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.


  • Winner, Roderick Haig-Brown Award BC Book Prizes 2005


"[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

"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

- The Fisherman

"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

"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

- Canadian Geographic