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Environmental risk and policy development in the British Columbia salmon farming industry Pechlaner, Gabriela 2002

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ENVIRONMENTAL RISK A N D POLICY DEVELOPMENT IN THE BRITISH COLUMBIA S A L M O N FARMING INDUSTRY by GABRIELA PECHLANER B.F.A., The University of British Columbia, 1990 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES (Department of Anthropology and Sociology) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  ++ THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA June 2002 © Gabriela Pechlaner, 2002  In  presenting  degree freely  at  this  the  thesis  in  partial  fulfilment  of  University  of  British  Columbia,  I agree  available for  copying  of  department publication  this or of  reference  thesis by  this  for  his thesis  and  scholarly  or for  her  Department  DE-6 (2/88)  Columbia  I further  purposes  gain  shall  requirements that  agree  may  representatives.  financial  permission.  The University of British Vancouver, Canada  study.  the  It not  be is  that  the  Library  permission  granted  by  understood be  for  allowed  an  advanced  shall for  the that  without  make  it  extensive  head  of  my  copying  or  my  written  ABSTRACT T w o competing perspectives of society's relationship to nature have risen to prominence, both in environmental social theory, and, in modified form, in current political discourse. Risk society theory proposes that society is shifting from one organized around the distribution of wealth to one organized around the distribution of risk, and that our current industrial society is unsustainable as currently structured. Ecological modernization theory proposes that as environmental issues increase in importance, ecological criteria will be incorporated into industrial production through a continuous process of adaptation and re-integration of nature. Ecological modernization, then, is offered as an alternative to a descent into a risk society, as described by Ulrich Beck. While there has been much debate between ecological modernization and risk society theorists as to industrial society's potential for ecological reform, few empirical studies exist that test the strength of ecological modernization theory in practice. Salmon farming in British Columbia has been subject to rigorous environmental debate in its short history. This thesis investigates the development of salmon farming policy in B . C . as a test case for the propositions of ecological modernization theory. Through an examination of theoretical literature, indicators of ecological modernization and risk society processes were derived. Salmon farming policy developments were analyzed for evidence of ecological reform and for the processes that accompanied these reforms. The results of the analysis revealed increasing evidence of certain ecological modernization processes, primarily ones associated with scientific and technological developments. Other indicators were consistently absent. Still others, such as stakeholder incorporation processes, were found to be in evidence in fact but not in spirit. The ecological modernization process described by theorists was not occurring in whole, but in part. However, economic interests persisted in dominating ecological ones.  C o u n t e r interpretations f o u n d i n s t i t u t i o n a l a n d interest g r o u p factors, as w e l l as c h a n g e s in b a c k g r o u n d c o n d i t i o n s , to be h i g h l y i n f l u e n t i a l o n e c o l o g i c a l r e f o r m s . T h e greatest w e a k n e s s o f e c o l o g i c a l m o d e r n i z a t i o n as an e x p l a n a t o r y theory w a s f o u n d to be its i n a b i l i t y to i n c o r p o r a t e issues o f p o w e r a n d i n e q u a l i t y into its f r a m e w o r k . T h i s , a n d e c o l o g i c a l m o d e r n i z a t i o n theory's a s s u m p t i o n s o f c o n s e n s u s t o w a r d s its g o a l s , are the greatest i m p e d i m e n t s to its t r a n s l a t i o n f r o m a s o c i a l theory i n t o a p o l i t i c a l p r o g r a m .  T A B L E OF CONTENTS Abstract  ii  Table of Contents  iv  List of Tables  vi  Glossary of Acronyms  vii  B.C. Aquaculture Policy Chronology of Significant Events  viii  INTRODUCTION  1  CHAPTER I: U L R I C K B E C K ' S RISK SOCIETY  14  1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4  The Changing Nature of Risk The Changing Social Relationship to Risk Political Economy and the Systemic Nature of Risk Production The Economic and Environmental Tangle  CHAPTER II: E C O L O G I C A L MODERNIZATION T H E O R Y 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5  The Ecologically Modernized Society Ecological Modernization as Reflexive Modernization? Comparing Theories Limiting the Context for Ecological Modernization Environmental Improvements and Ecological Modernization  CHAPTER III: THE METHODS A N D F R A M E W O R K S FOR ASSESSMENT 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4  15 17 20 26 38 41 45 47 52 56 59  The Policy Question 1: ecological sphere? Question 2: ecological modernization? Question 3: why or why not?  60 65 72 76  CHAPTER IV: POLICY- THE E A R L Y Y E A R S  78  4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5  The Early Years Gillespie Environmental Responsiveness of Gillespie Industry Context: Interest Groups and Developmental Potential The Early Years from an Ecological Modernization Perspective  78 81 84 89 94  IV  CHAPTER V : POLICY- T H E INTERIM Y E A R S 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4  The Interim Years The Aquaculture Regulations An Emerging Ecological Sphere? The Ecological Modernization Potential  CHAPTER VI: POLICY- T H E SAR A N D B E Y O N D 6.1 The SAR: Proceed with Caution 6.2 A New Commitment to Ecological Reform? 6.3 The Double Movement: the Drive to Development and its Counter Pressures 6.4 Changing Background Conditions: First Nations Legitimation and Institutional Change 6.5 Ecological Modernization in a Maturing Industry CHAPTER VII: DISCUSSION 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6  The Elements of Risk The Emerging Ecological Sphere The Promise of Ecological Modernization: Propositions 4, 5, and 6 The Promise of Ecological Modernization: Propositions 1, 2, and 3 Amendments to the Program Conclusion  100 100 104 106 109 113 113 121 126 139 149 158 160 167 169 173 183 186  BIBLIOGRAPHY  187  APPENDIX A  196  V  LIST OF TABLES METHODS T A B L E 1: Level of Severity of Environmental Problems  68  METHODS T A B L E 2: Assessing the Emergence of an Ecological Sphere in Policy Documents  71  METHODS T A B L E 3: Ecological Modernization Processes  75  T A B L E 3a: Results- The Gillespie Years  99  T A B L E 3b: Results- The Interim Years  112  T A B L E 3c: Results- The SAR and Beyond  157  VI  GLOSSARY OF ACRONYMS ADD AFS ASWP BCAFC BCSFA CRIS EAO DFO DSF FADS FOCS GSA KTFC MAFF MAIAC MELP NTC OCAD PSRS SA1AC SAR SARC TAT UFAWU  Acoustic Deterrent Device Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy Atlantic Salmon Watch Program British Columbia Aboriginal Fisheries Commission British Columbia Salmon Farmers Association Coastal Resource Identification Studies Environmental Assessment Office Department of Fisheries and Oceans David Suzuki Foundation Federal Aquaculture Development Strategy Friends of Clayoquot Sound Georgia Strait Alliance Kwakiutl Territorial Fisheries Commission Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Ministers Aquaculture Industry Advisory Committee Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council Office for the Commissioner of Aquaculture Development Pacific Salmon Revitalization Strategy Salmon Aquaculture Implementation Advisory Committee Salmon Aquaculture Review Salmon Aquaculture Review Committee Technical Advisory Team (of the SAR) United Fishers and Allied Workers Union  Vll  B.C. AQUACULTURE POLICY CHRONOLOGY OF SIGNIFICANT EVENTS 1970 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1991 1991 1992 1995 1995 1995 1997 1999 2000 2000 2000  2000 2001 2002  Industry gets its start. Industry rapidly develops. 30-day moratorium on licenses: Gillespie Inquiry and report. New Policy on finfish aquaculture Federal/Provincial Memorandum of Understanding re roles and development of aquaculture. Aquaculture Licence Regulations: "reasonable precaution" license condition for escape prevention. Initial Atlantic salmon monitoring program initiated (joint federal/provincial program) (Oct) Change of provincial government from Social Credit to NDP Atlantic Salmon Watch Program (ASWP) launched. Federal Aquaculture Development Strategy. (April) 'Action Plan for Salmon Aquaculture' announced. Moratorium on the issuance of new salmon tenures. (July) Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) asked to conduct review of aquaculture regulations. E A O Salmon Aquaculture Review completed, includes 49 recommendations. 5 point salmon aquaculture policy initiative announced. (Feb) Multi-stakeholder Salmon Aquaculture Implementation Advisory Committee (SAIAC) formed. (Aug) Federal Government announces $75 million for aquaculture research and development. (Oct) Amendments to the "Aquaculture Regulations" stipulating what 'reasonable precaution' entails and including detailed escape prevention and response requirements. (Oct) Approval of 4 'green technology' pilot projects. Change of provincial government from N D P to Liberal (Feb) Aquaculture Moratorium lifted. Industry to self-regulate.  Vlll  ENVIRONMENTAL RISK AND POLICY DEVELOPMENT IN T H E BRITISH COLUMBIA SALMON FARMING INDUSTRY  INTRODUCTION In the 1970's Rachel Carson's 'Silent Spring' launched the first wave of environmental concern over the repercussions of industrial production. In the 1980's, environmental issues once again became salient for a public increasingly sensitized to sustainability issues. It would seem that this ebb and flow of environmental concern has once again reached a climax in modern industrial societies. Global warming, holes in the ozone layer, rainforest destruction, species extinction, environmental toxins... the list runs the gamut from local to global, from specific and undeniable to grand scale and hotly debated. Whether one believes in the physical repercussions of any particular environmental problem or not, the political and cultural repercussions of the growth in environmental concern have become an unavoidable character trait of modern society. For those who do believe, there is a widely held perspective that without a fundamental restructuring of our society, the environmental repercussions of our current production systems will be insurmountable, and our social destruction inevitable. This is a perspective embodied by risk society theory. Fundamental to this perspective is a belief that the pace of technological development is creating negative repercussions that surpass our present understanding of impacts and exceed our future capabilities to find solutions. A contrasting perspective, however, proposes that current environmental problems can be rectified through the re-incorporation of previously neglected ecological components into the existent production system. Furthermore, science and technology will assist in this transition as new developments will facilitate solutions to environmental problems. In this way, market and environment can mutually reinforce each other. This perspective is manifested in the doctrines of ecological modernization theory.  These two views of society's relationship to the environment occupy positions in the full spectrum from ideology to political program, and are not necessarily always perceived as directly antithetical. Key components of the theories—particularly the viability of a market solution to environmental problems and the role of science and technology— do remain predominantly oppositional, and are the subject of extensive theoretical debate. Details of the theories and their issues of debate will be developed further in Chapters 1 and 2. Despite the widespread theoretical interest, however, there has been little empirical work that explores the relative explanatory power of these two theories. This study hopes to address this shortfall through a case study of B.C.'s salmon farming industry: does ecological modernization theory provide a viable explanation for developments in the salmon farming industry? There are strong theoretical reasons for refuting the redemptive potential of ecological modernization theory, most notably its inability to extend beyond the local and address global environmental concerns. Those drawbacks aside, this case study is primarily interested in the practical potential of ecological modernization in those cases where it is applicable. In the course of an assessment of the ecological modernization literature, two criteria presented themselves which could impede the potential for ecological modernization in practice: 1.  Ecological modernization theory contains an implicit assumption of consensus towards its objectives. As a positive-sum approach to environment and economics, ecological modernization assumes interest group agreement and cooperation towards its goals. This assumption sees the dissolution of conflict of the type familiar between grassroots  environmental groups and industry groups. While ecological modernization may be seen by environmentalists as better than no attempt to ameliorate ecological damage, it may still not attain the standards of environmental protection they are attempting to achieve, and therefore  2  may not operate in the culture of support it assumes. This may have quite serious implications for the practical application of the ecological modernization program. 2.  Ecological modernization assumes industry will be motivated to incorporate ecological criteria into the production process. Though perceived as necessarily state-assisted, ecological modernization theory assumes  that the incorporation of ecological criteria into the production process will be industry motivated. As industry becomes increasingly aware of the ecological impact of current production practices, it will attempt to become more reflexive and address its long term sustainability. This assumption leaves itself somewhat open to critique from a Marxist perspective, which sees the externalization of costs (onto society and onto the environment) as part and parcel of the functioning of the industrial production system. This counter argument sees capital as sufficiently proficient at re-inventing itself that resource scarcity or other negative ecological impacts are unlikely to force the need for capital to incorporate ecological criteria in order to maintain itself.  S T A T E M E N T O FT H E P R O B L E M :  I propose to investigate salmon farming policy in B.C. as a case study of the plausibility of ecological modernization, with the aforementioned assumptions and their critiques in mind. The primary goal is to assess whether an ecological modernization of the industry is, in fact, occurring. The anti-thesis, as will be evident from the impending discussion of risk society, is that ecological modernization is not occurring, but that ecological reforms are the result of external pressures on industry.  3  EMPIRICAL STUDIES There is no shortage of theories regarding the depth and potential reversibility of any social 'contradictions' to our current production processes. There is, however, a marked shortage of studies empirically grounding these theories and lending legitimation to their perspectives. A few empirical studies have attempted to put the ecological modernization thesis to the test. Arthur Mol provides a sample of in-depth case studies concerning the modern chemical industry in his book "The Refinement of Production" (1995). Two other notable attempts, both of which are particularly relevant here, are a study by Marit Reitan, and another by David Pellow, Allan Schnaiberg, and Adam Weinberg. In his study on the Norwegian climate policy and carbon tax, Marit Reitan (1998) assessed the difficulty of the transition between ecological modernization ideas and their implementation. Focusing analysis at the 'political program' (as opposed to social theory) level of the ecological modernization debate, Reitan attempts an empirical analysis of the possibility of its implementation, with an eye on the impact of institutional and interest group interactions. Reitan found that "although the macro assumption of a positive-sum game was the general background for taking up these issues, there was no assumption of a positive-sum game between environmental objectives and other objectives at the sector level" (Reitan, 1998:11). Simply stated, the guiding principle of ecological modernization (the positive sum game) lost its necessary cooperative base in its transition from the macro to the micro level as a result of a pursuit for special interest gains. Pellow et al. (2000) offer another case study testing the ecological modernization theory. In their assessment of urban recycling programs, Pellow et al. challenge ecological modernization theory's fundamental assumption that an independent ecological sphere— which will emancipate the current processes of production from strictly economic criteria— is evolving. In the transition from small, community-based recycling centers to large scale industrial  4  recycling programs, they found that not only were many of the social imperatives that previously guided the local initiatives lost, but so were many of the ecological goals. In their assessment, the economic imperative held strong in the decisions that guided the recycling program, and this was more supportive of the dynamics of the treadmill of production than of ecological modernization. In their estimation, "firms rarely gain a competitive advantage by introducing ecological criteria into production decisions; more often, their public relations gains arise from their pronouncements alone (Pellow et al., 2000:135). Although fairly limited in terms of their generalizability, these case studies provide some interesting empirical insights, and offer two main areas of concern for the potential of ecological modernization. The first is a more micro-level critique, suggesting a concern with the applicability of the ecological modernization program, even when there is general consensus as to its merits. The second, following a more classical macro-level critique in the manner of Karl Polanyi and Karl Marx, and developed further by neo and ecological Marxists, suggests that the overall presumptions of ecological modernization are contrary to the workings of the market system, and will be subverted by it. I propose to follow the threads offered by both these critiques and apply them to the case of salmon farming policy in British Columbia. As will be apparent, B.C.'s salmon farming industry could provide a very interesting case for a number of different theoretical perspectives. For example, the heavy involvement of environmental groups over the course of its development would be conducive to analysis from a social movements perspective. Political economy and policy theories would also have significantly more to contribute than was possible to include here. These approaches, among others, would have valuable contributions to make towards understanding the development of the industry, and are certainly areas that should be investigated further. However, the debate between risk society and ecological modernization proponents, though not often designated as such, appears to represent the next crucial choice that post-modern  5  society has to make to ensure its reproducibility. As the above case studies indicate, for all the service that ecological modernization is given in policy discussions, very little information on its practicality is available. This would appear to be a worthwhile goal, therefore, and one to which the case of salmon farming is exceptionally well suited.  S A L M O N A Q U A C U L T U R E AS C A S E STUDY: T H E E C O N O M I C A N D P O L I T I C A L CONTEXT By the year 2000, B.C.'s salmon farming industry was comprised of 17 companies controlling 105 active farm sites, 50% of which were located in the N . Vancouver Island area. Arguably the most environmentally troubling for the industry, 81% of the farmed salmon produced are 'exotics'— Atlantic salmon. At the same time, by 1999, salmon farming had contributed $677 million to the B . C . economy (above statistics from Auditor General of Canada, 2000). B.C.'s salmon farming industry lends itself particularly well to an analysis of ecological modernization for three reasons: the newness of the industry, the different types of risk the industry involves, and its position in the politically charged economic climate of coastal B . C . . Firstly, newer industries such as salmon farming are arguably subject to a higher degree of attention to their environmental impacts than are older, established, industries— emerging, as they are, in a much more risk-conscious context. While it is subject to a higher level of scrutiny, it is also relatively unencumbered by the historical web of past decisions that can often hinder progressive policy development. Furthermore, as a new industry, salmon aquaculture did not originally have a long-standing embedded structure of interest groups that stood to lose economically, depending on how the government regulated. Thus there has been a great deal of choice in where the government placed its emphasis. As a result of the heavy capital investment required, this is of course rapidly changing. In addition, there always was a loss of 'potential' to  6  various groups. This likely played a large part in the decisions of the past, and is indubitably crucial to the deliberations of the present. Secondly, salmon farming embodies different aspects of risk within one industry: relatively straight-forward pollution debates familiar to industrial production, and much less straight-forward debates about highly uncertain but potentially serious impacts on such broadly defined problems as ecosystem integrity. Salmon farming does not deviate from the cumulative pollution problems standard in industrial production. For example, blankets of feed and waste accumulate beneath netpens, killing undersea life, and antibiotics necessary for the health of high density animals are introduced into the common ocean environment. Some of these concerns are exacerbated by the industry's being situated in the water, where currents transfer impacts beyond that of the immediate area, as well as to migrating species, making impact assessments difficult. There are also the highly uncertain risks; the impact of noise deterrents on other species, the amount of predation on smaller species like eulachon, and, most problematically, the risk of irreversible damage to the wild stocks. This last risk is based on a wealth of concerns, many rooted in the use of 'exotics' for farming: the potential for disease transference, increased exposure to sea lice, competition with escaped salmon for food and habitat, and even the potential of weakening the wild stocks through genetic interaction. B.C.'s salmon farming industry is therefore not only new in its emerging industry status, but also in the nature of the risk issues it has brought to the coast. Salmon aquaculture embodies risk concerns not only through what might be called 'day to day' risks of acceptable levels of effluents or of antibiotic ingestion, but also through a Pandora's box of repercussions similar to those of decreasing biodiversity, increasing monoculture and the growing dependence on genetically modified organisms. Salmon farming is an irrefutable risk society issue, with its untested level of human manipulation of an environment we depend on, without adequate knowledge of the repercussions of that manipulation. It is also irrefutably an economic issue.  7  The province of British Columbia has practically become the exemplar of the 'environment versus employment' debate, and the coast, in particular, has been wracked by both economic hardship and high profile environmental protests. Declining forestry and fishery sectors have left resource communities clinging to economic sustainability and groping for new ways to maintain economic viability. In this context, aquaculture has vied for position and acclaim as the coast's new economic base. Irrespective of environmental controversy, it is an opportunity not to be lightly refused by communities with few options. The end result is a situation where a new industry, with all its environmental bugs yet to be worked out, is establishing itself in a social context of high risk awareness, expert distrust, and intense public controversy. In this somewhat explosive situation, strong positions have been taken by a variety of interest groups. Communities are desperate for some form of capital and economic development. Environmental groups are anxious to prevent what they see as the potential ecological destruction of the marine environment. Commercial fishers are afraid that wild stocks will be irreparably damaged. First Nations are angry about the environmental damage impacting their traditional way of life, at times on still unsettled territory. These positions are by no means uniformly held, but there are definite patterns to the concerns of these groups. Last of all, yet by no means the least involved, are the government bodies which are necessarily concerned with all of these issues.  POLICY FORMATION The role of the state in these dynamics is therefore highly complex. The state needs to negotiate a balance between stakeholders, and it needs to do so in a manner which provides for both the society's day-to-day subsistence needs and its long-term survival. The state is also concerned for its own survival, and this concern will necessarily influence decisions based on  8  present versus future benefit (or present vs. future harm)— the foundation of most environmental debates. At the same time, the state's continued survival is also dependent on its ability to maintain its legitimacy, which purely economic decisions would compromise. Therefore, in the midst of the extreme controversy surrounding salmon farming, and under the burden of complicated and often contradictory mandates, the state must develop policy and regulations around the new industry and all of its attendant risks. Furthermore, these diverse needs cannot be assumed to have a relatively stable value. Several authors have noted how changes in background conditions are necessary for significant policy change to occur (Cashore et al, 2001; Hoberg, 1998; Sabatier, 1993). Even those with only a cursory awareness of social issues are likely to notice how a heightened level of policy discussion follows closely after major incidents, and how overall regulatory attitude is highly influenced by which government is in power. Similarly, these changes in background conditions do not pass unnoticed by pro- and anti-aquaculture proponents. Actors and interest groups seize the opportunities that are available to further their interests. They will also access whatever tools— be it litigation, the forming of intra-group alliances, issue construction, the mobilization of public pressure, or any combination of these— are the most amenable to success at any given time (Cashore et al, 2001:245). This means that the tactics, power, capital, and inter-group relationships are constantly shifting, and that policy development is a fluid process, subject to many influences. These dynamics lead to accumulations of pressure that have the potential to produce change at particular openings in the policy process (policy 'windows'), such as those that result from changes in background conditions. Furthermore, the level of scientific knowledge pertaining to a specific environmental concern can be highly influential. To the degree that there is uncertainty, governments will have more flexibility in their courses of action (Hoberg, 1997, 1990; Jasanoff, 1986, 1997). While  9  governments can to some extent influence the level of knowledge about an issue, they can also use uncertainty to interpret a given situation in their best interests. This is particularly relevant in the context of risk theory, as state input figures highly in ecological modernization. From the newness of the industry, the enormous potential and obvious incentive for technological improvement, to its near archetypal status in the environment-jobs conflict, B.C.'s salmon farming industry lends itself particularly well to a study of the potential for ecological modernization as an alternative to the 'Risk Society'. Are we evolving towards an ecologicallysound management of environmentally risky industries, or are we fast approaching the realization of Beck's risk society, merely changing societal struggles from distribution of wealth to distribution of risk? If ecological modernization theory is correct, there is no real conflict between environment and industry— environmental considerations will be incorporated into the market system as the need arises. As far as the salmon farming industry is concerned, I would propose that given the economic stress on the B . C . coast, almost matched as it is by a seemingly un-fazable force of environmental opposition, the time could not be more ideal for the economically 'natural' solution of ecological modernization to step in.  THESIS O R G A N I Z A T I O N Chapters 1 and 2 provide the theoretical justification for the importance of this study. Chapter 1 will begin with the major tenets of Ulrich Beck's risk society theory, linking them with ideas from other theorists interested in the nature of global society's economic and political relation to its environment. The construction of risk, and the potential for democracy under the politicization of risk will also be discussed. Where possible, salmon farming examples are used. Following Beck, Chapter 2 will undertake a similar explication of the relevant aspects of ecological modernization theory and how they might apply to the salmon farming industry. Comparisons will be made between the theories and major areas of conflict will be explored.  10  Once the contrasting visions of a 'risk' versus an 'ecologically modernizable' society have been established, the more practical aspect of analysis will be addressed. Chapter 3, the methods chapter, will outline frameworks for assessing the strength of environmental regulations and for evidence of an ecological modernization process. The indicators of ecological modernization processes will be drawn from the preceding theory section. It would be difficult to fairly assess ecological modernization without the benefit of some comparative framework. The most suitable means of addressing the questions of this thesis is through an assessment of the influences on policy change over time (Sabatier, 1993). In order to do this succinctly it is necessary to focus on key events or policy junctures. There have been a number of these in the industry's short history: the initial attempts at commercial aquaculture in the 1970's; the period of rapid development and increasing environmental concern that culminated in the Gillespie Inquiry (and the first moratorium on licenses) in 1986; the first significant wave of monitoring and policy initiatives in the late 1980's and early 1990's; the 1995 environmental assessment with its second moratorium on licenses; and the post-environmental assessment wave of policy developments in the late 1990's. The following policy actions have been identified as central to the history of the industry, and will be the focus of this investigation: 1986 1989 1995 1999 2000  The The The The The  Gillespie Inquiry (Gillespie Report and recommendations) Aquaculture Regulations Action Plan for Salmon Aquaculture 5 Point Salmon Aquaculture Policy Initiative Aquaculture Amendments  The two moratoria on salmon farming licenses will be highlighted as they acted as focal points for debates about environmental risk. This is particularly true of the period around the second moratorium, and the analysis will place some emphasis on the events of this time: the moratorium itself; the S A R report; the implementation/non-implementation of its recommendations; and the lifting/non-lifting of the moratorium. The review was also a catalyst  11  for the stakeholder groups who necessarily defined their positions in an attempt to influence it, and then used its findings to bolster their positions. The case study will stop shortly after the October  2000  Aquaculture Amendments. While the last decade has seen the greatest degree of  policy developments, a number of dramatic developments have unfolded most recently. The Auditor General and the Senate Standing Committee on fisheries have both publicly criticized the industry in their reports, the David Suzuki Foundation funded a citizen's inquiry into salmon farming, and the new liberal government lifted the moratorium on licenses. Expanding the analysis to include these events would be a worthwhile goal for the future. Material for analysis will include federal and provincial policy documents, reports, and news releases. This will be complemented with industry and environmental group press releases and campaigns, and with media coverage of the issue. The policy analysis will be conducted in Chapters 4, 5, and 6. Each policy section will discuss the policy development, assess the ecological strength of the policies, and, using the framework of ecological modernization processes, evaluate the evidence of ecological modernization. Special attention will be paid to the role of interest groups, institutions, and industry in order that inferences can be made in relation to the two problematic criteria of ecological modernization and to the alternative, risk society, explanation for ecological reforms. In light of policy theory, a close eye will be kept on changing background conditions, and how they may affect policy development. Reviewing the industry's progress over time will allow for some comparative assessment of the processes instrumental in the industry's policy development. Chapter 7 will undertake a discussion of the findings in the context of the two theories of society's relationship with the environment. Details of the elements of the theories will be assessed, primarily addressing their explanatory potential and the theoretical problems that have been identified through this case study. Serious omissions of the ecological modernization theory will be identified and recommendations for amendments will be made. Examples from more  12  r e c e n t p o l i c y d e v e l o p m e n t s w i l l be u s e d to s u p p o r t the a r g u m e n t s . A l t e r n a t i v e e x p l a n a t i o n s , b a s e d o n p o l i c y t h e o r y , f o r a n y e m e r g e n c e o f the e c o l o g i c a l s p h e r e w i l l be p r e s e n t e d . F u r t h e r points for study w i l l also be discussed.  13  CHAPTER I: T H E RISK SOCIETY  U L R I C H B E C K ' S RISK SOCIETY In 1986, Ulrich Beck published The Risk Society (published in English in 1992), crystallizing a debate over the trend of modern day risks and our possible societal future. Western society, according to Beck, has been transformed from one primarily concerned with the distribution of 'goods', or wealth, to one concerned with the distribution of 'bads', or risks. Modern day risks differ vastly in scope and character from those before, and without a massive social and economic restructuring, will multiply exponentially to become our undoing. This nutshell view needs to be broken down into its various elements in order to deal with them in depth, however key to the whole thesis is the idea that modern day environmental problems are systemic in nature. A s such, only a society-wide process of reflexive modernization can address the very serious issues facing us. A l l of Beck's risk thesis will not be presented here, but only those elements that are necessary to the present investigation, notably: the changing nature of modern risks, our changing relationship to risk, risk construction, expert systems, and the politics of risk. While risk society theory remains thin in its prescriptions for an alternative to the impending apocalypse it describes, Beck does not aim to portray the apocalypse as inevitable. The hypothesis for change through a process of reflexivity and reflection he describes is somewhat vague but not devoid of merit, and will be discussed with particular attention to the extent that ecological modernization can be seen as meeting its challenge.  14  1.1  T H E C H A N G I N G N A T U R E OF RISK Modern western society has accomplished an amazing feat in the vast expansion of  wealth. However, the technological advances that have allowed us to conquer problems of scarcity have also introduced a host of ecological concerns unlike those experienced before. Air pollution, toxins in the environment, nuclear fall-out: these are only some of the risks that are the price to pay for the level of comfort western society has attained. As a result of this price, risk has entered into the parlance of the common man, and "questions of the development and employment of technologies... are being eclipsed by questions of the political and economic 'management' of the risks of actually or potentially utilized technologies..." (Beck, 1992:19). Issues of modern day risks have become of critical concern to many who are not even currently experiencing any local environmental effect. There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, risk had developed with the technological advances that produced them, and modern risks differ substantially from those of the past, both in nature and consequence. No longer can a person assume that water is safe to swim in because it does not look polluted, or, for that matter, that the air is safe to breathe and food safe to eat. O f course there have also been pollutions that were difficult to detect in the past, but overwhelmingly, modern risks have surpassed our ability to detect them with our senses. We are therefore left incapable of protecting ourselves, save to trust the judgment of those in the technological elite. Increasingly, the public is aware that risk experts may or may not bias the information they give us, or, even with the best of intentions, may judge it on criteria derived from a scientific rationality that is alien to the social needs of a community. Secondly, contrasting our more limited capabilities of the past, modern risks have attained an unprecedented capacity for destruction, both in scale and ability to extend through space and time, and catastrophic disasters are virtually guaranteed. This inevitability of disaster in the face of technological production is the subject for Charles Perrow in his book "Normal  15  Accidents" (1984). Although infrequently occurring, it is 'normal' for highly complex systems to occasionally experience interactions which will lead to unpredictable failure. The more we depend on these highly complex systems, the greater the assurance that these catastrophic accidents will occur. At the time of Beck's 'Risk Society,' nuclear issues were clearly central to his thinking, and provide an excellent exemplar for the incalculability of risks whose effects can be catastrophic. Today, the salience of nuclear risks has receded, but new concerns, such as those regarding genetically modified organisms, have acquired a similarly global reach. While the capacity for a technical disaster remains firmly in the technological system itself, in biological systems it is contained in the massive gap between the actions we are taking and the uncertainty regarding the potential consequences in the context of the larger system. Acknowledging the obviously huge difference between technological and biological systems, the capacity for disaster, if not the nature, remains relatively similar. Take, for example, the currently controversial topic of genetically modified corn (such as produced by the Monsanto company), where adoption of the technology would reduce the overall diversity of corn crops in favour of crops genetically modified to produce certain benefits, such as tolerance to weed killing pesticide. The potential to lose such a genetically modified crop, for example through a failure to prevent a disease or pestilence particular to that crop, exists in some capacity, however minimal or immeasurable. What happens to the potential for disaster when the majority, if not all, corn producers, are compelled to adopt this technology? What happens when we supplement this mono-crop reliance with a concomitant reliance on genetically modified rice, chickens, apples, etcetera? Considering the complexity inherent in biological systems, it seems possible that despite our great human ingenuity, we cannot succeed in predicting all potential failures in these artfully constructed food production systems. T o the extent that we increase our reliance on these constructed systems, it seems fair to propose that there exists the potential for 'disaster'.  16  1.2  T H E C H A N G I N G SOCIAL RELATIONSHIP TO RISK The example of food production systems is used here since salmon farming & other  forms of aquaculture are new elements in food production. The potential for disaster outlined above is less relevant to the salmon farming issue, at least at this point. However, the accumulation of uncertain risks, and the alienation of the lay public from the means of assessing these risks, has a key place in the issue. The relative invisibility of modern risks creates what Beck describes as a "loss of sovereignty over assessing the dangers" (Beck, 1992:54), leading to a new kind of modern dependency, where "affected parties are becoming incompetent in matters of their own affliction" (Ibid:53). What this means, in practical terms, is a reliance on expert systems, and on their criteria for what is or is not an 'acceptable' risk. At this point it would seem fair to question whether a dependence on experts is in itself necessarily negative. After all, the division of areas of expertise allows our society to develop beyond a particular individual's capacity, which is overall likely a good thing. Having a resident expert, so to speak, to deal with any particular aspect of our development allows the rest of us to focus our energies elsewhere, become experts in other areas, and increase our overall societal capability. However, if Beck's assertion that we are evolving into a post-industrial risk society is correct, how we handle risk is becoming increasingly crucial to our collective well-being. There is substantially more at stake in our dependence on risk experts than in our dependency on car mechanics. There is also a good deal more uncertainty in the nature of the end product than there is in whether our car runs well or not. The problems that arise out of our dependency on experts are numerous, but three present themselves as particularly relevant here: differences between social versus scientific measures of risk; difficulties with the scientific ideal of accuracy in causal assertions; and, as will be addressed later in the context of policy making, issues around the construction of risk.  17  SCIENTIFIC V E R S U S S O C I A L M E A S U R E S O F RISK Beck dissects with some thoroughness, the various manifestations of objective scientific criteria in risk assessment, and the chasm that exists between these criteria of scientific rationality and those of a social rationality. The use of averages, acceptable levels, strict causality, and scientific accuracy, create scientific realms of acceptable risk that are frequently in direct conflict with social goals. A small risk of cataclysmic effect may be scientifically negligible but socially unacceptable, no matter how small the risk. A minute amount of a substance, harmless when based on average intake levels, may in fact be toxic once the population is divided into those who are exposed and those who aren't. Hence the calculation of risks comprises a component of incalculability, and some of this incalculability is contrary to what is socially acceptable. Again and again, it is revealed that the purely scientific is in fact steeped in normative assumptions, both in the assessments of what the actual risk is, and in the assessments of the acceptability of those risks. To the extent that we rely on expert systems— either as our representatives or for the risk information that enters our political system— wherever these normative assumptions contradict social goals our democratic capacity is compromised.  A C C U R A C Y A N DC A U S A L LINKAGES The sheer inability of our scientific knowledge to expand at the pace of our inadvertent risk production further compounds these limitations on our democratic capacity. The goal of scientific certainty directly conflicts with social goals of health and well-being that remain irrespective of completeness of scientific knowledge. The increasing complexity, potential interactions, and cumulative effects of a seemingly boundless array of modern risks has maximized the difficulty of ascertaining causal connections. The denial of causality for lack of sufficient evidence is in fact an extremely frequent defense against those who would halt or otherwise tamper with the profitable means of production.  