Plea ‘tip of iceberg’, says foundation

  • Jun. 27, 2005 9:00 a.m.

A guilty plea by the Ministry of Forests to charges of damaging fish habitat is just the tip of the iceberg, says the David Suzuki Foundation.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans fined the ministry $30,000 after a salmon-bearing creek on the east coast of Graham Island was clogged with wood debris. But this fine is laughable in comparison to what they are getting away with, and the violation represents just one of potential hundreds happening on the islands and in the Great Bear Rainforest on the mainland, according to Bill Wareham of the Suzuki foundation.
“This prosecution should be the first of many by Fisheries and Oceans Canada,” said Mr. Wareham, “destructive logging and disregard for fish habitat continues to be the norm throughout B.C.”
A recent analysis by the foundation shows that since 2001, 46-percent of logging in the Great Bear and on the islands has taken place in the regions’ most productive salmon watersheds. They also found that only 8-percent of salmon streams flowing through logging sites were being adequately protected.
The David Suzuki Foundation is calling for an end to logging in vulnerable salmon habitat and legally binding protection for watersheds.

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