on the value of living, breathing creatures or face becoming an endangered species on council himself in light of the elections in the fall.

In answer to Coun. Huttema's question on the value of the fish, without the aid of a $100,000 study how about priceless.


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