18  However, according to Beck, "anyone who insists on strict causality denies the reality of connections that exist nonetheless" (Ibid:63). Insisting, so to speak, on a scientific un-deniability before acknowledging an issue to be a potential problem, and ignoring very real effects for a lack, or insufficiency, of scientific evidence, essentially produces social sacrifices on the alter of scientific accuracy, and prevents the fair presentation of real social choices. The problem with scientific measures of risk and with the goal of scientific certainty- in the context of our dependence on expert knowledge— is a problem with a reliance on a scientific rationality that is not necessarily correlated with a social rationality. A social rationality, for example, might see the symbolic value of wild salmon to be higher than its mere productive capacity. Similarly, it might view even a very small risk to these stocks in light of the uncertainty of impacts, as unacceptable in relation to their worth. In light of the layperson's dependency on expert systems to assess risks, a very serious question is introduced regarding the extent that democracy can function in the making of risk decisions. This concern is summarized by Michael Mehta (1998), in a paper on risk and decision making: The concern is that dependence on scientific experts, whose judgments are necessarily influenced by their moral beliefs and social aspirations, may replace rule by a technocratic elite for democratic process. (Mehta, 1998:88) This quote bears some further looking into. There are very real limitations on our knowledge, and there is a lot more to the objective assessment of risk than is apparent on the surface of things, but which none-the-less is directly applicable to our social health and wellbeing. The limitations of our dependence on expert systems are not necessarily the result of deliberate deceits practiced on the lay public. However, there are limitations, the parameters of which need to be understood and acknowledged as such. In this case, there would be no antagonism between scientific and lay communities, but rather a continuous dialogue about how best to deal with our risk situations in the context of these limitations. In contrast, Western society seems marked by the antithesis of this dialogue, as in the majority of contexts risk  19  'dialogue' can more accurately be described as risk mud-slinging matches. Beck discusses the development of the lay-expert antagonism further, but more relevant for the current discussion is how this antagonism evolved in the context of the political and economic system.  1.3  P O L I T I C A L E C O N O M Y A N D T H E S Y S T E M I C N A T U R E O F RISK PRODUCTION  The previous discussion is not intended to claim that if only the lay public were capable of understanding the risks before them, these risks would never be allowed to continue. Risks are an inherent component of our current production system- albeit one that we prefer to keep out of the spotlight- and we have become highly dependent on this system for our modern mode of existence. [I]n the effort to increase productivity,  the associated  risks have always been and  still are being neglected. The first priority of techno-scientific curiosity is utility for productivity, and the hazards connected with it are considered only later and often not at all. (Beck, 1992:60) The logic behind this technological drive and its associated neglect of risk is explicated in a book by Schnaiberg and Gould (1994), entitled Environment  and Society; the Enduring  Conflict. Although there are many political economy perspectives detailing the subversion of environmental concerns to economic ones, Schnaiberg and Gould's is particularly relevant here. By methodically addressing how the various components of the political and economic system interact in a manner incompatible with environmental concerns, they provide a much more tangible assessment of the industrial system's ecological determinants than Beck, who's focus is more on the politics of knowledge and the construction of risk. It is important to stress that these perspectives complement each other. They are parallel in their emphasis on the current system's trajectory towards social and ecological dislocation: the environmental costs of production can no longer be effectively externalized without social repercussions.  20  Rooted in a Marxian perspective, the logic of the treadmill of production, with its necessary system of resource exploitation and externalization of costs, contains within it an inherent contradiction. Described as the 'boomerang effect,' eventually these externalized risks will catch up with the risk producers. The boomerang is felt through a reduction in the production potential (for example in deforestation and fish stock depletion), and it is felt in threats to the health and the well-being of the producers (such as in drinking water pollution and smog induced asthma) as the impacts on the environment become unsustainable. What this means, in essence, is that a division of nature and society is no longer possible: "nature can no longer be understood outside of society, or society outside o/nature" (Schnaiberg and Gould, 1994:80). Similarly, Beck stresses, "everything which threatens life on this Earth also threatens the property and commercial interests of those who Uvefrom the commodification of life and its requisites" (Beck, 1992:39). These threats then become the major organizing principle of the risk society, and increasingly, their effects are making themselves apparent in the Western World. "We do not yet live in a risk society, but we also no longer live only within the distribution conflicts of scarcity societies" (Ibid: 20). Important to Beck's theory is that issues of risk distribution have become pressing in modern society. Efforts are made by producers to reduce the impact of risks on themselves by externalizing the costs onto other social groups. This distribution issue is key when assessing theories of an inherent contradiction in our production system. T o the extent that producers can avoid, or even postpone, the repercussions of their actions while maintaining the benefits of them, they are likely to continue to deny risk effects. This aspect of the theory is less relevant for the particular case of salmon farming—although a strong argument can be made for the disproportionate dislocation of costs onto First Nations—than it is to the more global picture incorporating both developed and developing societies. Beck's 'boomerang' thesis states that increasingly these risks are becoming global and thereby unavoidable, but arguments can  21  certainly be made that with the human capacity for denial, risk producers are still quite effectively externalizing costs without, as yet, suffering any major negative effects. To the extent currently practiced in B . C . , the impacts of salmon farming are highly localized. While regional and ethnic distribution issues will be shown to be abundantly in evidence, they do not constitute the only distributional issues. A broader distribution effect is the distribution of impact over time— private capital externalizing risks of loss of the wild salmon onto future generations. In terms of a boomerang effect to capital, there are few who would argue this to be significant. Arguments can be found, predominantly from the industry, that a destruction of the marine habitat would hurt their own business and end their own industry. However, capital has long been known to soil its own nest and then vacate for pre-arranged greener pastures: diversification has historically been industry's ticket out of the boomerang effect. The wild fish processors early investment in salmon farm tenures seems a case in point. The impact of the loss of wild salmon (or particular species of frog or tree, etcetera) is likely only significant to societal organization cumulatively, in conjunction with other risks and losses. As the fourth largest farmed salmon producer, B.C.'s salmon farming impacts take on a heightened global significance in the context of the impacts from Norway, Chile, and the United Kingdom, the top three producers (British Columbia, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, 2000). It would seem these cumulative effects are, in fact, becoming more and more noticeable. Though fluctuating in salience over the last three decades, public concern over the state of the environment exists in fair quantity. This is certainly evidenced by the profusion of environmental groups, the majority of whose members have slowly shifted from 'radical' to 'concerned citizen' status. This increasing awareness of the working of our own society is a result of what Beck terms reflexive modernization: [a]t first, science is applied to a 'given' world of nature, people and society. In the reflexive phase, the sciences are confronted with their own products, defects, and secondary problems. (Beck, 1992:155)  22  While reflexivity allows for an increasing criticality of knowledge and dominant rationalities, it comes at the expense of a decreasing sense of certainty, and an increase in individual alienation and rootlessness. Whether this reflexivity will assist in a redirection of society to an ecologically-friendly one seems less than certain. According to Schnaiberg and Gould's assessment, environmental degradation is a result of economic structural determinants that make up our current 'treadmill of production' system. Individual wants, even individual environmental concerns, are subverted by what is possible under the current system of economic rationalization. As profitability is key to survival in the competitive economic system, the necessary externalization of costs (through withdrawals and additions to the ecosystem), the resistance to regulation, and the constraints of managerial decision making in the context of competition are just a few of the parts that push the whole heedlessly forward. The separation of profit-makers from areas of production only exacerbate these economic imperatives. In sum, the 'industrial logic,' never mind its blatant disregard for the environment, is actually directly antithetical to environmental concerns: maximum consumption and externalization of costs is an inherent part of its structure. What this means in the context of ecological rationalization, is that in the pursuit of profitability, only "social, economic, and political forces external to the organization are capable of attracting... attention to environmental impacts" (Schnaiberg and Gould, 1994:46). External factors would include the rising tide of social movements, N G O ' s , E N G O ' s , and the like, all of which have the ability to pressure industry economically and government politically. Only these pressures external to an industry, such as salmon farming, would be able to over-ride that industry's industrial logic and impose environmental considerations onto its production system. It would seem fair to question why these 'external factors' have not been more successful in doing just that. In an essay on governmentality (1991), Foucault makes the comparison that  23  just as a parent must manage individuals, good, and wealth within a family in order to best help the family prosper, so must the government manage the economy. According to Foucault, [I]t is at this moment becoming apparent that the very essence of governmentthat is, the art of exercising power in the form of economy- is to have as its main objective that which we are today accustomed to call 'the economy' (Foucault, 1991:92). Under our current economic system, a hitch in the industrial logic (such as profit reducing regulation) not only decreases profitability for the producer, but also compromises all those that economically depend on the system. Schnaiberg and Gould touch on this in their discussion of high and low 'regulation scenarios'. The high regulation scenario can come about, however improbably, due to a government's own social vision, or, more probably, as a result of social pressure: Governments must appear to be doing something to protect the environment, mainly to appease their environmental interest groups, who can cause political troubles otherwise (Schnaiberg and Gould, 1994:55). The size and duration of these 'political troubles' will affect the extent to which the government needs to bow down to regulation pressures. This is a key factor for an investigation into B.C.'s salmon farming industry, where negative attention from environmental groups has been consistently high. According to this perspective, then, a failure to apply sufficient external pressure for environmental reforms is at least in part due to insufficient public concern. According to Schnaiberg and Gould, this level of concern may be compromised by our historical ability to overcome limits. History's production cycles have been punctuated by the overcoming and reimposition of ecological limits. The result is a persistent ideology of human mastery over nature, and a strong faith in the technological fix. Human ingenuity is seen as such that, for every predicted disaster, technological advances will sweep in with the solution.  Raymond Murphy (1994) further explores this faith in man's ability to overcome limits. According to Murphy, western society's dominant ideology of human mastery over nature has led us to perceive nature as knowable, and infinitely mouldable to our will— this is a perception of nature as having what Murphy terms 'plasticity'. Some of the sentiments expressed around salmon aquaculture provide excellent examples of this. To proponents of this 'plasticity of nature' thesis, the failure of the wild salmon stocks has been more than nicely 'solved' by the emergence of the new salmon farming industry. Food production concerns over collapsing wild salmon stocks are neatly answered by the transfer from wild to farmed salmon. Economic concerns are addressed as the farmed industry steps in to replace the commercial fishery in the provincial economy. Employment concerns, even the highly sensitive issue of rural employment, is again addressed by both the new industry and its ancillary businesses. A l l concerns over the impact of prolonged resource abuse appear to be resolved in the advent of salmon farming. On the other side, however, those who see a flaw in the perception of human mastery over nature also perceive a great deal of risk in this type of solution: [b]y destroying the capacity of nature to maintain the human-sustaining natural environment, humans would be forced to do it themselves in place of nature, a laborious, probably impossible, task. (Murphy, 1994:19) 'Impossible', because, as we have seen over the years through all our ecological surprises and 'normal' accidents— stock collapses, water contaminations, and species endangerments, to name a few— there clearly are reasons to be concerned about the limits to our ability to successfully manage nature as well as technology. Despite these fair concerns with our capacity to accurately manipulate an insufficiently understood nature to our will, the perseverance of the ideology of human mastery over nature is testament to the great structural motivation not to acknowledge the flaws of the current system. It is not just capital that wants to maintain the production system at the expense of labour, but labour too relies upon it. Beck states, "[fjhe tangibility of need suppresses the perception of risks." However, he also goes on to  25  emphasize that it only suppresses "the perception, not their reality or their effects; risk denied grows especially quickly and well" (Beck, 1992:45).  1.4  T H E E C O N O M I C AND E N V I R O N M E N T A L T A N G L E RISK CONSTRUCTION There is significant motivation for society as a whole to resist the plausibility of the risk  society idea in general, and the accumulation of production risks in particular. Contrasting the risk society with previous conflicts over wealth, Beck asserts that: [Ujnlike wealth, risks always produce only partial polarization, based on the advantages, which they also produce, at least while they are not yet fully developed. As soon as the growing element of damage moves into view, the advantages and differences melt away. (1992:47) Although Beck is speaking in broad terms regarding the commonality of risk, there is a fair amount of applicability to local risk issues, particularly to those which tap into common concerns or which hearken to larger issues. It is the dawning awareness of the element of damage that unites opposition to the risk: [s]ooner or later risks simply present us with threats, which in turn relativize and undermine the associated advantages, and precisely with the growth of the danger, they make the commonality of risk a reality, through all the variety of interests. (Ibid.) Environmental concern then can find a voice against economic pressures, and these result in environmental counter pressures to the risk producing industries. This can be seen in B . C . , where environmental groups have emerged from the 'jobs vs. environment' debate to successfully force changes on the forest industry. None-the-less, the transition via which the 'growing element of damage' comes into account is not as obvious or inevitable as the statement seems to imply, and the damage idea is subject to enormous pressures and counter pressures in its construction as a risk issue. There is no question that for every scientific assertion there is at least one, if not hundreds, of dissenting assertions: scientific consensus, particularly as it pertains to  26  larger and more hypothetical risk issues, is not the norm. The greater the amount of scientific doubt surrounding an issue, the greater the leeway in its interpretation. A n additional aspect of the insufficient knowledge issue is the manner in which limited scientific knowledge is socially prioritized— for example, according to the criteria of the precautionary principal, or with the burden of proof intact (Hannigan, 1995:80). Furthermore, environmental groups, the main voice of opposition to the risks of industrial production, are necessarily hampered by how much they can achieve, and must chose their issues carefully. Hannigan gives an excellent typology that outlines the criteria for the successful construction of environmental problems. This is beyond the scope here, except to acknowledge that risks are constructed in numerous ways; in the assessment of risk, in the interpretation of its assessment, and even in whether it is presented as a risk at all. The debates that surround a risk issue in its transition from obscurity to 'problem' is thus not a seamless amassing of objective information, but a battleground of competing interpretations. These interpretations themselves are not scientifically neutral, but highly dependent on entrenched values, and on the level of economic dependency on these interpretations. Broadly speaking, "risks are an incidental problem of modernization in undesirable abundance," and, as such, they must be "either eliminated or denied and reinterpreted" (Beck, 1992:26). Which of these it is will very much depend on the outcome of the 'interpretation' battle. The manipulation of risks into various 'frames'—the organizing principles by which risks are understood— is therefore a key component of the struggle for public support. A high degree of public support provide sufficient political clout for even a business-confidence-risking E N G O to pressure for policy change. Key to frame manipulation is control over language and image, an attempt to imbue the issue with a symbolic resonance that defies reinterpretation (for more on construction theory, see Hacking, 1999). A good example of symbolic resonance was in  27  evidence in B.C.'s 'war in the woods', where environmentalists' campaigned for the preservation of B C ' s unlogged landscapes as the "last places left" (Burda, C, Gale, F. and M'Gonigle, M . , 1998). Similarly, it does not seem coincidental with B.C.'s image as a super-natural province, that 'Wild Salmon Don't Do Drugs' emerged as a powerful anti-salmon farming slogan of environmentalists in the 90's (Georgia Strait Alliance, G S A ) . 'Eat W i l d ' (also G S A ) was another such allusion. By 2001, a David Suzuki Foundation report was entitled 'Super un-Natural, Atlantic Salmon in B C Waters (Volpe, John. 2001). Likewise, 'Frankenfish' was adopted as effective terminology in a pre-emptive strike against the use of genetically modified salmon in the farming industry. How a risk is constructed in the media, is therefore key to the potential of various interest groups to gain control of the political ground. In sum: [d]ebates about risk are not just scientific disputes. They are, more precisely, arenas of social conflict in which a poorly articulated argument about values and visions influences the distribution of economic and political power (Mehta, 1998:88). This 'poor articulation' is certainly less than accidental. As capital urgently resists negative interpretations for the protection of their profit margin, E N G O ' s equally urgently forgo talk of their serious concerns with issues of woodland biodiversity for the sake of more publicly marketable issues of 'Giant Sitka Spruce' preservation (Tindall, 2001). It is this constructed aspect of risk that leads to the excess of debate, particularly as the 'advantages' that arise from any particular production of risks are unlikely to be equitably distributed. Forgoing the ideological minefield of an interpretation of capital-state complicity against exploited workers, even a moderate interpretation of our current system of industrial production puts the bulk of power on the side of industry. Fred Block (1977) outlines a Marxist version of an economic imperative perspective, where state managers, conscious of the need to maintain the  28  economy and preserve social order, necessarily serve the interests of capital. This does not imply specific capitalist-parliamentarian alliances, but that meeting the needs of capital, in general, is essential to preserving the business confidence upon which the economy relies. Schnaiberg and Gould similarly address this in their discussion of the manner in which scientific data get critiqued, not on their own merits, but on the basis of their ramifications (1992:330). These ramifications are often debated publicly, but as a sidebar to the main risk debate. In economically-stressed coastal B . C . , where salmon farming is practiced, these issues are much more prominent than usual. Employment for rural communities and economic stability for the coast are issues frequently given the same weight as environmental impacts in the salmon farming risk debates. At the same time, governmental failure to conduct, and even consider, sufficient scientific research has been one of the key criticisms environmentalists have lodged in the salmon farming debate.  D E M O C R A C Y IN RISK DECISIONS The rather open battle over risk constructions, of course applies only to those environmental risks that make it to the public forum. Due to the limited resources of NGO's and E N G O ' s , not all issues do. For the most part, technological advances are made with an implicit trade-off between negative impacts and standard of living increases. Beck calls this a 'progress replaces voting' phenomenon, whereby "progress becomes a substitute for questions, a type of consent in advance for goals and consequences that go unnamed and unknown" (Beck, 1992:184). Whether this consent in advance would be revoked under a more explicit account of the tradeoffs is unknown. None-the-less, if the majority of decisions are made without the benefit of public input, and if even those decisions that are brought to the public are presented in a form that does not correspond to a social rationality, then society can only questionably be seen as creating itself according to the wishes of the majority. It is on this point that the debate around  29  the democratic potential of risk decisions takes real significance, particularly in regards to the potential for change under conditions of reflexivity. The points that Beck raised in relation to this issue need to be looked at in some depth. According to Beck, the democratic process of industrial society is split, whereby: Only a part of the decision making competencies that structure society are gathered together in the political system and subjected to the principles of parliamentary democracy. Another part is removed from the rules of public inspection and justification and delegated to the freedom of investment of enterprises and the freedom of research of science. (Ibid: 184) This is just another way of articulating the 'progress replaces voting' ideology of modern industrial society. These two 'parts' often interact, frequently oppositionally, in the societyconstructing processes. In this sense, risk decisions have been de-democratized. The promotion and protection of 'scientific progress' and of 'the freedom of science' becomes the greasy pole on which the primary responsibility for political arrangements slips from the democratic political system into the context of economic and techno-scientific non-politics, which is not democratically legitimated. (Ibid: 186) Under the current system, the state is increasingly unable to plan for or control the processes of techno-economic development. The result is what Beck calls a reversal of the political, where what was previously political becomes non-political, and what was non-political becomes political: the increasingly de-legitimized political system is "threatened with disempowerment" at the same time as "decisions in science and business are charged with an effectively political content for which the agents possess no legitimation" (Ibid: 186-87). Furthermore, this lack of political representation has not gone unnoticed by the public. T o the contrary, under conditions of increasing reflexivity, the public is becoming sensitized to the many risk issues which affect their lives, and yet which appear out of their democratic control. This growing awareness not only affects the publics' relationship with the state, but shifts the attention to the heretofore 'progress replaces voting' process.  30  Where the outlines of an alternative society are no longer seen in the debates of parliament or the decisions of the executive, but in the application of microelectronics, reactor technology and human genetics, the constructs which had heretofore politically neutralized the innovation process begin to break up. (Ibid: 186) The results of this de-legitimation of the state, is an increasing suspicion of the structures that are necessarily entrusted to make development decisions for us. Whereas in the past a simple government statement that salmon farming was the wave of the future would, in all probability, be sufficient for the majority to sing its praises, now it is met with cynicism and active critique. There are few who would currently find this level of trust in the guardianship of the state to be ideal for preserving their self-interest. This loss of trust has increased the need for other representatives, such as N G O ' s and E N G O ' s , to act for the under-represented social needs of the public.  T H E POTENTIAL FOR TRANSFORMATION: T H E SUB-POLITICAL A R E N A At least at some level, there is a popular awareness of the potential of an increasing reflexivity in modern society, the point where society "becomes an issue and a problem to itself (Beck, 1992: 32). While arguments can be made that such reflexivity is not occurring, the prevalence of environmental concern demonstrates that, occurring or not, fears regarding the reflexive nature of modern society have themselves become a part of modern society. The profusion of environmental groups, supported publicly, and fighting for numerous environmental causes, is a case in point. In fact, a now commonplace and seemingly endless program of envirobattles demonstrates the increasing debate over the trade-offs of our current production system. These battles are practically routine in resource intensive B . C . , where the debate surrounding salmon farming is just one of many in the industry-environment wrestling ring. Increasingly, any new industry wishing to be established must attempt to launch itself into this high-conflict, risk-  31  sensitized climate, where environmental repercussions can be debated before they are even demonstrated. Assuming these actually are the results of a rising level of reflexivity, how does Beck propose that we prevent a descent into a full-fledged risk society? How does he propose we resolve the 'enduring conflict'? While having important things to say about the necessity of resisting the paralysis of pessimism, Beck's theory none-the-less remains more a critique than a prescription of how to set things right- except in the most vague conceptions of the process involved. Once in the risk society, Beck states, the recognition of the incalculability of the hazards produced by technicalindustrial development compels self-reflection on the foundations of the social context and a review of prevailing conventions and principles of 'rationality.' (Beck, 1996:32) In other words, increasing reflexivity promotes an increasing awareness of the selfdestructive features of modern society. This in turn can promote a rethinking and subsequent adjustment of these features. Beck does not assume that conditions of increasing reflexivity will necessarily make society reflective, but that with it there exists the potential for increased reflectivity. More specifically, what and how structures would need to be changed— what the product of this increasing reflection should be— is less clear. For one, the prevailing rationalities (rationalities of progress, plasticity of nature, scientific rationalities of risk, etc.) along which modern society is arranged would have to be adjusted to a more socially rational form. Secondly, risk decisions would necessarily need to become more amenable to democratic legitimation. Perhaps most descriptive of the potential outcomes of increasing reflexivity comes not from Beck, but from Anthony Giddens (1990), who addresses these issues in "The Consequences of Modernity." Giddens presents a typology of 'adaptive reactions,' which individuals assume in the face of the unavoidable risks of modernity. He proposes four possible adaptive reactions to  32  the modern risk portfolio: l)"pragmatic acceptance," characterized by a focus on the struggles of day-to-day life in light of an inability to control modern risks; 2) "sustained optimism," characterized by an enlightenment ideology and a faith in "providential reason," regardless of apparent dangers; 3) "cynical pessimism," which acknowledges anxieties but dampens their psychological impact; and 4) "radical engagement," whereby problems are taken on through a process of "practical contestation towards perceived sources of danger" (Ibid: 137). The first three of these adaptive reactions Giddens considers forms of "privatism": individuals find varying methods of dealing with the anxiety of the modern risk portfolio— and the breakdown of trust in expert systems— without resorting to public engagement with the risks. However, and most importantly, Giddens proposes that even those individuals who decline radical engagement as their strategy will none-the-less intermittently engage: "[n]o one can be completely outside" (Ibid: 149). Therefore community members who overall do not environmentally 'engage', may engage on specific issues important to them. Rural community members concerned about the wild salmon stocks may engage on the issue of escaped Atlantics from farms. First Nations may engage on the issue of waste and contamination in their territories. It is not that individuals will only engage in issues that directly affect them. Issues can expand to encompass larger issues and individuals can engage on multiple issues. The point being made is that no one can be completely unaffected by the risks of modernity. As a result, there will be periods in each individual's life which call for radical engagement. [conditions of modernity, in many circumstances, provoke activism rather than privatism, because of modernity's inherent reflexivity and because there are many opportunities for collective organisation within the polyarchic systems of modern nation-states. (Ibid: 149) As society becomes increasingly reflexive, and as the consequences of this reflexivity become ever more apparent— particularly under conditions of crumbling state legitimacy  discussed— citizens are becoming increasingly active in non-traditional politics. The profusion of social movements is both testament to, and vehicle for, this participation.  T H E RISING TIDE: S O C I A L O R G A N I Z A T I O N S According to Beck, the rising tide of social organizations is much more significant than as a mere symptom of the current political context. According to Beck, this proliferation of new organizations is a component in a process of political modernization. Forms of a new political culture are becoming reality, in which heterogeneous centers of sub-politics have an effect on the process of politically forming and enforcing decisions, on the basis of utilized constitutional rights. (Beck, 1992:194) Two simultaneous factors are creating this new sub-political field. On the one hand, "techno-economic action continues to be shielded by its own constitution against parliamentary demands for legitimation." On the other hand, "legally responsible, governmental monitoring agencies and a risk-sensitive media publicity sphere begin to talk their way into and govern the 'intimate sphere' of plant management" (Ibid: 186). As potential social futures appear increasingly independent of the influence of the voting public, social and environmental groups rise to actively question the prevailing development rationalities. These are then reframed to more social rationalities for public debate. By using the judiciary and the media, politicized social organizations begin to enter the sub-politics of economic development. The David Suzuki Foundation's many media campaigns, soliciting public pressure for aquaculture policy reform, are an example of this type of activity. According to Beck, this constitutes a reversal of the political and the non-political: "political modernization disempowers and unbinds politics and politicizes society" (Ibid: 194). In sum, the result of the increasing de-legitimization of political institutions would appear to be an increase in the non-political turned political enterprise of the social movement. T o return  34  to aquaculture, the debates about salmon farming are, to a large extent, social debates about the kind of world we want to live in. Salmon farming is about the introduction of technologies which could, theoretically, over-ride social choices— for example, such as whether we want to eat 'natural' versus 'produced' fish, and whether we want to maintain all forms of wild stocks (salmon, eulachon, clams, oysters, etc.) even if it might be more profitable to let them decline. Beck contends that as a result of these social organization forcing themselves and their issues into the sub-political arena "the direction of development and the results of technological transformation become fit for discourse and subject to legitimation." As a result, industry is forced "to acquire a new political and moral dimension" previously alien to such endeavors (Ibid: 186). This effect has become readily apparent in the salmon farming sub-political arena, where environmental organizations and industry leaders often indirectly engage in the public media. Environmentalist's media statements roundly attacking the industry on environmental grounds are frequently directly countered by industry statements defending their existence on social grounds. Social concerns with the industry have been high since its inception, culminating already in 1986 with the first public inquiry. The ensuing development of the industry has fairly consistently been debated and critiqued, with environmentalists leading the very public crusade by the 1990's. Consistent with Beck's assertions, the industry has fallen into the position of defending and justifying its industrial actions, not only on claims of environmental benevolence, but, with almost equal frequency, on social grounds (such as job creation).  A N A L T E R N A T I V E INTERPRETATION? Beck's Risk Society thesis appears to provide a thorough theoretical perspective from which to view modern industrial risks. There is clearly more to the current environmental debate than mere aesthetics or an extended N I M B Y phenomenon. According to the risk society thesis,  35  risk has gotten away from us; both in our control of it, and in our control of our relationship to it. Even if one does not accept the premise of the 'Risk Society', one would have to acknowledge that the risk climate of modernity has shifted much in the manner described by Beck and Giddens. The "risk profile of modernity" (Giddens, 1990:134) is in fact, qualitatively and quantitatively much different from that of the past, and the majority of modern society's citizens are fully aware of it. Aside from the less than specific appeals that there must be change, and the somewhat less vague conceptions of the political tools and social processes (or political modernization) which could make this change come about, Giddens and Beck are equally fuzzy as to exactly how the juggernaut of modernity could be harnessed. Giddens, however, presents the future somewhat more optimistically than Beck, suggesting a stance of 'utopian realism' towards the possibility for an alternative society and the potential of 'future oriented projects'. One such future oriented project might be a global post-scarcity system. Along these lines, Giddens suggests that the public's experience with "development fatigue" (exhaustion with economic growth not correlated with quality-of-life increases) might allow for the evolution of a more "socialized economic organization" (Ibid: 166). This 'significant alteration' in organization of social life, however difficult to predict in concrete shape, would be driven by a society-wide desire to replace existing development ideologies. Utopianism aside, Giddens does acknowledge the dimension of power. While recognizing that progress often requires the "intervention of the agencies of the privileged," he also makes note that, "it would be short-sighted indeed to be sanguine about how far agencies of concentrated power would participate in furthering trends which might undermine their position." (Ibid: 163). This issue is particularly interesting in regards to ecological modernization theory (as will be presently discussed) which proposes that an ecological restructuring can be undertaken without these agencies of concentrated power having to 'undermine their position.'  36  Giddens does not suggest that there is only one Utopian realist project possible, but offers it as only one proposal. Interestingly enough, while uncertain of the exact prescription of an alternative to the risk society, it remains clear that it is not the path we are on. Whatever the change, it would necessarily involve a fundamental restructuring of Western society. Beck, in particular, is explicit on this point: '[R]eflexive modernization' means self-confrontation with the consequences of risk society which cannot (adequately) be addressed and overcome in the system of industrial society. (Beck, 1996:28) Of course, the renovation of our current system of industrial society is so monumental a project that it would be preferable to exhaust all alternative interpretations of environmental restructuring before considering it. Ecological modernization theory promotes just such an alternate. Interestingly enough, the ideas of ecological modernization theory are alluded to in Beck's reference to the scientization of risks: "[sjcience is one of the causes, the medium of definition and the source of solutions to risks..." (Beck, 1992:155). Science, as the source of solutions to risks, is the main premise of ecological modernization theory, which some interpret as casting Beck's perspective as just another in a long line of enviro-panics.  37  C H A P T E R II: E C O L O G I C A L MODERNIZATION T H E O R Y  ECOLOGICAL MODERNIZATION THEORY The concept of ecological modernization emerged on the scene of environmental discourse in the early 1980's, predominantly through the work of Joseph Huber, and advanced by the works of theorists such as Maarten Hajer, Arthur M o l , and Gert Spaargaren (see for example: Hajer, 1996; M o l and Spaargaren, 1993, 1992). Ecological modernization theory has since become the champion theory of those who do not subscribe to the 'inherent contradiction'— or contradictions, if you separate the environmental and the social— of industrial capitalism. Doubtless this plays a large role in the fact that the concept of ecological modernization has risen above other environmental discourses and entered, in a manner the radical greens of the 70's could never have hoped their perspectives to, the policy streams of major governments, and international organizations. While the theoretical details of the ecological modernization ideology are still relatively corralled, along with Beck's Risk Society theory, in mainly academic journals, both have found their colloquial equivalents. Just as risk society theory can be recognized in the somewhat bleak prophecies and calls for radical action of deep environmentalists, ecological modernization theory has been incorporated, along with the mantra of sustainability, into the blossoming idea of 'responsible industry'. Its transition from 'promising policy alternative' to dominant ideology is evidenced by recent political products such as the Brundtland report, and Agenda 21 of the 1992 United Nations Conference of Environment and Development (Hajer, 1996:249. See also Blowers, 1997). In this new wave of environmental consciousness it is no longer radical for industry and government to pay at least lip service to the environment. In fact, it is practically a requirement for ensuring public support, and thus continued development. There is enough  38  indication to assume that this shift is the result of reflectivity brought on by the increasing reflexivity of modern production processes. In their seminal works on the emergence of the market economy, both Karl Marx and Karl Polanyi had critiqued its emergence as responsible for the subordination of the social needs of human life. Under the market system, there was no alternative but that nature, culture and society would be incorporated into its market organization. However, "to include them in the market mechanism means to subordinate the substance of society itself to the laws of the market" (Polanyi, 1957:71). While Polanyi and Marx predominantly focused their theses on the subordination of labour, the grounds for an ecological critique are evident. The Marxist critique of the environmental repercussions of capitalism is carried further in the work of ecological Marxists such as Paul Burkett and James O'Connor (see for example Burkett, 1996 and O'Connor, 1988, 1998). The ecological-Marxist critique is much along the lines of Beck's 'boomerang effect.' Under growing conditions of reflexivity, it is apparent that the refutation of the natural environment has repercussions detrimental even to the workings of the market system. Schnaiberg and Gould's conception of the 'enduring conflict,' among others, is another development along this line, adapted for the modern environmental context.  T H E EMANCIPATION OF T H E E N V I R O N M E N T A L SPHERE It is at the point of society becoming more reflexive that ecological modernization theory and risk society theory go different ways. According to ecological modernization theory, the 'enduring conflict' characterized by Schnaiberg and Gould is simply misguided fallacy. The environment and the market do not, in fact, represent contradictory drives. Rather, in the same manner we have corrected social imbalances of the past, with the necessary environmental improvements we will re-establish the delicate balance of social and economic needs in our current production system. In other words, according to ecological modernization theory, there is  39  within the capitalist industrial system a place for environmental considerations to be incorporated into the normal workings of the market. Hajer characterizes the process of ecological modernization as revolving around an attempt to overcome a 'conceptual problem.' The ecological crisis, seen as the result of externalizing production costs onto the environment, needs to be addressed by re-incorporating these costs into our economic equations, its 'conceptual solution' (Hajer, 1996:251). Similarly, Arthur Mol finds that in order to "restore the balance between nature and modern society a kind of 're-embedding' should take place" (Mol, 1995:29). Once these ecological criteria have been re-incorporated, the seemingly enduring conflict which Schnaiberg and Gould saw between nature and industrial society would be put to rest. Unfortunately, how, exactly, these conceptual oversights will be rectified— how ecological modernization will occur in practice— is a little more difficult to conceive. Much has been written about the two previous 'waves' of environmental concern that have marked the 1970's and the 1980's. Attempts have been made to explain the ebb and flow of these waves in relation to what they can tell us about the current wave. According to Arthur Mol and Gert Spaargaren (1993), the first wave of environmental concern in the 1970's was predominantly relegated to the domain of counter-culture, as nature was still perceived as something external to the production system. In the 1980's, however, this started to change, and environmental interests began to be institutionalized within the economic sphere— in other words, began to have an impact on economic interests. M o l and Spaargaren interpret this as a process whereby the environment "gained independence from political and ideological interests," (1993:437) during the first wave of concern in the 70's, and from economic interests during the second. Concerns about the environment are growing to affect areas previously untouched, and Mol and Spaargaren understand this to be a process whereby environmental interests are  40  developing into an "autonomous ecological sphere, possessing its own  specific domain and  rationality" (Ibid:437). As ecological issues grow in importance, the ecological sphere is becoming increasingly emancipated from political, cultural and economic interests. The implication is not that environmental concerns will come to dominate these other spheres, but that through its evolution into an independent ecological sphere, it will possess "its own specific domain and rationality" (Ibid:437), its own logic and momentum. As a result, there will be an increasing introduction of ecological criteria into the workings of modern institutions, whereby "ecological rational action is institutionalized into the central social institutions of modernity" (Ibid:438). It is important to emphasize here that, unlike proposals arising from Risk Society theory and ecological Marxism, the ecological modernization project is expected to occur within the existing institutional structure, and the "transformation of central institutions of modern society" are expected to occur "within the boundaries of modernity" (Ibid:437).  