The following is an excerpt from an article published today in the Chilliwack Progress. Up to this point, I did not understand what was meant by farmers, fish and 'ditches', in relation to the proposed changes to the fisheries act in Bill C-38.
By Robert Freeman
Published: May 15, 2012
Marvin Rosenau, a vocal fisheries critic, said he wasn’t surprised by Strahl’s one-sided roundtable meeting.
“Mark Strahl is leading the charge of eco-fascists intent on making the last dime off the backs of the last remnants of an absolutely spectacular eco-system,” he charged.
Rosenau, a former provincial biologist and now a fisheries instructor at BCIT, said an “extremely good” inventory has been collected on the ditches that farmers claim hold no fishery value.
“We know what goes on in those so-called non fish habitat ditches,” he said. “Essentially, what these farmers are doing is industrializing the landscape.”
He said some of the “engineered” ditches “are simply coho streams re-arranged for irrigation.”
“A massive and productive floodplain of fish and aquatic values ... has been drained, ditched, tiled and laser-levelled for agricultural profit,” he said.
“All we’ve got left is a tiny fraction of the vast schools of coho that once thrived in the floodplains of the Fraser River,” he said.