Letter: Salmon Confidential plays loose with the facts

To learn about salmon farming in British Columbia please visit B.C. Salmon Farmers Association at www.SalmonFarmers.org.

To the editor:

I would never stop anyone from seeing a movie they might enjoy.

So, if you really want to watch a documentary called Salmon Confidential, please do and bring popcorn.

But for the majority of the population who have retained their ability to think critically, it’s fair that they know some important facts about this film.

Salmon Confidential has been produced for a reason—because the plot in this movie failed to impress experts at the Commission of Inquiry into the Decline of Sockeye Salmon in the Fraser River.

This same hypothesis—that foreign viruses from fish farms are killing wild salmon—was presented as witness testimony from the main actor, Alexandra Morton, to the inquiry.

However, after hearing from expert witnesses (veterinarians and fish virologists) Justice Bruce Cohen concluded that the “data presented during this Inquiry did not show that salmon farms were having a significant negative impact on Fraser River sockeye” (Final Report, Volume 3, p. 24, column 2).

Additional recommendations from Cohen asked for continuation of fish health data for wild, hatchery and farm-raised salmon to help confirm his findings and salmon farmers have agreed to these additional recommendations.

Cohen’s conclusions seem to have not sat well with Alexandra Morton.

So, she repeats her story again in this one- hour movie. The difference this time is that her story goes unchallenged.

Add some dubious editing, testimony manipulation, character assassination, misrepresented lab reports and omission of vital facts about salmon migration and fish health and you have a very compelling, yet completely fictional story.

It is disappointing that activists choose to misrepresent an important business to B.C., one that employs thousands on our coast, is our largest agricultural export and provides a healthy seafood for a growing population while helping to conserve wild salmon stocks.

However, I remain confident that there are many more viewers who have retained their ability to think critically and want to test the accuracy of this film’s claims.

If you want to learn more about the specific errors and false claims made in this documentary, please visit Salmon Confidential Exposed at www.SalmonConfidential.com.

To learn about salmon farming in British Columbia please visit B.C. Salmon Farmers Association at www.SalmonFarmers.org.

Ian Roberts,

Marine Harvest Canada,

Campbell River