…bcsalmonfacts.ca begins the slippery slide down, down, down: Zombie facts, half truths, and connecting some dots.

Sadly, the bcsalmonfacts.ca off with a bang of “open transparency” and balanced discussion… may quickly be slipping down a fish-slimed slide of zombie facts succumbing to gravity, infested with blurry vision, landing head first in the sand.

(please stick with this longish post to see curious connections of PR-campaigns at end)

I suppose if we could all just ignore some realities out there in the ocean and bury our collective heads in the fish meal bag we would publish half-fact articles such as this:

Why You Need to Eat More Fish

Submitted by BC Salmon Facts

Why you need to eat more fish
January 11, 2011
BY THERESA ALBERT

We need to eat more fish. That’s the bottom line. Fish doesn’t just protect our hearts. Studies have shown other health benefits, such as lowered risk of breast, colon, and prostate cancers as well as eye, brain, and joint health improvements.

Fish contain oil that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory effects. Studies have also shown improved symptoms in people suffering with mental and depressive disorders when they supplement with omega-3 from fish oil.

[bla, bla, bla, healthy, great fish…]

If you are like most people who do not live on a seacoast, you are likely getting only one serving per week, if that, so how should you get two more? And which seafood should you consume? The top three consumed in North America are tuna, salmon, and shrimp, so that’s a good place to start.

TUNA: The first, cheapest, and most convenient way of eating fish: canned tuna, is a moderate source of omega-3. Consuming one can per week of skipjack (sometimes called light, or flaked, tuna) will net less mercury than eating the larger, darker albacore (sometimes called chunk, or solid). Skipjack tuna is also cheaper. The other two servings should come from different oceans and different types of fish, to lower the risk of one toxin accumulating.

SALMON: Most people love salmon and it is an excellent source of omega-3. But which type should you choose? Remember that big exposé a few years back saying that farmed salmon had way more mercury than wild? There’s more to the story. The “wild” salmon that was chosen for comparison was a type that isn’t normally sold at the grocery store. It was so wild that most of us can’t buy it. It also turns out that the feed was skewing the mercury numbers. Since then the farmed salmon industry has made careful strides to monitor the fish feed more closely and measure the contaminants better.

But it’s farmed fish! Isn’t that bad? Think of it this way: this planet has way too many people on it and we are all going to need to be fed. It would be utopia if we could all move to the farm, grow our own food, and fish in ponds that are spring-fed with pollutant-free crystal waters. The dilemma is that we know we need to consume more fish for our health, but the oceans are having trouble keeping up with our relentless demand.

What are we to do? We need to count on farmers as we always have, and urge them to do their most conscientious job of getting food on our tables. All of our tables. If there is enough wild fish to go around without annihilating the species and/or habitat and you can find as well as afford it, go ahead. But don’t avoid salmon simply because you are afraid of the mercury bogey man.

SHRIMP: This popular shellfish has a moderate omega-3 rating but it is the number one seafood on the market. Some fear that it has too much cholesterol for weekly consumption but a serving of shrimp per week has little or no negative impact upon our cholesterol levels and it is an otherwise lean, omega-3 containing protein.

The World Wildlife Fund is currently working with the shrimp-farming industry to create better practices; so if you are going to buy shrimp, buy American for now until the rest of the world gets on board. The healthiest fish for us (and for the planet) are the smaller fish. Sadly these are used as bait or “chum” and include delicious species like herring and sardines. Both weigh in with as much, if not more, omega-3 as salmon and are cheap and plentiful. The bonus of eating these fish is that it helps to create a more sustainable fishing industry and healthier oceans for us and the planet.

From: http://bit.ly/dHg9hQ

How much fish do you eat a week?

_ _ _ _ _

Reading this, garnered this response from my fingers on keyboard, of which I have posted on the bcsalmonfacts.ca website and is currently being moderated:

ummm, yeah, seafood is important folks — but maybe we need a gentle review of the reality of fish stocks around the world.

Here’s a link to the United Nations FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture website:

What does it suggest there?:

“75% of the major marine fish stocks are either depleted, overexploited or being fished at their biological limit”

Yes, tuna is cheap… at the supermarket. However, the true cost of making tuna cheap… not cheap. Tuna stocks around the world are in deep shit.