2.1  T H E E C O L O G I C A L L Y M O D E R N I Z E D SOCIETY  T E C H N O L O G Y A N D T H E POSITIVE S U M G A M E As the emancipation of the ecological sphere occurs through a growing society-wide recognition of the need for ecological concerns to be addressed, these concerns then become the driving force behind an ecologically-reformed market system. As a result, ecological modernization is seen as a positive-sum game. As social pressures create an economic incentive for greener production systems, "the 'ecological deficiency' of industrial society" will be turned into "the driving force for a new round of industrial innovation" (Hajer, 1996:249). It will become beneficial for industry to become more ecologically sustainable. Therefore, ecological modernization theory not only refutes the risk society perspective that maintaining our current industrial system pre-determines our societal collapse, but in the interpretation of Blowers, it  41  even proposes that the market economy is "the most effective way of securing the flexibility, innovation and responsiveness needed to promote the ecological adaptation of industry" (1997:8). Key to the ecological reformation will be a heavy emphasis on the role of science and technology, with ecological modernization theorists proposing a transition to a superindustrialized society. Continual scientific and technological advances will provide new solutions to environmental problems, and the natural partnering of market and technology will eventually lead to solutions to many of our current environmental challenges. From this perspective, the environmental problems of industrial production are the result of a lack of industry efficiency, which will be corrected through the modernization process. The development of feed monitoring technologies which reduce the excess feed provided to farmed salmon (thus reducing the cost of production for industry at the same time as reducing the impact of accumulated waste on the environment), would be an example of this increased industry efficiency. How ecological modernization of the B.C.'s salmon aquaculture industry would look is not limited to one interpretation, however its operating principle remains the incorporation of environmental criteria into the industry, with the additional benefit of increasing industry efficiency and profit. New technologies to prevent escapes could improve the industry's environmental impact, decrease economic losses, decrease insurance costs, and even fan new industries for the production of these technologies. New waste management technologies could do likewise, improving fish health and increasing profits at the same time as reducing impacts. In this same manner, continued scientific and technological advances could simultaneously environmentally and economically improve other aspects of the industry, such as reducing the amount offish-meal in feed, and decreasing the use of antibiotics. In the ecological modernization perspective, just as humankind has overcome successive environmental crises of the past, through the benefits of technological innovation it will  42  overcome those of the present. This perspective harkens back to the propositions of Murphy regarding social conceptions of the plasticity of nature. Therefore, directly countering risk society ideology, where an excess of technological advances have been part and parcel of our destruction, ecological modernization theory perceives technology to be part and parcel of our salvation. Not only can the market incorporate ecological components into its production systems, and thereby resolve its ecological contradictions without loss, but it can even profit from the new industries developed to meet the needs of the emerging ecological criteria. Industries will arise to produce the new ecologically sound technologies. Environmentally sound products will be produced to meet evolving market demands. By all appearances it would seem that this process has already begun in Western society, as evidenced by the number of 'green' detergents, organic foods, and other environmentally friendly products emerged on the market. Critical consumers would be more interested in purchasing these environmentally improved products, and the potential increased consumption would also increase profits. Overall, ecological modernization would produce a positive net benefit for both industry and the environment. Therefore, according to its theorists, ecological modernization is not something which is externally imposed on industry, but will be driven through the internal motivation of industry: firstly, as a result of an increasing reflexivity and a need to resolve the contradictions of their own production processes; and secondly, through the new profit incentives and market pressures to provide ecologically sensitive products. In sum, the emergence of an ecological sphere possessing its own rationality, imposes its influence on the economic sphere. The result is an industry motivated ecological rationalization of production processes.  43  THE ROLE OF THE STATE In the broader industrial picture and in this specific industry case, ecological modernization presents itself as a highly attractive solution to the economic development versus environmental protection debate. Contrary to the divisiveness that the idea of environmental protection usually inspires in the jobs versus environment debate, ecological modernization proposes a positive sum approach: environmental protection to the benefit of industry efficiency and profit. A s a result, there will be a "dissolution of the conflict between economic progress and responsible environmental management because it will be possible to achieve both objectives simultaneously" (Cohen, 1997:109). On the coast of B . C . , where organizations and counterorganizations on the job-environment front regularly regard each other as pitted enemies (despite a basic commonality of resource dependence), this would mean a fundamental shift in realities. The role of the state in ecological modernization is seen as facilitator of the process: "enabling, establishing a regulatory framework which assists the efficiency of the market and ensures environmental protection" (Blowers, 1997:8). In this manner, the environmental repercussions brought about as a result of industry externalizing production costs onto the environment (its 'conceptual omission') would be addressed, with assistance from the state, by re-incorporating these costs into the economic equation. The theory is somewhat vague on how this re-incorporation would occur in concrete terms (without imposing a net loss to industry), but it does imply a large measure of stateindustry cooperation in the rationalizing of industry towards more environmentally sound modes of production: "The salience of the market, the rise of the enabling state, and the emphasis on partnership and collaboration form the political context for ecological modernization" (Blowers, 1999:10). This spirit of cooperation and enabling could manifest itself in a number of ways: through the funding and promoting of relevant scientific research, facilitating improvements with a variety of incentives, and assisting in the testing and development of environmentally improved  44  technologies, to name a few. Predominantly this is categorized as occurring through a continuous process of institutional learning. The idea of partnership is not limited to industry-state interactions. Rather, the collaboration between a "self-regulatory business and an enabling state' would be "increasingly open to the influence of environmental organizations" (Blowers, 1999: 8). Therefore the role of the state would necessarily be that of key facilitator in opening up the potential for this influence. In this case we could expect to see an increase in negotiations and stakeholder meetings including government, industry and environmentalists. A n ecologically modernized salmon farming industry, for example, can be expected to be accompanied by a resultant commonality of purpose between these groups towards the ecological reform of the industry. In sum, in the ecological modernization scenario, industry is not (overly) threatened by prohibitive regulations or fines, but is assisted in its transition to a more environmentally efficient mode of production.  2 .2  E C O L O G I C A L M O D E R N I Z A T I O N AS R E F L E X I V E M O D E R N I Z A T I O N ?  T H E R O L E O F INTEREST GROUPS On the surface then, ecological modernization would appear to be the ideal typical response of a reflexive society becoming reflective. What could be better evidence of reflection in a society becoming a 'problem to itself than the incorporation of missing ecological criteria into its system requirements? In this regard, ecological modernization could be the un-named solution that Risk Society theory is wanting. However, while not presuming to predict the inevitability of our descent into the Risk Society, Beck maintains the futility of "attempts to cure industrial society of its suicidal tendencies with more of the same: morality, technology and ecological markets" (Beck,  45  1996:43). This is not just a theoretical point, but of great practical significance. In Beck's assessment, industrialization is the root cause of the increasing reflexivity due to its tendency to produce risks we cannot fully understand or control. As a result reflexivity cannot be addressed from within industrialized society: accordingly, ecological modernization does not have the capacity to avert the disaster that the current production system is leading us towards. Another key difference in the processes outlined by the two theories, is their perception of the role of environmental groups and of social movements in general. Interestingly, the same social movements and radical action networks that Beck and Giddens held out as the hope for a 'modernization of modernity,' Mol and Spaargaren cite as a reason for concern. Ecological modernization is based on partnership and collaboration for its successful implementation. For this reason, they believe that the proliferation of environmental groups could have a negative effect on the possibility of ecological modernization—the group's 'eco-alarmism' preventing rational social action in favour of reactive responses. Reactive responses do not allow for the natural progression of ecological rationalization [Sjtringent environmental management in terms of ecological modernization can be undermined by end-of-pipe measures which could result from the anxietyinduced conduct of lay actors towards modern expert systems.... (Mol and Spaargaren, 1993:455) In other words, citizens, alarmed by environmentalist's campaigns on an issue, could pressure the government to act with rash shows of regulation, which it would do in order to maintain its legitimacy. It is interesting to note the implicit devaluation of the lay public which this position contains. Therefore, while Beck and Giddens see the only possibility of industrial reformation occurring from the external pressure on industry, predominantly through the means of social organizations, Mol and Spaargaren see this pressure as undermining the possibilities for an ecological rationalization of industry which would occur internally if unimpeded. In their  46  perspective, these groups stimulate politically motivated and highly restrictive environmental regulations, and thus prevent the more rational social action that would occur through an ecological modernization of the industry (Ibid: 434).  2 .3  RISK SOCIETY AND E C O L O G I C A L M O D E R N I Z A T I O N : C O M P A R I N G THEORIES In order to clearly assess the explanatory potential of these theories for our particular case  study, and for how they reflect on the global arena, a few general points need to be made. Firstly, both theories are limited in scope to addressing problems from the perspective of developed Western society. Although Beck engages the issue of undeveloped societies in the context of inequality in the distribution of risks, ecological modernization theory does not address how this costly incorporation process could be expanded to those countries where governments are having enough difficulty getting industry off the ground, let alone support its doing so ecologically. It seems highly unlikely that these states could bear the cost in a manner that would still present ecological modernization as a positive-sum solution to industry. This issue is exacerbated by free-trade agreements and increasing capital mobility. While the above has little practical bearing on our immediate consideration of B.C.'s aquaculture industry, it is significant when looking at ecological modernization in the global context: there is no shortage of examples of environmental destruction in developing countries borne of the profit-seeking of western countries. Even without this political element, the processes described by E M T are limited in their ability to address global risks. While market forces could be directed to ecologically rationalize an industrial sector, large-scale risks such as global warming require social transformations on a worldwide scale. Secondly, as noted by Blowers, both theories are "curiously apolitical" (1999:10). While Beck's hypothesis appears much more developed— addressing issues of inequality, individual  47  level psychological effects, shifts in lay perceptions of experts affecting state legitimacy, to name a few— he is fundamentally lacking when it comes to the more practical aspect of solutions. This is a considerable deficiency in what by all appearances strives to be a call for social transformation. In direct contrast, ecological modernization thrives on the presentation of solutions. Unfortunately, it also proposes its modernizing potential as if there were no conflict or dissention impeding its progress, thereby leaving a questionable gap between theoretical solutions and practically applicable solutions. The first point hints that perhaps Risk Society theory and Ecological Modernization theory should be separated into different areas of applicability. The second point leads to practical considerations of the potential of ecological modernization to succeed even within its limited area. These will be discussed in more detail below.  MERGING PERSPECTIVES While ecological modernization and the risk society theses seem to define themselves in direct opposition to each other, some theorists have tried to moderate the conflict to get at a more encompassing theory of environmental risk and society. Maurie Cohen (1997), for example, attempts to provide an interpretation of the two theories that integrates them into a single model of social transformation using the concept of 'switching zones.' According to Cohen, the ecological modernization model that its theorists propose is too deterministic in nature: [It] is essentially a stage, or evolutionary-process, model suggesting that over time a society will proceed from pre-modernity, to modernity, and finally to ecological modernity. However, adherents of this deterministic approach fail to recognise that ecological modernization is neither pre-conditioned nor inevitable. (Cohen, 1997:111) Cohen proposes that in order to become ecologically modernized, a society must "modify its institutional structures, develop new policy tools and adapt its life-ways to accommodate environmental limits." Following in the tradition of Beck and the ecological modernization  48  theorists, Cohen does not detail how this societal modification would look. It almost seems to imply that society must undergo a social transformation much like Beck proposed, but in a supertechnocratized direction which he did not. However, this is speculation. Cohen does say that the adjustments would "require a society to disengage from its modern past and make a discontinuous leap" and that "failure to make the necessary jump will cause a society to assume an alternative trajectory.... This is the route of the risk society" (Ibid: 111). The above 'leap' is only the first of two possible 'switching zones.' Even once on the path of the risk society, Cohen allows for the possibility of another trajectory into the 'selfcorrecting' risk society. Key to Cohen's proposal is that ecological modernization is not inevitable. Further, he offers a perspective that is an alternative to the dominant view of ecological modernization and risk society theories as directly antithetical. A particularly interesting point that Cohen raises in his treatise is the changing social relationship to science and scientific knowledge. Similar to some of the concerns raised by Beck, Cohen discusses the role that an increasing societal distrust of scientific expertise could play. The impact of this shifting relationship on the goals of ecological modernization could be significant: Because the transition toward ecological modernization requires each nation to reaffirm its commitment to scientific rationality, this development suggests the transformation toward enhanced sustainability will likely be contentious in many societies. (Ibid: 115) To the extent that the lay public feels its social rationality is not represented by state and expert systems, they will be unlikely to trust these systems and will empower N G O ' s and E N G O ' s to represent these interests. The necessarily critical role these organizations play in regards to the dominant scientific and development rationalities could therefore be a significant impediment.  49  ARENAS O F APPLICATION Cohen's attempt to integrate the two theories not-with-standing, most theorists in the debate have fallen to examining each of the individual elements of the two theories in an attempt to ascertain which side has more merit. It is possible that it is so difficult to ascertain our societal position in relation to these theories, because these polarized positions cannot be adequately translated out of the world of theory. On the dirty ground of the non-theoretical world there are as many examples of environmental improvements brought about by technological advances and state regulation, as there are examples of uncontrollable environmental risks pushing relentlessly through space and time. The problem of which kind of society we live in is a false representation of a unified society. Even Beck's presentation of risk society acknowledges the piecemeal effects of a society in progress: remember, "we do not yet live in a risk society, but we also no longer live only within the distribution conflicts of scarcity societies" (Beck, 1992:20). The polarity of visions is not simply the result of the difficulties of categorizing a society in flux. Rather, there are gaps in each of the theories which rein in their explanatory potential. Ecological modernization does not have the theoretical grounding to address mega-risks (such as nuclear accidents) which cannot be modernized out of their cataclysmic capacity. These megarisks are, however, precisely the area of the risk society thesis. It is these that, with the help of 'normal' system failures lead to the increasing reflexivity of society. These normal accidents are also not limited to the somewhat abating concerns over the nuclear industry, but as society increases its management of nature in the manner Murphy described, it will increasingly include catastrophic threats to food production and other life-sustaining elements— water, for instance. On the other hand, modern society has extensive examples of what could be seen as successful ecological modernization. Take, for example, improved pollution controls, filters, scrubbers, green taxes, and ethical funds. One would be hard put to claim that these were not environmental improvements, or that the majority of them were not significantly aided by  50  technological developments or by a state-facilitated positive-sum approach. Green taxes and ethical funds are instances of an institutionalization of ecological concerns very much in the manner ecological modernization theory proposes. Risk society theory falls short in its ability to incorporate this trend of institutionalized and technology-induced environmental improvements, which by all appearances appear to be a growing phenomenon. In light of these theoretical gaps, perhaps the best explanation for the polarity between these two perspectives of environment and society is that, to a certain extent, the two theories actually focus on different arenas of applicability. Significantly, this differing landscape of application is something which M o l also acknowledges: The main frame of reference of ecological modernization includes "normal" environmental problems such as water pollution, chemical waste and acidification.... In dealing with high-consequence risks such as the greenhouse effect and the Chernobyl disaster, an analysis based on the Risk Society theory may yield significant additional insights. (Mol, 1995:395) Those theorists who have attempted to assess the explanatory potential of Ecological Modernization and Risk Society theory via their application to empirical cases, such as Blowers assessment of the nuclear industry, have been most likely to note the distinction:  As we have seen, it is difficult to apply ecological modernization to the nuclear case and, whereas Risk Society clearly identifies the nuclear industry as a key example, it is concerned with the problems of risk at the broad, abstract societal level rather than with the specific problems of risk facing local communities. (Blowers, 1999:10) Like an increasing number of other issues, the current case of salmon farming has application to both locally-based environmental problems, and, when considered for its cumulative effects, has implications at the 'broad, abstract societal level' as well. While an ecological modernization process is substantially disadvantaged in its ability to address these larger societal problems, it should be well able to address the more 'normal' environmental problems.  51  2.4  LIMITING THE CONTEXT FOR ECOLOGICAL MODERNIZATION Once we have essentially divided the two theories into their areas of strength, the  question becomes: allowing for its limited scope of application, how plausible is it that an ecological modernization of society's production practices will occur? A number of issues have arisen which indicate problems with the application of the ecological modernization proposal, even within the context of the localized environmental concerns which it serves best. The first is the macro critique of ecological modernization premises from a Marxist perspective. This is essentially the risk society argument. Thus, along the lines of Giddens, it remains fair to question how cooperative 'the agencies of power' might be in undermining their own power (Giddens, 1990:163), especially if there are alternatives. For example, moderate disturbances and expressions of public displeasure can often be overcome in time with sufficient advertising and public endorsements from leading sports heroes and the like. There are ample reasons to question whether the dawning industry awareness of the financial benefits of ecological rationalization would occur in the manner prescribed. Industrial society has been developed on the externalization of costs. Could industry be depended upon to gamble on an unknown method of profit maximizing, when a tried and true method (externalizing costs) is still available? There are plenty of indications that capital can not only delay the distribution of risk to themselves but can still profit quite nicely as well. This issue is not limited to globalization impacts, but exists where-ever traditional means of externalizing costs would still be available along-side more ecologically innovative ones. Secondly, a key component of the ecological modernization program involves the advance of technology in the direction of scientific super-industrialization. As both Cohen and Beck indicated, there is reason to be concerned about the limits of public acceptance of this direction. This second point, and to some extent even the first, involves the assumption of a growing consensus towards the goals of ecological modernization. Perhaps the leap that Cohen  52  was referring to, then, represented a leap of faith in undertaking the goals of the program. This is significant when considering the highly conflictual state of B.C.'s salmon farming industry, and any high conflict industry, for that matter. Perhaps the theory's greatest weakness, as it pertains to this particular industry, is its assumption of an evolving consensus towards the goals of ecological modernization.  E M T AS INSTITUTIONAL P R O G R A M Directly contrary to Beck's extensive discussion of the changing face of democracy and the opening up of the political, ecological modernization theory seems to grant little influence to the actions of individuals or groups in comparison with that of institutions. Above all, ecological modernization tends to focus on the technological and economic dimensions of environmental change, thereby neglecting the important social, cultural and political dimensions which...are vital to the explanation of conflicts over landscapes of risk (Blowers, 1999). In other words, ecological modernization theory deals only with the industrial dimension of modernity, at the expense of the political aspects which Beck had thought fundamental in his model of social change. It is possible that this could be a significant oversight in assessments of the potential of ecological modernization, not only in any given society, but perhaps even within a society, in each industry or industry sub-sector. Cohen hits on an important point in his statement that the construct of ecological modernization "reframes environmental reform by interpreting pollution reduction as a means of enhancing economic competitiveness rather than as an externality requiring the installation of end-of-pipe technologies" (Cohen, 1997:109). Exactly this: it 'reframes' the issue of environmental reform; as discussed, even the most rudimentarily observant news-watcher is aware that the framing of issues is highly contested territory. Furthermore, while ecological modernization appears to have constructed its theory with full thought to reframing the industry-  53  state-environmental dynamic, it makes little allowance for those elements outside this dynamic, except to propose that there would be an enhanced opportunity for input. According to Hannigan, "Spaargaren and Mol, in fact, say little about the power relations which characterize environmental processes, assuming somehow that good sense will automatically triumph" (1995:184). Of course, 'good sense' is highly subjective. Therefore, while having everything to do with the environment, there is very little discussion of environmentalists themselves in ecological modernization theory, excepting what underlies the assumption that they should be happier once the sustainability house is in order. However, considering the tenuousness of many group's control over an issue's definition, or for power in general, there would have to be considerable motivation for the group to relinquish that control in a gamble on what might be seen as a compromise position. This is particularly relevant in regards to environmental groups, which not only gain their political strength, but also a great deal of their funding, from their command of the issues. While Mol and Spaargaren do raise some concerns about the potential negative effects of the eco-alarmism of environmental groups, it seems fair to question whether the emancipation of the ecological sphere they suggest would have been likely to occur if not for the work of these groups in the first place. In addition, as the evolution of these groups is in part attributable to a de-legitimation of the state, it seems somewhat ill-conceived that they would relinquish their concerns in the hope that this time the state would adequately represent them. In other words, it would appear to be somewhat precarious to balance a theory of industrial evolution on a line of logic that ends at the back door of industry and government. The political arena extends far beyond that of state-industry interaction, and has many more players, not all of whom can be expected to be cooperative to the goals of ecological modernization. Though not explicitly stated, one assumes that in an ecologically modernized society, environmental groups would focus on ameliorating problems, rather than attempting to shut  54  down offending industries, and state guardians would act as overseers of the process. Taking a quick look at the salmon farming industry, there are a number of conflicts in approach which might arise, even between environmental groups. Those environmentalists who are concerned with the issue have taken a range of views on aquaculture's environmental problems. Some groups are willing to concede aquaculture's position in the economy, provided that it were to address its environmental problems, while others have taken a more oppositional stance to the industry as a whole. Furthermore, not all groups are even concerned with the same issues. While some interest groups are focused on the environmental impacts and risks to the wild fish stocks, others are concerned with the more general issue of externalizing production costs onto the environment or (by way of state-assisted environmental programs) onto the public purse for the exclusive benefit of private profit. Clearly the latter concern directly contradicts the goal of ecological modernization to be undertaken with no net loss to industry. These differing opinions, are not passively held in the sidelines either. As evidenced by its highly successful international campaign against clear cut logging, Greenpeace, for example, has a keen sense of mobilization and alliance building that is not to be overlooked. Here in B . C . , E N G O ' s have been trying to court alliances with First Nations, such as the Namgis, that are producing complementary and generally compatible critiques of the industry. Therefore, while the type and extent of impact of these extra-state and industry factors will be varied, there is little doubt that they will have some effect on the path towards ecological modernization. For example, it seems possible that the extent the aquaculture industry is defending itself against a multiplicity of accusations, its energies will necessarily be more directed at denying and reinterpreting those accusations than improving environmental conditions. This is of course not the only possibility, nor is the attempt to imply that the only possible interest group interaction scenario is one of hindrance to the process, but there is sufficient indication that these factors could have an effect that they bear looking into.  55  2.5  ENVIRONMENTAL IMPROVEMENT AND ECOLOGICAL MODERNIZATION  While theorists such as M o l and Spaargaren might see ecological modernization as the logical reflexive modernization of society, it is clearly not the modernization that Beck, or even Giddens, would conceive of as a possible solution. Both theories allow for the possibility of a reformation of our societal relationship to the environment, however the nature of these reformations is drastically different. In Beck's interpretation we see an increase in friction over environmental and other social issues as new social movements— filling the gap left by an increasingly de-legitimized state— enter the sub-political field to take on corporate interests, and force a more socially rational agenda. The outcome would appear to be a continuous struggle between market and social interests, reminiscent of Karl Polanyi's double movement. Polanyi (1957) described the historical trajectory of market and social interests as characterized by a double movement, whereby extreme social gains which eroded the market were overturned by free market values, and extreme free market values, which eroded the social system, were similarly overturned in a continuous struggle to balance the social and economic relationship. Both Beck and Giddens predict that a more pervasive ecological reformation of our production system is possible through the growing politicization of society towards modern risks. In the ecological modernization interpretation, we see a growing social rationality entering into the agendas of industries and corporations, as they increasingly realize their interests are not autonomous from social and environmental interests. There would be a resultant decrease in friction, as environmental and industry groups join together to pull in a mutually beneficial direction. In both scenarios, the path would show some environmental improvements made along the way. As a result, there needs to be a distinction made between ecological modernization and environmental improvement, in general. Ecological Modernization, as a society-wide process  56  resulting from the emergence of an independent ecological sphere, reforms the overall nature of production. Simply stated, this 'emergence' means that ecological concerns begin to be on par with the other dominant spheres of modern society, and begin to be incorporated with equal consideration into its functioning. A fully developed ecological sphere therefore implies a pervasive and coherent depth of ecological rationalization, whereby the environment becomes a "central factor in social reproduction" (Mol and Spaargaren, 1993:439). As a result, environmental values are institutionalized into state and industry functions to such an extent that ecological concerns are increasingly given equal consideration to economic concerns. In ecological modernization's perspective of an emerging ecological sphere, ecological criteria are re-incorporated as a conceptual solution to a growing awareness of a past conceptual oversight— the neglect of ecological considerations in production practices. In this scenario, not only society in general, but also industry and the state recognize their need to re-incorporate these criteria. Presumably, this need is more steadfast than the somewhat fickle levels of public concern, less subject to reversal, and less dependent on contextual elements. Therefore, unlike previous 'waves' of environmental concern, the ideology of ecological modernization implies a more enduring form of ecological rationalization of industry practices. While not stated explicitly, it is presumed that a handful of institutionalized environmental improvements do not constitute a full emergence of an ecological sphere, although it could be a step in that direction. Therefore, piecemeal environmental improvements are not necessarily indicative of an ecological modernization process. In effect, what Mol and Spaargaren characterize as the emergence of an independent ecological sphere, could in reality be no different than the third wave in a now familiar ebb and flow of societal environmental concern. Similarly, any hopes that the current rise of green-thought might be the answer to Beck's hopes for societal transformation could also be wishful thinking. It would, of course, be extremely difficult to determine to what extent environmental improvements are the result of an  57  emerging ecological sphere, except to ascertain to what extent there is a rise of environmental improvements which could be indicative of an emergent ecological sphere. Table 2, in the methods chapter following, provides a rough typology for making an assessment of the level of environmental improvements. Whether or not these environmental improvements are the result of ecological modernization will then have to be deduced from an assessment of the processes which accompany them. From the previous discussion of ecological modernization, six key characteristics of an ecological modernization process emerged: it will proceed through the internal motivation of industry; it will be a positive sum game between industry and the environment; the process will be a consensual process involving all stakeholders and interest groups; the process will be facilitated by the state; it will be achieved through scientific and technological advances; and, as a result of these advances, there will be a blossoming of new industries relating to ecological production. A typology of these characteristics, and the counterperspectives characterizing risk society processes are outlined in Table 3 of the methods chapter. The case of salmon farming will therefore be used to assess the extent to which environmental improvements in the industry are increasing (be it as a result of a third wave of concern, or as a result of an emerging ecological sphere), and the extent to which these improvements can be attributed to either ecological modernization or risk society processes.  58  CHAPTER 3: METHODS  The question under investigation here is to what extent ecological modernization is occurring in B.C.'s salmon farming industry. This question will be addressed through an analysis of key ecological components of salmon farming policy (including issues of implementation), and an assessment of what processes appeared to contribute to these components. The assessment of ecological modernization processes will also allow for some assessment of the two subsidiary questions outlined in the introduction. T o the extent that ecological improvements are occurring, do they appear to be evolving out of a process of industry-motivated incorporation of ecological criteria, along the lines of a positive-sum game? Secondly, does it appear that the more successful ecological improvements are associated with a consensual process of policy development amongst interest groups, such as stakeholder processes? The antithesis to these propositions places an underlying emphasis on the role of interest groups, particularly environmental organizations, as a source of external motivation to ecological reform. This should allow for speculation on the alternate characterizations that Beck and Giddens, as opposed to Mol and Spaargaren, made of these groups' role in facilitating ecological improvements. While there have been changes in the acceptance of ecological modernization ideas over time— in fact, the time period of analysis begins prior to the emergence of ecological modernization as a widespread theoretical concept— the goal is not to overly document the shifting acceptance of these ideas, but rest the analysis somewhat loosely on the assumption that, if it were possible for industry and ecological values to co-exist, this would be desirable for all. Deviation from ecological modernization ideas is most expected in the area of implementation, in a discrepancy between action and talk. This would indicate a problem with the ecological  modernization thesis on the macro-level, similar to the critiques brought to bear by neo and ecological Marxists.  3.1  THE POLICY Salmon farming policy has been extremely piecemeal, particularly in the industry's early  years, when aquaculture was governed as it fell under pre-existing legislation. Taken in isolation, most pieces could not test the ecological modernization thesis of an industry-wide transformation. For this case study, policy has been broadly defined as 'events' and address the overall policy thrust of a particular period. Although specific policies, such as on antibiotic usage and food safety standards, also exist, the events and policies analyzed have been chosen for their overall representativeness of aquaculture policy at a given time. The selected events demonstrate progressive, concentrated efforts to design a comprehensive aquaculture policy. While the 1986 and 1995 reviews of the industry were designed specifically for the purpose of charting future regulatory directions, the 1989, 1999 and 2000 policies were the direct results of these attempts.  60  SELECTED POLICY DOCUMENTS  1986  THE GILLESPIE INQUIRY The Gillespie Inquiry was the first highly publicized policy moment of the industry, following a period of rapid expansion and an apparent lack of regulation. The inquiry produced a number of recommendations that led to the first significant policy developments in 1987. 1989  THE AQUACULTURE REGULATIONS The Aquaculture regulations were created in a period following the Gillespie inquiry and the Ombudsman's report. This was the first creation of an aquaculture license and license requirements. 1995  ACTION P L A N FOR S A L M O N AQUACULTURE The 'action plan' is a key policy moment as it was the point of official launching of the moratorium of the granting of salmon farming tenures in B.C., and the launching of the Environmental Assessment Office's Salmon Aquaculture Review (SAR). The SAR was anticipated by some as the resolution of the environmental debate around aquaculture. OCTOBER 1999 5 POINT S A L M O N AQUACULTURE POLICY INITIATIVE This was a major policy initiative, set to address the concerns raised in the completion of the SAR in 1997. The plan was a two year policy implementation plan. OCTOBER 2000 AQUACULTURE AMENDMENTS This policy event is particularly important as it is the first major amendment of the actual salmon aquaculture regulations. It is also very interesting in the extent it addresses those issues (such as escapes) which are not directly addressed by licensing or siting of farms. 2001... The Auditor General's report (Feb 2001), the Policy Implementation Update of the October 1999 framework (Jan 2001), the David Suzuki Foundation's Leggett Inquiry, and, most importantly, the 2002 lifting of the moratorium on salmon farming tenures. These recent events will be addressed to some extent in the discussion.  61  MEDIA MATERIAL As discussed in the introduction, material for analysis includes federal and provincial policy documents, reports, and news releases, in addition to stakeholder documents and press releases. For the purpose of assessing some of the processes (such as stakeholder perspectives, conflict) and the more contextual elements surrounding policy developments, a review of media documents was also necessary. Although a general interest in salmon farming issues provided numerous media documents from various sources, the primary source was an online search through the Canadian Business and Current Affairs electronic index. Documents were searched from 1982 to Sept. 2001, although very few were available prior to 1990. Searches were conducted under the terms 'salmon farming'(82 records) and 'fish culture' (33 records). Searches were also conducted under the names of key stakeholder groups (e.g. B C Salmon Farmers Association, Georgia Strait Alliance, David Suzuki, to name a few). It must be acknowledged that this method of gathering background information carries a risk of bias. As the majority of the analysis focuses directly on policy documents and the government inquiries themselves, the impact of this bias should be minimal. The most significant bias potential here is the extent to which the media could over-represent and sensationalize conflicts, thus giving the impression that there is a greater level of conflict than actually exists. The potential for erroneous conclusions was fortunately limited by the public consultation style of conflict resolution applied in the inquiry processes. Both Gillespie and the E A O not only commented on the dynamics leading to their implementation, but provided a forum for groups to express their views independently from the media. Stakeholders often provided position papers to these inquiries. Other sources, such as the Continuing Legal Society's seminar material and the Ombudsman's report also provided fairly objective sources of supplementary information and some original position papers. Accessing stakeholder produced news releases and website information was another means of gaining insight into conflict between stakeholders.  62  Those qualifications of the use of media material aside, the review of media material on the salmon farming issue provided a wealth of material, both contextual and indicative of the more subtle shifts in values and construction of issues that have taken place over the years. How salmon farming issues have changed in construction over time and between groups would be a valuable area of further research. Similarly, there is a great deal that social movements theory could offer to an analysis of the manner in which the anti-aquaculture forces have succeeded or not. This goes beyond the scope of the investigation here, however. Further to the background material that it provides, the level of media attention around certain issues, in itself, can provide some indication of the level of public interest in the topic. A selection of some of the more interesting media documents has been included in the bibliography for reference.  T H E F R A M E W O R K S FOR ASSESSMENT The analysis of the policy follows three questions: one, does an emerging ecological sphere appear to be in evidence; two, do the environmental improvements made appear to be attributable to an ecological modernization process; and thirdly, how can the ecological modernization, or lack thereof, be explained. The first two questions will be answered through the policy analysis, using the frameworks provided in the tables that follow.  Q U E S T I O N 1: E N V I R O N M E N T A L I M P R O V E M E N T ? The first question is whether there is evidence of an emerging ecological sphere as the work of Mol and Spaargaren predict. While the actual emergence of an ecological sphere 'on par with political, cultural and economic interests' would be difficult to assess empirically, the level of ecological criteria in production practices will be used as a proxy. Is there evidence of environmental improvements being made to the aquaculture industry, and if so, to what extent? How central do environmental concerns appear in production processes?  63  Q U E S T I O N 2: E C O L O G I C A L  MODERNIZATION?  The second question is whether environmental improvements (whether at the level of minor environmental improvements or of extensive ecological restructuring) is necessarily evidence of ecological modernization. To the extent that there are environmental adjustments made to the industry, to what extent can these be attributed to an ecological modernization process, as described by theorists?  Q U E S T I O N 3: H I N D R A N C E S / F A C I L I T A T O R S  O F ECOLOGICAL  MODERNIZATION?  