LETTER: Ensuring ‘responsible’ salmon farming

Protecting wild salmon is an important issue – one that incites deep passion in many people. Sometimes in that passion though, information can be overlooked. With that in mind, we wanted to add some clarification around a few items in “Wild salmon meeting at Skwah”, July 21, 2011.

Re: Wild salmon meeting at Skwah, July 21, 2011

Protecting wild salmon is an important issue – one that incites deep passion in many people. Sometimes in that passion though, information can be overlooked. With that in mind, we wanted to add some clarification around a few items in “Wild salmon meeting at Skwah”, July 21, 2011.

It’s important for the public to know that fish on our farms are monitored and tested regularly by both the industry and our government regulators. Results of that fish health testing is reviewed and posted publicly: and have shown for many years that our fish are healthy and that there have been no incidences of exotic disease. As farmers, it is obviously important that our crop is healthy – and this is just one way that we make sure it is.

As participants in the Cohen Commission we have striven to provide Justice Bruce Cohen and counsel with requested information so that we can contribute to the large and complex topic that he is reviewing. The terms of reference for this inquiry state clearly that it is to investigate without seeking blame – and it’s a principle that we support in regards to the many activities and conditions he is to review as possible factors in the Sockeye’s lifecycle.

We want to emphasize that – unlike the decision this news story leads with – this discussion is not about choosing wild or farmed salmon. It’s about ensuring that farming is done in a responsible manner so that we can have both into the far future. That’s important to all coastal British Columbians, salmon farmers included.

 

Mary Ellen Walling

Executive Director

BC Salmon Famers Association

Campbell River, BC