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Freshly caught sockeye are stored in the hold of a fishing boat at the mouth of the Fraser River in Richmond, B.C., on Aug. 25, 2010.DARRYL DYCK

The Atlantic Salmon Federation is welcoming the recommendations of a B.C. report on the dramatic decline of the Fraser River sockeye fishery.

Federation president Bill Taylor says the report's messages apply to the eastern fishery even though it focuses on the West Coast stock.

Mr. Taylor says governments on this coast are allowing open-net salmon pens and they are having devastating impacts on wild Atlantic salmon.

In his report released Thursday, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Bruce Cohen concluded that the potential harm posed by salmon farms to Fraser River sockeye salmon is "serious or irreversible."

Mr. Taylor says wild Atlantic salmon in southern Newfoundland, the Bay of Fundy and along the coast of Nova Scotia might migrate near the open-net pens and risk interaction with escaped farmed salmon.

Mr. Cohen says development of open-net pen farms should be prohibited in the Discovery Islands unless those farms pose only a minimal risk to migrating sockeye.

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