What does the UN FAO say about aquaculture?:

“Aquaculture is rapidly increasing its annual global harvest and seems to offer hope for increased food production. However, for some of the more than 210 farmed aquatic animal and plant species, 8 particularly salmon and shrimp, the methods currently used require high energy inputs and can cause environmental degradation similar to industrial/chemical agriculture or factory farming of livestock.”

Hmmmmm

what else?

“The high protein feed for farmed salmon is largely composed of ocean caught fish meal and meat offal from poultry and hog processing. Because of bio-accumulation of toxins in their feed, consumption of farmed salmon even at relatively low frequencies results in elevated exposure to dioxins and dioxin-like compounds with commensurate elevation in estimates of health risk.”

Interesting.

what about those shrimp sources?

“Farming of shrimp in Asia has lead to significant destruction of natural mangrove ecosystems.

Genetically engineered fish are being readied for commercial production in open net pens.”

Sorry, but it’s not a pretty picture out there. We can’t simply continue to bury our head in the fish feed and pretend everything is alright out there.

The fact that folks don’t want to heed the warnings that have been coming for years on the state of the ocean and world’s fisheries is the “silly and not helpful” part. (sorry to say).

Please state all the “facts” if you really want to be transparent on this website.

thanks,
www.salmonguy.org

_ _ _ _ _ _

And, to be somewhat fair, there is some mention of some of the issues out there in the ocean… I did get a chuckle out of the “buy American in the meantime comment”… right, because if it’s made in America it means it’s more enviro responsible? (in some cases it may very well… however it still reeks of PR-speak)

And: “We need to count on farmers as we always have, and urge them to do their most conscientious job of getting food on our tables.” Come on…

Sorry, this is called an ethnocentric view, meaning: “the tendency to believe that one’s ethnic or cultural group is centrally important, and that all other groups are measured in relation to one’s own. The ethnocentric individual will judge other groups relative to his or her own particular ethnic group or culture, especially with concern to language, behavior, customs, and religion.” (Wikipedia)

To Ms. Albert the original writer of this article: there is in the world, even today, a few folks that could be referred to as “hunter-gatherers”… they didn’t really ‘count on farmers as we always have.’

I’m not suggesting that the world’s population where it stands now could necessarily continue in a hunting-gatherer lifestyle… however, if we’re all about stating “facts” in an “open and transparent” manner then lets try our best to not simplify everything to the lowest common denominator and forget half the facts.

That’s like trying to make bread or cake with only half the flour… and we know what the result of that is… wet, sloppy, glop that we end out having to flush down the toilet.

(oh right, and let’s not forget the fact that there is this huge movement afoot in North America surrounding food security including: community gardens, 100-mile diets, organic farming, self gardening and so on, as opposed to chemical intense, industrial, genetically modified factory farming.)

_ _ _ _ _

Curiously, if you follow the link to the article that “bcsalmonfacts.ca” decided to post, there’s a curious thing on the bottom:

Excerpted from Ace Your Health by Theresa Albert, Copyright © 2010 by Ezra Levant

[Jan. 23 update, quite curious to find out where blog posts travel to and who might be reading them… the joys of social media. I received this email Sunday Jan. 23 in relation to the information in this blog post below:

Hello Mr. Loewen,

I am writing from McClelland & Stewart, the publisher of Theresa Albert. You posted a blog entry on January 12, 2010 in response to an article Albert contributed to the Toronto Star’s Best Health website titled “Why  You Need to Eat More Fish.” The piece was syndicated by other media outlets but was initially published here http://www.healthzone.ca/health/dietfitness/diet/article/919804–why-you-need-to-eat-more-fish

Upon publication, the credit information for the source material of the excerpt contained a major typo – listing Ezra Levant as the author of Ace Your Health instead of Theresa Albert. This was a simple cut-and-paste error on the part of the Toronto Star. They pulled the format of the credit tag from a past excerpt (by Ezra Levant) to attach to this piece and substituted Theresa’s name and the title of the book in the appropriate places. Unfortunately, they missed one substitution and published the piece with “Ezra Levant” included. This was quickly corrected.

Ezra Levant had absolutely no involvement with this book. It is only fair to your readers to remove the portion of your article associating him with Theresa Albert’s opinions and research.