Finally, if ecological modernization is not occurring, what appears to be preventing it? Is there a problem with the assumption that the ecological sphere is emerging to take a position along-side the economic criteria in production practices, (macro critique of e.m. theory) Is there a problem with the consensus assumption of ecological modernization which sees a dissolution of conflict between stakeholders as they work towards common goals, (micro-critique of e.m.)  INTEREST GROUPS (E.M. OR RISK SOCIETY) What appears to be the role of interest groups in the ecological restructuring of the industry? Has any light been shone on their role in environmental reform as differently understood by ecological modernization theorists and by risk society theorists? Do they appear to be impeding (as ecological modernization theory proposes) or facilitating (as risk society theory proposes) the ecological reform of the industry?  64  3.2  Q U E S T I O N 1: D O T H E S E L E C T E D P O L I C I E S S H O W E V I D E N C E O F A N EMERGING ECOLOGICAL SPHERE? The first step of the policy analysis will be to assess the existence and/or level of an  ecological component in the policy documents. To this end, four 'types' of environmental content in aquaculture policy have been broadly defined: monitoring, research, redirection, and regulation. The first two are related to the assessment of the environmental impacts and the last two are related to the reduction of harm of this impact. A n effective emergence of the 'ecological sphere' in farmed salmon production would require an overall ecological logic to be incorporated into the industry. Presumably this would involve some form of at least three of the four types of environmental content (monitoring, research and regulation). Although a strongly enforced regulation based on inaccurate knowledge would be ecologically ineffective, this scenario is unlikely, and as a result these components can be regarded as a gradation in ecological strength. 'Redirection' is to some extent a component of its own. Theoretically, it could replace regulation, as a whole industry is technologically restructured out of all of its environmental problems. More likely, even alternate technologies will require some regulation, and so it is seen as occupying the position between 'research' and 'regulation.' The four categories or 'types' of environmental content are described below, and classified for their ecological strength in table 1. Of course, who undertakes these activities is also very important. Where industry and the state are undertaking actions such as research and monitoring, it supports an ecological modernization interpretation. Where these activities are conducted by external watchdogs, such as E N G O ' s or un-sponsored First Nations, it supports an alternative explanation, along the lines of Beck and Schnaiberg and Gould's interpretation of 'external pressures' as necessary for ecological reforms.  65  1. MONITORING O F IMPACT: Assessment can occur through the making of requirements for industry to supply various types of data, through practices of inspectors or other government officials in the collection of data, or through the promotion of programs involving the public in the process of increasing knowledge of certain effects of aquaculture (for example, fishers reporting caught Atlantic salmon). (i.e. data collection, net inspections, waste sampling, site monitoring, stream surveys, Atlantic watch programs) The level of monitoring of the effects of the industry can range from little or none to high, and can be conducted by industry, government, or by external watchers, such as First Nations or E N G O ' s .  2. R E S E A R C H INTO I M P A C T : Assessment can also occur through the funding of research into the environmental impacts of aquaculture. This can occur through the launching of government studies into particular environmental issues of concern, or through the provision of grants or other method of funding scientists for the further research into the impacts of salmon farming, (long term accumulation of waste, genetic interaction, etcetera.). The level of research into the impacts of the industry can range from little or none to high, and can be conducted or funded by industry, government, or externals.  3. REDIRECTION O F INDUSTRY T O R E D U C E IMPACT: Environmental impacts of the industry can be reduced through the redirection of existing production practices towards more environmentally friendly ones. This can be done through the funding of research into alternative (greener) technologies, such as self-contained systems, or  66  net-pen improvements. It can also be done through the promotion or facilitation (i.e. through incentives) of newly developed or experimental technologies. The level of redirection of existing production practices of the industry can range from little or none to high and can be undertaken by various parties.  4. R E G U L A T I O N OF I M P A C T : The reduction of environmental harm can also be done through regulation. Regulation refers to the actual regulation itself, as well as the more difficult to assess implementation of that regulation, or compliance enforcement. Therefore two components must be considered in order to adequately assess a regulation's environmental content: 1) the extent of the environmental criteria of the regulation, and 2) the level of implementation of these regulations. The level of regulation can range from little or none to high. The same is true for implementation.  REGULATION AND ENFORCEMENT Regulations can rely on certain end results in terms of an environmental problem (i.e. emission standards, salmon escapes), or they can require the adherence to certain procedures (filters, nets), on the assumption that this improves the end result. The former is considered a stronger approach. Enforcement of these regulations has a number of components which would indicate the strength of a regulation: are regulations complied with on a voluntary basis; are they requirements of licenses; are there enforcement mechanisms in place; is there the facilities for assessing compliance or is it dependent upon a complaints or referral procedure; how stringent are the penalties of non-compliance; are these penalties applied without fail, in all cases or only some?  67  T A B L E 1: C A T E G O R I Z I N G T H E R E L A T I V E S E V E R I T Y O F E N V I R O N M E N T A L C O N C E R N S ( T H A T P O L I C I E S C O U L D B E E X P E C T E D T O A D D R E S S IN T H E C O N T E X T O F A N E M E R G E D E C O L O G I C A L SPHERE). As will be seen below in Table 2 , the strength of the ecological component of a policy is to some extent dependent not only on the number, but on the severity and the level of certainty of the problems it addresses. Salmon farming is about a new form of animal husbandry, only somewhat amenable to the standard practices of environmental improvements (which predominantly revolve around the reduction of raw inputs and the reduction of waste outputs). While waste outputs is certainly one such concern, the severity of the problem cannot be easily judged on quantity alone, but involves other variables such as the location of pens, tides, etcetera. Though less quantifiable, the most consistent means of interpreting the severity of an environmental concern seemed to be by classifying issues according to their degree of threat.  METHODS T A B L E 1: L E V E L OF SEVERITY OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS MINOR PROBLEMS: ISSUES O F U N P L E A S A N T N E S S T O E N V I R O N M E N T / O T H E R S / A N I M A L S These are issues of sight, smell and sound pollution of a non-health-threatening variety (not highly detrimental). Issues of small, reversible environmental impact to limited areas, and environmentally absorptive levels of waste. Issues of noh-species threatening reduction of life-forms in small area.  M O D E R A T E PROBLEMS: ISSUES O F H A R M T O E N V I R O N M E N T / O T H E R S / A N I M A L S These are issues of sight, smell, sound and environmental pollution of health-threatening variety. Issues of cumulative waste (non absorptive levels) or toxins which damage a limited area, or bring harm to certain groups of animals (i.e. a single run of salmon, a certain pod(?) of seals or whales).  MAJOR PROBLEMS: ISSUES O F SERIOUS H A R M T O E N V I R O N M E N T / O T H E R S / A N I M A L S / S P E C I E S These are issues of sight, smell, sound and environmental pollution of a life or species threatening variety. Issues of large scale environmental damage, such as issues of cumulative waste or toxins over broad areas, which could bring harm to entire populations or species. Issues of irreversible, large scale damage to environment. Issues of irreversible, large scale damage to entire populations or species.  68  Table 1 is provided to illustrate a loose logic that is behind assessments of the ecological components of policies. It is not intended to be used for a detailed assessment of the ecological risks which have arisen in the history of the industry. This would require a much more detailed typology, and is not warranted for the focus of this investigation. In addition, more socially significant environmental concerns warrant distinct consideration. For example, while the damage done to a limited area of shellfish beds may only be a moderate environmental problem, the environmental impact may have huge social significance for a First Nations community that relies on them. In this case, the environmental significance of the problem is seen as larger than otherwise would be the case.  SCIENTIFIC C E R T A I N T Y As severity of problem and level of certainty are often open to interpretation, it is difficult to classify them objectively. Indeed, it is exactly this differing of viewpoints (or constructions) of these issues that lies behind the intense debates. However, ecological modernization of an industry should not depend on scientific certainty. Ecological modernization of an industry indicates that decisions are no longer made strictly according to economic criteria, but ecological criteria as well. Therefore, one could expect that in relation to potentially very serious ecological problems, a more precautionary approach would be taken, along with concerted attempts to increase scientific knowledge about the subject. Strictly reactive approaches, which only deal with serious issues when there is irrefutable proof of impact, are not indicative of an emerging ecological sphere.  69  T A B L E 2: C A T E G O R I Z I N G T H E E M E R G E N C E O F T H E E C O L O G I C A L S P H E R E (ITS S T R E N G T H ) I N P O L I C Y  DOCUMENTS  The table below outlines a scheme for assessing the relative strength of the ecological components of policy documents. Increasing strength is assessed in three ways. Firstly, within a certain ecological policy type there are varying degrees of strength, as documented on the chart. Secondly, as discussed, the types themselves are considered as increasing in strength from assessment to implementation. Thirdly, and positioned down the left side of the chart, are the number of issues, or environmental problems, which are addressed by the policy. While a weak ecological component will only address a limited number of minor issues, a strong one would address all of the key concerns in some manner. Obviously very few policy documents will address all types of environmental concerns in the one document. Some are addressed by pre-existing policies, and need to be re-assessed for their strength in light of developing knowledge. Often policies come out sequentially, and need to be considered in tandem. To the extent that significant issues are not addressed by any policy in a given time period, this will need to be noted. Furthermore, policies are not necessarily going to be consistently weak in all three ways of assessing a particular issue, or even consistently weak in one way on all issues. The chart below provides a means of assessing the overall strength of a policy from the sum of its parts. In addition, redirection could arguably be a stronger policy response than regulation for some issues. Therefore there will need to be maintained an over-riding logic to the assessment of issues which is not violated by strict adherence to the scheme:  W E A K : monitor/learn about the problem M O D E R A T E : improve the problem S T R O N G : prevent or solve the problem In sum, while a typology is provided, the policy analysis itself is necessarily a flexible process.  70  M E T H O D S T A B L E 2: S C H E M E F O R ASSESSING T H E E M E R G E N C E OF T H E E C O L O G I C A L SPHERE IN POLICY DOCUMENTS STRENGTH OF ENVIRON. COMPONENT OF POLICY DOCUMENTS WEAK None, very few, or only minor environmental concerns relating to the industry are addressed.  WEAK  WEAK TO MODERATE  MODERATE  MODERATE TO STRONG  STRONG  MONITOR Little or no data collection regarding the environmental effects of the industry is mandated or supported.  RESEARCH Little or no research on the present or future impacts of the environmental effects of the industry is mandated or supported.  REDIRECT. Little or no funding or grants are available for the development of alternate technologies.  REGULATION Regulation is concerned with process not results.  IMPLEMENT. Regulations rely on selfenforcement or voluntary compliance.  Regulations are only reactive to pressing environmental problems, not precautionary. MODERATE A t least some o f the key environmental concerns relating to the industry are addressed.  Moderate amount o f data collection is mandated or supported.  Moderate amount o f research... mandated or supported.  M o s t or all of the serious environmental concerns relating to the industry are addressed. Policies are precautionary in nature, erring on the side of caution in instances o f uncertain impact.  Regulations are not externally monitored. Regulation is concerned with process and results.  Some incentives provided to industry for adoption.  Policies are mainly reactive towards environmental problems. STRONG  Little or no incentives provided to industry for the adoption o f new (greener) technologies. Moderate amount o f funding/grants available.  Regulations rely on self-reports o f violations, or complaints from the public.  G o o d amount of data collection is mandated or supported.  G o o d amount of research... mandated or supported.  G o o d amount of funding/grants available. Good incentives provided to industry for adoption o f green technologies.  Regulations rely on small fines, warnings, or other minor penalties for compliance. Regulation compliance is monitored to some extent.  Regulation is concerned with results over process.  Regulations are backed by large fines, license suspension or revoking, or other penalties which could be a potential threat to an industry's viability. Regulation compliance is regularly monitored.  71  3.3  QUESTION 2: IS THIS AN INDICATION OF ECOLOGICAL MODERNIZATION? The second step will be to assess whether the environmental content found is in fact  indicative of an ecological modernization process. If an ecological criterion is emerging, what is to distinguish its being the product of an ecological modernization process (as per Mol and Spaargaren) from its being the product of pressure from interest groups (as per Beck and Giddens)? According to Mol and Spaargaren (1993), the 'eco-alarmism' of environmental groups exacerbates public distrust of the expert systems our institutions rely on, and, as a result, can actually hinder the ability to address problems with rational action. According to Beck and Giddens, these groups hold the only hope for sufficient counter pressure to the un-sustainable production processes. From the review of ecological modernization literature, aside from the emerging ecological component, six key characteristics of the ecological modernization process have been identified. These six characteristics represent guidelines for the identification of environmental criteria in policy developments as being indicative of an ecological modernization process.  1. INTERNAL MOTIVATION Ecological modernization is seen as the natural evolution of industry becoming selfcritical, or reflexive, of its own ecological shortcomings, and consequently addressing them. The ecological modernization process then, is seen as occurring primarily as a result of the internal motivation of industry. The most likely signs of this would be proposals for reforms coming from industry, industry consultation with environmentally concerned groups, industry adoption of improved technologies when available, to name a few.  72  2. CONSENSUAL PROSESS INVOLVING STAKEHOLDERS Ecological modernization is seen as evolving out of a consensual process, where all stakeholders are working together to achieve goals common to all. In this scenario, environmental organizations would decrease industry-punishing campaigns, and increase attention on achieving reform through stakeholder participation processes. Ecological restructuring decisions are decreasingly dictated by the state and increasingly the result of the participation process.  3. STATE ENABLED The ecological modernization process is seen as enabled (not dictated) by the state. There should be a reduction of punitive style environmental policies and an increase in state facilitated consultation processes, which result in progressive policies. The state would assist with the adoption of new technologies.  4. POSITIVE SUM GAME—NO NET LOSS TO INDUSTRY The fundamental belief behind ecological modernization theory is that environmental reform can occur through a positive sum approach: industry will willingly adopt environmentally friendly practices and technologies as they become aware that it is both environmentally and economically beneficial. Ecological reforms will come hand in hand with the added benefit to decrease the losses and increase the production of industry.  5. IMPROVED GREEN TECHNOLOGIES THROUGH SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES Ecological modernization theory relies heavily on the redemptive capacity of science and technology to resolve environmental problems. As science uncovers solutions to ecological problems they will be adopted by industry.  73  6. N E W INDUSTRIES E M E R G E T H R O U G H THESE A D V A N C E S SERVING E N V I R O N M E N T A L NEEDS. According to ecological modernization theory, the increase in scientific and technological advances, coupled with the increased market desire for green products, will enable the emergence of new industries which address these needs.  T H E ANTI-THESIS: PROCESSES O T H E R T H A N E C O L O G I C A L M O D E R N I Z A T I O N A R E A T W O R K The anti-hypothesis, so to speak, of the ecological modernization thesis would run more along the lines of Beck's characterization of an emerging risk society, and would attribute the incorporation of ecological criteria to changing political dynamics. For instance, during periods of high public salience, environmental groups have much more power to influence policy decisions. If this were to be the case, ecological improvements would continue to be characterized by periods of high stakeholder conflict and an increased threat of economic loss to industry.  T A B L E 3: E C O L O G I C A L M O D E R N I Z A T I O N PROCESSES A summary of the six characteristics of the ecological modernization process are listed in Table 3. The assessment of the existence of an ecological modernization process at work will occur through an assessment of the context surrounding a policy event, particularly the actions of institutions and interest groups. Media sources, government statements, press releases from any of the stakeholder groups, and environmental campaigns, provide the background material for this part of the investigation.  74  M E T H O D S T A B L E 3: ECOLOGICAL MODERNIZATION PRECONDITION:  PROCESSES  E C O L O IGNIDCI A L TRI O EN FO M FS A R E O C C U R I N IGN D I C A T I O N S CA S RO ECOLOGICAL MODERNIZATION PROCESSES AT W O R K BEHIND ENVIRONMENTAL REFORMS  1. I N T E R N A L MOTIVATION  Indications of industry initiated environmental reforms, research, data collection. Central industry bodies organize to internally reform and address key concerns.  2. C O N S E N S U A L PROSESS INVOLVING STAKEHOLDERS  Industry willingly adopts new technologies. Stakeholder groups willing to meet with each other to resolve issues. Low conflict between stakeholder groups as they work towards common goals.  3. S T A T E E N A B L E D  Groups attempt to compromise towards ecological reforms. The state facilitates or initiates stakeholder meetings and/or consultation processes. Stakeholders have a forum for expressing their viewpoints/concerns. State enables groups to have input in negotiating ecological reforms.  4. P O S I T I V E S U M GAME  5. S C I E N T I F I C A N D TECH. ADVANCES 6. N E W I N D U S T R I E S  OF PROCESSES OTHER THAN ECOLOGICAL MODERNIZATION AT WORK BEHIND ENVIRONMENTAL REFORMS ( R I S K S. P R O C E S S E S ) No indications of industry initiated activity. Environmental reforms/actions are externally imposed. High incentives are required for the adoption of new technologies.  Stakeholder groups refusing to meet or join stakeholder process. High conflict between stakeholders groups. Groups are attempt to gain favour for their highly polarized positions. No stakeholder groups or consultation process initiated by the state. Groups have no state facilitated avenue for input into the policy process. Policies are created and imposed by state.  Policies evolve out of stakeholder/consultation process. State facilitates use of new technologies. Ecological improvements are associated with improvements to the economic side of production.  Ecological improvements are associated with a financial loss to industry.  Ecological improvements are associated with advances in technology. New industries emerge which serve the existing industry's need to incorporate ecological criteria.  Ecological improvements result from retractions of technology (i.e. smaller scale). Green markets are fed by products which are alternatives to the industry in question.  75  3.4  QUESTION 3: E C O L O G I C A L M O D E R N I Z A T I O N — W H Y OR W H Y NOT? Lastly, and based on the results of the previous investigations, is the question of what  factors may be inhibiting the ecological modernization process? A number of broad scenarios could result from the first two investigations.  1)  Environmental reforms are occurring, and do appear to be the result of the ecological modernization process as described by ecological modernization theorists.  2)  Environmental reforms are occurring, but do not appear to be the result of the ecological modernization process as described by theorists. While the former would support the ecological modernization thesis, the latter may lend  more credence to the propositions of risk society theorists, depending, of course, on whether these environmental reforms can be alternately attributable to the role of interest groups in the manner described by risk society theorists (i.e. do they appear to be associated with external pressures).  3)  Environmental reforms to the industry are not occurring in any significant manner, and the ecological modernization processes described by theorists does not appear to be occurring.  4)  Environmental reforms to the industry are not occurring in any significant manner, and the ecological modernization process does appear to be occurring to some extent. Scenario three and four indicate that ecological modernization is failing to occur. Even if  ecological modernization processes are in place, the failure of ecological reforms to be implemented would indicate a failure of ecological modernization. The goal would then be to assess why. Previous studies indicated that the assumption of consensus between stakeholder groups, is a potential area of failure of the ecological modernization process. If high stakeholder conflict is characteristic of a failure of ecological reform, this could lend support to that critique.  76  I f the e c o l o g i c a l m o d e r n i z a t i o n p r o c e s s is o c c u r r i n g a n d y e t s i g n i f i c a n t  environmental  r e f o r m s are s t i l l not o c c u r r i n g , a n o t h e r p o s s i b l e r e a s o n is that t h e r e m a y b e a n i n s u f f i c i e n t ' e m e r g e n c e ' o f the e c o l o g i c a l s p h e r e . A l a c k o f e v i d e n c e o f i n d u s t r y m o t i v a t i o n t o e c o l o g i c a l l y r e f o r m c o u l d be a n i n d i c a t i o n o f t h i s . T h i s w o u l d l e n d c r e d e n c e to the m a c r o c r i t i q u e o f the t h e o r y , a l o n g the l i n e s o f e c o l o g i c a l M a r x i s m .  77  C H A P T E R IV: T H E E A R L Y  4.1  YEARS  T H E E A R L Y Y E A R S OF S A L M O N F A R M I N G From the start, British Columbia's style of salmon farming regulation has been  characterized by a process of public consultation, monitoring and assessment, marked by two provincial inquiries and moratoria on tenures. In 1986, meeting the first surge of public concern, a 30 day moratorium was issued while the provincial government conducted public consultations and assessments of growing concerns. By 1995, the process had come full circle, with another moratorium on licenses and environmental review, complete with interest group submissions and public consultations. These two moratoria have been the foci for policy development around the environmental issues of salmon farming. The aquaculture industry from B . C . to Washington started in the early 1970's. At the inception of B.C.'s industry, the majority of salmon farms started as small-scale individual enterprises. The industry started with little technical or financial support from government agencies. As a result, development was slow and the new industry was plagued by start up problems. Technology was new, regulations between levels of government were ill-defined, and a number of natural and other factors conspired to severely test these new initiatives. In addition, salmon farmers had difficulty obtaining sufficient quantities of eggs, which had to be obtained from the same D F O hatcheries which supplied the salmon enhancement eggs, of prime interest to the commercial fishery. In 1975, there was still little initial interest by the provincial government to assist in the expansion of the industry: We can see no merit in establishing special programs of financial assistance. If the industry is unable to attract capital, it will be because there are judged to be better alternative uses of capital.... (Pearse Bowden Consultants Ltd. & Envirocon, 1975:74)  78  The industry was eventually able to attract capital, however. As a result of Norway's commitment to maintain employment in rural communities, it imposed restrictions of 8000 cubic meters for maximum cage volumes in 1978, and lowered them even further (to 3000-5000 cu m.) in 1984. Further restrictions were put in place to ensure local ownership. (Zamluk, 1997:76). There were also environmental restrictions imposed on the Norwegian industry, such as Section 5 of the regulations, which prohibited the placement of farms "where there is the danger of possible pollution to other forms of wild fish or shellfish" (Kurland, 1986:34). As a result of these regulations, Norwegian salmon farming companies were interested in investing in countries where regulations might be less restrictive. B . C . was a prime location, and these companies provided a substantial financial backing for the emerging industry. By the early 1980's, the industry began to develop in earnest, and government interest gradually increased as the industry expanded. Despite concerns voiced over foreign ownership, with the help of Norwegian investment B . C . ' s salmon farming industry began a period of rapid expansion by the mid 1980's. The majority of these early farms were located on the Sunshine Coast, due to the proximity to markets. It would seem the industry was launched in earnest at this point. Unfortunately, a number of factors in the late 80's conspired to offer a surplus of new challenges to the industry: depressed Japanese consumption, low prices, a record-breaking wild fishery, and natural factors, such as the worst wind storm in 30 years. (Keller and Rosella, 1996:71). As a result of these challenges, the late 80's were characterized by a series of buy-outs and amalgamations. B y 1990, "a third of the salmon farming companies that had registered in 1988 had gone into receivership or changed hands" (Ibid:85). At this time, there were still 72 firms operating 135 sites. B y 1993, this had been reduced to only 17 firms (Ibid:85). This number remains at 17 in the year 2000, with 105 active farm sites (Auditor General of Canada, 2000). 79  Clearly, drastic changes had occurred in the structure of the industry over the period from the first wave of environmental concern and initial moratorium in 1986 to the time of the second moratorium in 1995. The industry had transformed from its initial 'mom and pop' status to one in which 9 companies supplied 75% of all the farmed salmon produced in B . C . (Ibid: 102). In addition, the farms had migrated from their initial beginnings on the Sunshine Coast, northward, many of them settling in the area around the Broughton Archipelago. The industry picture at the end of 1995 was far different from that of 1989. Farms were now concentrated off Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island and from the Broughton Archipelago south to Quadra Island. Three areas that had been home to salmon farming in the early years had been completely abandoned.... While the early farms were started by local entrepreneurs and financed by Norwegian banks, most of the 1995 farms were subsidiaries of huge international concerns (Ibid: 101). The economic structure of the industry was not the only factor which underwent radical restructuring during this time period. Substantial changes were also being undertaken in regards to salmon farming practices. In May to J u n e of 1986, Atlantic salmon were being introduced to commercial netpens for the first time. (Province of British Columbia, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, 1987: 2.1.12). At the same time, public concern was becoming an issue. Prior to the boom in aquaculture, and as evidenced by the many hardships in the industry's start-up, little was known about the industry at first, environmental impacts included. However, as the industry gained a footing, and started to expand, previously insignificant impacts became increasingly noticeable. Particularly on the populated and recreation-oriented Sunshine Coast, this industry assault drew growing protest. The newness of the industry garnered other problems as well. As a new form of private production conducted on the public marine environment, aquaculture represented an industry that was not easily classified into pre-existing regulatory jurisdictions between federal and provincial governments, or even between departments within those governments. At the same time, no regulations specific to the industry existed. Instead, regulations were applied as they fell under 80  various federal and provincial acts, such as the federal and provincial Fisheries Acts, federal Navigable Waters Protection Act, and provincial Land Act and Waste Management Act (British Columbia, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. Aquaculture and Commercial Fisheries Branch. March 1990:2). While the federal government claimed jurisdiction over some aspects of salmon farming, various provincial ministries claimed jurisdiction over others. As a result, farmers were forced to navigate a number of complicated and simultaneous licensing procedures. Furthermore, "at any point in the process, some other federal or provincial department could offer an objection and derail the whole process" (Keller and Rosella, 1996:21). Therefore, at the same time as the industry struggled to overcome its growing pains, the government was struggling to designate a regulatory authority and create new policies in its scramble to create a regulatory framework for the new industry.  4.2  GILLESPIE,  1986  The first major policy event in the salmon farming industry was, without doubt, the Gillespie inquiry. On October 31 , 1986, Premier Vander Zalm announced a moratorium on s1  licenses. David Gillespie was given the task of conducting a 30 day review of the industry, complete with community meetings for interest group consultations and opportunities for public response. Response to the public hearings was cited as 'overwhelming,' with 258 submissions, many of which were supplemented with background materials (Gillespie,! 986:5). Many of the environmental impacts of the industry were still unknown at the time of the inquiry, and concerns focused on the possible repercussions of allowing excessive expansion prior to having sufficient knowledge about the possible impacts. However, while some of the concerns regarded scientifically uncertain impacts, such as the probability of genetic interactions, others were based on known, and sometimes highly visible, impacts.  81  The main environmental concerns raised at the time of the review were as follows: •  Damage to water quality and the marine environment. This was a major concern, regarding pollution in a variety of forms, many of them highly visible (feed sediment, blood and offal, causing decreased sea-life, water clouding, etc.). Evidence and counter evidence was presented, with many calling for increased monitoring.  •  Inadequate predator control methods. Concerns were raised regarding the increasing destruction of predators (otters, seals, eagles, etc. attempting to feed off the farmed fish). Despite regulations prohibiting their destruction, enforcement was insufficient (Ibid: 17).  •  Toxicants and pharmaceuticals in the water, were another significant issue. The use of T B T , a net pen antifoulant, and excessive use of antibiotics were the largest concerns. These concerns centred around human health risks and the impact on the food chain.  •  Disease transference, with the importation of Atlantic salmon eggs being the most critical. This was a major issue of concern. The "majority of commercial fishery, recreational sport fishery, wildlife, and environmental groups called for an immediate ban on egg importation..." (Ibid: 15). While citing elaborate screening procedures, both Federal and provincial governments acknowledged the validity of the concerns, as did the Salmon Farmers Association.  •  Genetic alterations due to escapements and Atlantics establishing themselves in the wild. These concerns were still preliminary in nature ("it was speculated that..." (Ibid: 16)) and lacked sufficient scientific support. Gillespie made 52 recommendations at the end of the review regarding government  support for the industry and improved administration, information dissemination, and marketing; resource-user conflicts; First Nations involvement; and environmental issues, to name a few. Facilitating the development of the industry was the openly stated goal. Accordingly, a key emphasis of the recommendations was the amelioration of resource-user conflict, through improved public information, involvement of local governments, and increased participation and consultation with stakeholders. First Nations stakeholders had a special interest in salmon farming developments, and Gillespie made methodical recommendations to both First Nations and salmon farmers to realize the mutual benefits of First Nations involvement in aquaculture. While refusing to support a ban on sites within 8 km of reserves "due to the implications for the aboriginal land claims position"  82  (Ibid:34), Gillespie did recommend that a 'referral' of applications should be made to reserves within 3 km of a site, thus recognizing "Native bands as legitimate interest groups in the land referral and tenure process" (Ibid:34). Coastal Resource Inventory Studies (CRIS) had already been initiated by the Lands Branch in select areas, such as the Sunshine Coast. The purpose of the CRIS was to allow interest groups to identify areas that were "'critical' or 'important' to [their] specific activities," (British Columbia. Ministry of Forests and Lands, CRIS, Sechelt-Sunshine Coast: 1), and these included environmental considerations. Gillespie recommended the provincial government initiate CRIS immediately in three areas where a high level of conflict between resource users was evident (Ibid:41), and later in areas where lower levels of conflict were evident. Further to reduce resource-user conflict, Gillespie recommended that the provincial government establish an aquaculture advisory council from key agencies and interest groups (Ibid:29). Most significant environmentally, Gillespie recommended an end to the importation of Atlantic salmon eggs, due to the high risk of importing diseases. While a draft federal-provincial agreement called for an end to the importation by 1989, Gillespie proposed that "a fall-1987 closure is considered realistic," and he "urged [the two governments] to ratify their agreement" (Ibid:37) to incorporate this recommendation. Finally, Gillespie recommended that subject to his recommendations, the moratorium on the granting of salmon farming tenures be lifted. In January of 1987, the CRIS were undertaken in the high priority areas. The moratorium was lifted partially in February 1987 except in CRIS areas, and lifted in CRIS areas once the CRIS was completed (Province of British Columbia, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, 1987a).  83  M A R C H 1987: A N E W P O L I C Y Immediately after the Gillespie report was completed, key government agencies (the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in conjunction with the Ministry of Forests and Lands) formed an Aquaculture Steering Committee in order to prepare an action plan. The mandate was to consider Gillespie's recommendations and construct new policies based on them. By February 1987 a new policy was drafted, and it was implemented by March of 1987. This new policy accepted the majority of the recommendations made by Gillespie, with a few exceptions. The highlights of the new policy were: •  Fish farm development plans must accompany all applications, and must be submitted to other governments agencies and interest groups for comment.  •  Imposition of a three km spacing guideline between all new applicants.  •  Applications for sites must be advertised, locally and in B C Gazette.  •  Property/tenure holders within 1km coastally/300 m. inland of application must be notified.  •  No tenure applications accepted within 1 km. from parks and ecological reserves  •  Farms are required to undertake an environmental monitoring program.  •  Minimum licence fee of $500 imposed.  •  Application acceptances will be reserved in certain areas until CRIS completed. (Province of British Columbia, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, 1987a).  4.3  E N V I R O N M E N T A L RESPONSIVENESS OF T H E G I L L E S P I E INQUIRY While the science behind the environmental impacts of salmon farming was lacking due  to the newness of the industry, there was no shortage of speculation and a widespread environmental concern (for examples, please see the public records from the inquiry: British Columbia, 1986a and 1986b). A large proportion of the non-industry presentations to the Gillespie inquiry spoke of concerns regarding unknown impacts and the need for stricter controls on the industry as a result of this. The industry was seen as unregulated, unchecked, and free to expand with impunity in the gold rush on the sea. Interestingly, of those who attended the 4 public meetings, only a very small percentage were from formal environmental groups. Out of the 387 registered participants, only 8 (2.1%)  84  were from environmental groups, whereas 10.8% were from the commercial fishery, 17.6% were from the aquaculture industry, and 33.9% were private citizens (Gillespie,l986:8). While the environmental charge was led by the United Fishers and Allied Workers Union ( U F A W U ) , which was concerned about the impact on the wild stocks, many private citizens and community groups also lodged environmental concerns. Despite the expressed disquiet, the environmental reforms resulting from the Gillespie review ranged from weak to non-existent. While the potential was created for the position of ecological concerns in production decisions, the recommendations themselves did not outline significant environmental components outside of the manner in which environmental issues were incorporated into resource-user conflicts. The most significant stand-alone environmental recommendation that Gillespie made dealt with the importation of Atlantic salmon eggs. His recommendation that the importation of Atlantic salmon eggs be stopped as soon as possible (fall 1987, by his estimation), was also one of the few recommendations that was not adopted by government. Importation policies were revised (Keller and Rosella, 1996:58), but importation continued in order to allow the industry to develop in what it identified as a more profitable direction. A few other environmental provisions were made in the new policy, such as the requirement that farms should undertake 'environmental monitoring' of their business. Spacing guidelines were also imposed, but these were primarily for the purpose of preventing disease transfer between farms. Although a minimum 1 km distance from ecological reserves was imposed, this did not include spawning beds, migratory routes, or less officially acknowledged sensitive ecosystems. Gillespie had also recommended diligent use standards, suggesting that a "failure to maintain environmental standards or to achieve fish production levels should be a basis for tenure cancellation" (Gillespie,!986:46). However, no guidelines for what these environmental standards should be were outlined in policy, and the crux of 'diligent use' 85  appeared to primarily address existing farmers' concerns regarding speculation (application for tenures without immediate intention to farm) during the 'gold rush' on sites. Furthermore, the new policy stipulated that applicants must submit development plans. These development plans contained questions regarding "other coastal resource uses" (Province of British Columbia, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Ministry of Municipal Affairs,! 988:6.2.19), such as the proximity of the site to shellfish beds and salmonid bearing waters. The plan also queried whether the site was used for a commercial fishery and what known predators were in the area, although no regulations actually prevented siting in areas where either of these was known to be. In sum, concrete policies regulating environmental impacts were clearly not put in place as a result of the Gillespie inquiry. On all points, the environmental components of the policy were extremely weak. However, numerous stakeholder processes which were recommended by Gillespie were in fact initiated by the aquaculture steering committee, and the possibility of a platform for environmental guidance existed there. Consistent with the ideas of Mol and Spaargaren, who proposed that 'end of pipe' regulations could actually impede ecological rationalization, this somewhat soft policy framework could be interpreted in a better light. Though weak in regulatory terms, the consultation processes put in place could be the precursors to an ecological rationalization of the industry. Three main avenues for stakeholder participation existed. The mandatory aquaculture application plans were to be advertised and submitted to local governments and other groups, which then were given 30 days to respond to the application. The Minister's Aquaculture Industry Advisory Committee ( M A I A C ) was appointed based on Gillespie's recommendations of stakeholder participation in the policy process. Lastly, and perhaps most significant from an environmental perspective, the Coastal Resource Inventory Studies (CRIS) allowed stakeholders to identify areas where they were most opposed to the siting of fish farms. 86  MINISTER'S A Q U A C U L T U R E I N D U S T R Y A D V I S O R Y C O M M I T T E E ( M A I A C ) In May of 1987, the aquaculture steering committee, established the Minister's Aquaculture Advisory Committee, (MAIAC), to advise on policy development in the industry. While the recommendation was to involve all resource groups in the planning process towards the promotion of 'harmony,' Gillespie frames the main purpose of the advisory council on the premise that "direct involvement of the industry is considered critical for the development of finfish aquaculture" (Gillespie: 1986:29). As established later, this is exactly how M A I A C evolved, and according to an assessment of agenda items by Rita Zamluk, "by 1991, the focus of M A I A C was industry competitiveness and profitability" (Zamluk:57). By 1992, just after the T Buck Suzuki Foundation was appointed to the committee, M A I A C was disbanded.  A Q U A C U L T U R E DEVELOPMENT PLANS In the new 1987 policy, local governments and others were given 30 days to respond to any submission of an aquaculture development plan. That same year, the provincial government produced a new policy document outlining the role of local governments in the regulation of finfish aquaculture developments (Province of British Columbia, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Ministry of Municipal Affairs, 1987c). Two points are made very clearly by the ministries in the document, one regarding the limitation of local jurisdiction, the other regarding the benefits of limiting regulation. According to the province, local governments, in whose region farm-owners wish to locate, are included in order to ensure "orderly coastal development." However, "where issues relate to matters beyond local government jurisdiction, local government staff should suggest that these concerns be brought to the attention of the appropriate agency" (Ibid:2.1.40). For instance, those concerned with the environmental impacts of salmon farms should not address the local  87  government but would need to bring their concerns to the attention of the Ministry of Environment and Parks. Secondly, the Ministries emphasized that "in remote undeveloped areas, where land is predominantly in Crown ownership and private lease or ownership is not foreseen, local government regulation is not encouraged" (Ibid:2.1.31). The provincial government was pointedly concerned that too much regulation would impede an industry which had proven to be economically viable, despite the government's initial neglect of it. It is also important to exercise caution in enacting regulations. With the industrydriven evolution of aquaculture comes the danger that local regulation designed for aquaculture as it already exists may inadvertently preclude or hamper the further development of an industry, which if allowed to proceed could be beneficial to all. (Ibid:2.1.35). This neo-liberal approach of reducing regulation as a means of promoting industry development was in character with the ideology of the reigning Social Credit provincial government, and could be evidenced in other industries (such as forestry) at the time.  