Zealots continue their steadfast fight against aquaculture

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Ahead of the Heard

A recent visit to the far west of Vancouver Island revealed that fish farms remain in the sights of green groups. They have been around for almost 40 years, providing safe, affordable seafood on a consistent basis to consumers, whilst providing employment in remote areas of the west coast. The odds are that if you have eaten salmon recently, you have eaten B.C. farm-raised salmon. But if zealous green lobby groups have their way, it’s unlikely most consumers will ever be able to afford to eat healthy salmon again. Their goal is to see fish farms closed and allow only scarce and expensive wild salmon to be sold, that will put this health food beyond the reach of most regular folks — what an elitist attitude — but that is typical of most green and animal rights lobby groups.

The ever-creative propaganda machine of the anti-salmon farm lobby industry has to be admired. They have now resorted to calling salmon farms fish feedlots. That’s right, by painting a negative connotation of cattle feedlots, they have cleverly transferred that imagery to fish farms — particularly as it relates to livestock manure and fish droppings. It’s a promotion angle that probably works, being most of the public knows almost nothing about agriculture and is gullible enough to believe any negative image, and it helps that manure is generally seen as toxic waste by squeamish city folks.

It helps, of course, that most consumers have no idea that the meat and dairy products they eat comes from feeding animals in confined spaces — think about eggs, pork, chicken, even milk — they are all fed in feedlots one way or another. Come to think of it, vegetables, grains and oilseeds are also raised in feedlots — plant feedlots.

Like livestock, they are selected, fertilized and kept healthy and growing with chemicals all together in confined areas. I suspect even those condemning feedlots would starve to death if all feedlots were banned. But that may be too much common sense.

Another PR angle that the anti-salmon farm lobby industry seems to be exploring to tarnish the image of those trying to make a living from fish farming is the killing of seals. That might sound vaguely familiar to those that recall the 40-year battle that zealous lobby groups have waged against the east coast seal hunt. In the annals of lobby group enterprises, it is the best of all protest businesses — based on the cute innocence of fluffy baby seals being clubbed to death by evil locals. With a continuing supply of dim-witted celebrities to promote the cause, it yielded an annual bonanza of donations from the gullible. Well, if it worked on the east coast, why not on the west coast.

But the west coast seals in question aren’t cute and fluffy as those in the east — they are full-grown adult seals and sea lions that tend to be cranky, noisy, foul-smelling and prone to tearing apart their prey. … And the PR battle goes on.

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