Summary – Roundtable Proceedings
From October/07 Meeting of
Salmon Enhancement and Habitat Advisory Board
October 28, 2007
The following issues were noted as common themes during roundtable submissions. These submissions summarize significant concerns in each Pacific Region community re volunteer efforts to enhance/restore salmon and salmon habitat.
1. Lack of communication between Department and stewardship organizations.
2. Fisheries and Oceans’ Canada’s and Province’s inability to protect salmon populations/habitat, including volunteer restoration projects. Result is continued loss of habitat and productivity. Especially affects coho.
3. Confusion re the implementation of Riparian Area Regulations – eg the municipality’s perceived ability to “opt out”. Legislation is inefffective.
4. Continued decline in DFO funds for stock assessment.
5. Importance of current CIP review to stem the erosion of principles underlying the Community Involvement Program – Community Advisor workload, inappropriate work assignments, etc.
6. Low chum returns.
7. New policies and protocols inconsistent with Department’s policy – Pinks in Piers, WSP vs EPMP.
Working Groups for February/08 Meeting
1. Communication – ZoAnn, Jack, Dianne
2. Stock Assessment – George, Jan, Ev
3. RAR – Dave, Tracy
4. Enforcement – Lynne, Don
1. Province - Ministry of Highways has developed positive relationships with DFO and community groups through its Environmental Management Services Group.
2. DFO Enforcement presence lacking in habitat alteration
a. enforce the Fisheries Act
b. habitat destruction is a use
c. serious concerns about EPMP and enforcement
3. Support bottom up approach to engaging public involvement/support
a. The Community Involvement Program (CIP) was a working model, recommend a return to a Community Involvement Division within Regional delivery model (Area Management model is not functioning to support public involvement).
b. volunteer recruitment and coordination needs DFO regional support
c. Environmental Education – expand on CIP success in the classroom
d. Developers, industry, individual workers (ie. Hoe operators)
4. Integration of planning processes
a. fragmented or invisible framework/strategy and delivery of stock assessment
b. severely limited and compromised collection of data
c. low flows/groundwater management should lead to guaranteed fish conservation flows
d. integration with municipal, regional, provincial and federal planning
Themes from SEHAB Roundtable – May 13/06
1. Further changes in the stewardship community’s relationship with MOE. The door was closed; now it’s locked.
2. Ministry of Highways has improved its relationship with the volunteer community.
3. Seal predation
4. Lack of enforcement presence (ongoing issue)
5. Serious concerns about EPMP (ongoing issue)
6. Serious concerns about lack of stock assessment strategy (ongoing issue)
Consensus on Action re above Themes
1. Stick to action plan re ongoing issues. Action committees
2. Invite MOE rep to next Board meeting to present on Chekamus River recovery plan update. This would be both informative and strategic. Action ZoAnn?
3. Request to OHEB Director to pursue high level MOE participation in SEHAB. Action Monday delegation. (Done)
4. Make enquiries on possible policy shift with Ministry of Highways. Action George.
Degradation or Loss, Instream and Riparian
- Habitat degradation and destruction and the lack of response from senior governments and the lack of ability by stewards to stop or change this
- Dyking, damming and impounding watercourses, encroachment, linear development from roads, pipelines, railroads and urbanization
- Channelization and confinement of watercourses, flood prevention, flood plain development
- Province of BC withdrawal of services- rescinding the SPRs and replacing with RARs
- Private landowners removing, altering and destroying habitat with little or no consequences or incentives to do it differently
- Resources use/extraction impacts to habitat- mining, aquaculture agriculture
Habitat Degradation, Water Quality
- Stormwater- changing flow regimes from hardening of the watershed - increasing impervious surfaces
- Non-point pollution and untreated rainwater and other deleterious substances entering watercourses
- Groundwater contamination
- Mining, sewage and other industrial effulgent entering watercourses and receiving waters
Habitat Degradation, Water Quantity
- Over extraction of water by water licensees
- Changing hydrographs
- Lack of enforcement and protection, specifically habitat- considered low risk activities or low risk streams or low risk to the department
- Policy of not prosecuting leading down the slippery slope of total disregard and disrespect for the department
- Lack of understanding by DFO of how upset the volunteers continue to be about this
Monitoring and Assessment
- Stock Assessment, reduced assessment cannot inform fisheries managers’ decisions, loss of Assessment Credibly
- Lack of response to extremely low coho Fraser returns fall 2005
- Numbers needed to inform enhancement programs
- Reduced marking programs used to protect or create fisheries and monitor stocks
- Controversy about closures on Rivers and openings in Gulf and inside waters
Fisheries and Oceans Canada Policy
- Changing regulatory environment regarding habitat and fish. Federal, Provincial and Municipal
- Federal regulations are being operationilized within new frameworks and with limited resources
- SMART, EPMP, DAPP, Harmonization and so on
- Compensation Projects lack of compliance
- Post Conviction Fines designation
- Individual Transferable Quotas for West Coast Fisheries - the further privatization of the People of Canada's resource
- Fisheries act renewal - What does it mean
- Staffing Policy, too many people in acting positions, hampers DFO workers and the community in their ability to gain local knowledge, build up corporate knowledge of their role and how to carry out their responsibilities
Consultation, Timely and Meaningful, In good Faith
- A lot of consultation going on for federal legislation and processes but no clear way to know when or how to be invited to participate
- Communication with Fisheries and Oceans and the public and even between their departments is extremely poor.
Community Capacity, Informed Community
- Education Environmental ongoing and thriving: All Candidates meeting before the Municipal and Federal elections.
- Successful field trip curriculum for the elementary schools working with local university
- The environmental library (books given out to the schools)
- Education of municipal staff and developers
- Volunteer Recruitment, volunteers are aging and we need not only new recruits but young recruits.
Bev Bowler, Education Coordinator Lower Fraser
Dave Davies, CA Vancouver Island
Sandy Lochbaum, Enforcement Officer