Thank you,
Josh Glover
Publicity Manager
McClelland & Stewart

Keep this in mind as you read the material below. However, also keep in mind the comment that the point here is not to make direct connections… it’s more to compare the PR tactics, as mentioned below. Simply seemed like a bit of a stretch of a coincidence… and sure enough it was. ]

Who is Ezra Levant?

Well… this is curious… he is “a is a Canadian lawyer, conservative political activist and media figure” and has a blog that he suggests is: “Opinions and articles by a conservative activist.”

And, well, if you read some of Mr. Levant’s posts, or his books, he’s on the same campaign, if not maybe assisting, PM Harper and “Environment” Minister Kent to sell “ethical” properties of the Canadian Tar Sands — (as opposed to the environmental merits… or lack of). As one of his blog posts asks, do we want oil from Saudi Arabia or Alberta?

Well… there is a part of me that asks: oil from Saudi Arabia has been fine for the last few decades, why not now? This is certainly not to suggest where my preferences lie on this issue — it’s more the whole: good for the goose, good for the gander thing. Nobody makes much of a stink about oil from the Middle East when oil reserves in this part of the world were less developed (not that I noticed anyways, I might be wrong…); now that we have increasingly developing oil reserves (e.g, tar sands and potential in the Arctic), let’s start riding the “ethical” train and painting those other sources with the bad, boogey-man brush.

Where were those ‘ethics’ a decade or so ago when that apparently ‘unethical’ oil was fueling much of North America’s ‘growth’?

_ _ _ _

Even more curiously, Wikipedia lists Mr. Levant’s recent work:

From 2009 until 2010, Levant worked as a lobbyist for Rothman’s Incorporated, a manufacturer and distributor of tobacco products.

Well, that is curious isn’t it? (maybe to some folks anyways…)

Everyone’s free to choose whatever career they like, and have opinions on whatever they like, and lobby for whatever they like (if they’re registered, that is).

For those folks out there that didn’t like my mentioning salmon farming, tar sands, and cigarettes in the same post — the connecting of the dots in this particular case starts to make those sorts of comparisons… not such a stretch. (and really, as mentioned in some comments, it’s not to meant to suggest a comparison of those actual industries… it’s more to compare the PR tactics).

This PR-spin mobile continues… and not one I plan to hang over my toddler’s crib.

22 thoughts on “…bcsalmonfacts.ca begins the slippery slide down, down, down: Zombie facts, half truths, and connecting some dots.

  1. GJW

    Come on, the Ezra Levant connection is a bit ridiculous.

    You might as well call into question Theresa’s other story about eating yogurt and hemp seeds: http://www.healthzone.ca/health/dietfitness/diet/article/915280–ace-your-health-what-your-body-wants-for-breakfast

    “OMIGOD Ezra Levant holds the copyright, I just don’t know if I can trust yogurt for breakfast anymore!”

    Besides it’s likely false.

    Here is what I consider a likely scenario. Albert and Levant both have new books coming out through McClelland Stewart. The “Healthzone.ca” story, the source on BC Salmon Facts, accidentally plunked in a copyright disclaimer at the end with Levant’s name instead of Albert’s. This was probably an error on the publisher’s part, copy-pasting disclaimers into press releases for distribution to different blog sites.

  2. salmon guy Post author

    fair enough. thanks for the comment, and glad you read the whole thing and left the comment.

    I was simply throwing it out for consideration… and it may very well be ridiculous, or an error, or whatever else — but then being a little silly and ridiculous has been one of my joys in keeping this blog going. And frankly, folks get to choose whether they want to continue to read or not. It’s not like I benefit financially from the number of readers of the blog or am looking to direct more people to this site, or start my own “fact” fixing site, and so on…

    As mentioned a few times, the real point of these posts is to consider PR tactics and to ponder the various tactics in use. Especially, when the PR-machine in use impacts public resources, impacts wild salmon, benefits from significant provincial and federal grants, etc. There’s a few older posts that talk about how ‘marketing is everything and everything is marketing’…

    I certainly don’t purport to have all “the facts”, or to get “the real story out”. Any organization that takes that on… better have their facts straight. Unfortunately, it appears that the ‘facts’ in question on the site in question are comprised of significant pieces of PR-spin, and some are compromised by the ensuing vertigo…

    but then that’s all open for opinion, ridicule, and whatever else. And, at the same time — as commented — I respect and appreciate the effort and the engagement. That’s commendable.

