Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Reaching Out to the "Go Wild" Kayaking Expedition

A couple of days back, an employee at one of BC Salmon's member companies passed along a blog post from Phil Magistro and Apryle Craig, a married couple from Colorado who are planning to take a kayaking adventure this Spring that will take them from the coast of Washington state, up the British Columbia coastline and eventually to Alaska.

But Craig and Apryle aren't there just to have fun, they're also looking to, "examine and document the effects of salmon farming on the environment and coastal communities."

Here's more:
As part of their investigation, Craig and Magistro are making plans to:

* Document the salmon farms and surrounding environment through photography, videography, and written reports.
* Attend a salmon farm tour.
* Interview First Nations and Canadian residents from various industries along the route regarding their knowledge about and stance on salmon farming.
* Actively participate in salmon research.
* Promote sustainable seafood choices and encourage people to “Go Wild,” by supporting sustainable fishing and ocean-use practices.
* Build awareness for “The Eyes and Ears of the Coast” program and encourage the coastal community to participate.
* Educate the community about the threatened state of pink and chum salmon.
* Raise donations for Living Oceans Society with funds going towards the preservation of the magnificent coastal environment.
As you might imagine, BC Salmon has taken note of the trip and wanted to reach out to the couple. The following is a note Mary Ellen Walling of BC Salmon sent to them just a few minutes ago.
January 13, 2009

Dear Phil and Apryle:

Earlier this week an employee at one of the salmon farms here in British Columbia passed along a link to the post on your blog announcing your plan to kayak your way from Washington state along the British Columbia coast all the way to Alaska. It sounds like a wonderful adventure, and as someone who moved to the west coast of Canada many decades ago in part because of the incredible natural beauty in this region, I know that your trip will be filled with memories that will last a lifetime.

Like you both, my industry shares your concern about the local wild salmon population. At the same time, we also believe strongly that decisions about our environment not be based on emotional appeals and anecdotal evidence, but on a solid foundation of scientific research. I saw in your blog post that your trip will include a trip to a local salmon farm here in BC, and I'd like to offer you not only an opportunity to visit one of our farms, but also to get a personal briefing from some of our aquaculture scientists on the latest developments in our industry.

Needless to say while the salmon farming business shares many of the goals of local environmental preservation advocates, we often differ significantly when it comes to how we go about achieving those goals. In many cases, we believe that our operations have been characterized unfairly, and we'd like the opportunity to set the record straight.

Here's hoping that you take us up on our offer. In the meantime, good luck with your planning and best wishes for a safe journey.


Mary Ellen
If and when we hear anything back from the couple -- and whether or not they take Mary Ellen up on her offer -- we'll let you know.

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