C O A S T A L R E S O U R C E I N V E N T O R Y S Y S T E M (CRIS) Of the policies which resulted from the Gillespie inquiry, the expansion of the CRIS process appeared to represent the greatest possibility of reducing the environmental impact on known sensitive ecosystems. The CRIS process included consulting with stakeholders to create a mapping system designating the coast into colored zones: green was 'open to salmon farming,' yellow was 'yes, with caution' and red was 'no opportunity.' These colored areas were developed based on areas of high priority for other resource uses. These included recreation and tourism conflicts— an obvious issue in the Sunshine Coast. However, these also included sensitive ecosystem and other environmental concerns. Commercial fishers, for example, were encouraged to identify migratory  88  routes and areas which were rich in marine life, and where the siting of salmon farms would negatively impact on marine resources. A closer look at the first two stakeholder processes ( M A I A C and the Aquaculture Development Plans) indicates slightly less ecological potential than might otherwise be hoped for in a stakeholder process. While the M A I A C and the Aquaculture Development Plans had the potential to increase information gathering from a broad range of user groups, there was a clear pro-development bias to their functioning. Even the regulatory input of local governments was limited by an elaborate inclusion and exclusion process. Although other affected parties could still have input into the Development Plans. For the most part, the environmental impact of these processes would be directly related to the extent that industry was motivated to include environmental content, which remained to be seen. Over the long term, this could provide a good opportunity to assess the internal motivation of industry to ecologically rationalize. The third stakeholder process, the CRIS, appeared to be the only real avenue for stakeholder input into environmental content. By soliciting input from non-industry groups, with the intent of their having a direct impact on farm siting policy, the CRIS represented the first state-enabled stakeholder process with any substantive impact.  4.4  INDUSTRY C O N T E X T : INTEREST GROUPS AND D E V E L O P M E N T P O T E N T I A L  INTEREST GROUPS The exponential expansion of the salmon farming industry in the mid 1980's particularly impacted two groups; commercial fishers and the Sunshine Coast residents and tourism sectors. Commercial fishers had a number of concerns with the industry. They were concerned that funds were being allocated away from the commercial fishery, particularly in regards to the salmon enhancement program (SEP), and eggs were being reallocated for farming. They feared  89  that their industry would be jeopardized by a massive influx of farmed salmon, which would cause a drop in prices for their product. They also had a number of environmental concerns, in particular, the potential impact of farming on the wild stocks. The commercial fishers had called on the provincial government to introduce a moratorium on farms as far back as 1984 (Grant, 1986:25). Their concerns were becoming even more pressing by 1986. For example, in 1985, the B C Salmon Farmers purchased 12 million Chinook and Coho eggs from the publicly funded hatcheries. Only 1 year later, in 1986, the amount was up to 29 million. The United Fishers and Allied Workers Union ( U F A W U ) was upset that, as they saw it, funds for the salmon enhancement project were being sacrificed for the purpose of providing subsidized eggs for private aquaculture enterprises (Grant, 1986:27). In addition, the U F A W U had a number of environmental concerns with the industry, fearing that it could negatively impact on the wild stocks through disease, genetic interference, and additives (such as antibiotics and netpen antifoulant) contaminating the water, to name a few. The Union brought up a number of these environmental and health concerns in the media in its bid to gain attention for its concerns. The U F A W U lobbied hard, and as they still represented a major industry at that time, they could apply a fair amount of pressure to the government, and particularly the premier at the time, who represented the commercial fishing hub— Steveston. When Premier Vander Zalm announced the inquiry in October of 1986, he stated that the moratorium on licences was "pending a review of issues identified by commercial fishermen" (Province of British Columbia, March 1987a). Commercial fishers were not alone in their fight for a review of the industry. Controversy over salmon farms had been heating to a slow boil on the Sunshine Coast, where residents felt their wishes, and even the wishes of their local governments, were simply ignored. A large portion of concerns of Sunshine Coast residents had to do with foreshore rights and the sudden 90  impact not only on their quality of life, but on the recreation and tourism base of their community. As such, a lot of these environmental concerns had to do with the more conspicuous environmental impacts, such as water, odour and noise pollution, fouling of beaches, effluent, pits of decaying fish resulting from blooms, and the killing of predators. The rapid expansion of the industry prior to a resolution of these residents' concerns drastically increased the tension. While in 1977 only 7 tonnes of farmed salmon had been produced, by 1980, this had increased to 157 tonnes (British Columbia. Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Marketing Branch. 1986:3). By 1986, projections were made of a 1988 harvest 39 to 47 times higher than 1985's (Ibid: 1). With each production increase came an increase in all the aforementioned production by-products which residents felt were being imposed on them without their input. While the government still had difficulty addressing these regulatory and jurisdictional concerns, it none-the-less pushed ahead to facilitate development of the industry. In January of 1986, the Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing simplified licensing regulations for salmon farming, whereby: "anyone wishing to establish a farm would automatically receive a one-year 'Section 10' L P H lease of the required foreshore without first having to gain the approval of either the Ministry of the Environment or the D F O . " (Keller and Rosella:48). These licences allowed for feasibility studies to be undertaken at an applicant's site. While still officially consulted for final approval, the new procedure reduced the practical input of the D F O , and the provincial government. The handing out of Section 10 licences with impunity even later became subject to criticism from the salmon farming industry as they were subject to abuse, encouraged speculation, and sites were sometimes even developed prior to approval, and without apparent repercussion. The results of the simplified licensing procedure, was a flood of new licences, many of them pouring into the Sunshine Coast:  91  In 1984, there were 7 salmon farms in B.C.. As of March 20 , 1986, there were 40 farms with fish, 69 newly approved applicants, 30 section 10 approvals, and 78 applicants awaiting approval. (British Columbia. Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Marketing Branch. 1986:1) th  The Sunshine Coast found itself the site of a massive incursion of salmon farms, with little or no ability to regulate them. Subsequently, "the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) petitioned the provincial government for a moratorium on fish farm licenses" (Keller and Rosella, 1996:50). The government's new desire to facilitate the growth of the industry was beginning to encounter a snowballing opposition. By 1986, those who called for a review of the industry not only included local community groups and the United Fisherman and Allied Workers Union, but it also included the Sunshine Coast Regional District, the B . C . Federation of Labour, the Islands Trust, and the Union of B . C . Municipalities (Meggs, Geoff, 1986:75).  D E V E L O P M E N T P O T E N T I A L : A N I N D U S T R Y O N T H E RISE Environmental concerns around the salmon farming industry were not only raised by non-governmental sources. In its submission to the Gillespie inquiry, the Ministry of Environment and Parks outlined a number of concerns it had with the industry. The ministry also thought the threat of the importation of exotic diseases through the importation of Atlantic eggs was of "paramount concern." However, the ministry also outlined a number of other concerns regarding siting, threats to wild stocks, and pollution, it had with the industry, and suggested that a major issue was the "lack of adequate consideration and weight given to resource conflicts/environmental impacts in the adjudication of aquaculture applications" (British Columbia, Ministry of Environment and Parks, 1986e). None-the-less, this ministry's concerns and the concerns of the other stakeholder groups, did not seem to infect the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, and environmental concerns did not appear to be a high priority on its list. As the money invested in the industry became more  92  substantial, the government demonstrated a growing interest in facilitating its development. In 1985, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries conducted its first annual survey of farms in the Sunshine Coast area. The second annual survey— conducted in the same year that the pressures from interest groups finally culminated in the Gillespie Inquiry— was expanded to cover all 69 of B C ' s active farms, and was to "provide a snapshot of the practices and problems in this first year of major salmon farming in British Columbia" (Province of British Columbia, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, 1987: 2.1.09). While gathering information on the "types and severity of environmental and water quality problems" (British Columbia, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, 1987b: 1) was included in the survey's stated mandate, the purpose of the survey was clearly more for gathering information of use to industry. Environmental problems that were highlighted were ones that impacted on industry, not the reverse. Concerns with sexual modification of salmon were aimed at preventing "losses due to sexual maturation and attaining greater flexibility in harvest strategy." Similarly, predation issues focused on fish— not predator—mortalities (British Columbia, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, 1987b:5). In November of 1986, in a report resulting from the annual conference of First Ministers, a number of goals for the aquaculture sector were developed. The resulting principals confirmed that while for the most part "the private sector should be relied upon to establish aquaculture ventures and to market the resulting products," the government should undertake a number of initiatives to clarify the regulatory frameworks and increase the dialogue between industry and government. In total, 8 principles were outlined for facilitating the development of the industry. Further, it was agreed that a memorandum of understanding should be negotiated between federal and provincial governments in order to provide "one-stop licensing" and "promote the orderly development of the industry." (Annual Conference of First Ministers,1986:4). No goals were set in regards to environmental considerations.  93  By all appearances, once the industry had risen from its 'mom and pop' roots and showed signs of becoming a major economic player, the desire of the provincial government to encourage its development drastically increased. This is not a surprising development and well in keeping with Foucault's perspective on governmentality. The commercial fishing industry was an ongoing political headache for both levels of government, and showed no indications of improving. The fishery had already undergone one fleet rationalization plan in 1968, and had failed miserably on both economic and ecological grounds. Among other problems, the 1968 plan had reduced boats but increased both the catch capacity and the capitalization of the fleet, while effecting significant negative impacts on the resource-dependent coast. Coastal economic development was clearly a pressing issue for a government necessarily concerned with 'the economy'. As a result, there was a pointed governmental reluctance to regulate an industry which, if left to its own devices, might develop into a highly profitable commercial enterprise. A critical mass of aquaculture companies is required to produce increased volumes offish to be able to meet the distribution channel demands of the marketplace on a continual basis. Also the infrastructure to service the aquaculture industry cannot be established or flourish if aquaculture production is restricted. (British Columbia, Ministry of Economic Development, 1986. Submission for the Fin-Fish Aquaculture Inquiry). Unlike the commercial fishery, the aquaculture industry had all the signs of developing into a booming industry without an excess of governmental assistance. T o the contrary, it was predicted to do so on the condition the government managed to stay out of its way.  4.5  T H E E A R L Y Y E A R S OF S A L M O N F A R M I N G F R O M A N E C O L O G I C A L MODERNIZATION PERSPECTIVE A preliminary assessment of the industry from the perspective of ecological  modernization would seem to indicate that the industry had not yet adopted this approach. The first consideration is in regards to a developing ecological sphere. By all indications, an ecological component in industry production was still persistently lacking, despite a growing 94  public environmental attentiveness. Using the guidelines which were laid out in Table 2, the environmental strength of the policies resulting from the Gillespie Inquiry were extremely weak. What limited environmental regulations were adopted, were done so in a reactive, as opposed to precautionary, manner. Even in those cases where regulations were adopted, they were minimal at best. Other methods of incorporating ecological criteria into the industry, outside of regulation, were also not in evidence. Therefore the emergence of an ecological sphere, on par with economic considerations, had clearly not occurred at this point. Considering the economic struggles of the developing industry, this is hardly surprising. According to ecological modernization theory, the missing ecological components will be incorporated as the need arises, and the Gillespie context provided the first serious opportunity for this incorporation process. Table 3 provides a guideline for assessing the extent that ecological modernization processes are developing. A summary of ecological modernization processes in evidence in the Gillespie years are presented at the end of the chapter. Environmental ideas had been fluctuating in public salience since the 70's, and were again rising in public consciousness. The Brundtland Commission was tribute to this rising environmental salience, and an awareness of the potential negative impacts of insufficiently understood or unknown risks was also rising. By all appearances, this growing concern with the reflexive nature of risk was fully evident in the public's reaction to the new salmon farming industry. The public demonstrated both an increasing awareness of risk and an increasing distrust in the expert systems in charge of them. Despite this, and despite the fact that the U F A W U had worked to bring environmental issues to the forefront, both industry and government remained reluctant not only to address these issues, but to regulate at all. One governmental ministry, the Ministry of Environment, did voice concerns over the industry, but its voice was ineffective against the greater push to develop. In fact, this Ministry was rendered effectively mute on the 95  issue after the Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing's 1986 implementation of the Section 10 licences. At this point in the industry's development, the characteristics of a risk society are amply in evidence. By all appearances, attending to environmental concerns remained the task of special interest groups (or 'external' pressures), very much in the manner that Beck and Giddens stipulated. The environmental protest arising from the frustrated Sunshine Coast residents appears very illustrative of the 'radical engagement' scenario that Giddens outlined, whereby even individuals who do not choose radical engagement as their adaptive reaction to modern risks will none-the-less find the need to intermittently engage. The U F A W U , in addition, rose to the challenge due to their interest in the survival of the wild fishery, going so far as to gather scientific evidence of impacts from other jurisdictions. The U F A W U pursued evidence from Norway's industry to critique the reactive not precautionary manner of industry development. In this way they attempted to counter the scientific rationality of 'strict causality' used to offset environmental concerns, and which could not be addressed in B.C.'s new industry. The internal motivation of the industry was also lacking at this point. At this stage in the industry's development, environmental rationalization was not an industry priority, as farmers were concentrating their energies on survival. While salmon farmers had been upset by the moratorium and concerned about what the results of the inquiry may be, they were not opposed to the opportunity to lobby for government support for the industry, air some concerns of their own, and advocate for the rationalization of regulations. In sum, conflict and oppositional stances characterized these early years of the industry. Environmental pressures were very much external to industry, primarily coming from the U F A W U and the Sunshine Coast residents. To some extent, these pressures were successful: they succeeded in forcing a public inquiry and pushing environmental concerns into the policy making sphere. There seems little doubt that without the pressure from these groups, the inquiry 96  would not have happened. However, as resource-user conflict was the major instigator behind the review, resource-user conflict was the principal subject for resolution of the issues impeding the development of the industry. The developing regulations for the new industry prioritized the giving of 'voice' to various groups over stringent environmental regulations. It could also be this very consultative approach which leads to the path of ecological modernization. The greatest environmental potential in the regulations had to do with an increase in stakeholder participation and in environmental information gathering. Of course, the environmental implications of the M A I A C , the Development Plans, and the CRIS were yet to be determined at that time. Only retroactively can the environmental component of these processes, if not their initial environmental intention, be judged as weak, although concerns with the first two (and with the government's intentions as a whole) have already been discussed. At the very least, these processes provided some indication of a governmental willingness to enable stakeholder consultation, which would be indicative of an ecological modernization process. This state motivation to involve stakeholders was already apparent in the fact that the Gillespie Inquiry was held at all. None-the-less, notwithstanding this apparent facilitation of stakeholder involvement, overall the government did not appear interested in assisting with an ecological rationalization of the industry. The Gillespie inquiry itself was peppered with complaints about the government's reluctance to provide adequate preparation time or supply funding to bring in experts and thoroughly address the potential impacts of the industry. Despite its earlier unwillingness to support the industry, by the time of Gillespie, the provincial government seemed to have slipped into the position of public relations campaigner for it. For example, despite the insufficient knowledge there was about impacts on water quality, the Ministry's position was that due to the vested interest industry had in the well-being of their stock "the presence of well managed fish  97  farms will help to maintain the high water quality of the B . C . coast" (British Columbia, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, 1987d:2.1.05.). A neo-liberal ideology towards reducing regulation appeared to be in dominance in these Gillespie years. Although at least one key indicator of ecological modernization appeared to be in evidence (state enabled consultation processes), in the context of the apparent de-regulation ideology of the government, the environmental intentions did not appear strong. It would be fair to suspect that the process was developed more for the purpose of silencing dissent than for allowing significant input. This is a suspicion that further developments in the industry appear to validate.  98  T A B L E 3a: R E S U L T S - T H E G I L L E S P I E Y E A R S T A B L E 3: E C O L O G I C A L M O D E R N I Z A T I O N  PROCESSES  PRECONDITION: E C O L O G I C A L REFORMS A R E OCCURING (UNMET) INDICATIONS O F PROCESSES INDICATIONS O F E C O L O G I C A L OTHER THAN E.M . A T W O R K M O D E R N I Z A T I O N (E.M.) BEHIND ENVIRONMENTAL PROCESSES A T W O R K BEHIND REFORMS ENVIRONMENTAL REFORMS (RISK S O C I E T Y PROCESSES) X 1. I N T E R N A L No indications of industry motivated MOTIVATION environmental reforms, industry only motivated to reform regulation process to serve industry needs. Industry body exists to service production needs (i.e. egg distribut.). Any environmental concerns raised externally, and addressed (to the extent they are addressed) as a result of pressures from interest groups ( U F A W U , municip's, public). 2. C O N S E N S U A L PROSESS INVOLVING STAKEHOLDERS  X Adopted recommendations of Gillespie for stakeholder processes ( M A I A C , Aqua plans, CRIS) indicate possible adoption of this process and trend towards e.m..  3. S T A T E ENABLED  X In response to strong pressures from groups excluded from the process, the state facilitated its first public consultation process in Gillespie, as well as implemented stakeholder processes above, showing strong evidence of an E M indicator. While no state-enabled ecological reforms yet at this point, only consultation, CRIS process could allow for state-enabled research into impacts on other resources.  4. P O S I T I V E S U M GAME  5. S C I E N T I F I C A N D TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES  6.  NEW INDUSTRIES  X Gillespie provided first opportunity for stakeholders to have their voices heard, though groups not yet consulting with each other, or directly impacting on policy process. Conflict remains between s-holders.  X Ecological improvements are associated with a financial loss to industry. Gov't bodies very clear that regulation could impede profitability of the industry. To small extent ecological improvements associated with retractions of technology (i.e. banning of importation of eggs), but limited issue at this point. Any green markets would be fed by wild salmon, but limited issue at this point.  99  C H A P T E R V: T H E INTERIM Y E A R S  5.1  THE INTERIM YEARS  OFFICE OF THE O M B U D S M A N Policy development in the late 80's and early 90's followed much the same pattern as they had in the Gillespie years, only more so. By 1988, the draft Federal-Provincial Memorandum O f Understanding ( M O U ) was ready. In September 1988 the M O U was signed. It outlined each government's respective role in the development of aquaculture and aimed to overcome the difficulties which resulted from the fragmentary regulatory control of the industry. Establishing inter-jurisdictional understandings in order to facilitate licensing procedures and assist with aquaculture funding were the main subjects of the agreement. The Province, primarily through the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, became the principal administrator of the industry. The M O U also established a management committee for the purpose of coordinating governmental efforts, identify research priorities, and assist in resolving any disputes between the two levels of government (Zamluk, 1997:20). Therefore, through transferring of jurisdiction, inter-jurisdictional agreements, and rationalization of policy and licensing, the regulatory regime around the aquaculture industry did, in fact, slowly shape into the more coherent body that both pro- and anti- aquaculture groups had clamoured for. But despite the fact that the majority of Gillespie's recommendations were adopted, the low environmental content ensured that those who were environmentally concerned remained so. The United Fishermen and Allied Workers Union and most concerned citizens' groups saw it as a step in the wrong direction, insisting that the moratorium should not be lifted until intensive, long-term environmental studies were completed for all coastal areas.... (Keller and Rosella, 1996:57)  In response to recommendation 4.5.1 of the Gillespie Inquiry, a Federal-Provincial working group was in fact struck to "structure and prioritize research relevant to the environmental impacts of marine fish farming" (British Columbia, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, July 1988:19). As a result, a number of study programs into the environmental effects of salmon farming were initiated, with funding coming from various government agencies. By 1990, 32 studies were identified as having been undertaken since 1988 (British Columbia, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Aquaculture and Commercial Fisheries Branch, March 1990:1). While funding for the studies came from a variety of sources, including academic, the federal and provincial governments clearly were supportive of the research and contributed to a number of studies (13 and 21, respectively; no dollar amounts were available). None-the-less, a large portion of these studies were clearly for the benefit of assisting the developing industry, such as the numerous studies around algal blooms, and research into cleaning methodologies for removing banned netpen antifoulant T B T from netting, for example. Industry itself, contributed to 9 of the studies. Therefore, while issues such as water quality monitoring did receive a fair amount of attention, other environmental issues which were still of major concern to the public received next to none or less. Not surprisingly, the office of the Ombudsman continued to receive numerous complaints about the industry. Complaints included objections from property owners suddenly confronted with a beachfront industry as well as "environmental impact and health issues" (British Columbia, Office of the Ombudsman, December 1988:15). The majority of complainants objected to the "lack—or at least a perceived lack—of a meaningful voice in the regulatory process." They also objected that existing regulatory policies "were not known or readily available to the general public, nor were they effectively binding in a consistent manner" on the ministries involved (Ibid: 1).  101  In 1988, Provincial Ombudsman Stephen Owen responded to the complaints, and took on the task of conducting an investigation into the industry. Unlike the Gillespie Inquiry, however, the Ombudsman's investigation had the "relatively narrow focus of administrative fairness" (Ibid:9). Different from the Gillespie Inquiry, the Ombudsman's report "focused on administrative fairness and emphasized the need for integrated coastal zone planning, a coordinated regulatory framework, and the use of consensual dispute resolution techniques to deal with conflict fairly and effectively." (Ibid). In conclusion, the report made three recommendations which, on the surface, did not appear to be following a track significantly different from Gillespie's. The primary focus of the recommendations was the need for better government planning of aquaculture activities (preferably through development of a separate Aquaculture Act), and increased public involvement in the management and planning of coastal resource development. Once again, environmental considerations were not a high priority. However this was not surprising as the mandate of the Ombudsman was "to be an advocate of fairness, and to ensure that aquaculture policy is administered in a manner which is fair to all individuals whose interests are affected" (Ibid:7). Therefore, environmental considerations would be adopted to the extent that they were a concern of stakeholders, and were able to be expressed in a justly structured stakeholder participation process. Therefore, to the extent that environmental issues were a concern, it would appear that the numerous provisions for the reduction of resource-user conflict that emerged from the Gillespie inquiry would have reduced them. Clearly, the numerous complaints the Ombudsman received would seem to indicate that, at least in part, this system was not working. In fact, the Ombudsman's recommendations appear to address some of the same issues again. In many ways the Ombudsman's recommendations could be seen as a further refinement, particular to resourceuser conflict, of the earlier recommendations. However, while the majority of Gillespie's 102  recommendations had been adopted, the underlying issues remained largely unresolved. For example, Owen's critique of the M A I A C process, which had been one of the three developed avenues for stakeholder input, allows the possibility that 'fairness' may in fact not be served through the stakeholder process. The Advisory Council has been established and meets periodically to discuss issues of concern to its members... [hjowever, the non-binding recommendations of the Council will likely be inadequate to achieve the same degree of administrative fairness as an Act which is the product of public debate... published regulations, and a binding appeal mechanism...(Ibid:28) In addition, Owen disputes that public input has the greatest impact at the local government level, as claimed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (British Columbia, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries,! 987d). Public hearings, writing to ministries, and local regulation are all relatively weak mechanisms, as they lack the strength of an appeal process, depend on ministries being arbiters of their own decisions, and ignore the overlapping jurisdictions which prevent local governments from adequately regulating the 'jurisdictional anomalies' of fish farms (Ibid:34). Similarly, in his comments on the tenure approval system, which, as discussed, includes information requirements, advertising and local input provisions, Owen comments that "all of these recommendations are logical and would tend, if fully implemented, to increase the prospects for administrative fairness within the present system." However, Owen continues, the presumption of Gillespie's recommendations are that: identification studies and conflict resolution mechanisms will be utilized in a manner which reflect high standards of administrative fairness. This may be an unwarranted assumption given that good intentions and honest, competent efforts by Ministry personnel are sometimes inadequate in producing a decision making process which is demonstrably fair.... (Ibid:35). This is a presumption which does not just affect the potential of only one of Gillespie's recommendations, but it has implications for the whole body of salmon farming regulation.  103  [o]ne keeps returning to the central theme from the standpoint of administrative fairness, namely, the potentially uncertain nature of government policy, for which exemptions can be created through ministerial prerogative, as compared to a disciplined system of statute-based regulations which would provide a mechanism for case-by-case appeal (Ibid:33). Owen repeatedly recommended that the creation of "a neutral agency, with published statutory standards, and an appeal mechanism would provide the authority that is needed for government to administer tenures and be held accountable on a case-by-case basis..." (Ibid:37). Owen saw this process as the means to maintain fairness in an industry which still needed a fair amount of flexibility in order to develop, and where without this process outcomes may be unduly subject to influence. Notably, and along the lines of what some might have argued was already the case in the Sunshine Coast area, Owen proposed that the pressures for this influence to occur would potentially increase with increased development. As the industry grows it is conceivable that the situation might worsen, given the economic advantages of utilizing economies of scale (large or multiple sites) near populated areas...(Ibid:36). This was a particularly important point given the over-all projections for growth which surrounded the industry.  5.2  T H E AQUA C U L T U R E R E G U L A T I O N S Statutory standards were, in fact, created and put into place soon after the Ombudsman's  input. In October of 1989, the Lieutenant-Governor proclaimed the Provincial Aquaculture Regulation. Aquaculture licence requirements were created, and, under the revised Fisheries Act, any who engaged in aquaculture activities would need to hold this licence. Essentially the new Aquaculture Regulation appeared to tie aquaculture operations to the March 1987 policies, by condition of licence. At least in terms of codes of practice, if not tenure granting procedures, the ramifications of the new licensing might have been what the Ombudsman was looking for. The licence 104  provides permission to practice the business of aquaculture. With that permission comes a set of conditions which, if breached, can lead to the withdrawal of that permission. Penalties and fines under this regulation can be levied, or Licences revoked, for businesses who fail to manage their fish farm properly under the terms of the licence (British Columbia, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Aquaculture and Commercial Fisheries Br., March 1990:4). It would appear that with this new regulatory requirement, the framework for sincere regulation of the industry had finally been put in place. However, the actual conditions of the licence were extremely vague. In regards to environmental concerns, the key features of the 1989 licence were: •  •  •  •  In reference to the concern regarding escaped Atlantics, the regulations required that the licence holder had to "take reasonable precautions to prevent the escape of cultured aquatic plants or fish." In the event of an escape or believed escape, the licence holder had to ensure that whomever discovers it "reports the escape or evidence and the results of any authorized recapture or recapture attempt to the Manager of Aquaculture." In regards to concerns regarding disease transmission and the destruction of predators, the conditions of licence were for the licence holder to undertake "at the holder's own expense, reasonable and lawful husbandry practices necessary for preventative predator and disease control." And lastly, the licence holder was obligated to keep records, in order that "an inspector can determine if the conditions of licence are being complied with." (British Columbia, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. Aquaculture and Commercial Fisheries Branch. March 1990:3). License holders were, of course, also required to abide by the distance and other  requirements which the existing policy had already outlined. The Ministry of Environment, for example, in response to Gillespie's criticism of the lack of environmental monitoring initiated an environmental monitoring program. This program was a self-report system requiring such information as type and quantity offish and waste handled, method of waste disposal, current measurements, etcetera (see British Columbia, Ministry of Environment, Waste Management Branch. 1988). In 1989, this was formalized as a Waste Control Regulation, requiring a "mandatory environmental and water quality monitoring program for all marine fish farms"  105  (British Columbia, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Aquaculture and Commercial Fisheries Branch, March 1990:4). In addition, the provincial government continued in its attempts to gather information about industry practices and to make this information more generally available. Aquaculture Information Bulletins were produced which routinely addressed substantive issues regarding the business of salmon farming. For example, a bulletin on methods of predator control outlines the options of netting and scare devices, and stresses the advantages of some methods, such as electric fencing, which "works while you sleep, whereas a shotgun does not" (British Columbia, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. 1987?c:3). In this manner, the ministry was clearly attempting to address issues which were of concern to the public as well as industry, adding the gentle reminder to farmers that while animals adjust to the sound of acoustic deterrent devices, "your neighbours N E V E R get used to the noise" (Ibid:3).  5.3  AN EMERGING E C O L O G I C A L SPHERE? While attaching regulations to licence requirements opened up the potential for  regulatory action, a violation of the requirements would have been difficult, if not impossible, to establish. Farms were required to keep records, report escapes, and exercise reasonable precaution' (to prevent escapes), and 'reasonable' husbandry practices (for disease and predator control). It would therefore be necessary to establish that a farm had engaged in 'unreasonable' practices to cite a violation. Considering the extremely new state of the industry, with information still in the preliminary stages not only in regards to impacts, but even in relation to best practices for the industry's own needs, it would be very difficult to ascertain what was reasonable and what was not. The provincial government did continue in its attempts to gather information about the industry, however, and the Aquaculture Information Bulletins provided some general guidelines 106  regarding reasonable practices in the industry. However, the majority of these Bulletins were clearly for the benefit of the developing industry, addressing such issues as new methods (e.g. composting) of disposing of morts, as overwhelmed municipal landfills began to refuse them (British Columbia, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Aquaculture and Commercial Fisheries Branch, March 1990b). In addition, the majority of these 'best practices' style documents, carried an indisputable sentiment that economics outweighed environmental considerations. In the choice of predator control methodology, for example, the deciding factor remains economics of individual farms, where "the economics of damage and control must be weighed" (British Columbia, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. 1987c:3). Lastly, while the aquaculture bulletins did sometimes promote more environmentally sound practices, there were no regulatory requirements to follow those practices. Industry had no statutory obligation to conduct itself any more specifically than 'reasonably'. While a number of developments had occurred in the area of increased monitoring, this information was selfreported, and lacked any significant regulatory impact. Without independent monitoring, even if 'reasonable' had been defined, it would have been highly unlikely for farms to report their own violations. Therefore, in regards to the ecological strength of the aquaculture regulatory framework, policy developments were still very weak. Using the scheme provided in Table 2, research and monitoring were the primary environmental contribution to the regulatory framework. Some concrete regulations were initiated, but these were few and far between. For example, the netpen antifoulant, T B T , which had been raised as a health concern by industry opponents was banned. However, according to the Ministry its use had already been "widely discontinued because it didn't work" (British Columbia, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Aquaculture and Commercial Fisheries Branch, March 1990:6).  107  Again using the scheme provided in Table 2, the environmental components of these policies were weak not only in terms of how problems were addressed, but in terms of what was addressed as well. Those environmental issues which were attended to, were only done so in a reactionary manner. Risks were far from being tackled in a precautionary manner. For example, the annual on-sight surveys gathered data regarding fish survival which would assist the industry to assess which factors contributed to best survival rates for salmon. While concerns regarding Atlantic salmon had already been brought up at the Gillespie inquiry, the Aquaculture Information Bulletin No. 10, which outlines the physical guidelines (such as temperature and current) which are optimal for salmon farms, notes that "Atlantic salmon are hardier" with no associated concerns lobbied regarding their use (1987e:l). The case could easily be made that not only did the government reject the precautionary principal in regards to regulating environmental impacts, but its own research contributed to risk taking behaviour, however neutrally presented. Therefore, while the conservative government could speak of their environmental progressiveness, industry development seemed firmly at the heart of their actions, and economic firmly outweighed environmental criteria. Those environmental issues which were addressed remained extremely discretionary in nature. From an environmental point of view, the regulations did little more than give the message that environmental considerations were an issue in the industry, at least as far as its public image was concerned. A n argument could be made that the government's investment in research and development indicated an interest in ecologically modernizing the industry, but it is very weak under the weight of evidence. While a fair amount of research had been initiated, it was predominantly on the 'development' side of 'research and development,' and the majority of the research conducted was for the benefit of the new industry. Much of the research into environmental impacts integrated this research with addressing industry needs. Even the Sechelt water quality monitoring program, for example, had at its base a concern with the saturation point 108  of farms in the area with respect to the viability of the farms. Therefore, while research and monitoring was undertaken towards the stated objectives of environmental improvement, it is fair to question whether even this would have occurred to the extent it did, if it had not served the dual purpose of establishing statistics on the factors affecting farm productivity. This driving agenda towards development was shared by both levels of government. In 1989 a federal government report states: After five fitful years of developing in the dark, the industry needs information, correlated with successes and failures, to enable good fish culture and management practices and improve the performance of the farms. The collective experience of the industry can then be used as the basis for future management decisions by both large and small firms. (Fisheries and Oceans, Economic and Commercial Analysis Division. 1989:73) In sum, the emergence of an ecological component in the salmon farming industry appears to have been more surface glitter than genuine evolution. Once again, the salience of environmental concern for the public had forced the government's hand to give these concerns at least verbal credence. However, both levels of government were far more concerned with facilitating the development of the industry than regulating its potential environmental impacts. At this point, ecological concerns were clearly not on par with economic concerns. Rather, the 'treadmill of production,' as described by Schnaiberg and Gould, was unmistakably in full gear.  5.4  THE ECOLOGICAL MODENIZATION POTENTIAL While ecological modernization theory envisions industry and environmental concerns  co-existing, the above policy development is an illustration of social and environmental needs (as yet) subordinated to the 'economic mill'. Despite the salience which environmental issues had for the public, this ecological sentiment was having trouble finding concrete expression in industry practices and government policies. Once again, the pointed failure of the emergence of the ecological sphere precludes an assessment of the processes behind its emergence. None-the-less,  109  for those environmental initiatives which did occur, however weakly, the indications were that risk society processes dominated. Very little evidence of the six characteristics of ecological modernization type processes outlined in Table 3 can be seen. The most promising area was improvement from technological advances developed in the research programs. This has already been discussed. Secondly, consensual processes put in place after Gillespie were still in place. The impact of these were still uncertain, although the legitimacy of this input beyond that of symbolic voice was already questionable when contrasted with the speed of and support for industry development. There was no association of environmental improvement with a financial benefit to industry (in the line of a positive-sum game). Ecological improvements, in the nature of government imposed regulations, were clearly associated with financial loss. Conflict between stakeholder groups also remained, with groups lobbying government for the betterment of their, often polarized, positions. For example, in 1988, the U F A W U sent a five person team to Norway, on a 'fact-finding mission'. They then released a report on their findings, which outlined the disastrous effects of disease outbreaks as a result of the industry (Keller and Rosella, 1996:68). These outbreaks included one parasite which spread to "dozens of streams" in the course of ten years, and was only stoppable by treating the rivers with insecticide and killing everything in them (Ibid). This provided fuel for the environmental arguments lobbied against the industry. By all appearances, the environmental 'green-talk' and the few environmental regulations which were placed on the industry were imposed by government in response to these external pressures. Industry was not internally motivated to initiate environmental controls or standards in regards to its own practices. While the B C Salmon Farmers' Association (BCSFA) had expanded from its founding objective in 1984 as a central organization for the coordination of egg distribution amongst farms, its new mandate became public relations, and its new topic, environmental issues. 