BCSFA fires back at William Shatner


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
August 2, 2009

The British Columbia Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA) is firing back at actor William Shatner, who in a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper last week asked that salmon farms be removed from wild salmon migration routes off northern Vancouver Island.

Citing Department of Fisheries and Oceans research, farmed salmon and wild salmon can coexist, and sampling yielded no Lepeophtheirus salmonis (the most common sea lice species) on juvenile pink salmon in Broughton Archipelago in March, when the fish are most susceptible to sea lice, said Mary Ellen Walling, BCSFA executive director.

British Columbia salmon farmers “are proud to operate in the most stringently regulated environment of all producing countries, to produce the province’s largest agricultural export and to generate jobs and opportunities for thousands of people in coastal communities,” said Walling.

In his letter to Harper, Shatner, an avid angler, said, “There is one thing you could do tomorrow that would benefit the wild stocks enormously and all your citizens who depend on this fish — remove salmon farms from wild salmon and steelhead migration routes and encourage the industry to reinvent itself on land where other, more sustainable species could be trialed.”

Shatner is best known for his role as Captain James T. Kirk in Star Trek. But in a 2005 episode of Boston Legal, Shatner, who plays a lawyer on the TV show, and another lawyer go on fly-fishing excursion in British Columbia and end up taking salmon farmers to court over sea lice infestations.

Alexandra Morton, who has led the fight against British Columbia salmon farmers, told the Times-Colonist newspaper that she piqued Shatner’s interest in sea lice while he was filming the episode in Broughton Archipelago.

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