VANCOUVER, Aug. 17 /CNW/ - The Cohen Commission of Inquiry into the
Decline of Sockeye Salmon in the Fraser River is undertaking an
ambitious scientific research program to help the Commissioner
understand the science behind the decline of Fraser River sockeye. The
commission is contracting with qualified and experienced external
scientific researchers to study a wide range of technical and scientific
issues designed to address potential causes for the decline. A
description of these research projects is available at www.cohencommission.ca.
"We have established 12 research projects to study aspects of the
decline of Fraser River sockeye salmon, as well as the cumulative
effects on the decline," said Brian Wallace, senior commission counsel.
"The researchers were chosen for their academic credentials,
professional publications, professional reputation, practical
experience, recognized expertise and knowledge relevant to Fraser River
sockeye salmon or ecosystems."
In most cases, the researchers will provide the commission with a
progress report by November 15, 2010 and a final report by January 31,
2011. These reports will be peer-reviewed with researchers and external
reviewers providing critical analysis. The researchers will summarize
their findings and conclusions during the commission's public
evidentiary hearings in the winter, at which counsel for participants
will have an opportunity to question the researchers and test their
The commission is also considering other processes for exploring the
various technical and scientific issues, such as panel discussions and
forums in which experts retained by the commission and those nominated
by participants could exchange views and challenge each other's findings
and conclusions in an open but non-adversarial setting.
Transition of the Scientific Advisory Panel
beginning of the commission's scientific research program a Scientific
Advisory Panel composed of six pre-eminent fisheries scientists was
created to assist with the development of the commission's scientific
research program. The commission has determined it is appropriate to
transition from the model of the Scientific Advisory Panel to a new
model that will focus on the peer review of the researchers' reports.
"The Panel members, all pre-eminent scientists with a high degree of
expertise in the areas to be investigated by the commission, have
performed their advisory role in a completely independent, professional
manner in the best interests of the commission," said Wallace. "At this
time, however, we have concluded that a peer review model will best
serve the commission's science program going forward."
About the Cohen Commission
The Cohen Commission (www.cohencommission.ca)
was established on November 5, 2009 with the appointment of the
Honourable Bruce Cohen as Commissioner. Under its Terms of Reference,
the commission will hold hearings to investigate and report on the
decline of sockeye salmon in the Fraser River. Based on its findings,
the commission 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 Fraser River sockeye salmon fishery.
SOURCE Cohen Commission of Inquiry
For further information: For further information:
Carla S. Shore, Communications Director, Cohen Commission of Inquiry
Phone: 604-658-3646, Cell: 604-329-0975