B.C salmon inquiry to submit final report by October 29
The long-awaited Cohen Commission of Inquiry into the Decline of Sockeye Salmon in the Fraser River has been granted an extension of one more month to submit its final report.
The commission was originally established in November 2009 to investigate and report on the reasons for the sockeye’s decline. The summer prior, about 10 million fish were expected to return to B.C.’s rivers and streams, but only one million actually showed up. The original deadline for the final report was May 1, 2011, but the commissioner, Justice Bruce Cohen, requested extensions and the date was shifted to June 30, 2012, then September 30, 2012. Among other factors, Cohen has cited the complexity of the topic and the large number of participants in the inquiry as reasons for its delay.
The final report is now due on or before October 29, and must be submitted in both English and French at the same time. According to a recent press release, the Commissioner requested the extension to complete the writing, translation and production of the report.
Under its terms of reference, the commission held hearings from August 2010 to December 2011 to investigate and report on the decline of sockeye salmon in the Fraser River. Based on his findings, Commissioner Cohen will make recommendations for improving the future sustainability of the sockeye salmon fishery in the Fraser River, including, as required, any changes to the policies, practices and procedures of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in relation to the management of the sockeye salmon fishery.