TRANSCRIPT - Vivian Krause Interview #2
Krause is the Corporate Development Manager for Nutreco in
Is farmed salmon the biggest threat to endangered wild salmon? Would
it help to eliminate salmon aquaculture all together?
No. What we
think is important is to be in touch. Some of the vociferous critics
of salmon farming have never been to a salmon farm. We think it's
important for them to come and see how things are really being done.
How we are addressing issues. How we're solving dilemmas. If people
have constructive criticism, we're listening. There are generalizations
being made about salmon farming. If there are actionable concrete
suggestions we'll act on those. What's important is to get beyond
the rhetoric and start with the reality of what's happening on the
begins with acknowledging that there are risks. Like there are for
every way of farming, including fishing, and every human endeavour.
We begin by acknowledging those risks, and we've developed what
we call the environment program which is a way of developing farm
practices for minimizing those risks. We believe that if we are
doing things carefully and properly we can operate our farms in
a responsible way. We grow a great food and we provide a livelihood
in small communities where there are not many opportunities. As
an industry, in the last decade, we focused on technology, techniques
of farming, capitol investment, re-anchoring our farms, developing
ways for growing fish, and taking care of the environment.
Where we failed
is in communicating our progress to the public. We haven't kept
the public up to date of the many advances and improvements that
we've made. So now there's a disconnection between the way people
think farms operate and the way they actually do. As an industry
we have a lot of work ahead to keep the public trust. Salmon farms
are mostly in remote locations so few people have actually come
to visit a farm. Even the worst skeptics, when they come and see
a farm and see how we actually do things, go away confident that
salmon farming can be done, and is being done in a responsible way.
Sockeye is a disease that gets out of hand in a salmon farm, but
in nature it doesn't get out of hand. It also represents a clear
and present threat to wildlife. How can this be changed?
Disease is a
reality of all types of farming including salmon farming. Our experience
has been, with regular monitoring and managing of our farms, we
can raise our fish in a sustainable way. The risk of disease will
never be eliminated. But with careful monitoring and treatments
as necessary, it's manageable. That's every farmer's challenge.
What do you think about the lice problem? Does the lice problem
in salmon farming affect wild salmon migrations?
Lice are a natural
part of the marine environment. It wouldn't be normal if there were
no lice. When we monitor carefully and treat as necessary as prescribed
by our veterinarian, lice don't overpopulate. It's the management
of the farm that's vital. Monitoring and treatment are necessary.
We find that as long as we stay on top of things, we can manage
our farms in a responsible way. It meets the expectations of the
communities that we are working with.
begins with listening to the local communities that we're working
with. Here in Jackson Pass we followed the recommendations of the
Kitasoo when it came to locating the farms. That's very important
because they know, based on generations, what is here in the pantry
of the community. We work together, combining their traditional
knowledge with some of the things we learned based on new techniques
and technologies. We've been able to locate our farms with the satisfaction
of the local community and also meet our business requirements.
How does improper placing of a farm contribute to the problems that
have been so publicized?
Locating a farm
to meet the expectations of the local communities is very important.
You have to get it right from the get go.
What are some of the variables involved?
Here in British
Columbia we have a huge coast. There are plenty of options for where
to locate farms so that the expectations of communities are met
and so are the needs of the companies. I think if we work together
we can work it out.
From a company point of view, what kind of respect is there for
us to operate our farms in such a way that we do not harm wild salmon
populations. We take that very seriously.
What's your position on genetically modified fish?
that are involved in research would probably love for a company
like ours to be interested, but we're not. We are not involved,
we have not been involved, and we have no plans to be involved in
raising genetically modified fish.
Salmon is a
great food the way it is. We have other priorities that we are working
on. With new vaccines we have dramatically reduced the use of antibiotics.
We're using less than a tenth of what we were using 10 years ago.
In Scotland last year, we didn't use any antibiotics at any of our
44 farms. We don't yet have a vaccine for sockeye disease. That's
a priority for us.
What about the genetic pollution issue? What's at stake in terms
of potential escapes?
There is a risk
of salmon escaping. But the reality is that most salmon farms in
B.C. haven't had any escapes in the last three years. That's because
of re-anchoring, stronger nets, routine maintenance of the nets,
and well-trained people working at the farms that can dramatically
reduce the risks. Every choice in farming carries advantages and
disadvantages. Each species has its own advantages and disadvantages.
With Atlantics, one of the factors is that they cannot reproduce
with Pacific species. That's an advantage. There are other advantages
as well. The Atlantics grow better in the colder waters of the central
coast. In farming Chinook, we face that fact that we are farming
a species with which we share the environment. So it's all the more
important to us to ensure that we keep our fish in the pens and
that they don't escape.
There's a report coming out saying farmed salmon have more PCBs
and dioxins in the fat tissue.
I can't comment
on a report that I haven't seen.
How would you address that problem?
All I can say
is that it's important that the results of any study be correctly
interpreted. What has happened in the past is that results have
not been correctly interpreted and the numbers have been taken out
of context. I hope that won't happen again.