Re: “Salmon farmers put brave face on chilling report” (Mirror, Fri., Nov. 2, 2012)
I hope none of your readers are actually duped by the pathetic sob story you’ve published about the poor Salmon farmers.
As the environmental movement has been maintaining for years and is now suggested by the $26 million Cohen Commission the Salmon farming industry has caused untold and likely irreversible destruction to our wild fish stocks and environment. Unfortunately, our wild salmon and environment are priceless and can not simply be replaced with money or other wise.
Contrary to Campbell River Mayor Walter Jakeway; quoted as saying “We need this industry.” I beg your pardon Mr. Jakeway but we did just fine before the salmon farming industry came. It’s like the salmon farming industry has created a situation that we’re now dependent on. This sounds like the relationship between a drug addict and his pusher in a feeble scenario where the addict eventually dies from use of the pushers product. Has Mayor Walter Jakeway forgotten how vibrant a city Campbell River and many other coastal communities were before the salmon decline?
The jobs created by the salmon farming industry are but a fraction of what the commercial wild salmon industry used to provide to the economy before salmon farming appeared and began destroying it. And that’s just the commercial fishery. The sport sector and tourism is touted by B.C. as paramount and world class and contributes significantly to our economy. Why not give tourists something to boast about instead of us having to give embarrassing whining excuses about our stocks in decline?
Mayor Jakeway says, “We need to let the industry grow and if there are problems solve them.”
Mr. Jakeway doesn’t understand natural laws are being broken with salmon farming by densely populating carnivores in pens, and there is no right way to do the wrong thing.
BCSFA board member Clare Backman states “Our members are committed to farming responsibly.”
Cohen’s report proves these sort of statements from the salmon farming industry are worthless. This industry has had its chance to play clean, to be responsible and ethical, they chose not to and have destroyed our wild stocks and environment. This loathsome behaviour demonstrates who we are dealing with. We’ve now learned from this solely “profit at any cost” oriented industry that they are not trust worthy and certainly not deserving to continue practising in this country.
Clare Backman also states, “There is no science of fish farm harm.” The fact that BCSFA is maintaining their position of deceit, confusion and pseudo science with the public with statements like this proves the salmon farming industry has learned nothing from all this and are as unethical and devious as ever.
Clare Backman goes on to say, “We see this as an opportunity to work with the federal government, the regulators and the NGOs (non-governmental organizations) to satisfy those concerns.”
The BCSFA has known full well what the “concerns” are all along and the fact they want to “work with regulators and the NGOs” is actually just a camouflaged, negotiate to input minimal effort “to satisfy”, so they can maintain profits. This proves who we’re dealing with. This industry has had its chance and they’ve squandered it.
BCSFA board member, Stewart Hawthorn, said: “We are committed to protecting the marine environment and our iconic wild salmon and we support the call for further research” The reality is the research has been done & conclusion is SF is destructive. This is simply more deceit & an old stall tactic. If this industry truly wants to operate in a way that protects our wild stocks & environment they need to move the farms on to land in closed containment which they’ve repeatedly told us they do not want because its too expensive and is unprofitable.
B.C. Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick said the government will review Cohen’s report closely. He said the province wants to ensure there is a healthy sockeye salmon run and to play whatever role it can “to make that happen.” The various government departments and salmon farming industry had their chance long ago to make this work and they blew it. Instead they chose to deceive the public, destroy the environment and cover their tracks. Canadians and B.C. citizens especially are fed up with this industry. They’ve caused untold damage its now time for them to pack up and
And if any one believes this industry is a way to feed the worlds starving masses, this is not the industry that will ever do it. The energy inputs, intensive management and fishing down the worlds stocks of “forage fish” (Herring, Anchovies, Sardines) to turn into feed pellets and multitude of other secondary environmental damages caused, makes this product unsustainable.
We owe this industry nothing. In fact it owes Canadians uncountable compensation.