||September/October 2004 issue||
Farms at sea
This is not fishing. It isn’t even remotely like fishing," says John DeMont,
the Halifax-based magazine journalist and author who researched and wrote our cover story
on Canada’s salmon-farming industry.
We asked DeMont to visit salmon farms and help readers sort through
the critiques of environmental groups and the boosterism of the industry’s supporters.
We wanted his story to answer two critical questions: Are farmed salmon safe to eat? What
impact do they have on the marine environment?
What he found is an industry based in scenic bays, inlets and sounds that, at first blush,
could be mistaken for net-fishing operations. In fact, they might better be described as
factory farms, where every aspect of the production process is closely controlled.
"A good many of the owners come out of the scientific community. They are a very interesting
and well-educated group of people," says DeMont, whose last story for us on ethanol
fuel appeared in the May/June 2004 issue. "They think
of themselves as feeding the world. But do they ever feel persecuted by the critics. Still,
they know things can’t stay as they are, that they have to address the environmental
concerns about their operations."
DeMont’s story is illustrated with photography by Paul Nicklen,
perhaps Canada’s best known and most accomplished wildlife and underwater photographer.
Some of the images from his shoot have already been published by our friends at National
Geographic, and have earned him a World Press Award for Best Nature Photojournalism.
Also in this issue, James Raffan climbs into the cab with a big-rig trucker to provide a
portrait of the working life on Canada’s busiest highway. Trevor Herriot treads carefully
in Lethbridge, Alta., where wildlife officers and municipal authorities are helping make
space for rattlesnakes within city boundaries. Brian Gorman profiles Olive Dickason, whose
research and writing have transformed what we know and how we think about aboriginal history.
David Simms opens the album of photos he shot during his year as a young teacher in a Newfoundland
outport. Joel Yanofsky makes a pilgrimage to Montréal’s Saint Joseph’s Oratory.
In "Mosaic," photographer Richard Hartmier visits a Yukon
roadside restaurant that serves cinnamon buns the size of dinner plates. And in our back-page
column, "In habitat," Merilyn Simonds prunes and restores an apple orchard planted
more than 80 years ago.
Finally, congratulations Marci McDonald and Linda Goyette. McDonald won gold in the Health
and Medicine category at this year’s National Magazine Awards for "Smog sleuth" (CG May/June
2003), her profile of scientist Tom Hutchinson. Goyette won a silver medal in the Politics
and Public Interest category for "The X files" (CG Mar/Apr
2003), her story of how at the turn of the last century many Metis were swindled out
of their land.
— Rick Boychuk