The delicate balance between wild and farmed salmon continues
By: Dana Michell
WHAT: MY Place Speaker Series
WHERE: MY Place
WHEN: Saturday, June 28 at 8 p.m.
Next time you tuck into a tasty salmon steak, or pop some of the smoked morsel onto a cracker, you may want to spare a thought for the trouble brewing in the deep blue sea and beyond. Far past your dinner table, theres a passionate battle raging about B.C.s finest fish and unless youve been hiding under a rock lately, its dividing the nation.
The debate centres on whether the Canadian government should be pouring money into farmed salmon aquaculture a cheaper, safer and more plentiful option according to supporters or whether it should be preserving conditions for unique and natural wild salmon, and the fishermen who want to conserve and catch them.
Admittedly, the arguments for and against on both sides of the river can be a little hard to swallow for most of us. Government studies, private evaluations, dodgy statistics, research rhetoric and bias from both sides have harmed credibility and caused confusion for the common taxpayer wholl bare the brunt of the eventual outcome we, the people.
This issue is definitely a little stomach churning at the end of a long day when all we want to do is eat our meal in peace, but its always good to know a little about a heated topic to raise, if anything, a healthy dinner table discussion before dessert.
MY Place and Astrids Fine Foods present an intellectual, educational and entertaining evening covering this fishy fight, and all in Whistler are welcome.
On Saturday, June 28 at 8 p.m., a leading authority from the fishing industry, Parzical Copes, will present the facts on fish stocks and stress the need for government policy balancing conservation and sustainable harvesting. Also on hand will be some local chefs serving their favourite salmon dishes, and renowned storyteller Dunc Shields will explore the cultural importance of B.C. salmon with stories and songs.
Copes, a p rofessor of economics at Simon Fraser University, is an advisor to Canadas Sustainable Fisheries Society (SFS) who work for healthy fish stocks and a viable fishing industry for all.
SFS President, John Radosevic said Canadas fishing industry (and what ends up on your plate) could end up to be just skin and bones unless balanced affirmative action and conservation practices are combined with sustainable harvests.
"A few years ago, the wild salmon industry was worth half a billion dollars. That value has now reduced to a tenth of what it was," said Radosevic. "And thats not because theres no salmon around, but management and regulation of the natural resource has changed so radically".