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We're farming for the future....
The title of this post and statement above are both on the front of a big multi page advertisement that was inserted into my wife's August (early delivery) CANADIAN LIVING MAGAZINE. This is from the salmonfarmers.org people. It is a very large (13 X19, 4 double sided page) insert that no doubt cost a fair bit. I am sure Canadian Living is not the only carrier of this information brochure. I read this in it's entirety and found statements regarding first nation/government partnerships, environmental claims, and the fish farmers organizations own claims that they are not perfect and are learning (admittedly as they go) to be very unsettling. "No business is perfect-but we're committed to improving".
The first nations groups portrayed to be in partnership with fish farm conglomerates are pictured all happily smiling and working. The first nations people I know from fish farm areas (Broughton archipelago to name one) have been fighting the local Atlantic salmon farms for a number of years claiming many negative environmental aspects to the hereditary food fishing grounds in their territory. I wonder about the reasons and motives for the different perspectives from one first nation group to another in apparent similarly impacted areas. Does one see long term economic stability, and the other long term loss of indigenous food sources. Have all coastal bands in the farm areas been offered the same partnerships? Have some declining based on band member feedback and environmental prospectives. We are all left to be the judge as it is becoming a more confusing front line battle between all of the BC coast interest groups.
In one statement salmonfarmers.org folks state "the industry is moving towards becoming a net seafood producer by developing feed that uses more vegetable protein and less fishmeal and oil". OK, now the fish are eating their veggies. I can't speak for all fishers, but carrots and cauliflower have not been bait I have ever though about using for our local salmon stocks when fishing.
"Like organic and land-raised meats, salmon farmers are looking to add their product to the increasing listings of organic food products."
Non-local farm fish eating more and more organically grown vegetables, ground and manufactured into pellets.
It's a good thing the "Pacific Organic Seafood Association is working with fish farmers from all over Canada to develop a set of national standards for raising fish and shellfish. What kind of "organic" standard can be developed for non organic colouring chemicals, antibiotics, and the use of non organic lice treatments along with the inevitable foot print they leave behind.
BC is apparently the leading region in Canada for the development of both terrestrial and aquatic (salmon/shellfish) organic standards. I'm not sure what a leading region is defined by and I would also not be overly surprised to find that Alberta may not be a major aquatic standard contributor.
Lets ask ourselves who really are the true supporters of Pacific Coast Atlantic Salmon Open Pen Farms and what interests do they really have. There are two camps in my view. The monetary/economic side and the environmental/local species naturalist side.
I have seen a clear message from the folks at salmonfarms.org as to who their limited partners are (I'm not confident all members in the "limited Partners" are really being heard) as well as the parallels drawn to other non aqua-culture farming methods actively being pursues in our province. There are aqua culture/salmon farming experiences from around the world that give complete reasoning to those that still doubt the effects and ultimate outcome this pacific coast experiment with have on our pacific coast salmon.
First Nation Peoples, Governmental Entities, Local Interest/Special Interest Groups and the fish farm organizations are all still waging the public opinion war.
I don't buy fish that eat pellets, and I am not likely to be persuaded to eat those that eat carrots, cauliflower or natural vitamins..
My salmon eating habits are based on my own beliefs. No farmed fish in my house or on my plate anywhere else.
If you eat farm, you may not be able to eat local should the Atlantic Salmon Farm experiment fail on our coast. The ultimate outcome may not be evident for years to come, but I will have a clear conscience either way.
Hoochee
 
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