By Megan Ardyche - Appeared in the Comox Valley Record June 13, 2017

I read with interest the letter in the June 6 edition, regarding microplastics contaminating shellfish in Baynes Sound.

I was surprised to read that, according to the Denman Island beach clean-up people, the biggest source of plastics in the Sound is from the shellfish industry itself tossing its plastic waste in to the water (three to four tons annually). I would have thought and industry would not contaminate its own product, but especially an industry that calls itself ‘sustainable’.

Then, on the next page, there is an article about the BC Seafood Expo trade event, which is “bringing together renowned seafood and aquaculture industry leader, businesses and educators.”

One of the speakers will be talking about “the challenges and opportunities marketing can bring when changing a negative perception into a positive one,” and using marketing to change “the conversation of reputation management.”

So, putting these two ideas of contamination and marketing together, it looks like the B.C. shellfish industry is more interested in using marketing to change the public’s perceptions of it’s practices - of using and tossing harmful plastics and thereby contaminating the shellfish supply - rather than changing the practices themselves.

Megan Ardyche

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