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Fishy facts Mr. Fleetham

Editor: There are a number of misleading errors contained in Mr.


There are a number of misleading errors contained in Mr. Fleetham's letter (Coast Reporter, May 14) attacking the efforts of both Alexandra Morton on Vancouver Island to have open salmon net pens exiled to land and of local organizer Jane Degnan to show support for this effort.

First, he is flat out wrong to claim that these efforts are aimed at eliminating fish farming. The issue is to get them on dry land so sea lice are quarantined and the water containing salmon feces can be filtered and recycled. In fact, there is a report, just released, titled Technologies for viable salmon aquaculture - an examination of land-based closed containment aquaculture, which can be found on-line, and shows that land-based aquaculture is doable and profitable.

Mr. Fleetham's claim that humans living along the rivers used by spawning salmon are a major problem is ludicrous. Sorry, Mr. Fleetham, but the most serious issue salmon face in rivers, aside from feasting bears, is the sad fact that the gravel beds where salmon lay their eggs have been repeatedly silted over through decades of inadequate logging practices, causing embryonic salmon to suffocate.

Regarding Mr. Fleetham's claim that it is the seal behind the salmon declines is also silly when viewed historically. As seal populations have never succeeded at exterminating salmon, it would seem that the two have existed in balance for millions of years.

The real problem has to do with us - that we humans have not yet learned how to live in balance with our source of life - our environment. And until we do, all our children are doomed to pay the price.

Please, Mr. Fleetham, do some research before passing untruths on the public. And, Coast Reporter, you could screen letters for this, too.

Brad Benson