On the West Coast, few subjects are as controversial as salmon farming. Every week, new studies raise alarming questions about the safety of farmed fish and the risk farms pose to the environment. But federal, provincial and state governments continue to support expansion of fish farms all along the coast. People are justifiably confused. Just what is the case against this new ocean-based agri-biz, and how concerned should we be? A Stain Upon the Sea is an indispensable critique of fish farming practices used in British Columbia and abroad, featuring an all-star cast of contributors. Journalist Stephen Hume examines the industry through the eyes of the Nuxalk and Heiltsuk Nations and incorporates case studies from Ireland and Alaska. Historians Betty Keller and Rosella M. Leslie explain the development of the industry in BC, from small family operations to large chain farms owned by a handful of multinational conglomerates. Biologist Alexandra Morton analyzes the biology of sea lice in the pink salmon runs in the Broughton Archipelago. Former federal employee Otto Langer gives an in-depth account of the bureaucratic nightmare that exempted the industry from environmental review. And scientist Don Staniford analyzes the chemical stew that farmed fish are raised in and the health risk this poses to humans. A Stain Upon the Sea is a must-read for anyone concerned with the quality of the food they eat and the environmental health of the planet.
About the authors
Stephen Hume was raised in fishing, farming and logging communities across Alberta and BC and studied at the University of Victoria. A journalist for over 35 years, Hume was editor-in-chief at the Edmonton Journal before moving to BC to become columnist and feature writer for the Vancouver Sun. He has won more than a dozen awards for his poetry, essays and journalism, including the Writers Guild of Alberta Literary Award, the Southam President's Award and the Marjorie Nichols Memorial Award. Stephen became the first Canadian to win the Dolly Connelly prize for environmental writing. His other books include Raincoast Chronicles 20: Lilies and Fireweed, Bush Telegraph and Off the Map, which was shortlisted for a Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Book Prize. He currently teaches professional writing at the University of Victoria.
Alexandra Morton is a field biologist who became an activist who has done groundbreaking research on the damaging impact of ocean-based salmon farming on the coast of British Columbia. She first studied communications in bottlenosed dolphins and then moved on to recording and analyzing the sounds of captive orcas at Marineland of the Pacific in California, where she witnessed the birth, and death, of the first orca conceived in captivity. In 1984, she moved to the remote BC coast, aiming to study the language and culture of wild orca clans, but soon found herself at the heart of a long fight to protect the wild salmon that are the province's keystone species. She has co-authored more than twenty scientific papers on the impact of salmon farming on migratory salmon, founded the Salmon Coast Research Station, has been featured on 60 Minutes, and has been key to many legal and protest actions against the industry, including the recent First Nations-led occupation of salmon farms on the Broughton.
Rosella M. Leslie is co-author of Sea Silver: Inside British Columbia's Salmon Farming Industry. She was born in Edmonton, Alberta and now lives in Sechelt, BC.
A former federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans biologist, Otto Langer is now the Director of the Marine Conservation Program for the David Suzuki Foundation and one of DFO's most outspoken critics. Langer is considered one of Canada's leading authorities on the issue of open net cage salmon farming.
Don Staniford, M.Sc., has acted as a Director of the Salmon Farm Protest Group in Scotland. He has spoken in opposition of salmon farming in Brussels, Chile, Australia and New Zealand. In 2002, he received a British Environment and Media Award in recognition of his work exposing the illegal use of chemicals on Scottish salmon farms. Don now works as Director of Aquaculture Research for Friends of Clayoquot Sound in Tofino on Vancouver Island.
Dr. David Suzuki has made it his life's work to help humanity understand, appreciate, respect and protect nature. A scientist, broadcaster, author, and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation, he is a gifted interpreter of science and nature who provides audiences with a compelling look at the state of our environment, underscoring both the successes we have achieved in the battle for environmental sustainability, and the strides we still have to make. Both inspiring and realistic, he offers leading-edge insights into sustainable development and model for a world in which humanity can live well and still protect our environment.
He is familiar to television audiences as host of the CBC science and natural history television series The Nature of Things, and to radio audiences as the original host of CBC Radio's Quirks and Quarks, as well as the acclaimed series It's a Matter of Survival and From Naked Ape to Superspecies. David was the recipient of The Canadian Academy of Cinema and Television's 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award.
An award-winning writer and former faculty member of Harvard University, Tara Cullis has been a key player in environmental movements in the Amazon, Southeast Asia, Japan and British Columbia.
She was a founder of the Turning Point Initiative, now known as the Coastal First Nations Great Bear Initiative. This brought First Nations of British Columbia’s central and northern coasts into a historic alliance, protecting the ecology of the region known as the Great Bear Rainforest.
In 1990 Dr. Tara Cullis co-founded, with Dr. David Suzuki, the David Suzuki Foundation to “collaborate with Canadians from all walks of life including government and business, to conserve our environment and find solutions that will create a sustainable Canada through science-based research, education and policy work.” Tara founded or co-founded nine other organizations before co-founding the David Suzuki Foundation.
Tara has been adopted and named by Haida, Gitga’at, Heiltsuk, and Nam’gis First Nations.
