Based on the nearly hysterical, national angst generated by fish escaping from broken cages on an Atlantic salmon farm in the San Juan Islands, an impartial observer might have concluded that there had been a jailbreak and dangerous criminals were “on the loose.” In the minds of some environmental activists, Atlantic salmon escaping into the natural habitat of Pacific salmon is the ecological-environmental equivalent of a jailbreak by hardened criminals. Many of these activists believe that any species that did not evolve naturally in a given ecosystem simply does not belong there. Further, they believe that any fish escaping from a hatchery or farm are certainly invasive, will reproduce in vast numbers, and establish new colonies of the invaders that will destroy the “balance of nature.” Really? Is an escape of farm-reared fish always a catastrophe; important enough to draw media attention coast-to-coast?
Published in Floaters & Sinkers