Saturday November 6, 2010

Environment News

Its Almost


Pacific Salmon to be designated provincial fish



id you know that BC doesn't have an official fish? We have an official flower, tree, flag, bird, mammal, gem and even a tartan, but no symbolic fish.


Ever since February 2009 in a story spawned by Vancouver Sun writer Miro Cerntig, a movement has been afoot to have Pacific Salmon designated as the province's official fish. Why not? Salmon play an important role in connecting communities through social, economic and environmental benefits.

The Fraser Basin Council (FBC) and the Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) forwarded a request to the Fraser Valley Regional District that the honour be given to a fish that has dominated local news for months. They feel that the designation would bring "awareness of the importance of salmon and of the critical watershed stewardship."

"We believe that designation of Salmon as an official symbol could be helpful in other conservation efforts, and in keeping attention on the importance of continuing to support watershed sustainability at the local level - as well as organizations such as FBC," said Jim Vanderwal, FBC Senior Manager of Climate, Fish and Fisheries.

Speaking of months, its been 18 since deliberations started in earnest on this kettle of fish in what should be a shoe-in designation. Why all the foot-dragging? The reason is both the "FBC and PSF felt it was important to seek input from the citizens and key organizations in the province as to what they felt about this idea."

Initially, the groups wrote Premier Campbell in June indicating that they would be consulting the public and the government responded favourably.

Who wouldn't support a move to name Pacific Salmon as BC's official fish? Nevertheless, Brian Riddell, PSF CEO, David Marshall FBC Executive Director and Al Lill, Manager of the Georgia-Basin Living Rivers program wrote an Op-Ed article asking for feedback which was published by the Vancouver Sun in July.

Now they are saying that they have the data they were looking for and will summarize it, then send a recommendation to the provincial government in November or December.

So now we'll have our provincial fish and that's no fish story.


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