I am proud of what we do, I love being part of an industry that was created to ensure sustainability. We operate under strict guidelines that are constantly evolving for the better. – Bruce Banta
I saw this piece recently by Bruce Banta, a BC salmon farmer and was reminded of the first time I wrote about Bruce and his vegetables garden…on an ocean farm.
Bruce is a passionate salmon farmer in the true sense of the word. Bruce Banta spent most of his life living on a small acreage, then worked as a caretaker on an island resort where he became interested in Aquaculture. He has always been connected to land and nature so it was an easy decision to study Aquaculture at a local college, a subject that focuses exclusively on working with life and water environment.
All it took for me, personally, to understand the importance of salmon farming in BC. was a visit to an ocean farm and a chat with Bruce Banta…three years ago.
Bruce Banta is still doing what he loves to do and he is damn proud of it.
I’m a salmon farmer, proudly.
By Bruce Banta
It’s not just a job. It’s not just a career. If all I wanted was a pay cheque I could pound nails or cut trees and go home every night. Like all farming, salmon farming is a vocation, a passion, a calling. For myself, perhaps a destiny.
One of my childhood heroes was an oceanographer named Jacques Cousteau. I remember hearing him talk about the need to stop raping the ocean and start farming it and the idea ignited my young imagination. My life led me a wandering route, but 40 years later it brought me back to the ocean and the farms of salmon.
At 50 years-old I earned an aquaculture diploma and entered the industry. 15 years later my enthusiasm for it has only grown. And anyone who knows me well knows that if I felt my job in any way harmed the environment or the creatures in it I would not have lasted 15 days.
I’ve worked in many industries, including manufacturing, construction, maintenance, and tourism. In none of those pursuits did I encounter a higher degree of transparency, integrity and accountability, than I have in salmon farming. Indeed, salmon farming stands out as one of the most heavily regulated and closely audited industries in Canada. In stark contrast to industries which are totally unregulated and unaudited and accountable to no one, like the protest industry.
I am a salmon farmer, proudly. Every day in the course of my duties I produce nutritious wholesome food, and in so doing ease the capture pressure on populations of wild salmon.
I am a salmon farmer, proudly. Every day in the course of my duties I strive to preserve the health and well-being of my stock, and of the ocean in which my stock is raised.
I am a salmon farmer, proudly. Every day in the course of my duties I gauge and record the ocean’s parameters to advance our knowledge and to track the ocean’s changes.
I am a salmon farmer, proudly. Every day I have an awesome job and I do an awesome job. And no number of fictitious stories or misrepresented photo-ops will diminish that.
Bruce Banta is also a published author of the novel, A Dead Man’s Chest.