September 1, 2011
To the Editor:
I am writing in response to the article entitled Blue Revolution Revisited by Inka Milewski in the September, 2011 edition.
For over 30 years, salmon farmers have shared a working waterfront with the traditional fishing sector, and this article does a disservice to our communities and our citizens by fear mongering based on selective reporting, old data and misinformation.
Ms. Milewski based her commentary on the observations of a group of hand-picked participants – hardly what anyone would describe as an unbiased sampling. The document she cites is not backed by credible research and doesn’t include any input from our region’s salmon farmers, some of whom have farmed these waters for decades.
I think it’s important to point out to your readers that the observation of a few does not reflect the reality of what’s happening in our region’s marine environment. I suggest your readers choose factual evidence over kitchen table stories. Check the records of lobster landings. Catches have remained steady or increased in the 30 years since salmon farming started in New Brunswick. Look through the underwater cameras on established salmon farms to see the marine life alive and well and active below the net pens. Read the publicly-available sulphide counts on farms.
Absolutely every aspect of salmon farming is based on credible science and research from veterinarians, marine biologists, ecologists, scientists and regulators.
To point to a single farm site or to harken back to the way things were in the early days of the industry is not an accurate reflection on how modern salmon farms operate.
When it comes to the environmental sustainability of our industry, we base our farming on facts, not anecdotes, and we are held accountable for our practices. Ms. Milewski needs to be held to the same standard of accountability.
Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association