How many jobs rely on salmon farming in BC? An independent, government commissioned report says 2,945. The BC Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA) claims double that. One set of numbers and methodology is transparent, the other secret. Whose numbers do you trust?
The 6,000 jobs figure comes from a 2006 PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) study that was commissioned by the salmon farming industry association. The study has still not been publicly released. In 2007, the BC Government’s Special Committee on Sustainable Aquaculture released an economic report done by an independent firm (MMK Consulting). The total jobs in salmon farming were pegged by MMK at 2,945. That included direct, indirect and induced jobs. The MMK report is freely available to any citizen and the methodology used is transparent.
A transparent, readily available report commissioned by the Province says approximately 3,000 jobs are attributable to salmon farming in BC. A secret, unreleased report commissioned by industry doubles the number. Whose figures will you believe?
The BCSFA has released a three page ‘summary’ of the PriceWaterhouseCoopers report, referred to as an ‘industry snapshot’. Repeated requests to release the full report eventually led to the sharing of a power point presentation that again, simply summarizes the findings.
How did PWC calculate the multipliers that led to this doubling of the MMK totals? What were the multipliers based on? Were adjustments made to the BC Input/Output Model to count harvesting and processing as direct jobs – as was the case with the MMK study? How did PWC manage to double the number of jobs and why won’t the salmon farmers release the full report and validate their seemingly inflated claims?
How could these two reports possibly come up with such conflicting numbers? The easiest way to determine where the discrepancies lie would be for the BCSFA to heed repeated calls for transparency and release the full report to the public. It’s been four years – and we’re still waiting.
Do you want answers? Ask all candidates vying to be your Member of Parliament if they will commit to greater transparency in the aquaculture industry – an industry operating in our common, shared seas.