VANCOUVER – Members of the public will finally have a better idea today of what caused the collapse of the Fraser River sockeye fishery.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Bruce Cohen will explain publicly why the fishery failed and deliver a series of recommendations, following his two-year inquiry that heard from 160 witnesses, produced 14,000 pages of transcripts and recorded 2,100 exhibits.
Cohen submitted his report to the federal government Monday, but it won’t be tabled in the House of Commons until later today.
The federal government called the inquiry in November 2009, months after only 1.4 million of an expected 10 million sockeye returned to B.C.’s rivers and streams
The inquiry began in August 2010, ended in December 2011, and tackled themes ranging from aboriginal fishing to aquaculture, commercial fishing to disease, habitat management and enforcement.
The bill for the inquiry is expected to be at least $26 million, and critics are already suggesting the Department of Fisheries and Oceans will bear the brunt of criticism.