110  One of the principal thrusts of the B . C . Salmon Farmers Association is to increase public understanding and awareness of the real [emphasis added] environmental facts of salmon farming. (Moore, Patrick, in The Continuing Legal Education Society of B.C.,1988:2.3.04) The provincial government had a far greater motivation to respond to public pressure and environmentally regulate than the industry did. However, the evidence indicates that economic interests prevented the government from moving significantly beyond the appearance of regulating. Despite statements to the contrary, government representatives did not undertake the role of facilitating the incorporation of ecological criteria into industry practices. To the contrary, government representatives primarily took the position of denying environmental problems, rather than acknowledging and addressing them as potential risks. Despite the provincial government's undeniable reticence to assist the industry at its start, once the industry had gained its economic legs the ministry was willing to rewrite history to come to its defence. For example, in reference to the experiences in Norway which troubled many of the environmentally concerned, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries responded in a 1990 Bulletin on Measures to Ensure Safe Fish Farming In British Columbia that "the British Columbia government and the fish farming industry were aware of these potential difficulties from the beginning and cooperated to prevent their occurrence in British Columbia" (British Columbia, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. Aquaculture and Commercial Fisheries Branch. March 1990a:l). The early years of the salmon farming industry could almost be taken as an exemplar for Marxist readings of industrial development's attendant drive to externalize costs onto society and the environment, and the government's need to support this trajectory. By all appearances, the government had solidified its role of advocate for the industry. If continued on in this manner, the industry's early years predicted a straight trajectory into risk society processes as described by Beck.  ill  T A B L E 3b: R E S U L T S - T H E I N T E R I M Y E A R S T A B L E 3: E C O L O G I C A L M O D E R N I Z A T I O N  PROCESSES  P R E C O N D I T I O N : E C O L O G I C A L R E F O R M S A R E O C C U R I N G ( W E A K to U N M E T ) INDICATIONS O F E C O L O G I C A L M O D E R N I Z A T I O N (E.M.) PROCESSES A T W O R K BEHIND ENVIRONMENTAL REFORMS  X No indications of industry motivated environmental reforms. Industry participates in research, but research is primarily for purpose/benefit of industry development. Industry primarily denies any serious environmental impacts.  1. I N T E R N A L MOTIVATION  2. C O N S E N S U A L PROSESS INVOLVING STAKEHOLDERS  3. S T A T E ENABLED  4. P O S I T I V E S U M GAME  5. S C I E N T I F I C A N D TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES  6. N E W INDUSTRIES  INDICATIONS O F PROCESSES OTHER THAN E.M . A T WORK BEHIND E N V I R O N M E N T A L REFORMS (RISK S O C I E T Y P R O C E S S E S )  State facilitated M A I A C and CRIS processes in place, but increasingly suspect in terms of real stakeholder input.  X State facilitated research process and information distribution process. While the majority of this research was for the benefit of industry, the increase could lead to mutually beneficial ecological knowledge.  Ecological improvements are sometimes associated with improvements to the economic side of production. State facilitated research might provide technological solutions to ecological problems. Some future promise for this e.m. indicator.  X Conflict between stakeholders still in evidence. Groups attempt to gain favour for their highly polarized positions (e.g. U F A W U Norway research). Any reforms are state imposed (though limited evidence of) X The state facilitated stakeholder processes still in place, through of questionable legitimacy and subject to strong complaints. Groups still have no real input into the policy process. State primarily denies any serious environmental impacts or declares them resolved. No substantial state-enabled ecological reforms, although some formal structures (license) and guidelines. X Ecological improvements are primarily associated with regulations that would carry a financial loss to industry. To small extent ecological improvements associated with retraction of technology (i.e. removing farms). But limited issue at this point. Any green markets would be fed by wild salmon, but limited issue at this point.  112  CHAPTER VI: THE SALMON AQUACULTURE REVIEW (SAR) AND BEYOND 6.1  T H E SAR: P R O C E E D W I T H C A U T I O N  While seemingly contentious enough, the conflict surrounding the industry in the first decade from the 1980's to the 1990's, was nothing more than a mild preamble to the drama that was to ensue in the next decade. As in the previous sections, the developing policy will be broken down into key events. These will then be assessed for their ecological strength, and an analysis of the apparent influences on them will be undertaken. Lastly, the policy events will be assessed more broadly, for their compatibility with the characteristics of ecological modernization. The most significant policy event of the time period is well known even to those with only a slight interest in marine issues. In 1995, the provincial government declared a moratorium on the issuance of salmon farm tenures, pending a review of the industry by the Environmental Assessment Office (EAO). Unlike the relatively short moratorium that accompanied the Gillespie review, the moratorium that accompanied the 1995 'Action Plan for Salmon Aquaculture' had the potential to negatively impact the industry for a number of years. The results of the E A O ' s Salmon Aquaculture Review (SAR) were released in 1997, and a number of policy actions slowly followed. In October 1999, a 5-point Salmon Aquaculture Policy Initiative- a 2 year implementation plan for the S A R recommendations-- was announced. By October 2000, amendments were crafted for those first aquaculture licence requirements that had been created in 1989. If sheer activity was any indication, the years around the S A R showed the most promise towards the ecological reform of the industry.  113  1995: T H E A C T I O N P L A N F O R S A L M O N A Q U A C U L T U R E In April 1995, the province of British Columbia announced an 'Action Plan for Salmon Aquaculture'. The Action Plan was a key policy moment as it was the point of official launching of a moratorium on salmon farming tenures, and included the plan for a review of the environmental issues in salmon farming and of the policies regarding these issues. The review was anticipated by some as the means to a resolution of the environmental debate around aquaculture. By July of 1995, the provincial government assigned the task of undertaking this review to the Environmental Assessment Office (EAO), a government affiliated body which is independent of any particular ministry. As opposed to the 30 day Gillespie Inquiry, the E A O ' s Salmon Aquaculture Review (SAR) was a massive undertaking. At a cost of $1 million, the review took 18 months to complete and produced a 1,800 page environmental assessment of the industry. Five key areas of investigation for the review were identified, based on their centrality to the controversy around salmon farming. These 5 issue areas were: •  Impacts of escaped farm salmon on wild stocks.  •  Disease in wild and farmed fish.  •  Environmental impacts of waste discharged from farms.  •  Impacts of farms on coastal mammals and other species.  •  Siting of salmon farms. (Environmental Assessment Office[EAO], 1997. Salmon Aquaculture Review [SAR] Summary Report:3) The terms of reference of the E A O were to investigate and make recommendations on  these issues, drawing on the expertise of a Technical Advisory Team (TAT) and the input of a Review Committee of stakeholder representatives. In addition to the investigation of the 5 issue areas, the E A O ' s terms of reference stated "that the review should include socio-economic considerations in its assessment of the industry" (Ibid:3) as well as an evaluation of alternative  technologies. The Broughton Archipelago, a site of particular environmental controversy, was taken as the reference area for the review. A year and a half later, the review was finally completed and the report released. It did not, however, end the environmental controversy. Generally speaking, the E A O concluded that "as presently practiced and at current production levels" (Ibid:4) salmon farming presented a low overall risk to the environment. None-the-less, the S A R also found that industry development had outpaced the government's ability to manage it, and serious improvements to regulations and policies were necessary: Farm practices have generally improved over the years, but in the absence of clear standards, consistent performance, strict enforcement of regulatory requirements and meaningful public participation in siting decisions, suspicion remains high and strong criticism continues. The concerns of those who find fault with government's management of the industry are legitimate and deserve to be addressed (Ibid). Therefore, in addition to the 'yellow light' (proceed with caution) assessment that the industry was given, the E A O also made 49 specific recommendations towards improvements which should be made to industry management and practices. These ranged from general, issuebased discussions, to fairly specific proposals. Topics also ranged: stronger disease control regulations (contrasting existing 'reasonable precaution' rules) with enforceable standards should be put in place; government/industry reluctance to share fish health information with the concerned public was to be countered by a number of measures, including the setting up of a fish health database; due to the "significant ecological hazard" Acoustic Deterrent Devices (ADDs) should be phased out over two years; pending further research, no new authorizations of night lighting should be granted due to concerns with predation of smaller species such as eulachon. In addition, the E A O recommended that there needed to be a strategy for meaningful public involvement, including the creation of a public advisory group on policy development. These are just a few of the recommendations which the E A O outlined in its massive review of the industry.  115  Many concerns relating to conflict and fairness were already familiar from the Gillespie and Ombudsman's reports.  E C O L O G I C A L STRENGTH OF T H E S A L M O N A Q U A C U L T U R E REVIEW While environmentalists were (rightly or wrongly) upset that the E A O did not lambaste the industry for its environmental impacts, the report does explicitly assume a precautionary principle to future actions. Simply stated, although the E A O found that the industry currently presented a low overall risk, this statement was qualified throughout the report. For example, the Technical Advisory Team assessed the current level of escapes, concluded (arguably) that escape numbers were dropping, but noted that "continued or higher levels of escapes would increase the risk of impacts" (Ibid. V o l . 1, Ch 5:1). They then based their recommendations on ameliorating the risks which they found existing regulations were insufficiently guarding against. Therefore, while stressing the need for designating priority areas of research and data collection towards establishing a better working knowledge of the actual impacts of salmon farming, the E A O also had very serious concerns with existing environmental regulations and made some strong recommendations regarding their improvement. This can best be seen in their assessment of waste discharge and escape issues. In regards to waste issues, tenure sites are officially monitored for compliance with a number of regulations, although the S A R notes that monitoring is very infrequent due to budgetary constraints. In 1994, a review of the Environmental Monitoring Program which was put into place with great fanfare in 1988. The review concluded that the "monitoring program was less than successful" (Ibid. V o l . 4, B , XI:2). Another review of the monitoring requirements was launched by the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks at the same time as the 1995 Action Plan was announced.  116  In conclusion of its overview of the waste regulations, the SAR found that existing waste regulations had not prevented benthic impacts. The SAR found that the waste regulations needed to be amended to a "performance-based" regime, with "clear and consistent standards." The SAR recommended that farms be required to prepare "enforceable waste management plans," pay fees based on the type and amount of contaminants discharged, be required to monitor waste effects and, based on this monitoring, make "appropriate husbandry adjustments as necessary." This process would only work if it was facilitated by the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, who would "routinely assess monitoring data and be prepared to take immediate action to ensure compliance where standards are not met" (Ibid. Summary Report:4). Relocation of farms who could not otherwise achieve acceptable performance levels was one remediation suggested. The EAO's assessment of the existing regulations governing escaped salmon was equally critical, and its recommendations for ameliorating the flaws were equally substantial. The SAR confirmed the ineffectiveness and lack of enforceability of escape regulation based on 'reasonable precaution,' and concluded in no uncertain terms that "current measures for the prevention, monitoring and reporting of escapes are ineffective and must be improved" (Ibid:7). In practical terms, the position of the government was characterized as passive at best: "to date there has been limited follow-up or verification of escape events by government agencies" (Ibid. Vol. 1, Ch 5:5). The government's regulatory style was unsurprisingly found to be matched by that of industry: "the requirement to report escape events is most often only complied with for what farmers consider to be economically significant losses" (Ibid). In sum, the Technical Advisory Team of the SAR found that: The management system for addressing escapes has little or no enforcement, and no incentives/disincentives to prevent escapes other than the economic incentive for farmers to avoid the loss of stock. The economic self-interest of salmon farm operators and existing management regulations and policies are not sufficiently effective in addressing this issue. (Ibid. Vol. 1, Ch 5:5).  117  Having critiqued the effectiveness of the existing regulations, the T A T went on to recommend comprehensive reforms which would eventually culminate in the implementation of a zero escapes policy. Firstly, the T A T recommended that escape prevention measures should be included in a farm's management plan. These plans would include a threshold number of escapes, based on a percentage of a farm's total stock, which when exceeded "triggers a review of the management plan and requires that any remedial measures identified by the review be implemented" (Ibid). The T A T suggested 3% of a farm's stocked fish for an initial threshold escape level, but recommended that it should be steadily reduced to zero in under five years: "[ultimately, the goal of management agencies should be zero escapes" (Ibid:5). A key point, the T A T emphasized, is that "the effectiveness of the recommendation... is dependent upon an accurate and up-to-date inventory system" (Ibid:6). T o this end, the T A T recommended the development and use of a computerized inventory tracking system. The above synopses offer only a snippet of the critiques and recommendations which the E A O ' s extensive report produced. There is little to be gained by an exhaustive play by play of the report here. What needs to be noted, is that despite the E A O ' s conclusions that the overall risk of salmon farming was low, this was accompanied by fairly strong criticisms of existing policies. In sum, the E A O noted that "there is a certain level of uncertainty regarding both the potential and the significance of adverse affects" (Ibid. V o l . 1, Ch 5:1). While weak- according to the assessment of environmentalists— on its conclusions regarding the current state of the industry's environmental impact, the E A O report not only acknowledges the inadequate knowledge substantiating their conclusions of low impact, but also allows that there is a reasonably high risk factor: Even though the risk of significant environmental impacts has been determined to be low, the possibility nevertheless exists for the occurrence of a catastrophic event such as damage to wild salmon stocks through disease transfer or the importation of pathogens (Ibid. Summary Report:7).  118  While environmental groups had reason to be concerned that the conclusions of the E A O weakened the strength of their claims against the industry, the E A O report itself was critical of the existing aquaculture regulations and provided fairly detailed recommendations aimed at substantial environmental reform. Equally significantly, the E A O warned against lifting the moratorium on further salmon tenures before a new management system could be put into place. Therefore, although granting a 'yellow light' for the existing industry, the E A O emphasized that in cases involving such uncertainty, the precautionary principle should be the guiding force: In the case of salmon farming, this means reducing risk by setting high standards for farm operations based on the best available knowledge, and rigorously enforcing the implementation of those standards. A n d it means being prepared to alter management practices over time to take account of increased understanding of risk and different means of reducing it (Ibid. Summary Report:4). Allowing salmon farming to continue sustainably would entail addressing the inadequacies of existing policies to deal with the risks, pursuing shortfalls in knowledge by targeting research, and encouraging the evolution of policies in concordance with increasing knowledge of impacts. Like the Gillespie Inquiry, the ecological strength of the S A R recommendations can only be assessed as just that: recommendations. In terms of an investigation of ecological modernization, they provide an indication of the extent to which ecological concerns were not only growing in public salience, but were increasingly in evidence in more institutional settings. Furthermore, originating from a government-affiliated agency, the ecological strength of the E A O ' s critiques and recommendations set the stage for future policy development. When, whether and how these recommendations are shaped into policy can be very revealing of the governmental drive to ecologically reform the industry. This last point is key for the case at hand. Unlike the Gillespie recommendations, which were adopted into policy less than six months after they were made, the years following the S A R were surprisingly quiet in policy terms. Some activity was undertaken, but no significant reforms 119  were put in place. These interim years were also a time when expectations were high that a decision on lifting the moratorium would be made. None-the-less, no major policy event occurred until October 1999, just one month after a major escape from Stolt SeaFarms.  O C T O B E R 1999: T H E F I V E POINT S A L M O N A Q U A C U L T U R E P O L I C Y INITIATIVE In 1999, a new policy framework was finally announced, accompanied by strong ecological commitments. The October 1999, five point salmon aquaculture policy initiative, was designed to be implemented over the course of two years. The framework included monitoring requirements, research commitments, and a requirement for industry to develop 'escape prevention and response plans,' touching on the areas that the S A R had found the most critical. In the announcement, B C Ministers Dennis Streifel (Fisheries) and Joan Sawicki (Environment) stated that the "status quo" of salmon farming "is creating environmental degradation and risks" (British Columbia. Ministry of Fisheries, Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks. Oct 18, 1999). This represented a fundamental shift in attitude from the years prior to the SAR. Further, the government stated that it accepted the recommendations of the Environmental Assessment Office's SAR, and the new policy framework was to set the stage for changing the status quo. The 5 key features of the new policy were: 1.  2. 3. 4. 5.  Escape prevention: requirement to implement approved escape prevention and recovery programs. Repeated failure to comply will result in licence suspension/cancellation. New Technologies: the provincial government would encourage and invest in alternative/green technologies. Waste: new waste management based on 'strictly enforced environmental standards' will be created. Siting: relocation of poorly sited operations. Fish Health: development of disease prevention code of practice, reporting, etc.. (Ibid)  The announcement of the new policy was accompanied by a commitment to uphold the moratorium which capped conventional technology tenures at the existing 121. The plan further  120  stipulated that after two years an evaluation of the industry would be conducted. At that time, the salmon aquaculture policy framework would be evaluated for industry compliance and technological development, and this would form the basis for establishing the future direction of the industry (i.e. lifting the moratorium).  6.2  A NEW COMMITMENT TO ECOLOGICAL REFORM? Considering the time lag between the completion of the S A R report, with its fairly strong  recommendations, and the 5 point aquaculture initiative, it might been fair to expect dramatic regulatory reforms. Undeniably, the verbal emphasis on ecological concerns had increased drastically from government positions just a few years earlier. None-the-less, despite the preparatory time the ecological impact of the reforms was surprisingly low. While claiming acceptance of the S A R recommendations, many of the new policy components did not significantly differ from reiterations of them (such as promises of reforms in the area of waste), and relied on commitments of future action as opposed to the immediate adoption of new regulations. Alternately, policy elements were based on the softer features of the S A R recommendations, and did not reflect the more stringent regulatory structure that had been recommended. The escape prevention and response plans were one such policy element. The capacity for license suspension/cancellation for Atlantic escapes had already existed under Section 19 of the fisheries act, and was not new. In practical terms, regulatory action was unlikely as long as compliance remained vaguely defined by 'reasonable precaution.' Even in cases where compliance could be assessed, enforcement had historically been underutilized. Preexisting regulations under the Waste Management Act were not prone to the same ambiguity as escape regulations. Yet despite there being clear mechanisms for enforcement, there appears to have been next to none in practice. The E A O made a point of the absence of enforcement and noted the difficulty in assessing whether "the lack of charges and prosecutions indicates a high 121  level of regulatory compliance throughout the industry or inadequate monitoring by regulators" ( E A O , 1997. S A R , Vol. 4, B,XIII). Contextual evidence would seem to indicate the latter. In regards to the escape reforms, the new policy simply added an obligation to produce escape prevention and recovery plans, which had little, if any, practical impact outside of an obligation to acknowledge the importance of the issue. While the S A R had advocated the production of management plans, their proposal had significantly more regulatory potential. The E A O had recommended each farm have a threshold escape level (decreasing over time) included in their management plan. When this threshold was exceeded, it "triggers a review of the management plan and requires that any remedial measures identified by the review be implemented" (Ibid. V o l . 1, Ch 5:5). A highly transparent performance based system such as this would have constituted a real regulatory threat to industry. The production of unenforceable plans, in themselves, were symbolic at best. Therefore the October 1999 policy offered very little in terms of real policy reform. The promise to undertake a review at the end of two years, supported by the fact that the cap on licenses had been upheld, did place the commitment of future reforms in a slightly better light than the industry's history might otherwise support. However, the demonstrable reluctance to regulate was cause for reservation. Overall, despite the dramatic shift in verbal acknowledgement of the importance of ecological goals, the tangible results would appear to contradict any hopes of an emerging ecological sphere, save for the promise of the development of new technologies. Most interesting from an ecological modernization point of view, and by far the most innovative element of the new policy, was the provincial government's commitment to encourage and invest in the development of alternative 'green' technologies, such as closed containment. Towards this goal, the provincial government authorized and provided incentives for 5 marine (and 5 freshwater pilot projects) to be undertaken by industry. Each pilot project was to be  122  partnered with the granting of a conventional farming tenure (otherwise unobtainable due to the moratorium), which provided the motivation for industry involvement. Coupled with an intention to use the findings of the new technology research and data towards the ecological reform of the industry, the pilot projects signal a very strong ecological move on the part of the provincial government. Of course, this is highly dependent on this intention. On the surface, the facilitation of the pilot projects, through setting them up and through the incorporation of an incentive program, is very much along the lines of a statefacilitated ecological modernization project, proposed by theorists. The role of government as facilitator of an ecological modernization process is therefore evident in a manner not demonstrated in previous policy phases. Similarly, the financial commitment of industry to the pilot projects also represents a significant investment, which could be interpreted as a willingness to assist in ecological reform. By October of 2000, four of the pilot projects had been awarded: • • • •  Totem Oysters: Pacific salmon raised with organic feed, closed containment, waste recovery and composting. Marine Harvest (Nutreco): alternative protein feed, closed containment, waste reduction. Heritage Aquacult/Homalco Band: raising fry: closed containment, waste recovery. Marine Harvest (Nutreco)/Kitasoo: female Atlantics, alternative protein feed. (British Columbia, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks. Oct. 4, 2000) A fifth proposal was approved in January of 2001 (Agrimarine Industries). To date, only  one of the freshwater projects had been approved.  O C T O B E R 2000: T H E A Q U A C U L T U R E A M E N D M E N T S In August of 2000, in response to two serious escape incidents, the province of British Columbia stepped up the process of implementing escape prevention and response plans that had been announced in 1999. At this time, industry was given 60 days in which to submit their plans,  123  and this was accompanied by strong words from the minister regarding the tightening regulations around the industry. On October 31, 2000 amendments to the aquaculture regulations were announced. Unlike the previously unverifiable 'reasonable precaution' scenario for the prevention of escapes, the October amendments stipulated explicit equipment and practice requirements for farm operation. Essentially, these plans outlined the technological details that would define 'reasonable precaution,' through specifications of minimum netpen mesh size, breaking strength, and anchoring requirements (British Columbia. October 2, 2000). Therefore, in terms of regulatory control of the industry, the October 2000 amendments were arguably the most significant undertaken since the aquaculture licence was introduced over ten years prior. Whether amplification of the precautionary expectations in this way increased regulatory strength remains debatable. Significantly, the standards outlined in the equipment and practice requirements were designed to "meet generally accepted standards prevalent in the aquaculture industry." In fact, a regulatory impact statement prepared for the launch of the new amendments stated that "with the exception of the new escape recapture plans, the proposed changes are already currently required as a condition of license; all farms would have eventually submitted these plans" (British Columbia, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. September 28, 2000). Industry itself indicated that they were already in compliance with the majority of the regulations. Therefore, while the regulations would act to bring stragglers up to general industry practices, it appeared unlikely to significantly reduce the risk of escapes. In terms of ecological reform, the amendments once again maintained the 'soft' regulation that had come to characterize industry management. Despite the persistent weakness of the regulations governing the industry, some environmental activity further to the pilot projects also occurred in these years. Similar to the actions following the Gillespie Inquiry, research and development initiatives were undertaken. For example, an enhanced monitoring program was announced in June 2000, and was the result 124  of a partnership by the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, and the B C Salmon Farmer's Association. The goal of the program was the collection of data on "chemical and physical condition at and around net cages" on six salmon farms over a period of a few months (British Columbia, Environment, Lands and Parks. June 15, 2000). A s in the previous research initiatives, while acting towards the stated goal of research into impacts, the increased knowledge offish health factors for aquaculture development were included. Another type of action undertaken was increased monitoring, particularly after several high profile escape incidents. Following serious Atlantic escapes from Stolt Seafarm Inc. in the summer of 2000, the B C government announced an intensification of their inspection of farms, including random spot audits and under-water videotaping (British Columbia. M A F F . M E L P . October 4, 2000). Much was made of the increased monitoring in the media. While monitoring is key to identifying problems, monitoring without enforcement it is unlikely to improve actions. Waste issues had already raised the issue of weak implementation, and under new escape regulations, enforcement would only be possible for compliance with equipment requirements already standard practice in the industry. Further, unlike regulations, monitoring as an environmental response can be easily discontinued without a significant reversal of policy. In sum, the ecological strength of the new management framework was not promising. Regulations were primarily soft, unenforceable, and easily reversible. However, openings did exist. In addition to monitoring actions, stakeholder participation was once again initiated. In February 2000, a multi-stakeholder committee was again formed, the Salmon Aquaculture Implementation Advisory Committee (SAIAC), to "assist in the implementation of the salmon aquaculture policy framework," ( B C S F A . February 18, 2000).  125  6.3  THE DOUBLE MOVEMENT: THE DRIVE TO DEVELOPMENT AND ITS COUNTER PRESSURES By all assessments, even in this greatest period of policy development, the ecological  reforms of the industry have been considerably weaker than they might have been had substantive reforms of the regulatory policy been the goal. With the introduction of the standards which define 'reasonable precaution' the aquaculture amendments did launch a path by which future, enforceable, regulatory requirements could be expanded. There is no guarantee of this happening, or even indication of its being a goal, however. Aside from some small actions towards increasing monitoring and research, and from the future potential of the pilot projects, the policies following the E A O ' s review of the industry have shown a preference for form over substance. It would appear, then, that the status quo of economic development, Schnaiberg and Gould's 'treadmill of production,' was in full swing in the developing industry. However, the level of policy activity around the industry, as demonstrated by news releases, policy statements, policy updates, and the like, has not only been substantially out of proportion to the level of reforms, but even with what one would expect in a typical treadmill scenario. As a new industry, aquaculture has been subject to a greater level of public scrutiny than a pre-existing industry would be, and this has worked to the advantage of environmentalists. While Ecological Modernization theorists and Risk Society theorists see these pressures as having different impacts, both acknowledge that growing public awareness of ecological risk increases the pressure on government and industry to address these issues. Therefore, like many industries, the aquaculture industry has been subjected to two competing pressures: the economic imperative towards development and the social imperative towards ecological regulation (remember Polanyi's 'double movement'). The level and direction of industry development would necessarily be influenced by the balance of these pressures.  126  In addition to these two forces, significant changes in the background context of the aquaculture debate have also occurred. As noted in the introduction, policy theorists have demonstrated that significant changes in policy are unlikely without significant changes in background conditions. These sometimes create 'policy windows,' where opportunities for action can take place. Two significant background conditions have changed in this last decade of aquaculture development in B . C . . Firstly, the change in provincial government from Social Credit to N D P in 1991 represented a significant change in governing ideology, the latter being more amenable to environmental considerations. Secondly, numerous court challenges by First Nations groups resulted in rulings which dramatically increased the power of these groups. To a lesser extent, changes in background conditions also include the developments in neighbouring jurisdictions (such as the designation of escaped Atlantics as a pollutant, in Washington state) and the size and chronology of Atlantic escapements.  T H E DRIVE T O D E V E L O P M E N T An unprecedented level of cooperation between industry and both the federal and provincial governments has characterized aquaculture development in British Columbia. This does not suggest that industry has never objected to its regulatory environment or that there has been no inter-governmental conflict. Evidence to the contrary has already been presented. However, these conflicts are relatively minor in the context of the over-riding spirit of cooperation, where the definition of cooperation is broadened to include a lack of regulatory action. While the 1991 change in provincial government did affect this level of cooperation, as will be discussed, the consistency of the weak regulatory actions demonstrates that, overall, industry development remained in the best interest of the government. The logic behind this follows from the natural needs of the state:  127  [T]hose who manage the state apparatus—regardless of their own political ideology—are dependent on the maintenance of some reasonable level of economic activity. This is true for two reasons. First, the capacity of the state to finance itself through taxation or borrowing depends on the state of the economy.... Second, public support for a regime will decline sharply if the regime presides over a serious drop in the level of economic activity, with a parallel rise in unemployment and shortages of key goods (Block, 1977:15). As, "in a capitalist economy the level of economic activity is largely determined by the private investment decisions of capitalists" (Ibid: 15), once the industry had proven itself to be economically viable, the goals of industry and the government were very much in tune. A substantial motivation for the governmental facilitation of the aquaculture industry's development was the serious economic downturns that resource dependent communities in B . C . were facing. The coast of B . C . was hit particularly hard by downturns in both the forestry and fishing sectors. For example, a number of problems had plagued the commercial salmon fishery, some for decades: over-fishing and over-capitalization of the fleet had depleted the resource and driven fishers' incomes down. It had been clear for some time that the fishing industry needed to be restructured. Attempts had been made to do so thirty years prior but had proven ineffective. In 1996, the Federal government imposed its fleet rationalization program, the Pacific Salmon Revitalization Strategy (PSRS) or 'Mifflin Plan' as it is commonly known, on the industry. The Mifflin plan's goal of a 50% fleet reduction was predicted to increase the devastating impact low returns had already visited on fishing-dependent communities. The impacts were much as predicted: For the commercial fishery, annual average employment over the decade [19901999] fell by 44%, from 6.4 thousand to 3.6 thousand.... During the same period, the count of D F O fisher registration cards declined by 47%, from just over 20 thousand at the beginning of the decade to just under 9 thousand in 1999. These decreases mirror the 29% reduction in B C commercial fish landings over the decade (from 298 thousand tonnes to 210 thousand tonnes), as well as structural changes in the industry, including reductions in the B C fishing fleet. (British Columbia. Ministry of Finance and Corporate Relations. B C Stats. May 2001:5556).  128  Even prior to these reductions, the federal government was attempting to reduce dependence on employment insurance— a heavily relied on source of supplemental income in resource communities— through amendments to employment insurance regulations. Without employment alternatives, the replacement for coastal B . C . would be similarly costly welfare dependence. Not only were the impacts of the resource downturns creating significant pressures for the government to address the plight of resource dependent communities, but these downturns represented a significant loss of revenue for the provincial economy as well. Aquaculture was an industry that held great promise for filling the economic gap, and to a lesser extent, the employment gap. Keeping in mind that the wild salmon harvest for 1995 and 1996 were the lowest of any two-year period in 30 years, by 1995, the farmgate value of B C ' s salmon aquaculture products exceeded the value of the wild harvest (British Columbia. Ministry of Finance and Corporate Relations. B C Stats. May 2001:39). Overall, the economic promise of salmon farming has only increased while that of the commercial fishery decreased. Even under the moratorium conditions, the industry managed to followed the path of increasing returns it had promised: Farmgate receipts for farmed-raised B C salmon were $79 million in 1990 and had reached $292 million by 1999. Further, B C farmed salmon production grew while the wild salmon harvest generally declined.... Later, in 1999, farmed salmon quantity also stood higher than B C commercial landings of wild salmon. (Ibid:39). The economic imperative of salmon farming was not just a provincial imperative, but was consistent with federal goals. In 1995, at the same time as the federal government was formulating its strategy for a 50% reduction in the Pacific commercial fishery, the Federal Aquaculture Development Strategy (FADS) was announced. In the assessment of the federal government, the Canadian aquaculture industry had passed from its initial struggling efforts and first wave of development into a competitive stage by the 1990's. If assisted in its competitiveness, the government had high expectations for its success: 129  Clearly, the sector is at a pivotal juncture. Canada has tremendous potential for success in aquaculture. If certain critical success factors are fulfilled, stakeholders expect that the total farm-gate value of aquaculture could reach $680 million annually by the end of the century (Canada, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, 1995:6). Employment for rural communities was also touted as a benefit of aquaculture development. While acknowledging the government's role includes "responsibilities in such areas as habitat and biodiversity," the priority of the F A D S was clearly the facilitation of industry competitiveness: "[a]quaculture development must not be unduly constrained or burdened by government policy or the regulatory framework" (Ibid:8), with the federal obligation to "create a climate where industry can flourish" (Ibid 10). This 'climate' can be summed up by principle 4 of the 11 principles outlined for supporting industry development: Aquaculture development must be driven by the dictates of industry competitiveness in domestic and international markets. The lead agency for aquaculture development in the federal government is the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), the same agency that is responsible for protecting marine resources, which is a source of great consternation for those concerned about aquaculture's environmental impacts. In December of 1998, the federal government created the Office of the Commissioner for Aquaculture Development (OCAD). The role of the O C A D was unequivocally to be an advocate for aquaculture development, whose concerns involved streamlining the regulatory burden on industry, and facilitating the public's knowledge about aquaculture. This latter is essentially public relations on the environmental front. The federal strategy also stresses the need for federal and provincial cooperation towards the development of the industry. A process which had already been started in the 1989 Memorandum of Understanding. The commonality of purpose for both federal and provincial governments to improve the environmental image of aquaculture can only be matched by that of  130  industry. For example, the B C S F A claims to welcome the implementations of the recommendations of the Salmon Aquaculture Review, and has even deflected criticism over escapes with calls on the government to implement these recommendations. Two factors cannot be overlooked in regards to this level of cooperation: 1) as discussed, critics have been more than dubious about the actual impact any policy reforms have had, with the cost to industry of improvements more than offset by the benefit of image improvement; and 2) the government has shown itself, from the funding of research and technological development, to have a preference for monitoring over end-result regulations, and to be willing to take a wide variety of the environmental expenses onto its own shoulders, effectively subsidizing the environmental component of the industry. In the context of these economic drives and with this level of federal cooperation, it almost seems as if the provincial government's environmental noise-making is out of step. However, there were also oppositional forces acting on the provincial government, and this level of opposition is not irrelevant to the ability of the ruling party to conduct itself: "the state plays a critical role in maintaining the legitimacy of the social order, and this requires that the state appear to be neutral..." (Block, 1977:8). In the words of Fisheries and Oceans Canada's Commissioner for Aquaculture Development "the debate over the potential of escaped salmon to negatively impact wild salmon stocks has hindered the development of salmon aquaculture in Canada." (Government of Canada. Department of Fisheries and Oceans. October 27, 1999). Any governmental body interested in furthering the development of the industry without losing legitimation, will necessarily have to address this, and in fact the entire environmental debate around the industry.  