Sea-Silver: Inside British Columbia's Salmon-Farming Industry
Contains Photos, Maps, Bibliography, Index
Patrick Colgan is the executive director of the Canadian Museum of
Nature in Ottawa.
Sea-Silver is fascinating, if disturbing—a book that chronicles the
ups and (mostly) downs of the controversial salmon-farming industry. The
authors deftly weave together all of the disparate elements: large and
risky investments, absentee owners and widespread bankruptcies, labor
issues, changes in global markets on both the supply side and the demand
side, aquacultural methods for feeding and health, hatchery genetics and
disease epidemics, environmental pollution and releases into the wild,
technical optimism in the face of biological warnings, competition with
commercial fisheries and landowners, destructive weather and algal
blooms, and tardy and ineffective political action.
The book is well researched and lightly illustrated. The text is blunt
and factual. Some discussion of the global context in which this
industry has been developing (e.g., the growth of bioengineering),
comparisons with other resource-based industries, and prospects for the
future would have been welcome. Nonetheless, Sea-Silver provides a
valuable wake-up call, especially for those who still regard
technological ingenuity as a guarantee of success.