A Stain Upon the Sea: West Coast Salmon Farming

Overview

On the West Coast, few subjects are as controversial as salmon farming. Every week, new studies raise alarming questions about the safety of farmed fish and the risk farms pose to the environment. But federal, provincial and state governments continue to support expansion of fish farms all along the coast. People are justifiably confused. Just what is the case against this new ocean-based agri-biz, and how concerned should we be? A Stain Upon the Sea is an indispensable critique of fish farming practices used in ...
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Overview

On the West Coast, few subjects are as controversial as salmon farming. Every week, new studies raise alarming questions about the safety of farmed fish and the risk farms pose to the environment. But federal, provincial and state governments continue to support expansion of fish farms all along the coast. People are justifiably confused. Just what is the case against this new ocean-based agri-biz, and how concerned should we be? A Stain Upon the Sea is an indispensable critique of fish farming practices used in British Columbia and abroad, featuring an all-star cast of contributors. Journalist Stephen Hume examines the industry through the eyes of the Nuxalk and Heiltsuk Nations and incorporates case studies from Ireland and Alaska. Historians Betty Keller and Rosella M. Leslie explain the development of the industry in BC, from small family operations to large chain farms owned by a handful of multinational conglomerates. Biologist Alexandra Morton analyzes the biology of sea lice in the pink salmon runs in the Broughton Archipelago. Former federal employee Otto Langer gives an in-depth account of the bureaucratic nightmare that exempted the industry from environmental review. And scientist Don Staniford analyzes the chemical stew that farmed fish are raised in and the health risk this poses to humans. A Stain Upon the Sea is a must-read for anyone concerned with the quality of the food they eat and the environmental health of the planet.
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Editorial Reviews

The Fisherman
"For those concerned about the mounting threat posed by salmon farming on the BC coast, a new book by six well-known local authors is a must-read."
-The Fisherman Magazine
Canadian Geographic
"In case you've spent the past decade in an ashram somewhere, there is a debate under way surronding captivity-raised salmon and the underwater farms where they're grown...This series of essays by a groups of experts paints a chilling picture of an industry that is devastating the environment and the wild-salmon runs of British Columbia...My advice is simple: don't read this book before heading to bed. Anybody who has ever cut into a juicy fillet of farmed Atlantic salmon is bound to have nightmares about the frightening array of dyes, pesticides, insecticides and fungicide...that has been pumped into these fish."
-John DeMont, Canadian Geographic
Read the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform review
"A Stain Upon the Sea is a must-read for anyone concerned with the quality of the food they eat and the environmental health of the planet."
-Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform
Press Action Dissident Voice
"[The authors] have synthesized the various threads of danger posed by salmon farming to the wild Pacific salmon in an informative book, A Stain Upon the Sea: West Coast Salmon Farming. ... In western society, citizens caught stealing from corporations are severely punished, but when corporations steal the right of citizens to a clean environment and healthful food they are too often unpunished and seldom penalized harshly. As A Stain Upon the Sea illustrates, this is a scenario that must be changed -- the continued existence of wild Pacific salmon may depend on it."
-Kim Petersen, Dissident Voice, Press Action
The Fisherman
For those concerned about the mounting threat posed by salmon farming on the BC coast, a new book by six well-known local authors is a must-read.
-The Fisherman Magazine
Canadian Geographic
In case you've spent the past decade in an ashram somewhere, there is a debate under way surronding captivity-raised salmon and the underwater farms where they're grown...This series of essays by a groups of experts paints a chilling picture of an industry that is devastating the environment and the wild-salmon runs of British Columbia...My advice is simple: don't read this book before heading to bed. Anybody who has ever cut into a juicy fillet of farmed Atlantic salmon is bound to have nightmares about the frightening array of dyes, pesticides, insecticides and fungicide...that has been pumped into these fish.
-John DeMont, Canadian Geographic
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781550173178
  • Publisher: Harbour Publishing Company, Limited
  • Publication date: 10/22/2004
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Hume was raised in fishing, farming and logging communities across Alberta and BC and studied at the University of Victoria. A journalist for over 35 years, Hume was editor-in-chief at the Edmonton Journal before moving to BC to become columnist and feature writer for the Vancouver Sun. He has won more than a dozen awards for his poetry, essays and journalism, including the Writers Guild of Alberta Literary Award, the Southam President's Award and the Marjorie Nichols Memorial Award. Stephen became the first Canadian to win the Dolly Connelly prize for environmental writing. His other books include Raincoast Chronicles 20: Lilies and Fireweed, Bush Telegraph and Off the Map, which was shortlisted for a Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Book Prize. He currently teaches professional writing at the University of Victoria.

Alexandra Morton moved to the BC coast in 1979 to study the orcas that frequented the Johnstone Straits and Broughton Archipelago. In the 1990s, she began to study the collapse of an ecosystem from the impact of salmon farming. Morton has authored seven academic papers and published five books, including Heart of the Raincoast with Bill Proctor. She lives in Echo Bay, BC.

Betty Keller was born in Vancouver, BC, and moved to the Sunshine Coast in 1980. She is a teacher, mentor, editor and a writer, and has authored or co-authored eighteen books, including biographies, histories, plays and novels. She is a founder of the Sunshine Coast's Festival of the Written Arts and the Writers in Residence Program. Betty has won numerous awards for her literary work. She is an avid potter, gardener and fisherperson. Her most recent publication is a reprint of her 2001 novel, Better the Devil You Know (Caitlin). Caitlin Press also published, in 2010, her book, A Thoroughly Wicked Woman: Murder, Perjury & Trial by Newspaper.

Rosella M. Leslie is co-author of Sea Silver: Inside British Columbia's Salmon Farming Industry. She was born in Edmonton, Alberta and now lives in Sechelt, BC.

A former federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans biologist, Otto Langer is now the Director of the Marine Conservation Program for the David Suzuki Foundation and one of DFO's most outspoken critics. Langer is considered one of Canada's leading authorities on the issue of open net cage salmon farming.

Don Staniford, M.Sc., has acted as a Director of the Salmon Farm Protest Group in Scotland. He has spoken in opposition of salmon farming in Brussels, Chile, Australia and New Zealand. In 2002, he received a British Environment and Media Award in recognition of his work exposing the illegal use of chemicals on Scottish salmon farms. Don now works as Director of Aquaculture Research for Friends of Clayoquot Sound in Tofino on Vancouver Island.

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Table of Contents

Preface 9
Introduction 13
Fishing for answers 17
Sea-silver : a brief history of British Columbia's salmon farming industry 78
Any fish is a good fish : salmon farming and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans 123
Silent spring of the sea 145
Dying of salmon farming 199
Where do we go from here : a fish farm action plan from the David Suzuki Foundation 238
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