And salmon survey says…

Article in Globe & Mail by Mark Hume yesterday evening on a salmon survey recently conducted in B.C.

B.C. residents consider salmon a cultural touchstone, survey finds

Wild salmon are as culturally important to British Columbians “as the French language is to the people of Quebec,” according to a new poll by Angus Reid Public Opinion.

The poll, commissioned by two B.C. conservation organizations, measured the concerns of British Columbia on a broad range of environmental issues, with a focus on wild salmon, which are in decline on the West Coast.

The survey of more than 800 randomly selected adults found that 70 per cent agreed with a statement that maintaining and restoring salmon runs in B.C. is as important to British Columbians as protecting French is to Quebeckers.

That’s pretty impressive.

Now what I’m wondering is — what federal Party is campaigning on this message for the upcoming election?

About the only salmon-related info I’ve seen seems to be coming from the New Democrat Party (NDP) with folks like Finn Donnelly the NDP incumbent in the Vancouver area running a solid campaign. (but maybe there’s others…?)

…Only 52 per cent agreed that higher taxes would be justified, “if that was necessary to protect wild-salmon habitat,” but 69 per cent said the federal government should maintain its policy of no net loss of salmon habitat, even if that meant restricting growth and development…

…In some rivers, small runs of wild salmon return at the same time as much larger populations of hatchery enhanced stocks. When the Department of Fisheries and Oceans allows commercial harvests on so-called “mixed stock fisheries,” fish from the small runs can inadvertently get killed.

A large majority, 77 per cent of those polled, disagreed with the statement that “the extinction of small salmon runs is acceptable as a tradeoff to maintain the commercial fishing industry’s current practices.”

The poll also showed that the pollution of rivers, lakes and reservoirs (72 per cent), contamination of soil and water by toxic wastes (68 per cent), air pollution and the depletion of fish stocks (both at 66 per cent) are the top environmental concerns for British Columbians.

The Angus Reid survey was done online with 806 randomly selected British Columbians, on April 19-20, from a sample that is considered representative of the entire adult population. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 per cent. The poll was released Monday.

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Would seem this could be pretty decent market research for politicians looking to get elected. Come to BC and campaign on a salmon platform…

6 thoughts on “And salmon survey says…

  1. Brian

    Sorry to sound so pessimistic, but some politicians (especially the NDP) will make as many promises as they can to get the votes they need. They are not that dumb….They see these polls, protests, letters to the editor, and canoe rides down the Fraser. It’s about securing votes. Fin Donnelly is not the first politician to be concerned about wild salmon. Politicians before him were “concerned” also. They know deep down that they are likely never going to deliver on those promises unless their party is in power. When it comes time to deliver they are either; a) not in power to effect any change or; b) they forget about you as other people gather around the trough looking for action.

  2. joe

    It’s hard not to be pessimistic when the Fraser sockeye runs’ productivity rate has been declining for nearly the last 20 years. The NDP is the only party I’ve noticed though that recommended salmon farms be closed containment.
    The Hon. Brian Fraser’s submission to the Standing Committee on Fisheries.
    http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=4735007&Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=40&Ses=3#Int-3432924
    Thought it interesting that John Cummins voted NDP in the last provincial election.

  3. Brian

    NDP politicians will kiss as much “butt” as possible. They know the bandwagon to jump on. If I could vote for the Bloc I would….lol. I might not agree with their strategy, but at least I know what they stand for. Some of these other guys with the other parties will tell you what you want to hear, but later on they will forget.

    I am glad that John Cummins has left federal politics and will be starting up the BC provincial Conservative party. That way he won’t be able to do any harm. It is a good retirement move. It was either that or the La Brea tar pits.

  4. joe

    Yes it’s true Cummins wouldn’t act as a schill for the salmon farmers . Interestingly, he usually held his riding for many years with a comfortably higher percentage of the votes than his opponents.

  5. kd

    the politics around fish could probably fill a new blog all on its own…whether it be around conservation or the allocation fights between sectors (and between factions within sectors; native, commercial, or recr.)

    I agree with Brian, politicians of any stripe will use fish just like any other issue to achieve ‘their’ goals: goal number 1 is obviously keeping that cushy job in the first place…
    keith

  6. joe

    Yes, it seems many have been poorly advised in respect to taking care of the wild salmon.

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