Miriam Fernandes is a Toronto-based artist who has worked as an actor, director, and theatre-maker around the world. Recent directing and creation credits include Hayavadana (Soulpepper Theatre), Nesen, (MiniMidiMaxi Festival, Norway) The First Time I Saw the Sea (YVA Company, Norway). She is currently is co-writing/adapting for the stage the ancient epic, Mahabharata (Why Not Theatre/Shaw Festival), is developing a Deaf/hearing production of Lady Macbeth (in partnership with 1S1 Collective), and is the co-writer of What You Won’t Do for Love with Drs. David Suzuki and Tara Cullis. Miriam is the recipient of the JBC Watkins Award and was nominated for the inaugural Johanna Metcalf Performing Arts Prize. She is also the co-artistic director of Why Not Theatre and has trained with Anne Bogart’s SITI Company, and is a graduate of École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris.
Toronto-based stage director Ravi Jain is a multi-award-winning artist known for making politically bold and accessible theatrical experiences in both small indie productions and large theatres. As the founding artistic director of Why Not Theatre, Ravi has established himself as an artistic leader for his inventive productions, international producing/collaborations and innovative producing models which are aimed to better support emerging artists to make money from their art.
Ravi was twice shortlisted for the 2016 and 2019 Siminovitch Prize and won the 2012 Pauline McGibbon Award for Emerging Director and the 2016 Canada Council John Hirsch Prize for direction. He is a graduate of the two-year program at École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq. He was selected to be on the roster of clowns for Cirque du Soleiiel. Currently, Sea Sick, which he co-directed, will be on at the National Theatre in London, his adaptation of The Indian epic Mahabarata will premier at the Shaw Festival, and What You Won’t Do For Love, starring David Suzuki will premier in 2021.
Terry Glavin is a well–known author and winner of the Lieutenant–Governor's Award for Literature in 2009. He is the author of many books, several of which have been finalists for the Governor–General's Award and the BC Book Prizes. The Last Great Sea won the Hubert Evans Non–Fiction Prize. His books include A Death Feast in Dimlahamid (1990), Nemiah: The Unconquered Country (1992), A Ghost in the Water (1994), This Ragged Place (1996), The Last Great Sea (2000), and Waiting For The Macaws (2006).
Victoria–based freelance writer Ben Parfitt is the author of Forestopia: A Practical Guide to the New Forest Economy (1994) and Forest Follies: Adventures and Misadventures In the Great Canadian Forest (1998)
- Winner, Roderick Haig-Brown Award BC Book Prizes
"For those concerned about the mounting threat posed by salmon farming on the BC coast, a new book by six well-known local authors is a must-read."
-The Fisherman Magazine
"In case you've spent the past decade in an ashram somewhere, there is a debate under way surronding captivity-raised salmon and the underwater farms where they're grown...This series of essays by a groups of experts paints a chilling picture of an industry that is devastating the environment and the wild-salmon runs of British Columbia...My advice is simple: don't read this book before heading to bed. Anybody who has ever cut into a juicy fillet of farmed Atlantic salmon is bound to have nightmares about the frightening array of dyes, pesticides, insecticides and fungicide...that has been pumped into these fish."
-John DeMont, Canadian Geographic
"[The authors] have synthesized the various threads of danger posed by salmon farming to the wild Pacific salmon in an informative book, A Stain Upon the Sea: West Coast Salmon Farming. ... In western society, citizens caught stealing from corporations are severely punished, but when corporations steal the right of citizens to a clean environment and healthful food they are too often unpunished and seldom penalized harshly. As A Stain Upon the Sea illustrates, this is a scenario that must be changed -- the continued existence of wild Pacific salmon may depend on it."
-Kim Petersen, Dissident Voice, Press Action
Dissident Voice, Press Action
"A Stain Upon the Sea is a must-read for anyone concerned with the quality of the food they eat and the environmental health of the planet."
-Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform
Read the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform review
Other titles by Stephen Hume
A Walk with the Rainy Sisters
In Praise of British Columbia's Places
Early in the Season
A British Columbia Journal
In Search of Modern British Columbia
Raincoast Chronicles 20: Lilies and Fireweed
Frontier Women of British Columbia
Off the Map
Western Travels on Roads Less Taken
British Columbia's Cattle Country
Discovering the Pacific Province
Seasonal splendors of the North American West
Other titles by Betty Keller
A Biography of Pauline Johnson
A Thoroughly Wicked Woman
Murder, Perjury and Trial by Newspaper
Pender Harbour Cowboy
The Many Lives of Bertrand Sinclair
Bright Seas, Pioneer Spirits
A History of the Sunshine Coast
British Columbia's Working Tugboats
First Aboriginal Voice of Canada
Forests Power Policy
The Legacy of Ray Williston
Other titles by Alexandra Morton
Other titles by David Suzuki
Bompa's Insect Expedition
The Sacred Balance, 25th anniversary edition
Rediscovering Our Place in Nature
What You Won’t Do For Love: A Conversation
The Declaration of Interdependence
A Pledge to Planet Earth—30th Anniversary Edition
Tree, A Life Story
Just Cool It!
The Climate Crisis and What We Can Do - A Post-Paris Agreement Game Plan
Managing Economic Growth to Reduce Unemployment, Inequality and Climate Change
A Letter to My Grandchildren
Living Things We Love To Hate
Facts, Fantacies & Fallacies
Everything Under the Sun
Toward a Brighter Future on a Small Blue Planet
Other titles by Terry Glavin
Shifting Currents At The Heart of the Fraser
Come from the Shadows
The Long and Lonely Struggle for Peace in Afghanistan
Waiting for the Macaws
And Other Stories From The Age Of Extinction
Last Giants in the River of the Black Dragon
The Last Great Sea
A Voyage Through the Human and Natural History of the North Pacific Ocean
Confronting Crisis in Pacific Fisheries