June 13, 1929 (16th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Alexander Duncan McRae

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McRAE:

I have been particularly concerned about the work of the biological board inasmuch as it bears on the sockeye salmon situation in our province. I have gone over the report very carefully and I must say I appreciate the remarks of the hon. member for Skeena, regarding the technical terms which he used so freely this morning. But to me at least this report is net very clear. In this respect I aim sure if would be interesting to know just bow the fiishermen regard the lectures which the board give them on different occasions. I may say that they are sceptical of the practical importance of this biological work; they feel that the work of the board is entirely too theoretical and technical and that not sufficient time is given
Supply-Marine and Fisheries

to the practical phase of the filing situation in our province. They are of the opinion that the investigations of the board are too abstract and academic: to use the expression of the fishermen themselves, you cannot put this knowledge into the can. The particular claim which the fishermen make is that there are too many desk men, what we might call office men, being sent into the field to inquire about matters which responsible fishermen have known for a very long time. I referred the other day to the inquiry into sea lions, when as a matter of fact what should be inquired into is the problem how to destroy the sea lions which are eating up our fish. The fishermen claim that investigators from the board try experiments in artificial planting in areas where hatchery fish would not have the slightest chance owing to freshets on the one hand or where streams dry up. The board officials have net the necessary knowledge and, the fishermen claim, errors are made which could be avoided if practical fishermen were consulted. I mention this matter in order to convey to the minister the idea that the board is not nearly as practical as it should be. I know that these long names which are referred to in the reports of the research department-such terms for instance as protozoa-diatoms copepods and zooplankton, and all that sort of thing-are all right in their place. They refer to the very lowest and microscopic forms of animal life in existence, some that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

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