By Rob Smith
APTN National News
While there may be no overall factor that led to the collapse of the Fraser River salmon, the man in charge of finding an answer urged the federal government to start taking climate change seriously.
“To use that well-worn phrase, warming water is the elephant in the room we can no longer ignore,” said Justice Bruce Cohen.
Cohen’s report on the disappearing salmon was released this week after a long, and at times, controversial inquiry that was called after millions of salmon vanished in 2009.
Cohen criticized recent changes in federal policy seen by some as undermining his work before it started.
“I find it troubling the thrust of some of the amendments,” he said, adding one was the removal of habitat protection from the Fisheries Act. “The priority must be on healthy wild fish and you can’t have healthy wild fish if you don’t have healthy habitat.”
In all, there are 75 recommendations in Cohen’s 1,000-page report.
The report comes after 130 days of hearings and 179 witnesses called looking for potential causes. In the end, more science is needed to fully understand what is happening.