British Columbia farmers alert about wrong data issued by anti-salmon farming campaigners

British Columbia farmers alert about wrong data issued by anti-salmon farming campaigners

The statements hint that salmon farms are a "primary cause" of declines in wild salmon

BC Salmon Farmers Association has alerted about the latest Bob Chamberlin "inaccurate" statements to the media. The trade organization represents over 70 businesses involved in the value chain that grows fish in British Columbia.

For this reason, Ruth Salmon, Interim Executive Director at BC Salmon Farmers, denounced: "In his eagerness to ride the wave of good news about the potential strong returns of many species of Pacific salmon returning to rivers in B.C. this year, Chamberlin has severely misrepresented historical data and relied on speculation to try and prove his unwavering belief that there is a relationship between wild salmon returns and salmon farms."

According to the organization, Mr. Chamberlin speculated that the closure of some salmon farms in the Broughton Archipelago area in 2020 will result in a strong return of pink salmon returning to the Ahta river this year to spawn.

Consequently, she confirmed: "However, the facts are there is no causative link, let alone a correlation, related to salmon farm activity and salmon returns. Pink salmon returns are very volatile, so much so that one can cherry pick a single river in any year and make up a story to support their belief."

For example, a total of 907 salmon returned in 2020 and Chamberlin stated this number as 200, BC Salmon Farmers advised. In addition, 11 salmon farms were active during the outmigration (moving from rivers to open sea) for these salmon (March 2019).

Finally, she noted: "For many years, we've frustratingly been witness to anti-salmon farming campaigners going to media early with speculation and anecdotes to influence negative headlines about salmon farming in British Columbia. The facts – that never receive the same exposure from media as the criticisms – have not once supported these allegations."

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