    I do appreciate the comment, as certainly, one of the other intentions of this site was to motivate salmon conversation…

  3. GJW

    Thanks. I enjoy reading your blog, even if I don’t agree with you all the time but hey, the world would be boring if we all agreed. Thanks for being willing to look at all sides and talk about them.

    One more thing though… you talk about the “PR Machine” benefiting from provincial and federal grants? Like what? Far as I can tell, the feds put way more into fisheries (funding small craft harbours, etc) than they do aquaculture. And Canada’s aquaculture sector gets nothing compared to what American aquaculture and fisheries sectors get. Look at the emergency money fisheries in Alaska and California got last year, getting tens of millions of tax dollars to not fish. And the American freshwater aquaculture industry got millions from the government last year because their feed prices went up!

    The B.C. industry does not benefit from anywhere near the amount of money that fisheries gets, or American equivalents get.

    The latest pro-farm PR campaign looks to be funded out of their own pocket, not by any tax dollars. I wonder if the Alaska salmon marketing association can say the same?

  4. salmon guy Post author

    thanks for the response, in turn… yes, and our marriages and other family relationships would also be boring if we all agreed… (or maybe not…).

    It’s not necessarily that I suggest that the PR machine is being funded by provincial and federal grants… I have no doubt that Marine Harvest or Grieg or otherwise can afford this campaign… simply that the aquaculture industry in BC has certainly benefited significantly from government grants. For example, in 2008 DFO announced a $70 million over 5 years for aquaculture research & development:
    http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/aquaculture/sustainable-durable/sustainable-durable-eng.htm

    Intentions suggest the goal is to double that by 2010… (although a small court case that changed how aquaculture is managed might have shifted things a little). Plus there’s this ‘conflict of interest’ problem that starts to enter the equation when a government dept responsible for enforcement is also funding expansion of the same industry.

    Yes, I think you’re probably dead on in your comments surrounding government bail outs for commercial fishing sectors — but Canada’s aquaculture industry has also benefited from tens of millions of dollars of gov money. The industry has also benefited from a shoddy, poorly managed Treaty process and other factors — although this may turn out to be a detriment in the long run for the industry.

    I certainly haven’t done enough research, or freedom of information requests (not that i do any of these) to give a fair comparison between what fishing sectors have benefited from as compared to aquaculture. Fisheries sectors would win almost every time though, as there are also subsidies that many of us wouldn’t even consider (for example, your correct pointing out of small craft harbors, fuel subsidies, license buybacks, etc.).

    Search older posts on this site and you’ll certainly find some criticism of those subsidies — PICFI for example – Pacific Integrated commercial fisheries initiative – and its license buy back programs, and other poorly planned and thought out subsidies.

    Don’t get me started on things like the Alaskan salmon marketing association; not that I have a beef, or farmedfish, with them particularly — just search Marine Stewardship Council on this blog… or Walmart.

    thanks again, hope you continue to enjoy the read… as you might imagine, I have a lot fun doing the writing…

  5. LAL

    We could feed the goldfish all the culled geese.

    “Something got your goose?”
    “Yeah, my Goldfish…”

  6. Adams River

    I am new to the bcsalmonfacts.ca site and I noticed your reply to the nutrition post.. It is no mystery that farmed salmon fish (and even wild salmon) have concentrations of PCBs (Polychlorinated biphenyls), mercury and even dioxins. In fact, there was a 2004 paper on this in Science (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/303/5655/226). This is what started the fire storm of controversy. Fish farm critics like the Suzuki Foundation picked up on this and then made it out to seem that farmed salmon was bad for your health. It found that levels of certain contaminants were significantly higher in farmed salmon as opposed to wild salmon.

