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Six leading scientists to advise Cohen Commission

Sockeye salmon in a river in the Bristol Bay, Alaska watershed in 2007.

Ben Knight/Ben Knight/The Associated Press

A federal judicial inquiry into sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser River has appointed a team of six leading fisheries scientists to serve as advisors.

Brian Wallace, Senior Commission Counsel for the inquiry headed by British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Bruce Cohen, said the panel will be led Dr. David Levy, a salmon biologist with over 30 years experience in the Fraser watershed.

"The members of our scientific advisory panel are widely respected experts in their fields with impeccable credentials whose expertise will be valuable in our examination of the decline of Fraser River sockeye," said Mr. Wallace.

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Dr. Levy is serving with the Cohen Commission as Consultant, Fisheries Research. Over the past three decades he has provided scientific advice to government, First Nations, environmental organizations and the private sector and he has authored more than 50 reports on Fraser sockeye.

Also on the science panel are:

Dr. Carl Walters, a Professor at the University of B.C. Fisheries Centre, who is a leading researcher in the field of fish population dynamics.

"He believes the heart of fisheries is how to manage harvest," states a biography posted by the Cohen Commission.

Dr. Brian Riddell, CEO and President of the Pacific Salmon Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the restoration of salmon stocks in B.C.

Dr. Riddell was the top salmon scientist at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for many years, before recently taking his position at the Pacific Salmon Foundation. He has won many awards for his work, and played a key role in developing DFO's wild salmon policy, which sets out a framework for preserving wild stocks.

Dr. Paul LeBlond, an ocean scientist and Emeritus Professor at UBC, is widely respected for his oceanography research. Dr. LeBlond was a member of the Fisheries Resource Conservation Council created by the federal government after the cod collapse on the East Coast.

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Dr. John Reynolds, a Professor at Simon Fraser University and chair of Salmon Conservation and Management.

"His research focuses on understanding connections between salmon and their ecosystems, emphasizing implications for conservation and sustainability," states the Cohen Commission.

Dr. Patricia Gallaugher, Director of Continuing Studies in Science and an Adjunct Professor at SFU.

She has done research on salmon physiology and selective fishing and has led numerous workshops on salmon issues. She has won numerous awards for her research work.

Dr. Thomas Quinn, a Professor at the University of Washington in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, his research has focused on salmon ecology, evolution and conservation.

Dr. Quinn has done research in B.C. in the past and is currently working on sockeye salmon stocks in western Alaska, and salmon and trout in Puget Sound. He has published over 200 scientific articles on salmon and trout.

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About the Author
National correspondent

Mark Hume is a National Correspondent for The Globe and Mail, based in Vancouver, writing news and feature stories on a daily basis about his home province of British Columbia. His weekly column, which often challenges the orthodoxy on environmental issues, appears every Monday. More

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