Wild salmon cannot be protected using misrepresentations and incorrect information – and trying to do so only risks harming responsible businesses in B.C., a BC Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA) statement released Tuesday says.
“The challenges faced by wild salmon are complex and need our attention,” said Mary Ellen Walling, Executive Director of the BCSFA. “They are not assisted by those who twist information to make people fearful and ignore the complexity and simply blame salmon farming.”
While researchers, regulators, private companies, stewardships groups, environmental organizations and others work to develop and implement best practices that protect the environment and enable business, a small group continues to spread misinformation about the effects of salmon.
“We operate under strict regulations and our operations are regularly monitored, inspected and audited to ensure we are not causing harm to the natural environment,” said Walling. “Fear-based campaigns that suggest sinister activities do not respect the hard work of thousands of people who want the best for our environment.”
Despite the allusions made by some campaigns, salmon on BC’s farms have a very high survival rate and no exotic disease has ever been detected. Farmed salmon are regularly tested and monitored to ensure that fish health and sea lice management is held to the highest standard.
“As coastal British Columbians, we want the best for our marine environment – and as salmon farmers we need to make sure that our fish are healthy and their home is clean. We have every motivation to make sure our business is done well,” said Walling.
The BC Salmon Farmers Association remains involved to the Cohen Commission Inquiry into the decline of Sockeye Salmon, where participants and the public have been given a sense of the complexity of wild salmon survival and risks. The BCSFA believes that this in-depth, reasoned assessment of our wild salmon needs to be given the opportunity to suggest the best steps for our future.
The BCSFA represents salmon farm companies and those who supply services and supplies to the industry.