Trawling for fish farm support

Earlier, we reported North Island provincial Liberals have been distributing goodie bags in support of their salmon aquaculture resolution. Not surprisingly, that proposal - which calls on the party to continue to "support a risk managed, science based approach to salmon aquaculture" - passed unanimously earlier this afternoon. In an interview following that vote, the constituency association's event chair Barb Walker explained her riding introduced the resolution because, "In the North Island and the North Coast, (aquaculture) is a huge economic input into our communities."

"You know what - I've been to a lot of fish farms. And, you can tell by looking at them, where science is missing we need to use some common sense. Our eyes can tell us what we see. And we see clean, well-run farms. And, if you look in the systems, the wildlife that is growing there is just absolutely phenomenal. And, even in organic juices and stuff, those vegetables are grown in sea soil. So places like Happy Planet Juice" - Vancouver-Fairview MLA Gregor Robertson's company - "owe the salmon farming industry a vote of thanks for helping produce their organic fruit and vegetables. This is a good industry has taken a very bad rap. And it's been a very organized campaign against aquaculture. And it hurts the people of B.C."

Asked about the goodie bags supporting that resolution, Ms. Walker explained, "We just decided that we weren't going to do this as a half-measure. Our hearts are in this. Because, you know, 4,000 families - most of them from the North - depend directly on this industry. And, for myself, even though I don't work directly in the industry, our business is very much interconnected. And I have grown adult children that are trying to raise a family on aquaculture dollars. And there's just no need for the hysteria that's been going on and on and on. The same lies repeated don't make it truth."

Ms. Walker, the co-owner of Southside Welding Ltd., is also helped found First Dollar Alliance Society. She says her constituency association assembled 200 goodie bags at a cost of around $1,500.


The Liberals can troll all they want. Real fish don't do drugs. farmed ones do. They leave a lot of those drugs to fall out of the nets. But the big thing is that so many of us wouldn't eat the stuff if they gave it away.I even notice a few stores in this part of town who used to sell the stuff don't appear to carry it anymore. There has to be a better way to make the industry work and handing out goodies simply don't cut it. Yes a lot of jobs exist in the farms, but are there no other job possibilities in the upper Island? Those MLA sheep simply do what they are told by Gordon. wonder if he eats farmed salmon?

Science is in my blood... I'm trained as a scientist. On matters of health, science has to come first. As a scientist I've followed the mass morts issues in the fish-farm industry and some of the toxicity estimates.

My political interests are solutions: conservation, increasing diversity in the wild, sustainable environment and economics with fair allocations.

My point as an outside observer in this debate (and I'm staying out of provincial politics) is that by the time the fish debate gets to decision makers (including the public) all are hearing political ranker and noise. Where do the decision makers go for some non-partisan communication of meaningful information about this topic?

What are the safety concerns? What are the sustainablity issues? Are we nurturing the environment back to health or doing more damage? What are some of the constructive steps to solutions? Why can't you guys get this info out?

Political ranker tells me, and everyone else, nothing - except that you think themz there other guyz' points are bad... whatever themz points is.

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