    Personally, I do not have a big issue with the findings; however, I do take issue on how it was interpreted to the public by anti-fish farm groups. People really need to put some of this information into perspective, read journals on this subject and use some common sense. First, the concentrations of PCBs we are talking about are extremely small (in the parts per billion or million). In fact the levels found in farmed salmon in the 2004 Science study were less than 1/80th of the acceptable concentrations established by Health Canada (which is 2 ppm). That is extremely small. It is true that PCBs and dioxins have been linked to cancer; however, let’s weigh the risks of not eating farmed or wild salmon if your goal is to be factual and transparent about all this.

    http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/296/15/1885.full
    http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/surveill/other-autre/fish-poisson/index-eng.php

    Clearly the benefits of eating salmon whether it is farmed or wild salmon far outweigh the risks. An individual is at much greater risk of CHD (Coronary Heart Disease) than from cancer caused from PCBs or dioxins. You do not have to take my word for it either. The risks of eating fish with trace concentrations of PCBs vs. the greater good for public health speak for themselves. If critics of fish farms are that concerned with eating farm salmon because of fears of PCBs then they might want to reconsider their consumption of chicken, pork and beef. As PCBs are lipophillic (bind to fat more readily) you will likely find more of them in meats that contain more fat. Bon Apetit while you enjoy that juicy steak and have that warm, glowing feeling like you are saving the world from those nasty fish farms and people eating those farmed salmon!

    As for which has more Omega-3, I believe this is a needless point to debate. A person is much better off consuming either farmed salmon or wild salmon regardless which has more Omega-3.

  7. salmon guy Post author

    that’s not a bad idea at all.
    Just imagine if we could combine a possible 15,000 culled geese from east coast Vanc. Is., with a good dose of culled rabbits from Uvic, we could get those feed conversion rates for farmed salmon right down… throw in some culled midget deer from Haida Gwaii (an introduced species gone crazy), and we’re onto something.

    then we could market it as “organic gold fish” … no gold dye… sustainable-feed fed.
    that’s a fact… (not a myth…)

  8. salmon guy Post author

    thanks for that. I agree with the bulk of your points — and, yes, I hold the same opinion on some of the PR campaigns launched by some enviro NGOs. Seems some things are focused on for the wrong reasons.

    And, yes, you are exactly right in your concluding statement that a person is much better off consuming either farmed salmon or wild salmon regardless of the Omega-3 content. And, yes there are benefits to eating either salmon, as say, compared to factory-farmed beef or poultry, for example.

    Where some of the fats hit the artery (as opposed to rubbers hitting roads) for me is: matters of choice due to impacts, and where do the benefits of the industry accrue?

    There is probably much more damage to one’s body being done by fire retardant chemicals in every day products like clothes, vehicles, etc. or released from non-stick cookware then the danger of increased toxins in salmon (farmed or wild). The simple fact of the matter is that when you eat anything higher on the food chain, there are increased concentrations of everything. Or, if one drinks orange juice made from concentrate… that means pesticides, etc. are more concentrated in the end product.

    And, of course, all this is a mute point if one dies in a car crash in a ridiculous rush hour rollover… (car crashes being a much more common cause of death then PCB poisoning)

    Where the choice factor comes in, is things like the 100-mile diet, trying to buy veggies and produce from local farmers, buying local beef from 4-H kids, free range chickens, and so on. What are the larger impacts of our food choices? When it comes to farmed salmon, as I keep alluding to, the jury is still out on the potential impacts to the BC coastline and wild salmon populations and other sea-living critters.

    Plus… the bulk of salmon farmed in BC are exported. This means that the impacts are something BC coast dwellers (and potentially inland migrating salmon run areas — like the Adams River area) may have to bear to support restaurants and supermarkets in the U.S. and elsewhere that cater to the folks that can actually afford to buy any fresh farmed salmon in the first place.

    Is this an impact that folks in BC are willing to accept as a trade off for some jobs and a bit of tax revenue? Or, are there other alternatives?

    thanks again for taking the time to leave a comment.

  9. kd

    You cant blame the fish farm industry for finally adopting PR techniques like the enviros have been using for years….But, this doesnt really help any ‘neutral’ person really make informed decisions imo.

    I want more frankness and openness from fish farmers. Show me the bottom underneath a fish farm on video and prove it is not a dead zone of fish fecal matter etc. Prove, as best you can, that the densities of lice around your farms do not overload juvenile salmon.
    And to be precautionary, voluntarily shut down operations during smolt outmigrations or sensitive times.
    In other words be more proactive, but not with PR spin which this debate is overloaded with. The old ‘actions speak louder than words’ type thing.

