On Dec. 17, Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan announced that all farms in the Discovery Islands are to be free of fish by June 30, 2022. (Black Press file photo)

On Dec. 17, Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan announced that all farms in the Discovery Islands are to be free of fish by June 30, 2022. (Black Press file photo)

LETTER – It’s time for the salmon farm industry to quit dragging its heels and accept the federal ruling

Dear editor

There is a curious human behaviour known as ‘shifting baseline syndrome’ as described in J.B MacKinnon’s book The Once and Future World. As stated in the book, our baseline shifts, and we forget what of the natural world we have lost with every new generation.

For example, on a local level, consider the drastic reduction in the size and number of salmon found in our waters. The Comox Valley once boasted a Tyee Club. In the 1920s, there are records showing over 100 Tyee salmon caught in a two-day period with the largest being 60 pounds (Project Watershed newsletter). I’ve lived here long enough to witness the ‘boom and bust’ of the coho stocks. In Campbell River, up to the 1980s, avid fishers regularly caught their limit with ease.

Unfortunately, by the later decades of the 20th Century, there was already enough over-fishing, ocean pollution, global warming, dam construction and poor forestry practices to have a drastic impact on salmon health and population. It’s unthinkable to me that at the same time, when such an iconic species was already being so negatively impacted, a foreign creature would be introduced and farmed in our waters. Unfortunately, our governments allowed salmon farming to grow to such an extent that now the industries’ employees, as quoted in the Comox Valley Record Feb. 3 (Impending north Island salmon farm closures causing uncertainty) rely on the occupation as a dependable job, seeing the work as ‘secure’ and ‘sustainable.’

For the most part, we adapt and forget, living the norm of the current generation. We keep lowering our expectational bar. The current 21st-century norm on our B.C. coast has been open-net fish farms, even though our American neighbours to the north and south have wisely chosen against the industry.

When will the salmon-farming industry stop dragging its heels and accept the federal announcement of phasing out all fish farms by 2025? And how about starting some responsible re-training for all the industry employees that will be out of a job? When will industries stop seeing past their own self-regulating lobbies and look at the big picture of our current climate crisis and the necessity of protecting our ocean?

Tourism, commercial and recreational fishing, and not to mention the oceans’ creatures, are all at stake.

Jane Dunnett,


Fish FarmsLetter to the Editor

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 exposure at sixth Comox Valley school in past eight days

Island Health has posted an exposure alert at a sixth Comox Valley… Continue reading

Artist Sandra Meigs will be the next speaker in NIC’s online 2021 Artist Talk series, appearing virtually on Friday, March 5 at 1 pm. For the full schedule and link to attend the Artist Talk Online Series, visit https://nicart.tickit.ca/. (Photo: The Glass Ticker (2017) — 15’ X 9’ X 5’, wood, enamel, lights, aluminum, glass, automata. Photo by Toni Hafkenscheid.)
Celebrated artist and mentor joins North Island College Artist Talk series

North Island College’s virtual 2021 Artist Talk series welcomes Sandra Meigs, past… Continue reading

The Coast Range makes a spectacular backdrop for orca heading towards Discovery Passage of Campbell River Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. Photo by Frank Neil
Island wildlife viewers thrilled by close view of passing Orca pod

Group gives wildlife photographers a classic opportunity to view them off Campbell River shoreline

Dasher is back home with mom Christine Girvin thanks to some help from BC Ferries staff. Photo supplied
The cat came back, with help from Comox ferry staff

After Dasher made a dash, ferry staff found her and got her home safe

A rendering of the Denman Green plans for the Kirk Road site. Image, DHA/Ronan Design
Denman Green finds new site for housing

Facing COVID delays, the project reached expiration date on initial site

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A boat caught fire in Ladysmith Harbour on Saturday morning. (Photo submitted)
Search underway for missing woman after boat catches fire in Ladysmith harbour

A large boat caught fire on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 27

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Photo: Lt. Sandy Pridmore, MARS Darlene Banerd, MARS, Warren Warttig and Captain Rob Stevens show the new automatic external defibrillator (AED) that will be located at the MARS facilities located at 1331 William Beach Road, Black Creek. Photo supplied
Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society adds AED to Williams Beach Road location

Submitted Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society (MARS) has collaborated with the Comox Firefighters… Continue reading

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

Most Read