Against fish farming

To the editor:

Thank you for the March 30-31 Daily Mining Gazette weekend edition article by Staff Writer Stephen Andersen, entitled “Baraga County job research data revealed.”

By publishing this story, the Mining Gazette has done the heavy lifting the Western Upper Peninsula Planning & Development Region should have done before even suggesting fish farming in Lake Superior as an economic development initiative.

I am a Keweenaw Bay Indian Community tribal member. When I read about the plan to introduce fish farming in Keweenaw Bay, I went straight to my leaders, the KBIC tribal council, to warn them about the pending threat.

There is a plethora of science and other data demonstrating that fish farming is a bad idea. A 23-year study in Finland is one that I like the best. It’s entitled “The case of columnaris disease in Finland intensive fish farming and the evolution of pathogen virulence.”

By itself, this study would make any reasonable person disregard aquaculture in Lake Superior as a non-starter. But my research shows that it’s not a particularly strong economic initiative, either, when you carefully look at the many failed examples of fish farming all over the world.

Here’s the bottom line: Keweenaw Bay is essential to the purposes for which the L’Anse Indian Reservation was created. Please think about that from both a practical and legal perspective.

If you want to pick a fight with the KBIC, which I doubt WUPPDR is looking to do, propose activities that threaten our waters.

My advice to WUPPDR is to run – not walk – to the KBIC tribal council and ask for a meeting with them. They are reasonable people who take the concerns of all in our community to heart in everything I’ve seen them do. After all, community survival is the Indian way.