131  T H E O T H E R SIDE: E N V I R O N M E N T A L I S T S A N D O T H E R S T A K E H O L D E R S At the same time as policy change may not occur without a suitable 'policy window,' such as that which a change in government provides, other background events helped create the pressures which offer a significant counter force to the development pressures that the government was under. While the activity surrounding the Gillespie Inquiry and the Ombudsman's report may have muffled the furor somewhat, as those who had concerns remained uncertain as to ongoing policy developments, this did not last long. Although governmental responses to the Gillespie and Ombudsman recommendations led to improvements in the regulation and administration of the industry, public concern about issues such as potential effects of interactions between wild salmon and escaped farm salmon remained strong ( E A O , 1997. S A R Summary Report:2). Despite the excess of government confidence, public concern regarding the industry remained high. If anything, the environmental issues of salmon farming were beginning to attract more attention, and this attention was much less localized than the furor which brewed in Sechelt. As noted, it was during this period in the late 80's early 90's that industry underwent radical restructuring which transferred ownership from the primarily 'mom and pop' outfits which characterized its beginning to the large multinational interests. Farms were also shifting northwards, concentrating near the Broughton Archipelago. The use of Atlantic salmon which had first been tested in 1986, was progressing to a full swing switchover. While in 1988, Atlantic smolt introductions into salt water farms made up only 3.6% of the total introductions, by 1991 they made up 31.3% (percentages calculated from data provided in B . C . Salmon Farmers Association et al., February 1992:38). This only heightened the concern of the public and environmental organizations that the industry was taking substantia] risks without adequate controls in place. As farms moved northward, they also increasingly moved into First Nations territories, and First Nations groups began to object to the infringement and to the potential environmental impacts. 132  Alexandra Morton, a whale researcher active in the increasingly farm-covered Broughton Archipelago area, concluded that the farms' acoustical deferent devices (ADDs) were responsible for driving Orcas out of their traditional territory. As a result, she became active in opposing salmon farms in the late 1980's. The United Fishers and Allied Workers Union ( U F A W U ) , which had been so instrumental in the undertaking of the Gillespie Inquiry, created an environmental wing of their organization, the T. Buck Environmental Foundation, to further advance their fight against what they saw as the risk fish farm's posed to wild resources. Over the years, other, more mainstream, environmental organizations took notice of the environmental controversy around salmon farming. These included the David Suzuki Foundation, the Georgia Strait Alliance, the Living Oceans Society, Greenpeace and the Sierra Club, to name a few. As these groups increased their involvement in the issues they began to form alliances and coalitions to counter the governmental apathy towards their goals. For example, in 1994, a coalition of 12 organization produced an over 10-page newspaper calling for a moratorium on licences and demanding increased public input into the salmon farming referral process (Zamluk, 1997:62). The paper also called for public participation in a consumer boycott, a tactic that was to gain even greater prevalence in the post-SAR years. Therefore, a large body of environmental, First Nations, and commercial fisher groups has consistently provided a substantial lobby against fish farms. In addition to the banding together of diverse interests within the province, and to some extent across the country, cross border efforts along the pacific coast have been initiated to increase the pressure, resulting in solidarity actions such as a collective letter by the Puget Sound Gillnetter's Association against the potential lifting of the B . C . moratorium. This international tactic also comes and goes when opportunity permits. As escaped Atlantics not only establish themselves in local habitats but increasingly found northward, the State of Alaska (where aquaculture is banned) has taken issue and has periodically surfaced as an anti-aquaculture ally with some diplomatic clout. In sum, 133  countering the economic imperative to develop aquaculture, the opposition has been substantial, vociferous, and enduring. Despite the fact that salmon farming issues held the attention of such a wide variety of groups, these groups remain dependent on public opinion. The Canadian institutional framework is much more discretionary, and much less conducive to the legal campaigns possible in countries such as the United States. While rare attempts at litigation have been made against B . C . salmon farms, these attempts are few and for the most part unsuccessful. Particularly in the context of salmon farming's weak regulatory regime, litigation is a highly ineffective tool, and works mainly for the purpose of raising publicity. According to Cashore, Howlett, and Rayner, "within a given institutional context and ideational context, actors adopt the strategies most likely to advance their interests" (2001:245). Simply stated, groups use the tools which are available to them. In B . C . , public pressure is the main method of opposition to salmon farming development. No doubt, the symbolic value of the wild Pacific salmon to the public of 'Supernatural B C facilitated public support of environmentalists goals. C K N W radio host Rafe Mair, for example, dubbed wild pacific salmon, 'the signature of B . C . Further, if the opposition had been more piecemeal or only active at key policy junctures, it might have been less able to capitalize on opportunities as they came up. The consistency of pressure and the apparent state of readiness these groups maintained, allowed them to capitalize on any potential issues of public salience. In particular, the escapement of Atlantic salmon into the wild was an issue which proved to be a reliable trigger for public concern. In 1989, as a result of a violent windstorm 100,000 farmed fish escaped into the wild. A portion of these fish had been known to be infected with B K D , bacterial kidney disease. Keller and Rosella report that the public outcry over this event only multiplied when a week later a commercial gillnetter caught a netful of the fish:  134  Publicity about his catch brought out dozens of other complaints from commercial and sports fishermen, who had been catching farmed fish with nets and lines over the past year; they feared that these escapes would introduce disease to the wild fish, and that genetically altered farmed fish would breed with wild stock (1996:73). Concerned citizens and interest groups pressured the government to take action. In 1991, a joint federal and provincial effort led to the initiation of a salmon monitoring program, checking for the presence of Atlantics in rivers and streams. In 1992 this evolved into the ongoing Atlantic Salmon Watch Program (ASWP), which included stakeholder involvement in the reporting process. The 1989 incident was not the last significant escape event in B.C., however. Nor was concern limited to B . C . ' s escape events. Large escapes from nearby Washington, such as the 1997 escape of over 369,000 Atlantics, also gained attention, and added fuel to environmentalists claims. The last decade's escape numbers are included in the Appendix. With the help of the media, escape events have repeatedly garnered loud public outcry. This outcry is exacerbated by statements from environmental groups highlighting past government promises and failures in relation to these escapes. When escapes are discovered by fishers and not industry, it raises the possibility of industry deceit and supports environmentalist's claims that the government is asleep at the wheel in terms of environmental protection. In August 2000, an escape of 50,000 Atlantics from Stolt went unreported until, in the words of the media, "commercial fishermen blew the whistle on the escaped farm fish when about 4,500 Atlantic salmon turned up in nets Monday and Tuesday" (Sutherland, August 17, 2000). Defying each government assurance that it was dealing harshly with escapes, events continued. Simultaneously, research was progressively uncovering evidence of the ability of Atlantics to not only survive, but to colonize and even reproduce in the wild, and this exacerbated the public's environmental unease. By 2000, despite the persistent weaknesses of escape regulations, the government was somewhat desperately laying claim to escape regulations that  135  were "the most comprehensive in the world" (British Columbia. M A F F , M E L P , October 4, 2000). Escape incidents were not the only method of publicizing their cause, however. Any form of media presence has been exploited for maximizing public pressure on the government. Another media opportunity involves publicizing or otherwise acting on governmental memos and documents obtained under Freedom O f Information. For example, criminal charges were brought by Lynn Hunter under the Fisheries Act against Stolt Sea Farms Inc.. These charges were based on a 1996-97 provincial report obtained under Freedom O f Information which found pollution from excess feed and feces was accumulating under a number of salmon farms (The David Suzuki Foundation. March 08, 1999). While the charges were stayed, they provided the opportunity for many news releases and media statements: The David Suzuki Foundation shouldn't have to be responsible for ensuring that fish habitat is not ruined by these open netcage farms. That's supposed to be the job of David Anderson, Dennis Streifel and Cathy McGregor (Ibid). Repeatedly, environmental organizations have accused the Department of Fisheries and Oceans of either not releasing or not pursuing data that might counter claims of the safety of the industry. In regards to an issue such as salmon farming, where the knowledge about impacts is sufficiently uncertain, this uncertainty can more readily be bent to the conclusions most favourable to the ruling party: Scientific uncertainties, which are endemic in the environmental area, weaken the extent to which science constrains policy makers (Hoberg, 1997:343). The research and publication of professional and scientific information regarding the issue is one effective means of circumventing this. As such, environmental organizations have actively pursued the research and publication of this data themselves. In 1996, during the E A O review, the David Suzuki Foundation (DSF) commissioned a 195 page book (David W . Ellis & Associates) on the impacts of the salmon farming industry on the environment. This is very  136  indicative of the manner which Beck describes interest groups soliciting their own expert systems. In 2001, Alexandra Morton called on D F O to investigate a sea lice outbreak in the Broughton Archipelago, and amid the highly publicized conflict, eventually collected and documented the data herself. Most notably, John Volpe, the academic who first found evidence of Atlantic salmon spawning in B . C . rivers, has had his research highly publicized by environmentalists and other concerned parties. While initially an independent researcher attempting to get the attention of D F O researchers, by 2001 he was producing reports for the DSF. Conducting research is expensive, however, and environmentalists were not adverse to using what research has been conducted to the maximum possible. Michael Easton's study on the P C B levels of farmed versus wild fish appeared on The Nature of Things in February of 2001, among other places, the Leggatt Inquiry in September 2002, and, once published as a scientific paper, again made headlines (Mittelstaedt, May 17, 2002:A1). By 1991, the provincial government had changed to the more environmentally responsive NDP. In the years following the S A R , this government was under pressure to facilitate the development of aquaculture at the same time as assure the public that the industry was 'safe.' A cabinet decision to lift the moratorium had been expected to occur sometime after 1998. In 1999, a news conference on the anticipated lifting of the moratorium was cancelled following reports of another large escape (Sutherland, Oct. 18, 1999). Various environmental organizations, in cooperation and independently, have used the years pending the lifting of the moratorium to subject government and industry to a barrage of campaigns protesting the lifting of the moratorium. The majority of campaigns were designed to garner public support for their cause, often, as in the case with newspaper campaigns, accompanied by mail-in cards designed for pressuring the leading authorities.  137  The pressure from environmental forces on the industry was substantial, and was often matched by the level of conflict between environmentalists and salmon farmers, who variously accused each other in the media of destroying the environment or using stunts and fear mongering. At the same time as having to counter a barrage of environmentalists' claims in the media, the B C S F A was also forced to address the research findings of these groups. Following the DSF's publication of 'Net Loss,' the B C S F A published 'Net Gain,' in January 1997, which line by line systematically refutes each of the original report's claims. Repeatedly the industry was forced to address new material from the environmental lobby. Most recently, in September 2001, fuelled by both Senate and Auditor General's reports criticizing D F O failure to protect the wild salmon in relation to the aquaculture industry, the David Suzuki Foundation funded a citizen's inquiry into aquaculture. The D S F hired retired Supreme Court Judge Stuart Leggatt to conduct the inquiry (the Leggatt Inquiry) and claimed it to be 'an exercise in democracy.' By all appearances, not only were the environmental actors using all the opportunities at their disposal to fight for their cause, but they were to some extent successful in achieving some measure of policy activity, predominantly as evidenced by the failure of the provincial government to lift the moratorium in the 4 years following the SAR. A s there is rarely a direct correlation between environmental organization activity and policy action, it is difficult to positively assert their influence. However, the main tool of environmental organizations was to put pressure on government by influencing the values of the public, and there is significant evidence that they have been successful in maintaining salmon farming as an issue of concern in both the media and in the public. This heightened level of public concern necessarily increases the attention of the public to issues that arise, such as significant escape incidents, and increases the pressure on the government to address these issues.  138  6.4  CHANGING BACKGROUND CONDITIONS: INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE AND FIRST NATIONS LEGITIMATION  INSTITUTIONAL C H A N G E Despite the unappeased concerns of the U F A W U , attentive citizens, and, increasingly, environmental organizations and First Nations, in the early 1990's the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries maintained that the turbulent years of environmental debate around salmon farming were behind them: Most concerns about fish farming were raised at a time when little was known about how fish farming would affect our coastal waters. Now, after five years of study and action, many of these concerns have been laid to rest. (British Columbia, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. Aquaculture and Commercial Fisheries Branch. March 1990a:6). By the end of salmon farming's first big decade, a governmental tendency to see-saw from verbal environmental acknowledgement and commitment, while demonstrating a reluctance to environmentally regulate, had emerged into a full blown pattern. In the economic context favouring development previously outlined, even with the growing interest group pressures, the announcement of the provincial 'Action Plan' and moratorium on the industry might appear unwarranted. The increasing legal concerns with First Nations, as will be discussed, certainly added to the pressures, and this was not so easily subverted. None-the-less, things might very well have continued on in this fashion for at least another decade if there had been no other significant changes in background conditions. Another significant change did occur, however, in the 1991 provincial election. On October 17, 1991, the province of B . C . voted in an N D P government over the Social Credit government. The more left-leaning N D P government was the party of choice for the more environmentally minded. As a result an N D P government would be far more environmentally bound than their free-market oriented social credit predecessors had been. The N D P were also  139  more interested in addressing First Nations land claims; claims which would increasingly become an issue in the siting of salmon farm tenures. This transfer of political power in itself made for a significant change in background conditions for the still unabated, if not growing, conflict in the aquaculture industry. However, one of the NDP's election promises had been to declare a moratorium on new aquaculture ventures (British Columbia, Legislative Assembly, 1993. As quoted in Zamluk, 1997:22). This substantially increased the impact of the change in provincial government. While the N D P did not immediately declare an official moratorium once in power, the new party did undertake to strengthen the environmental responsiveness of the regulatory system. In particular, the N D P increased the power of the Ministry of Environment by joining it with the Ministry of Lands and Parks, thus placing the land referral system under their mandate (Zamluck, 1997:52). Jurisdictional conflict between M A F F and M E L P flared, seemingly as a backlash to the Section 10 licensing fiasco in 1986, which undermined the Ministry of Environment's abilities. A n unofficial hold on salmon farming tenures (or 'drag' on licences) was put in place by the N D P while M E L P and M A F F attempted to work out a plan for Salmon Aquaculture that they could agree on. As tribute to the changed institutional environment, a number of environmental groups were also invited to join in this process. These groups subsequently refused to endorse the draft action plan because it was too weak (Lane, David. January 31, 2001). Nor did agreement between ministries occur. First M E L P placed a moratorium on granting further tenures in the controversial Broughton Archipelago, and then, under the lead of D F O , halted the processing of tenure applications entirely (Zamluk, 1997:53). In 1995, the 'Action Plan,' and legal moratorium was announced. Therefore, while B.C.'s powerful lobby force provides a highly charged context, it would appear that the most substantial policy development is largely attributed to what Sabatier first 140  hypothesized and Cashore et al. rephrased more simply as: "significant policy change is unlikely without significant change in background conditions" (Sabatier, 1993; Cashore et al., 2001:15). In this case, the change in provincial government provided the opportunity for more ecological policy developments, that appear not to have been possible under the previous political regime. The increased credence given to 'green' issues continued after the Salmon Aquaculture Review and throughout the reign of the N D P . As we can see by the weak regulatory actions of successive policy reforms, the institutional change clearly did not remove the economic imperative from the concerns of the ruling party. It did, however, increase the impact of the pressure that environmental groups applied. While the institutional change was the greatest background condition affecting the increase in green currency, in the context of this institutional change and with the consistent pressure from environmental groups, the timing of escapes acted as a significant trigger to policy development. While the government was poised to lift the moratorium on development, it also needed to maintain the commitment, at least in name, to strong environmental regulation. This increased the pressure to react to highly publicized escape incidents. For example, on September 17, 1999, Stolt Sea Farms Ltd. Eden Island site suffered an escape of over 30 thousand Atlantics, through a hole torn in the net, likely caused by net snagging on weights. One month later, the new salmon aquaculture policy framework was announced, (albeit its regulatory impact was limited). In the flavour of the E A O ' s recommendations, but without the formal regulations, staff submitted a report about the Stolt escape to crown council for review, a move that had never been undertaken in the past. A n investigation was conducted of the escape incident. Not surprisingly, the investigators concluded that there was "insufficient grounds for finding that the company did not take 'reasonable precautions' to prevent an escape" and as a result, they concluded "this matter did not warrant any charges under the B C Fisheries Act, Aquaculture Regulation." (British Columbia. B C Fisheries. 2000). 141  One could speculate that as the furor over this escape incident died down, the moratorium would be lifted. However, less than a year later, and at the same time as the federal government was announcing a $75 million dollar grant for research and development of the industry, two more escapes occurred in the summer of 2000. This did much to intensify the debate. Amendments to the aquaculture regulations were announced with the ink still wet by the following October. The excessive speed with which this occurred, a fact not concealed by the officials in charge, is testament to the capital the environmental opposition had amassed. It was also following these escapes that the government announced an increase in farm inspections and spot monitoring.  FIRST N A T I O N S C L A I M S : T H E C H A N G I N G L E G A L C L I M A T E The 1991 election of an N D P government greatly affected the governmental access of First Nations, as the N D P were much more interested in addressing the issue of unsettled land claims. However, even before the N D P came into power, the status of First Nations had started to shift through a number of significant court cases. Therefore, in addition to the growing pressure from environmental sectors, the changing status of First Nations increasingly affected their clout with respect to resource issues. At the time of the Gillespie Inquiry, in spite of the active involvement of First Nations who lobbied against fish farms locating in their territories, the status of these concerns remained subordinate to the overall debate. Gillespie had recommended that bands within 3 km of proposed farm sites should be included in the referral process, although he took care not to imply that their rights, or even the indeterminate state of their rights, should negatively impact on the development of the industry (Gillespie, December 12, 1986:34). Despite this very moderate recommendation, the consideration of affected First Nations continued to be routinely ignored in the siting of farms, and their rights were not given sufficient weight for their inclusion in the 142  application referral process amongst those 'whose interests may be affected by the proposed development.' This is not out of context with the historical treatment of First Nations in regards to resource extraction in B . C . . However, an increasing number of successful court challenges began to impact on the ease with which First Nations claims could be marginalized. The most significant of the court challenges were the Saanichton Bay Marina case, the Sparrow Decision, and, of course, Delgamuukw. In 1987, the Tsawout First Nations successfully brought a case against Saanichton Marina Ltd., claiming that plans to construct and operate a Marina in Saanichton Bay infringed on their rights to carry on their traditional fisheries (British Columbia Court of Appeal. March 30, 1989). The case was upheld on appeal, and was significant in its ruling in favour of First Nations peoples' right to protect the habitats and resources of their territories. In 1984, Ronald Edward Sparrow was charged with fishing with a net larger than permitted by his band's license. He admitted to the facts of the charge but defended himself on the basis that he was "exercising an existing aboriginal right to fish" (Sparrow v. Her Majesty the Queen). The 1990 appeal decision on the case had substantial implications for the right of First Nations to fish for 'food, social and ceremonial purposes.' The 1992 Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy (AFS) was initiated as a result of this decision, and created special considerations for First Nations not only with respect to this traditional harvesting of fish, but included provisions for a level of commercial involvement as well. Lastly, and most significant of all, was the 1997 Delgamuukw decision. In 1984, frustrated by the speed of the land claims process, the Gitxsan Nation and the Wet'suwet'en Nation took their land claims to court. The resulting ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada was unprecedented for a number of reasons: the court defined aboriginal title, confirmed that it had not been extinguished, and laid out the requirements for its proof, which included the acceptance of oral evidence. The effects of this ruling were highly significant in regards to resource 143  extraction, as it challenged the status quo of stripping resources while land claims were tied up in court. The court provided that the government had a duty to consult "and, in most cases, the duty will be significantly deeper than mere consultation" ('Delgamuukw', 1998:36) in order to infringe on First Nations rights, and may have to compensate where these rights have been affected. Furthermore, First Nations may have the right to prevent land uses which could harm land they lay claim to. This represented an unprecedented increase in the strength of First Nations claims, and subsequently increased the pressure on governments to negotiate settlements and interim land use agreements. Even before the conclusion of the Delgamuukw litigation, which was not completed until 1997, the legal climate was demonstrating an increasing legitimation of First Nations claims that did not escape government attention. According to the E A O : the province started including First Nations in the referral process about 1992 as a result of the Regina and British Columbia vs. Delgamuukw litigation (1997. S A R Final Report, Vol. 2, Append. 3:4). By the time the 1995 'Action Plan' was announced, the awareness that First Nations claims might negatively impact on industry development was unavoidable. Fundamentally shifting from the tone of the Gillespie Inquiry, First Nations rights occupied a key position in the E A O review. The report itself devotes an entire volume of its 5 volume report to First Nations Perspectives, and includes their views throughout other parts of the review. Therefore, from the time of the Gillespie Review to the time of the SAR, a significant shift in the impact of First Nations views of the industry had occurred. The inclusion of their perspectives was very revealing of the deficiencies of the previous stakeholder processes. During the SAR, the British Columbia Aboriginal Fisheries Commission ( B C A F C ) , the Kwakiutl Territorial Fisheries Commission (KTFC) and the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council (NTC) made submissions and recommendations. The B C A F C prepared a detailed First Nations position paper regarding jurisdictional issues and outlined resolutions pertaining to 144  salmon farming (including demands regarding farm procedures and management, fine systems, native involvement in monitoring, etc.). According to the E A O , these resolutions had been passed by a 'strong majority' at the First Nations Summit in May 1997 (Ibid: V o l . 2,1:1). Unfortunately for economic development, the industry's previously unfettered infringement of First Nations rights had resulted in a predominantly negative and resentful attitude towards it: The Musgamagm Tsawataineuk Tribal Council is directly and violently opposed to the operation of fishfarms within our traditional territories (Ibid. Append. 3:3). No matter how much effort you try to put into improving your industry by performing so called studies, it will never reach near the acceptable level of the Kwa-wa-aineuk (Ibid:3). There has been too much done for short term economic gain and long term pain. If we lift the moratorium, it will force the people again to mobilize. Note that the First Nations are a significant part of the people in the north island. If my way of life is threatened by stupidity, then I will make threats. (Basil Ambers, Fort Rupert Band. Statements in: E A O , January 17, 1997). This perception of the negative effects of salmon farming on First Nations people was not exclusive to First Nations. As part of its review mandate, the E A O had commissioned a report on the social impacts of salmon farming in the designated Broughton Archipelago study area. In conclusion, the report found: Overall, the impact of salmon farming on First Nations communities has been negative, with some adverse impacts on resources, insufficient regulatory control and insufficient offsetting employment benefit (Marvin Shaffer & Associates, Ltd., 1997). It is quite apparent that First Nations had a lot to gain by their increasing legal legitimation and by their subsequent inclusion into the application process for salmon farm tenures in 1992. However, while this finally demonstrated a move towards the theoretical inclusion of First Nations, the practical limitations remained. As emphasized by the N T C , the insufficient funds available to First Nations prevented their ability to research and present their findings for any kind of impact on the application process. Therefore, while First Nations had the strongest claims and the local knowledge necessary to assess the suitability of a site, their limited  145  ability to address the referral process is a practicality which naturally lent itself to a commonality of purpose between First Nations and environmentalists, in their mutual bid to overturn the status quo. On behalf of the Ahousaht First Nation, the N T C presented a detailed critique of the referral process to the S A R , using the example of a site in Cypress Bay. A s previously discussed, the application process requires an applicant to assess and record data which would help determine the suitability of the site according to a number of listed criteria. This process involves self-reporting on issues such as conflict with other resource uses, and proximity to clam beds, spawning areas, and other habitats, etc., in compliance with minimum distance requirements. Those included in the referral process would then be able to assess site applications, and presumably respond to omissions and other concerns. The N T C conducted its review of the referral process from documentation they emphasized was highly difficult to obtain, despite repeated requests to the Lands Branch. When the N T C did manage to obtain documents, they found that the application had been based on false or incomplete information (e.g. the application states 'no' for other uses, despite being contradicted by D F O ' s own information on commercial fishing; the site violates the minimum proximity to clam beds, despite reporting otherwise, etc.). The N T C concluded: This is just one site that we have looked into, and it took at least one full week of our time plus an unknown amount of time by a local resident who had collected much of the background information. A n audit should be conducted to determine if this example is typical.... we suspect that this is the norm rather than the exception. There is an obvious need to improve on the environmental screening process for siting aquaculture net pens sites in general as the process and results to date have been less than acceptable. ( E A O , 1997. S A R , Final Report, V o l . 2, Append. 3:6). The findings of the N T C were similar to those outlined by the Kwakiutl Territorial Fisheries Commission (KTFC) in the S A R commissioned report on social impacts. According to the report, the K T F C documented:  146  a number of resource conflicts and regulatory compliance problems with farms in their territories, including 3 sites operating too close to shellfish beds, 2 sites near salmon rearing areas, 2 farms off lease areas, inadequate cleanup of debris (e.g., nets, feed bags, rope, chain, etc.) at 6 sites. Their submission states that there are at least 10 farms located directly in CRIS "red zones".... [They] also argue that their participation in referral/regulatory process for amendments to farm permits (e.g., for expansion, different species, drugs and chemicals used to promote growth and prevent disease) is even less adequate (Marvin Shaffer & Associates, Ltd. 1997). The presentations of the above First Nations groups to the E A O are important for two reasons. Firstly, they present explicit accounts of the implementation shortfalls of the limited regulatory structure that is in place. Secondly, the northward migration of tenures reduced the immediacy of salmon farming's impacts for the majority of concerned citizens, and shifted its impact to the politically less threatening rural First Nations. This, of course, changed with Delgamuukw and related cases. With the high level of opposition to the industry, and the increasing legal weight backing their claims, the rights of First Nations were to be a potentially serious threat to industry development. This threat was exacerbated by the mutual support which First Nations and environmental groups could offer each other. While First Nations often had limited means with which to fight, their claims had a level of legitimation that environmental groups often struggled to sustain in the eyes of the public. At the same time, environmental groups could offer the support and infrastructure necessary to advance First Nations claims, and could offer their media knowledge to help publicize them to an extent otherwise unlikely. In 1998, the Tsouke F N attempted to evict a farm from their traditional territory. On June 21, 2000, National Aboriginal Day, the Musgamagw Tsawataineuk Tribal Council ( M T T C ) conducted a symbolic eviction of a salmon farm from their territory. Yvon Gesinghaus of the M T T C stated, "they can take their friggin fish farms and put them somewhere else" (Wiwchar, August, 2000). The M T T C farm was successfully moved to Klemtu in a joint venture with the Kitasoo, discussed below. In addition to the legal threat that these types of protests symbolize, they can do serious damage to the salmon farmers' hard fought image of good corporate citizen. 147  As long as environmentalists have lobbied to weaken the industry's reputation on the basis of its environmental impacts, the industry has been bolstering it by pointing to its strength in providing stable employment to the coast. T o the extent that they are seen as violating the rights of community members, it is difficult to maintain the positive connotations of their coastal location. The obvious solution for government and industry to the threat that First Nations posed was their incorporation into the industry, something which Gillespie had already advocated in 1986, for the mutual benefit of both. While industry could marginalize First Nations without providing benefits from their industry, they appeared quite comfortable with this tactic. Under the changing legal environment, efforts to incorporate First Nations drastically increased. The fishing and forestry sector downturns simultaneously increased the pressure for First Nations involvement in the industry, as many bands found their communities moving from high to virtually guaranteed employment. As a result, the end of the decade has seen some limited involvement of First Nations in aquaculture. For example, a joint venture between Nutreco and the Kitasoo, has lowered the unemployment stats in Klemtu from about 85% to about 30% since the venture began in 1998 (Rose, May 8, 2002). This alliance remains contentious in and between First Nations communities, however. While rooted in a concern with the infringement of their rights and the impact of this infringement on their traditional way of life, the majority of the First Nations concerns over salmon farming maintained a strong environmental component. The continued exclusion from the policy process over the years and their powerlessness to counter the infringement only exacerbated the resentment, strengthened the alliance with environmental groups, and increased their future level of threat to aquaculture development. It remains to be seen how the future will unfold in relation to this issue.  148  6.5  ECOLOGICAL MODERNIZATION IN A MATURING INDUSTRY  E M E R G I N G E C O L O G I C A L SPHERE? Although the S A R only produced recommendations, not actual policy, the fact that it was undertaken at all represents a significant emergence of the ecological sphere. That the provincial government found the pressure around/importance of environmental concerns to be substantial enough to warrant this level of public acknowledgement is significant. While the ecological impact of the resulting policies can be debated, the environmental review and the continuation of the moratorium after the review, in itself indicates that ecological concerns were beginning to take on a level of importance at par with economic concerns. The attendant industry uncertainty of the moratorium was not insignificant, and the impact of such a long freeze on licence tenures had potentially significant results for the development of the industry. Furthermore, there are clear indications that not only was the salience of environmental concerns for the public forcing the government's hand, but that this environmental salience had entered into the government's own departments, as demonstrated by the actions of the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks. Whatever the relative impact of M E L P ' s refusal to process applications, it is without doubt that an ecological imperative was finding voice in institutional spheres. However, it also appears apparent is that there needs to be significant changes in background conditions— in this case, a change in provincial government— for these ecological ideas to find voice in the regulatory field. An indication of the increased ecological criteria in aquaculture governance can be seen in the evidence of governmental green-speak, not simply in amount, but in type as well. Whereas in the past government had expressed ample interest in addressing environmental issues—should they ever find evidence of any—the new green-speak carried an acknowledgement of environmental risk. For example, in October of 2000, Minister Corky Evans stated:  149  Strengthening regulations on farm operations and starting green pilot projects are two ways the government is moving to make sure the aquaculture industry puts sustainability first (British Columbia, M A F F . M E L P : Oct. 4, 2000). While still far from having a 1:1 correlation with regulatory action, the shift from the earlier 'there are no issues' approach, to the more pro-active 'there are issues, and they need to/will be addressed,' is evidence of an emerging ecological criterion. Of course, the evolving language of aquaculture regulation is not the only ecological development of the time period. Some very significant ecological actions were also taken. One of these, of course, is a non-action- the prolonged moratorium on the granting of salmon farm tenures. Also important, were the initiatives that came from increased government attention to research and monitoring issues, for example in the Atlantic Salmon Watch program and the waste sampling initiative. While the new aquaculture policy framework had numerous ambiguities, a stakeholder group including environmental organizations, the Salmon Aquaculture Industry Advisory Committee (SAIAC) was formed for the purpose of assisting with its implementation. The provincial government also indicated a certain level of commitment towards the development of new technologies—a development that could have very important future consequences for alleviating the environmental impacts of aquaculture. In sum, there is increasing evidence of an emerging ecological sphere, as defined by Mol and Spaargaren. However, it is important not to overstate the case. While there is evidence of an emerging ecological sphere, there is also evidence of a regulatory reluctance to embrace this emerging sphere. In fact, excepting the pilots projects and the delay in lifting the moratorium, the weakness of real regulatory reforms is very similar to that which had been in evidence prior to the S A R . Using the typology provided in Table 2 to assess regulatory strength, the actions taken by the government are undeniably weak. Wherever possible, the government demonstrates a marked preference for the use of weaker forms of environmental control, such as monitoring, or increased research. Where regulations do exist, a discretionary approach is used in reaction to 150  violations. The mechanisms for enforcement range from informal warnings, to notices of violation, fines, and suspension of license; however past conduct indicates enforcement remains highly underutilized. Along the same lines, the government also shows an extreme reluctance to engage in the creation of enforceable regulation, particularly performance-based regulation. For example, even where environmental pressures, such as the major escape incidents in 2 0 0 0 , force the government's hand, the action is in the form of increased monitoring and spot checks over stringent environmental controls. This is despite the recommendations to the contrary received from the EAO. Furthermore, research and monitoring forms of ecological policies are highly subject to reversal. Interesting to note from the 5 investigation areas in the SAR's terms of reference is the similarity of these areas with those which were of concern at the time of the Gillespie Inquiry, although earlier concerns regarding toxicants and pharmaceuticals had dropped in priority somewhat. However, in the ten years of policy development between reviews all the other concerns of inadequate regulation held strong, and were vigorously expressed in the David Suzuki Foundation initiated Leggatt Inquiry, in September of 2 0 0 1 . It was precisely because government persistently failed to deal with these citizen and stakeholder concerns that the DSF was sufficiently validated in sponsoring this citizen's inquiry to address them. Unlike the reversal that may come about as a result of an institutional change, simply slipping from the spirit of the policy can reverse weaker regulatory policies. Neglecting to follow through on actions, for example as a result of cutbacks, is another means in which policy reversal can occur without officially demonstrating a policy reversal. The emphasis on monitoring, for example, is highly susceptible to this kind of reversal. The environmental success of the preference for research and monitoring over regulation and enforcement is highly dependent on continued adherence to the intent. Therefore, these forms of regulation are highly susceptible to 151  reversal, in instances, for example, when the environmental pressure, or the level of citizen involvement, is reduced.  ECOLOGICAL MODERNIZATION? While the policies outlined show all the indications of an increasing adherence to ecological modernization ideas, the implementation of these ideas is more than suspect. The typology outlined in Table 3 is used to assess the extent to which ecological modernization processes have been in evidence at the same time as this partial emergence of the ecological sphere. The conclusions of this assessment are summarized in Table 3b. In terms of an industrymotivated process of ecological reform, the process of ecological modernization is still very much unproven, however a number of its indicators are in evidence. The ecological reforms that were undertaken to the industry were clearly the result of governmental, not industry motivated, reforms. The B C S F A was active in some small capacities, although predominantly these efforts were concentrated in the area of improving their environmental image. Industry 'codes of conduct' were established and advertised, but differed very little from standard practice. Some industry partnerships were undertaken with government towards research, and this shows some indication of the state facilitated process that ecological modernization theorists envisage. Furthermore, to the extent that the results of this research benefit both ecological concerns and industry concerns these research results could lead to ecological reforms, along the lines of a positive sum game, as is the main premise of ecological modernization theory. O f course, as noted, some of these research initiatives contributed more to industry, for example in the areas of fish health and industry public relations, than to substantia] ecological development. A significant result of this research has been the growing awareness of siting as an important factor affecting both fish health and environmental impacts. The findings being that  152  those farms that are well situated, with adequate flushing, are better for both of these. The resiting of inappropriately sited farms would therefore represent a positive-sum game. Not surprisingly, this is one regulation that salmon farmers call on the government to follow through on. However, the excessive conflict and controversy that accompanies salmon farming has made re-siting very difficult. One concern with site selection is the lack of legal or regulatory requirement which precisely define siting limitations with respect to environmentally sensitive resources. Various guidelines exist, but these are not requirements and there are no detailed criteria for defining resources such as salmonid streams, fish habitat, or shellfish beds. (Berris, 1997:8) Where a state-facilitated ecological modernization process is most in evidence is through the pilot projects initiatives. The pilot projects represent an incidence of the state looking to research and development to resolve the environmental risks of salmon farming. The state is clearly facilitating this development through providing incentives to industry. The initiation of the pilot projects represents a major step in the direction of ecological modernization. For this step to be a true step, the state would have to follow through on the research of the projects, and facilitate the adoption of any technologies that were proven to be ecologically beneficial while being economically viable. In the context of previous green actions, the government's intentions to do this are somewhat at doubt until they actually occur. At best this would occur and represent a dramatic indication of ecological modernization. At worst, the pilot projects represent a successful incorporation of ecological modernization ideas. Therefore, there is some indication of state facilitated ecological modernization process, and some indication of state cooperation towards this goal. However, most of these indications are still in the 'promise' stage (although the promise itself is fairly significant), and are not a true sign of ecological modernization unless the promise proves to be substantively backed. For the most part, what limited ecological reforms there have been in actual practice, have been imposed by the state. 