    So, overall for this discussion fish farmers employing the same spin tactics as enviros leaves alot to be desired. If farming isnt bad…prove it openly and clearly. If certain facets of farming are doing some harm admit it and find ways to fix it….then maybe joe average can have some faith in what is said on websites.

    For better or worse, any industry will always be looked at skeptically when it comes to its environmental record…It’s basic human nature to think corners will be cut when it comes down to the bottom line vs nature.
    This extra burden of proof required to come clean has hit the fish farming really hard…and you are nowhere close to satisfying the public’s belief threshold right now that you are what you claim you are.
    keith

  10. salmon guy Post author

    thanks Keith, well phrased. I used your comment in today’s post, hope that’s alright. It was well timed when it arrived on the site.

    I tend to think similarly… with all the spin on all sides it’s hard to stop the vertigo for a minute and separate the morsels of actual truth and fact. Not that it’s some clear “answer”, it largely comes down to acceptable impacts and who is making the call.

  11. GJW

    I just wanted to add one more thing… David you point out that most of farmed salmon is exported. This is true. Ever wonder why? Ever wonder why some big B.C. grocery stores, i.e. Overwaitea and PriceSmart, don’t stock much if any farmed salmon? It’s all economics, and controlling your own supply chain. The Pattison group owns Overwaitea and PriceSmart. It also owns Canfisco, the biggest fishing fleet in B.C. and it also owns GoldSeal, one of the largest salmon canneries. It also owns processing plants in Alaska, and distribution centres in Washington State. The Pattison group has a vested interest in not stocking its competitor’s product, and has a lot to gain from selling wild B.C. fish when it’s in season, and frozen-at-sea or canned Alaskan product all the rest of the year.
    That’s fine, that’s business. But it’s too bad that it means a grown-in-b.c. product which supports Canadian jobs can’t find a place on the store shelves of the province’s most prolific grocery chain.

  12. salmon guy Post author

    yes, true enough. It’s a good point, and certainly something I’ve commented on in previous posts — Pattison Group having a good corner on the wild salmon market. However other large outlets like Costco, Canadian Superstore, Safeway, Walmart, etc. do a decent job of selling farmed salmon. Part of the reason Pattison probably hasn’t got into the farmed salmon market at a large scale is that he’s a small fish compared to the likes of Grieg and Marine Harvest and the giants that own them.

    However, exactly as many folks have pointed out in various comments and otherwise… I think a pretty big reason why this grown-in-bc product is not sold more in supermarkets and restaurants is the success of the various market campaigns. “friends don’t let friends eat farmed salmon” and so on…

    curiously, and i’ve brought this up in government hearings or otherwise, farmed salmon is not the biggest agricultural export in BC — marijuana is by far. And thus, one more half truth on the website… To be a ‘fact’ the statement about being the largest agricultural export should say “legal agricultural export”. And thus, your comment about the grown-in-bc product (which also supports lots of Canadian jobs) that can’t find a place in the legal marketplace… also applies to BC bud.

    Now, marijuana was legalized and farmed salmon was made illegal… what sort of irony would that be?

    As the logging industry learned the hard way, market pressure and market campaigns can be immensely successful. Just sheer pounding pavement with not much more than some passion and desire. Doesn’t mean these campaigns are necessarily fully right all the time, but certainly some valuable lessons in there.

  13. Jason Prack

    Lets be perfectly clear here:

    This is just another arm of the Salmon Farmers’ lobbying and only serves to muddy a clear cut issue; namely that the conclusive scientific data showing the environmental and ecological destruction caused by open-net open-water salmon farming practices.

    There is no debating the preponderance of published and peer-reviewed science documenting how past and current industry practices are THE CAUSE of: farmed fish escape and cross species contamination; sea lice infestations of wild salmon stocks; diseases caused by huge concentrations of harmful super-bacteria bred of rampant antibiotic use infecting the ecosystems surrounding farming operations; sea-floor dead zones centred on open-net operations….
    The list is extensive and all of it is published peer-reviewed scientifically proven fact.

