A Stain Upon the Sea: West Coast Salmon Farming


86 pages
Contains Photos, Maps, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 1-55017-317-0
DDC 639.3'756'09711





Reviewed by Sidney Allinson

Sidney Allinson is Canadian news correspondent for Britain’s The Army
Quarterly and Defence. He is the author of The Bantams: The Untold Story
of World War I, Jeremy Kane, and Kruger’s Gold: A Novel of the
Anglo-Boer War.


In A Stain Upon the Sea, winner of the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional
Prize, the British Columbia fish-farming industry is taken to task by
writers who feel passionately about its potential damage to sea life. To
understand the issues, the average lay reader must master the book’s
descriptions of the aquaculture industry, chemicals, fish feeding, and
particularly the consequences of unchecked sea lice. Some of the
book’s claims, it should be noted, are being contested by a few
scientists who assert that the statistics quoted are “junk science,”
skewed to advance the writers’ arguments in a “misleading

In clear, jargon-free language, the contributors examine the issue
within the context of the world’s other farmed-salmon producing
countries before focusing on local pollution hazards in B.C.’s
Broughton Archipelago. The authors voice uncompromising hostility toward
the industry and governmental agencies, but they give the industry only
one page to explain its side of the story. The one-sided presentation
gave this reader the uneasy feeling there might be something fishy here,
in more ways than one.


Hume, Stephen, et al., “A Stain Upon the Sea: West Coast Salmon Farming,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 23, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/14732.