Anyone who has followed the net-pen salmon industry and its opposition over the past 30 years is familiar with its comparison to Big Tobacco or Big Oil. This is a reference to their business ethics, their use of science, lobbying and in particular how they spin the harmful impacts of their industry to gain the public's acceptance or just their complacent 'resignation' to its existence. Salmon Wars the book, explains the comparison between Big Tobacco and Big Fish and how corporations that cause harm utilize specific PR tactics to succeed, and they do - at least until such time the public catches up. The comparison to Big Tobacco or Big Oil is an underlying premise of the book, the tactics borrowed from their playbook are laid out over and over again in the various fish farm events detailed in the book. Likewise we felt this was a good starting point to sharing an introductory peek into the book. This will be a first in a series.
Special thanks to Catherine and Doug for allowing us to share some of their book here.
Select excerpts from the book's Introduction pages:
“,,,on a Sunday afternoon in January 2020 in Maine Bay, Nova Scotia, a small coastal community a few minutes from our home we went to a public meeting. A neighbour had sent us a notice that a group called the Twin Bays Coalition was holding a session to discuss plans by two multinational companies to locate more than twenty large open net salmon farms along the coast of Nova Scotia. Nearly thirty years earlier, we had seen a single small salmon farm create a dead zone on the seabed in front of Catherines’ parents’ home on Nova Scotia’s South Shore. The prospect of more farms was worrisome, and the warnings we heard in the crowded hall from environmentalist, lobster fishers, and ordinary folks reinforced our concerns.”
"The more we dug, the more the salmon farming industry began to seem like a combination of Big Tobacco and Big Agribusiness."
"For the next two years, we worked to understand the impact of open net salmon farms on the health of the planet and its people and to delve into the inner workings of the oligopoly that controls the market and the quality of what ends up on our dinner tables. What we found was a new Wild West created by globe-straddling salmon-farming companies that operate outside meaningful regulation. The more we dug, the more the salmon farming industry began to seem like a combination of Big Tobacco and Big Agribusiness. Just as cigarette manufacturers spent decades discrediting critics and concealing research, Big fish employs counter-science and public relations campaigns to undermine scientists and environmentalists who challenge its practices and products. Just as agribusiness turned to hyperintensive farming of cattle, chickens, and pigs on land, salmon farming exploded from small operations to industrial-scale feedlots on water. This unchecked expansion occurred because regulation remains weak and because governments tend to promote salmon farming at the expense of the environment and the health of consumers."
"Just as cigarette manufacturers spent decades discrediting critics and concealing research, Big fish employs counter-science and public relations campaigns to undermine scientists and environmentalists who challenge its practices and products."
"Getting farmed salmon to the world's tables does not have to be this way. We found innovators raising Atlantic salmon in land-based, closed-containment facilities where chemicals and antibiotics are unnecessary and where there is no threat to wild salmon. Studies show that consumers are willing to pay a premium for products raised or manufactured without damaging the environment or endangering their health. Land-based salmon farmers are trying to leverage that sentiment into a market for a more environmentally friendly and healthier product. Challenges remain for this disruptive new technology, but it offers hope for the future of the industry - perhaps the only hope. But just as the auto industry fought mandatory safety innovations like seat belts and air bags, Big Fish resists the logical transition from ocean-based farms to cleaner and safer land-based operations."
"For too long, the salmon farming industry has wrapped itself in a cloak of virtue, asserting that it is feeding the world and putting healthy food on our tables while discrediting the science that paints a contrasting picture - and resisting the only viable way forward. This book shows what is happening and what you are actually eating and how both could be much better."
End of excerpts.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS OF THE BOOK: "Frantz spent 37 years as a newspaper editor and reporter, sharing a Pulitzer Prize at The New York Times and serving as managing editor of the Los Angeles Times. After leaving journalism, he was chief investigator for the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Assistant Secretary of State in the Obama administration, and Deputy Secretary General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Collins was a reporter and prize-winning foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and contributed to The New York Times and Los Angeles Times. Upon leaving her newspaper career, she became a private investigator specializing in international financial fraud and corruption. They began work on Salmon Wars in January 2020 after hearing about the environmental dangers of salmon farming at a public meeting near their home in Nova Scotia." Read more about the authors here.
This new book was released on July 12th to many impressive reviews. PLB will be hosting a presentation and book signing event with the authors in Liverpool this September so stay tuned for more details. Below is a link for where to buy the book and search for local shops in NS that carry it, including in LaHave, Lunenburg, Annapolis Royal, and Halifax. Also avail online at Chapters and Amazon. (Note: Amazon has a free kindle reader app usable on tablets if you prefer to buy a digital copy but don't have a kindle device, check it out for an instant download option.) https://www.salmonwarsbook.com/buy Visit our Facebook page for links to the Book, for comments and to join the conversation.