The population of California sea lions has been on a steady climb since the end of commercial hunting in the 1970's, and are now estimated to number around 240,000. Climate change is adding to the challenge and has played havoc with the sea lions' natural food supply, resulting in the death and stranding of thousands of sea lions and pups along the entire Pacific Coast.
When you are a multi-billion dollar, foreign-owned industry continuously mired in controversy over your environmental record, you have but two options: you clean up your act, or you clean up your image. The latest public relations offensive from B.C. salmon farmers leaves little doubt that for them, image is everything.
My gut reaction to the first genetically modified animal produced for consumption was like many peoples'; a bit of disgust with whole lot of 'why'!?. Before I wrote this piece though, I wanted to be able to give you all the relevant information about the 'frankensalmon' so you can form your own opinion about it.
Alaskans emphasize they are not against resource extraction, provided there are adequate environmental and financial safeguards, but believe Canada's record -- most recently illustrated by the Mount Polley mine tailings dam collapse -- shows that B.C.'s regulations are not strong enough to protect downstream communities.
While the Skeena ecosystem has been largely pristine for many years, things may soon change as the area is pegged for rapid commercial and industrial expansion. A suite of major projects are proposed for the region, including liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities, mines, and oil and gas pipelines and the expansion of shipping associated with such projects.
In British Columbia, salmon are sacred. For centuries, they have nourished First Nations and settlers alike, and continue to sustain virtually all of the wildlife we cherish in B.C.: orcas, eagles, bears, seals and sea lions, wolves and even our forests. Wild salmon make life possible on the West Coast. So why are our federal and provincial governments trying to kill them? I do not speak of simple neglect. I mean actively working towards the destruction of wild salmon.
When I first visited Tofino in 2003, there were few restaurants besides the opulent Pointe. Now, the city is teeming with choice establishments. That community love for food explodes into euphoria on May 8. The two-week Feast Tofino festival features 17 events, several of which include visiting chefs from Vancouver.
When a tailings pond broke at the Mount Polley gold and copper mine in south-central B.C., spilling millions of cubic metres of waste into a salmon-bearing stream, B.C. Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett called it an "extremely rare" occurrence, the first in 40 years for mines operating here. He failed to mention the 46 "dangerous or unusual occurrences" that B.C's chief inspector of mines reported at tailings ponds in the province between 2000 and 2012, as well as breaches at non-operating mine sites.