Jes Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman magazine and NationalFisherman.com.
Friday, 16 December 2011
While most of Congress is steadily working toward the megabus solution that will keep the country running, Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) was tasked yesterday with the unenviable assignment of hearing testimony on genetically engineered salmon.
I must admit I am baffled that while environmental groups often fight tooth and nail to keep fishermen off the water, we are even debating the possibility of growing genetically engineered fish and mining at the headwaters of the largest sockeye salmon run in the world — Bristol Bay, Alaska. Where is the precautionary approach when you need it?
Pebble Mine and Frankenfish have no place in an eco-conscious country until or unless they are fully vetted and proven to pose no risk to wild populations.
But that's impossible, you might say.
So be it. We do enough tinkering with our ocean habitats simply by overdeveloping our waterfronts and failing to protect the watershed from agricultural runoff.
Add genetically manipulated aquaculture and strip mining to that list, and what chance do the fish have, realistically?
It would only be a matter of time before something unpredictable and detrimental happened.
Why risk it?
We might as well genetically engineer a fish with a target on its back.
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