    Yet here we have yet another Canadian industrial lobbying group whose interest is not in finding solutions to an untenable business model, but whose sole existence serves the sole purpose of muddying public debate and delaying legislative regulatory action that would undoubtedly lead to a declining bottom line for these industrial polluters.

    What we are witnessing in these large budgeted TV and internet misinformation campaigns is tantamount is nothing more than industrial economics in full retreat.

    As more and more consumers choose to remove this toxic product from their menus, the industry has a choice: 1) they can address the foundational issues at the heart of this debate by employing a sustainable operational model such as land-based, filtered ocean-water fed closed-pens which would eliminate the ecological disaster caused by escaping fish and oceanic contamination; or 2) hire industrial lobbyists to pursue these disingenuous PR campaigns.

    Both options have a significant price tag attached. But the latter is justified because the environmental costs are not included in the economic model. P&L sheets do not as yet reflect the reality of the long-term damage being wreaked on our oceans.

    As Canadians, we must recognize that our lands, rivers, oceans and ecosystems are our common heritage, and their destruction is a loss is not just some abstraction. The management of our natural resources must be included in a new operating economic model. The current system which allows foreign interests to profit by destroying our wildernesses at zero cost to them must end now.

    Say “NO” to farmed salmon. They have options… so do we.

  14. Sean

    FYI, a 3 oz piece of Salmon has as much fat as a 6 oz steak, and therefore is high in fat, and is not that great for you, new studies show. That whole think is a myth. Fish bacteria grows extremely rapidly, that is what the “fishy” smell is, and by the time is works its way through your 70′ digestive track, it is rotten. Also, farmed fish are injected with a dye, to give it that “pink” colour. Salmon farms get to select what colour Pink they want. This can’t be good for you! Also, they are schooled together in a tight nit environment, and fresh water is not filtered through effectively enough, therefore, they are ingesting each others feces, and then you consume it! Gross! Wild Salmon are the “filters of the ocean waters. There are millions of tonnes of raw “heavy metals” such as mercury, lead, copper, etc. and other poisonous chemicals pouring into the ocean each year from factories, and the fish consume this up in their diet and environment. Then it gets into you. Wonder why we’re sick?
    Think twice before eating farmed or “fresh” Salmon or other fish.

  15. salmon guy Post author

    yeah, you bet. marketing is everything and everything is marketing…
    WWF — the World Wildlife Fund became severely co-opted over the last many years — like so many other ‘environmental’ organizations that stood up against things for quite some time. (for example, read any posts on the Canadian Boreal Initiative — co-option at its finest.)

    The WWF was also involved in the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) formation and work (a “partnership” between WWF and consumer good giant Unilever, which now includes partnershps with WalMart). They, WWF also have/had some curious partnerships, or funding arrangements with big oil and others… for example a “partnership” between WWF and Shell in Africa: http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/where_we_work/project/projects_in_depth/gamba/our_solutions/
    “The purpose of the WWF & Shell agenda is to strengthen understanding of respective interests and optimize synergies for improved conservation and sustainable management of natural resources…”

    It’s too bad, however, I suppose the reality of ‘environmental’ organizations that run on “corporate” models. Eventually, becoming big bureaucratic behemoths is somewhat unavoidable. And many of them become like ‘blackholes’ sucking most funding and other resources (like people) into co-opted roles and responsibilities.

    This Aquaculture certification (ASC) process is just one more fine example…

    It’s like the recent partnership between the Nature Conservancy of Canada and Enbridge.
    Something begins to smell in these sort of partnerships… maybe it’s the leaking pipes…?

    Or maybe, its the ‘executives’ that free-flow between big business corporations… and big corporate enviros… and government… (look at Harper’s recent appointment to Chief of Staff coming over from Onex – big oil… not surprising, just fishy… excuse the pun).

  16. Priscilla Judd

    when riches in nature are found on this planet –
    someone decides that we need to consume it.
    so someone starts drilling and someone starts killing
    then someone starts selling and someone gets rich
    when someone gets rich – someone always gets sick
    then everything ends in the water somewhere
    so our oceans are dying – wild fish are declining
    no longer can nature be rich in the ocean
    killing the ocean means killing our planet –
    the only blue planet in all of the universe made by our ocean
    here’s hoping for hope for wild fish surviving
    somewhere

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