Welcome, visitor!   Register   Login


Post an Ad
Menu Post an Ad

Film Festival 2015: The Pristine Coast

    Film Festival, Food & Entertainment    February 24, 2015

The following article was written by Robert McTavish as part of a series of articles about filmmakers coming to the Salt Spring Film Festival on March 6-8, 2015. Filmmaker Dennis Allen will be attending the festival and lead a discussion about the film. The filmmaker series is sponsored by Harbour House.

—————————–

The Pristine Coast

Scott Renyard trained as a scientist before becoming a filmmaker, and it’s evident in the thorough nature of his new documentary. Yet combing through the complex layers of the fish farming industry he acts the detective as well, revealing a dark undercurrent off British Columbia’s so-called “pristine” coast. The shocking results made him worry: “Are the conclusions I’m drawing correct?” Cue the years connecting the dots between countless research papers and government documents, because he soon found “every time I thought it was over, I would find something new.”

It all began modestly enough while fishing on the Vedder River fifteen years ago. Renyard noticed that Coho and Chum numbers were dropping. He had read about biologist Alexandra Morton’s study of the detrimental effects of west coast open net salmon farms, and wondered if there might be a connection. He called her, setting in motion a collaboration that began filming during Morton’s 2010 “Salmon are Sacred: The Get Out Migration” protest walk on Vancouver Island. The walk over, the story was just finding its legs.

“I’m a storyteller who is used to using the local to build up to a bigger picture,” Renyard says, “but you never know what’s going to happen in a documentary.” This picture grew though, now not just about wild salmon and fish farms but about all fin fish species and the sea-lice spread diseases that threaten them. From sockeye to sturgeon and all the way to herring, the trail expanded. “When I saw the herring, I knew,” Renyard says, and now he had to sift the story down from a four-hour long first cut – no easy task to clearly explain the issues. After all, Renyard “wanted the audience to understand the story’s dynamics from end to end, a piece that would help people know.”

People do need to know what so crucially affects their environments, but Renyard found both the federal and provincial governments have not always been eager to hear bad news in regards to trouble with our marine ecosystems. After all, it affects the financial bottom line. Thus, he dives into the murky struggle between common property fishing and privatized industry. With foreign corporate ownership and little regulation, Renyard questions how to keep our wild fish safe: “In a world without local stewardship, there’s no incentive to keep the greater ecosystem alive.”

And alive is the key word here. Renyard invokes the saying “no fish, no life,” because he’s found the stakes to be much higher than known before. Yes, he says open net farms help foster sea lice that spread fin fish diseases such as VHS – akin to the human Ebola – which can then collapse fish stocks. He also shows the same farming patterns have contributed to collapsed wild stocks across the world for decades now. But what does he mean when he says these same effects can lead to carbon fixing issues in the food chain, which then contribute to climate change? “I think this is really urgent – and fixable,” Renyard says. “It all depends on how resilient the ecosystem is when nature goes back to the way it was. But if we keep the farms, how far can we push the envelope?”

Renyard pushed his own envelope by producing The Pristine Coast on his own, pursuing the ideal of positive change. He hopes government will eventually remove farmed fish from the wild environment to protect wild stocks, and sees his film as a chance to get the information out. “The more people that react and call their MLAs or MPs the better!” he says. “I’m optimistic. By creating the film and having people see it, the hope is that it leads to more research and political action.” Come and meet him at the Salt Spring Film Festival – there will be plenty to discuss.

 

Comments May Not Be Seen by the Author

No Tags

  

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Post an Event

Community News

  • Survey: Should British Columbia Adopt Ye...

    by on June 24, 2019

    British Columbians are invited to share their views on how we should observe time in our province. Most areas of B.C. currently “spring forward” into Daylight Saving Time during summer months and “fall back” to Standard Time in the winter. The following choices are being considered: 1) B.C. continues the practice of changing our clocks […]

  • Podcast: Adam Olsen speaks with Raffi – ...

    by on June 20, 2019

    When I first thought of transitioning my weekly Public Circle LIVE! broadcasts from Facebook to a weekly podcast, I had it in my mind to invite Raffi as a guest. We have run into each other a few times now at the Salt Spring Island Saturday Market and I appreciate his forthright political commentary on Twitter. It all […]

  • Fire News: Chief’s Response Report – 201...

    by on June 20, 2019

    Vision: A responsive and sustainable fire-rescue service, effectively meeting community needs and valued by those we serve. Mission: Always learning, engaging and adapting to be response ready. Response Report Salt Spring Island Firefighters responded to 61 calls for assistance in May.  (Calls to Date:  291) Operations To be proactive regarding wildfire prevention a recommendation was […]

  • Salt Spring Foundation Announces 2019 Ne...

    by on June 18, 2019

    The Salt Spring Island Foundation, in partnership with Salt Spring Island Community Services, is pleased to announce the recipients of our 2019 Neighbourhood Small Grants. The Neighbourhood Small Grants program offers grants of $50 to $500 to support projects that bring people together, share skills and knowledge, build a sense of community belonging and responsibility, […]

  • Island Youth Soccer Association to Build...

    by on June 14, 2019

    Salt Spring Island Youth Soccer Association (SSIYSA) is excited to announce that School District #64 (SD64) has agreed to partner with the SSIYSA to build a brand-new all-weather turf field with lights at the Gulf Islands Secondary School (GISS) lower field. An All Weather Field Feasibility Study was presented to the SD64 school board yesterday […]

  • Salt Spring Island Foundation Announces ...

    by on June 12, 2019

    The Salt Spring Island Foundation is pleased to announce over $148,000 in spring grants for local charities, including $30,000 targeted to youth recreation programs. The Foundation thanks the many generous donors who make these grants possible.  BC Parks/Friends of Ruckle Park Heritage To create and install six new interpretive signs for Ruckle Provincial Park to […]

  • Crofton – Salt Spring Island Ferry...

    by on June 10, 2019

    The Crofton terminal is located within the Municipality of North Cowichan on Vancouver Island. The terminal connects the community to Vesuvius Bay on Salt Spring Island. Passengers travel on the Howe Sound Queen for a 25 minute sailing. The Howe Sound Queen has a vehicle capacity of 52 AEQ* and can carry 300 passengers and […]

  • Salt Spring’s Strategic Plan for A...

    by on June 8, 2019

    Salt Spring Island’s 2008 Area Farm Plan – the strategic plan for sustainable agriculture – needs to be renewed to provide a blueprint to take Salt Spring’s agricultural community forward to 2030. The first Area Farm Plan was based on a vision to support Salt Spring becoming a place where “agriculture is a strong, vital […]

  • Watch: “The Pharmacy”a Silen...

    by on June 7, 2019

    Country Grocer tells a slapstick accounting of how they merged with a neighbouring pharmacy! Comments May Not Be Seen by the Author Facebook Twitter Reddit Pinterest

Pin It on Pinterest