Sickness claims without foundation

Claims that sick or diseased fish are introduced to the ocean are entirely false, says BC Salmon Farmers Association's Colleen Dane.

Dear editor,

Re: Morton changes tactics in battle for salmon (March 6, 2014):

Erroneous statements made during Alexandra Morton’s recent presentation in Port McNeill — and repeated in the North Island Gazette’s report of the event – need to be corrected for readers and community members.

Claims that sick or diseased fish are introduced to the ocean are entirely false. All smolts are certified as disease free before leaving a hatchery and being introduced to sea cages. B.C.’s salmon farmers have a proven record of raising very healthy fish — since we need to raise them for nearly two years in the ocean, we wouldn’t have a business if we didn’t.

Suggestions that disease or sea lice from farms have affected wild salmon runs are also false. In fact, Ms. Morton’s own sea lice research has shown that there was no statistical difference on the survival of pink salmon between an area with or without salmon farms. Furthermore, a $26-million scientific inquiry on Fraser River sockeye survival – led by Justice Cohen – reviewed a decade worth of fish health data and found no indication that fish health on farms was affecting sockeye returns.

Unfortunately, Ms. Morton is using misinformation to spread fear about farm-raised salmon. B.C.’s salmon farmers work hard to ensure they are farming responsibly, and are always willing to answer any questions from the public.

We believe our members are providing a sustainable alternate source of salmon that can help conserve wild salmon stocks and continue to create opportunity to coastal B.C. communities like Port McNeill and Port Hardy.

 

Colleen Dane

Communications Manager

Campbell River

BC Salmon Farmers Association