Viable future for wild salmon fishery if industry takes action

Posted: Monday, October 20, 2003

My compliments to you on an excellent editorial "New opportunities for salmon industry there for the making," Oct. 17. As a longtime British Columbia commercial fisher, and one deeply involved in addressing the issues you raise, I think a lot of people could and should respect and respond to your challenge through positive action.

I couldn't agree more, there can and will be a viable future in the wild salmon fishery, but there are issues that must be addressed. I believe too much focus was and sadly still is put into the can and not enough high quality fresh salmon put into the marketplace to challenge the farm industry.

If faraway places like Chile can get day of slaughter fresh salmon into the lower United States, cannot Alaska or even British Columbia do the same?

Clearly in British Columbia there is not enough wild salmon to challenge the position of the worldwide scope of the farm industry's influence in the marketplace, but Alaska has the ocean fresh quality of her salmon to, at the very least, challenge the high-end marketplace with the very best salmon imaginable.

We here could and should be doing the same, albeit our response will naturally be in a much smaller niche, but challenge it we all can, if, as you ask, we have the courage and fortitude to rise up to the challenge.

Your article suggests some interpretations for "change." I'll add another: "Change is the only thing in life that is constant."

If we wish to have and-or to leave a viable future in a resource so strong, it is incumbent on each of us to acknowledge that simple fact of life and move forward, if not just for ourselves today, then at the very least for those who would follow in our footsteps, so long as we have the courage to ensure there is a viable future for them to follow.

Fred and Linda Hawkshaw Prince Rupert, British Columbia

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