153  Despite the new stated position of the state towards the ecological reform of the industry, high conflict between stakeholders remained the norm. Ecological modernization is seen as evolving out of a consensual process, where all stakeholders are working together to achieve goals common to all. This is the most contentious of the ecological modernization indicators in the case of the salmon farming industry, as repeatedly, stakeholder consultation has been the conflict resolution tactic of choice. Interesting in terms of the history of the Gillespie Inquiry and the ombudsman's report, both of whose recommendations were supposedly fully accepted by government, the issue of public consultation ten years later remains key. Conflict remained the topic for inquiry in 1995, as much as it was in 1986. Particularly telling in the context of the industry's history of public consultation, the S A R states: "opportunities for involvement in decision making regarding salmon farming are sporadic and limited. Public input is essential not only to encourage well-informed decisions and reduce conflict but as a matter of fairness" ( E A O , 1997. S A R Summary Report:6). Public consultation was, once again, recommended, but a process was only put in place 3 years later. The S A I A C was initiated in February of 2000 to advise on policy implementation. According to the provincial government: "Consultation is the foundation of our salmon aquaculture policy" (British Columbia. Aug. 17, 2000). Despite these assurances, by 2002, environmental and First Nations members of the S A I A C resigned in protest when the new government lifted the moratorium on tenures without their prior knowledge. According to Laurie MacBride, Executive Director of the Georgia Strait Alliance, We have been left out of the loop on every major decision made by the province on salmon aquaculture, and the fact that this letter [re moratorium] was withheld for three weeks is the final straw. (Georgia Strait Alliance, February 1, 2002.) While these changes were presided over by a change in regime, there had already been indications that S A I A C was less than influential on the policy process.  154  It would appear that the governing authorities do not have a real interest in public consultation. Rather, public participation in name only is occurring, as government is pressured to respond to environmental and citizen group pressures while attempting to maintain the development potential of the industry. Like the CRIS process, M A I A C , and later S A I A C , demonstrate that without strong regulatory rules, the best intentions are soon rendered moot as the spirit of the action is replaced by another version of the action. In this context, the high conflict between stakeholder groups that surrounds salmon farming is not surprising. So how is the industry ecologically evolving? In 1995, when the B . C . government placed a moratorium on the expansion of Salmon Farms and referred it to the Environmental Assessment Office (EAO), it was a highly demonstrative 'addressing' of the concerns that lobby groups raised to the public forum. That the 'moratorium' itself did not prevent a 313% increase in production levels in the ten year period starting in 1990 (British Columbia. Ministry of Finance and Corporate Relations. B C Stats. May 2001:38) is some indication of the government's attempt to balance pressures from environmental groups while not completely alienating capital. One can speculate that, as capital became further entrenched and the public tired of the debate, the regulatory 'evolution' would stall. However the consistent lobbying from environmental groups and ill timed and high profile escapes kept the spotlight on the industry. This would explain the preference for weak and un-enforced regulations, as it allows the government to put a green face on industry development without exciting excessive backlash. These regulations could also be subject to reversal, when the attention on the issues is reduced, and the government has other financial priorities. This would clearly favour a risk society explanation for the majority of processes. The fact that the majority of ecological developments in policy were the result of changing background conditions, particularly a change in political party, is the most troubling from an ecological modernization perspective, and the implications of this will be addressed to 155  s o m e e x t e n t i n the d i s c u s s i o n . H i g h o p p o s i t i o n to the i n d u s t r y p l a c e d s i g n i f i c a n t p r e s s u r e o n the g o v e r n m e n t , a n d these groups m a x i m i z e d their i n f l u e n c e b y s e i z i n g any w i n d o w o f o p p o r t u n i t y , s u c h as e s c a p e e v e n t s , to p l a y f o r a g r e a t e r s h a r e o f p u b l i c c o n c e r n . S h i f t s i n the r e l a t i v e p o w e r o f o p p o s i t i o n a l g r o u p s i n l i g h t o f the p r o v i n c i a l g o v e r n m e n t c h a n g e p l a y e d a s u b s t a n t i a l r o l e i n what reforms d i d occur. Therefore, ecological modernization progress appears m u c h more s u s c e p t i b l e to p o w e r i n t e r a c t i o n s t h a n a l o g i c a l ' i n c o r p o r a t i o n o f n e g l e c t e d e c o l o g i c a l c r i t e r i a ' w o u l d dictate. T h e p o w e r struggles i n d i c a t i v e o f risk society theory appear u n t o u c h e d in this scenario.  156  T A B L E 3c: RESULTS- T H E SAR AND BEYOND T A B L E 3: E C O L O G I C A L MODERNIZATION PROCESSES PRECONDITION: E C O L O G I C A L REFORMS A R E OCCURING (MET)  1. INTERNAL MOTIVATION  2. CONSENSUAL PROSESS INVOLVING STAKEHOLDERS  3. STATE ENABLED  4. POSITIVE SUM GAME  5. SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES  6. NEW INDUSTRIES  INDICATIONS OF E C O L O G I C A L MODERNIZATION (E.M.) PROCESSES AT WORK BEHIND ENVIRONMENTAL REFORMS  INDICATIONS OF PROCESSES OTHER THAN E. M . AT WORK BEHIND ENVIRONMENTAL REFORMS (RISK SOCIETY PROCESSES) X  While not industry motivated reforms, industry has demonstrated a willingness to participate in research joint initiatives, where it serves a dual purpose.  Incentives are required for the adoption of new technologies, for example conventional tenures were granted with each pilot tenure. Central industry bodies still primarily organize to fight opposition and downplay environmental concerns.  X Some evidence of stakeholder groups willing to meet with each other to resolve issues. Existence of stakeholder participation processes, but consistently critiqued as ineffective and lacking impact.  X State facilitated development of new technologies (e.g. pilots). The initiation of these is highly demonstrative of an e.m. process, but is to some extent dependent on the future of the projects (continue/cancel, adoption of technologies, etc.): use of these pilots beyond face value remains open in context of past practices. Ecological improvements are associated with improvements to the economic side of production in respect with some issues, such as improved siting.  X High distrust between groups remains. Evidence that stakeholder groups still willing to discontinue meetings with 'the other side' (e.g. SAIAC) when conflict erupts. High conflict between stakeholders. Groups attempt to gain favour for their highly polarized positions.  X The state facilitates/initiates stakeholder meetings and/or consultation processes, allows stakeholders a forum for expressing their viewpoints and have input into the policy process. These stakeholder processes appear primarily for facevalue: public participation process is not meaningful. Majority of policies are created and imposed by state.  X Majority of ecological improvements are associated with a financial loss to industry.  X  X  Substantial evidence of small ecological improvements have been made with advances in technology.  Ecological improvements of larger issues are often associated with advances in technology, (e.g. land based, closed containment) for some groups, and with different issues for others, rarely the same groups and same issues. Consensus is lacking.  There is evidence of the potential for new industries that are in the research and development stage to develop (e.g. closed containment).  X Green markets are still fed by products which are alternatives to the industry (e.g. wild salmon), as opposed to developing ecologically (e.g. land based farmed salmon).  157  C H A P T E R 7: DISCUSSION  POINTS FOR DISCUSSION When this investigation started, it was with the ideas of risk society and ecological modernization in mind: to what extent does ecological modernization theory offer a plausible alternative to a descent into the risk society? At this point, I return to these theories with the purpose of re-evaluating them in light of the case study. What explanatory potential do these theories have for the developments in the salmon farming industry? I will first address the results of the case study in the context of Risk Society theory, pointing out key issues for consideration. Subsequently, I will do the same for ecological modernization theory, addressing both its greatest areas of success and its greatest weaknesses, as revealed by the results of the case study. I will then further discuss the findings in terms of the issues that arose through the process of the translation of ecological modernization theory from a social theory into a political program, and make suggestions for its amendments. This investigation followed three questions: First, is there evidence of ecological reform in the industry? Second, do ecological reforms appear to be attributable to ecological modernization processes? Third, what are the broader implications of these results, and how do they reflect on the micro (consensus-based) and macro (economic imperative) critiques outlined in the introduction? Four possible scenarios were outlined: 1) environmental reforms are occurring, and do appear to be attributable to an ecological modernization process as described by theorists; 2) environmental reforms are occurring, but do not appear attributable to ecological modernization processes, 3) environmental reforms are not occurring in any significant manner, and ecological modernization processes do not appear to be in evidence, and 4) environmental reforms to the industry are not occurring in any significant manner, but ecological modernization processes do appear to be in evidence. 158  As might have been predicted, the analysis did not reveal one scenario but fell somewhere in the middle. Environmental reforms are occurring to some extent, and the processes described by E M T theorists are also occurring to some extent. For example, while minimal ecological reforms came out of the industry's early years, some significant indicators of ecological modernization were in evidence in later years. This could indicate the early stages of ecological modernization, as indicated by scenario 1. However, there are some substantial reasons for concern with this interpretation of the evolution of salmon farming policy. Most notably, the tendency of policy structures to resemble the letter, not the spirit, of ecological modernization processes, would indicate that ecological reforms are not occurring in the manner theorists describe. A further concern is the readily apparent impact that changing background conditions, such as institutional change, had on the ecological reform of the industry. At the start of this investigation, two concerns with the ecological modernization thesis were put forth. The internal motivation of industry and the consensus of all stakeholders more generally, were both seriously questioned as assumptions that may not hold up in a practical application. The investigation validated these concerns, and, consistent with policy theory, added institutional factors and changing background conditions as another serious area of concern. However, all of these factors- industry motivation, stakeholder consensus, institutional factors, and even changing background conditions (by facilitating power shifts)— relate to the issue of consensus towards the goals of ecological modernization. Therefore it is the flip side of the consensus assumption that arises as the most serious omission of ecological modernization theory: the neglected elements of inequality and power.  159  7.1  T H E E L E M E N T S O F RISK While the salmon farming industry was small, and 'mom and pop' in nature, objections to  it were low. Some even believed that salmon farming offered the answer to the stresses that the commercial fishery had placed on the wild fish. While over-fishing had contributed to the near collapse of certain wild stocks, it was possible that salmon farming could redirect food production needs to the 'technological fix' of aquaculture. This is the long-standing conceptualization of a human mastery of nature, described by, among others, Murphy (1994). Nature is malleable, fishers could become farmers, and human ingenuity could once again circumvent disaster. While this perspective has clearly not been overthrown in the course of the industry's development, it has been quite seriously challenged. By the time of Gillespie, the element of uncertain risk had entered the equation, and the characteristic risk society scuffles over its management began in earnest. The highly volatile and conflictual risk debate that has been omnipresent in the industry since then appears undeniably symptomatic of a society characterized by a 'lack' in the manner that Beck postulates: [Rjisk society is characterized by a lack: the impossibility of an external attribution of hazards. In other words, risks depend on decisions; they are industrially produced and in this sense politically reflexive (Beck, 1996: 183). That the majority of modern risks do not result from uncontrollable external hazards, such as might be brought by floods or droughts, but predominantly arise as the repercussions of political decisions, is what Beck terms evidence of a society confronted with itself. If nothing else can be certified in regards to the industry's development over the years, the fact that the public is fully aware of this political element of risk is irrefutable. Not only was the public undeniably aware that the risks to water quality, to marine animals and to the wild salmon stocks were the result of political decisions, but they also demonstrated an awareness that in order for  160  these decisions to be made in a way that is socially acceptable they must engage in the decisionmaking process. The Gillespie inquiry, the Ombudsman's report, and the salmon aquaculture review all evidenced a high level of public interest in the industry and an equally strong public desire for involvement in the policy process. That the state would represent the interests of the public was not taken as a given. This would seem to be quite consistent with Beck's position that "risks become the motor of the self-politicization of modernity in industrial society" (Ibid: 183). At least as far as the salmon farming industry is concerned, the 'progress replaces voting' phenomenon that had here-to-for characterized industrial society was becoming contested territory. This is only one of a number of elements of Beck's risk society thesis that was borne out in the case of the salmon farming industry. There is considerable evidence of both a distrust in the infallibility of expert systems and growing decline in state legitimacy that Beck describes. Although many of the impacts of the industry were visible, experts were necessary to assess specific risks, such as damage to the wild stocks, on behalf of the public. While a scientific rationality marked the risk of salmon farming to be low, this has clearly come into conflict with a rising social rationality of the issue. Perhaps in part due to the symbolic significance of wild salmon to coastal B C , even a low probability of damage to the ecosystem in general, and to the wild salmon stocks in specific, carried significant currency with the public. This currency was fully exploited by a rising number of non-governmental organizations who claimed the role, often explicitly, of representing this social rationality where there was a perceived state failure to do so. These groups often conducted their own research to counter opposition claims, particularly in areas of high uncertainty where there is a great deal of flexibility in interpretation. High conflict between increasingly polarized pro- and anti-industry groups was the norm, with both sides engaged in a  161  highly public campaign to gain control by swaying public opinion, much in the manner of the 'sub-political arena' that Beck describes. One element of Beck's thesis that does not appear to have been borne out by the evidence (at least not at this point) is that of the 'boomerang effect', where the repercussions of risk production eventually negatively impact on the risk producers. This is consistent with the theoretical reservations raised in chapter 1. While the salmon farming industry has clearly not operated free of the negative environmental impacts of high density aquaculture production, the greatest threats to the industry do not appear to be the occasional disease outbreak or lice infestation, but the political pressures from opposition groups. While there is the possibility of a future boomerang effect— for example, should the industry's water pollution reach such a level that salmon farming becomes unviable— it is not a very plausible scenario. This again calls attention to the difference between the high consequence global risks emphasized by risk society theory and the more localized ones of ecological modernization theory. While there may well be a rising global boomerang effect in the food production sector, with the ability of industry to invest horizontally and industry owners to separate from the immediate vicinity of industry, such local boomerang effects are likely to have negligible impacts on industry owners. Therefore, while there is an increasing awareness of the accumulation of global risks, unless negative environmental impacts are immediate and local, the boomerang effect is unlikely to have any real practical significance except for the extent to which it is made an issue by the attentive public. This is a scenario that is definitely borne out by the case of salmon farming. In practical terms, and without intending to minimize the potentially serious environmental effects, the environmental impacts of the salmon farming industry do not loom disproportionately large in comparison with other major industries. Be that as it may, the level of public attention to the  162  industry has been sufficient that details of production are frequent topics in both the media and government news releases.  INEQUALITY A N D T H E RADICAL PUBLIC According to Leiss and Chociolko (1994), risk needs to be understood as the chance of loss 'deliberately induced by some social actor' for the purpose of an incremental benefit. [A]ny failure to properly apportion responsibility for the inevitable losses, and to compensate adequately those who suffer unfairly the adverse effects of societal choices about risks, will result in a gradually rising level of popular support for risk avoidance in evaluating new technologies or lifestyle options (Leiss et al., 1994:5) With the inclusive character of the modern risk profile, Giddens had postulated, there will be times when each person will intermittently break out of their 'privatism', and will radically engage in risk issues. By all appearances, this is exactly what happened in the early years of the salmon farming industry, when commercial fishers, who would be directly affected by any negative environmental impacts on the wild stocks, were among the first to raise concerns about the industry. Had the salmon farming industry only stimulated one group to radical engagement, its development might have occurred more smoothly. However, the unbridled enthusiasm with which the provincial government over-rode municipal objections in the Sunshine Coast region created another opportunity for its occurrence. Although the tourism and retirement-oriented Sunshine Coast residents risked serious negative impacts by developments that could spoil the natural beauty of their locale, they were left without an opportunity for input into this risk decision. For both these groups, strict criteria of causal accuracy and certainty of impact only circumvents the very real social choices they would like to participate in. The resulting forceful opposition by both these groups, despite government assurances of the industry's environmental safety, was a clear demonstration of the public's growing distrust that the provincial and state  163  authorities would, in fact, represent their best interests. It was very plausible that these groups would suffer inevitable and uncompensated losses, and they reacted accordingly. Without a doubt, the group that could be said to most acutely 'suffer unfairly the adverse effects of societal choices' as a result of salmon farming were the rural First Nations on whose territory the farms increasingly infringed in their northward migration. No better example could be given of the difference between a social and a scientific rationality. For example, while the damage done to a limited area of shellfish beds may be only a moderate environmental problem, from a scientific perspective, it may have huge social significance for the First Nations community that relies on them. As seen in the S A R , despite government statements to the contrary, the impacts on First Nations were quite consistently and effectively subjugated to the needs of industry. T o the extent that the rural First Nations were politically marginalized, lacked resources, and were led astray through a falsely inclusive tenure approval process, their ability to protest was limited. Once their status began to change with the help of legal victories and the political shift to a more sympathetic provincial government, both their level of engagement and the impact it had increased. In 1999, when the Ahousaht First Nations succeeded in having the Ministry of Environment remove a salmon farm from their territory, it was an exceptional social victory and a serious threat to industry of an impending reversal of control over the salmon farming 'risk decision'. This relationship of risk to inequality in the salmon farming industry is consistent with Beck's interpretation of the external forces necessary to make production systems more social. To the extent it is able, industry will externalize costs, and this includes the cost of risk decisions. Inequality necessarily plays a role in which groups are able to mount sufficient opposition to their disproportionate losses. While First Nations were initially in a very weak position, as a result of their changing status they were in a much greater position to force industry to recognize their 164  interests. In this case, industry and government alike renewed their efforts to facilitate the incorporation of First Nations into the industry, therefore attempting to compensate them to a much greater extent for the risks they were being asked to take. We realize that in the past there has been a serious lack of consultation with First Nations over activities in their traditional territory and we are taking every step possible to make sure this does not happen again (Odd Grydeland, President, B C S F A . Cited in 'Proposed', June 21, 2000). Clearly, the late start that industry and government got in attempting to incorporate these groups impeded progress on this front, although to a limited extent First Nations incorporations into the industry have occurred. These issues of power and inequality are issues that ecological modernization theory appears ill-prepared to address, as will be discussed in more detail presently. As the above discussion hopefully illustrates, the neglect of these issues in a social theory— particularly ecological modernization theory— is a grave deficiency. While inequality in the distribution of risks is definitely an issue, according to both Beck and Giddens the general rise in social awareness of risk, and the uneven distribution of its benefits, is the key to hopes for an impending social transformation. Beck and Giddens see this benefit as increasingly becoming a subject of debate for a public wearying of the negative effects of industrial production. The possibility that development no longer brings benefits commensurate with its risks perpetuates a growing critique of the development paradigm, and a push for a more social paradigm. While many environmental groups devoted a substantial amount of attention to the issue of salmon farming, according to Hannigan (1995), the successful construction of an issue as an environmental 'problem' is dependent on the resonance it has with the public. The issue of salmon farming appears to have been highly salient for the public. Staggenborg (cited in Hannigan, 1995:46) detailed a typology of 'critical events' that can help in the construction of a high profile problem and effect the level of public involvement in its attending social movement.  165  The escape incidents that have regularly marked the history of the industry right up to the present have had the effect of the industrial and nuclear accident type of critical event that Staggenborg describes: "industrial and nuclear accidents can be potentially useful to the movement by laying bare policies and features of the power structure that are normally hidden" (Ibid:46). Escape incidents appear to have played exactly this role in the industry, first exposing the inability of regulatory authorities to even track an impact they consistently refuted (i.e. preAtlantic Salmon Watch Program), and subsequently calling into repeated question provincial claims to be effectively regulating the problem. Unlike ongoing issues such as pollution emissions, escape incidents act like crisis points, inviting periodic heightened scrutiny of the regulatory framework and of the reliability of governmental claims to have addressed problems. The repetition of the scenario through time highlights persistent regulatory shortfalls, despite protests to the contrary, and places both industry and government in a defensive position. Evidence of this defensiveness is not only apparent in the manner in which government and industry have increasingly had to jump to attention over escape incidents, releasing a flurry of statements regarding what might have happened, why it won't happen again, and how new policies will prevent its ever occurring again, but it is also evident in increasing efforts at framing the industry as a good corporate citizen. The salmon farming industry is therefore defending itself on moral grounds. Very much in the manner that Beck stipulated, the open critique of the development paradigm has forced the industry to justify its industrial actions on the basis of their social benefits. Part and parcel of most industry news releases or media responses to environmentalists critiques is a statement of the industry's economic and employment benefits. The B . C . government has a choice. It can listen to the David Suzuki Foundation's wave of hysteria, throw up its hands and say these issues are too complex for us to deal with, and send 2,200 workers home with pink slips... (Anne McMullin, B C S F A , cited in ' B . C . Salmon Farmers Call,' September 24, 1998)  166  Increasingly, the risk debate around salmon farming has taken on the characteristics of a battle fought in the sub-political field, as Beck claims. It is possible that were salmon farming to distribute more economic benefits to coastal communities these debates would not be so pervasive. Although economic need cannot be disregarded, the level of interest of fairly independent fishers and loggers to become low-wage farm-workers also cannot be overlooked. This goes beyond the scope of this thesis, however. In any case, there is strong evidence that the salmon farming industry has been forced into a sub-political battle with environmental groups over the risk issues of the industry. It is possible that by forcing industry to defend its actions on moral grounds, there could be a resultant increase in a social rationality to production. For example, as the social aspects of risk decisions are weighed in the public arena, the potential for democratic input increases. Similarly, as the need for moral defensibility increases, there could be an increase in moral actions on the part of industry. This could be part of the re-incorporation of industrial production's 'conceptual omission' that ecological modernization theory proposes. At least at the level of dialogue, this more social agenda is increasingly evident in the management of the industry. However, the case study has provided considerable evidence that these verbal commitments are not necessarily matched by a shift in production management or practices.  7.2  T H E EMERGING ECOLOGICAL SPHERE As discussed in the theoretical portion of this thesis, many of the reflexive and reflective  characteristics of a risk society are not disputed by ecological modernization theory. Where the two theories fundamentally differ is in how they discern the route out of these risk society characteristics. While Beck and Giddens believe it might occur through the democratic potential of a politicized society contesting existing development paradigms, M o l and Spaargaren believe the resolution lies in a scenario of ecological rationalization in a super-industrialized society. 167  How has ecological modernization theory held up in this analysis? The first question is in regard to the emergence of an ecological sphere. The single biggest problem with an interpretation of ecological modernization is that a 'fully emerged ecological sphere' does not appear to be evolving. This could just be a matter of time. Arguments could be made that the more recent initiatives, such as the pilot projects, would demonstrate just such an emergence once they have had a chance to make an impact. It is clear that environmental reforms have occurred in the industry, and that environmental concerns have become increasingly at issue over the course of the industry's development. However, more serious issues have arisen than ones which could be resolved by the passage of time. As the case study revealed, government consistently showed a preference for softer regulatory styles, such as monitoring, and process requirements over enforceable regulations. This softer style of regulation allows for a great deal of flexibility, such as reducing monitoring efforts in periods of lower public scrutiny. Those regulations which were not vague, such as the 'No Opportunity' areas of the CRIS process and other stakeholder involvement processes, were subject to such a volume of criticism that the aim of the process appeared to be based to a greater extent on negotiating a path around a critical public, rather than on genuine inclusion in the process. As a result, the evidence of this thesis points away from the emergence of an ecological sphere, on par with an economic sphere, as proposed by Mol and Spaargaren. While there is evidence of progressive ecological improvements, they remain small, and remain irrefutably subordinate to economic interests. The second thesis question is in regard to evidence of the processes of ecological modernization. The evidence of these processes will be discussed in conjunction with question 3, concerning broader assessments of impediments to ecological modernization's occurrence.  168  7.3  T H E PROMISE OF E C O L O G I C A L M O D E R N I Z A T I O N : PROPOSITIONS 4, 5, A N D 6 (POSITIVE-SUM G A M E , T E C H N O L O G I C A L A D V A N C E S , AND N E W INDUSTRIES) In the course of the policy analysis, three processes of ecological modernization were  increasingly associated with ecological reforms of the industry. Evidence of positive-sum processes, scientific and technological advances and new industries—with some serious qualifications and limitations—were progressively more in evidence over the time period of analysis. While an ecological sphere has not, as yet, fully emerged in the industry, these three areas demonstrated the most promise for the future of its ecological modernization. As we can recall from ecological modernization theory, environmental problems are predominantly seen as resulting from a lack of industry efficiency. The correction of this inefficiency promises a net gain to both environment and industry, particularly when supported by state-sponsored research or other forms of assistance. A n assessment of the present case study shows growing evidence of this aspect of ecological modernization. Almost from the very start of the provincial government's late-blooming interest in the industry, its frequent response to controversy was to place an emphasis on the need for research. While many research endeavours irrefutably biased development over impact assessment, true to ecological modernization theory, some of these were mutually inclusive. Vaccines that reduce antibiotic usage, technologies that reduce feed waste, and the general development of an understanding of fish health factors often have both an economic and an ecological component. To the extent that the state is facilitating research that increases the knowledge of impacts which might subsequently be reduced or improved, the state is facilitating an ecological modernization process. T o the extent that new technologies are developed to address these impacts, such as video monitoring to reduce excess feed build-up, a process of super-industrialization, in the manner described by E M theorists, is facilitating this ecological rationalization.  169  As ecological modernization theory predicts, the salmon farming industry has shown an interest in addressing inefficiencies, particularly if the costs of doing so are either negligible or borne by the state, and particularly if there are gains to be made in their ecological image. The issue of salmon farm siting has been one very notable example of this. Research found that high sediment accumulation beneath farms is highly dependent on tidal flushing. Therefore, the removal of farms from areas with poor flushing would both reduce sediment build-up and increase fish health. The re-siting of poorly situated farms is a process that has received a great deal of support from industry and a great deal of attention from government. Unfortunately, siting is also an area that has a large social component, and this has proven to be a serious impediment to this particular ecological rationalization attempt. A report written for the E A O ' s Salmon Aquaculture Review found that: After considering biophysical requirements, industry needs, and the limitations resulting from environmental and socio-cultural factors, there may not be many additional sites for salmon farming meeting present criteria in some areas of the coast (Berris, 1997:9) As discussed, attempts to include First Nations into the aquaculture industry aimed at addressing this very large socio-cultural factor. The intent here is not to claim that re-siting of farms would solve all the ecological problems of the industry. It would even be unlikely to completely resolve the specific issue of sediment accumulation— particularly in light of industry expansions that could turn currently localized problems into cumulative ones. The point being made is that (putting social issues momentarily aside) there are examples of ecological rationalizations of production that simultaneously improve industry efficiency. The heavy emphasis which both industry and government repeatedly placed on research in response to public pressures has been highly instrumental in facilitating this process. The possibility of technological solutions to environmental problems of the salmon farming industry has been increasingly gained in currency over time for those on all sides of the issue. While these  170  different sides often disagree on the role that technology should play, and while research is often predisposed towards the needs of industry, technological advances have none-the-less often carried a commensurate benefit to the environment. Therefore research and development has not only been verbally identified as a potential source of solutions to environmental problems, but practical applications to ecological needs have already been in evidence. While still in the research stage, the pilot projects— through investigating closed-containment technologies and alternative feeds, for example— could not provide better examples of state-facilitated scientific and technological development towards the resolution of environmental problems. There is every indication that this ecological and technological partnership is likely to continue, although the extent of their respective benefits depends on a number of other factors. As a result, this characteristic has shown the greatest promise of an evolving ecological modernization of industry over time. Where there is less evidence of an ecological incorporation into production processes are in those areas where the only ecological solutions represent a substantial cost to industry (e.g. closed containment as solution to predators, disease, escapes), or that represent an ongoing cost to industry (e.g. divers for netpen inspections). In other words, one of the biggest failures of ecological modernization in relation to salmon farming has been in those areas where industry gains are insufficiently large. While some industry impacts, such as the feed waste and farm siting examples, have both an economic and an ecological benefit to maximizing efficiency, not all industry impacts include these in equal proportion. Therefore overcoming the 'conceptual oversight' of past industrial practices not only entails overcoming actual impacts, but would necessarily entail incorporating something fundamental to Beck's theory: risk. Specifically, risk extending through space and time. For example, as confirmed in the conclusions of the S A R , and despite industry protestations to the contrary, the economic motivation of industry to prevent escapes has not been 171  sufficient. Continuing with the issue of escaped Atlantic salmon as example, industry development has been characterized by a well-documented "if they escape, they won't survive; if they survive, they won't breed; if they breed, they won't colonize," series of arguments. There is little to be gained by dwelling on the shifting levels of denial by state and industry here, except to stress the persistent reluctance to address issues that are not immediately in evidence. These are the issues that the precautionary principle makes its area of concern, and is an underlying premise behind sustainability concerns. Unfortunately, risks of future damage, and 'low probability high consequence' risks are just the area that ecological modernization is weakest at addressing. This is particularly a problem where there is a disjuncture between social and scientific rationalities, that is, where a social rationality may assess low probability risks as higher consequence than a scientific rationality would. While a high regulation scenario might see the issue of escapes resolved through end-result style regulations, for example in the manner that the S A R recommended, this is clearly antithetical to the views of ecological modernization theory. It is also not the tack that was favoured by the provincial government in the management of the industry. In cases such as these, then, only market pressures could maintain the economic benefit of an ecological reform of the industry. If an issue is important to society, then society will be willing to pay. This economic logic again brings up unresolved issues of inequality—economic inequality between individuals, groups, and countries, inequality in access to knowledge and to alternatives, to name a few—and has no means of incorporating a more socialized rationality into its logic. Once again momentarily putting these social factors aside, the question is then to what extent market pressures have managed to address these other types of risk issues in farmed salmon. Green market pressures do exist, and there is some evidence of market responses. For example, some 'organic' (self-certified) farmed salmon is struggling onto the market. However, 172  these remain small and independent efforts. As yet, market pressure has been insufficient to garner significant ecological reforms and no eco-friendly farmed salmon has splashed onto the market. For the most part, green market pressure is clearly rooted in a choice between wild and farmed salmon. The argument could always be made that market alternatives have been slow to arrive due to a lack of consumer of interest. However, the level of public uproar over the industry would itself seem to counter this argument. Of course, consumers can be faced with confusion over which causes the greater ecological footprint; purchasing industrially-produced farmed salmon that could damage the already strained wild stocks, or eating the wild stocks themselves. In conjunction with the overlooked element of price, this could reduce the potential for market pressures. Ecological modernization proposes that pressures for ecological reforms will result in new industries serving the emerging needs of industry to incorporate ecological criteria. Despite the more limited eco-technological partnering already discussed, no major technologicallyinduced ecological reforms have occurred. At this point, the impact of these technologies and their spin-off industries has been relatively low, ecologically speaking.  7.4  THE PROMISE OF ECOLOGICAL MODERNIZATION: PROPOSITIONS 1, 2, AND 3 (INTERNAL MOTIVATION, CONSENSUS, AND THE ENABLING STATE) M o l and Spaargaren (1993), Cohen (1997), and Reitan (1998), among others, warned  how a lack of consensus around the goals of ecological modernization could impede the practical applicability of ecological modernization theory. True to these concerns, industry developments have not been accompanied by a consensual process. Counter to ecological modernization theorists' interpretation of a process of ecological reform, conflict and controversy bloomed around the industry from its first transformations into a full scale industry, and conflict and 173  controversy continue to dog the industry's development up to the present time. Although stakeholder processes have increasingly been facilitated by the state, consensus itself remains low. If anything, despite the increasing prevalence of state-initiated stakeholder meetings and advisory committees, conflict and polarization of views appears to have increased over the years. Lack of consensus around the benefits of technological development was an issue repeatedly raised as a potential point of conflict. Interestingly, in the specific case of salmon farming, the roles of industry and interest groups are somewhat different from theoretically predicted. Interest groups repeatedly cite the need for alternative technologies such as closed containment as a potential resolution of the problems. As opposed to siting issues, where industry has openly called on government to assist with farm relocations, the industry has vociferously opposed closed containment technologies. Considering the expense involved it is not surprising that industry has resisted adopting this technology over existing methods of externalizing costs, particularly in light of their continued market success. Up to this point, the salmon farming industry has been completely consistent with historical industrial production drives: producers want costs low, regulations low, and product produced as cheaply as possible. Despite the excess of industry statements to the contrary, published 'Codes of Conduct' and the like, industry's internal drive to ecologically reform appears low. It is interesting to note that the majority of farmers who argue against high regulation and the adoption of closed containment technologies on the basis of their competitiveness with Chile also have operations in Chile. The B C S F A bases its resistance to closed containment systems on three factors: the high capital expenditures required to establish them, the high costs of operating land based systems, and the high risk of catastrophic losses as a result of equipment failure (Kenney, 1997). The high expense and need for research into technological advances towards the amelioration of risks is just the area where state-facilitation of an ecological modernization process could occur. T o the 174  limited extent they occurred, the initiation of the pilot projects is one such step towards this process. The interesting issue here is how the level of conflict between polarized pro- and antiaquaculture groups could affect the natural market evolution of ecological modernization. Future Sea Farms is one company that has been developing an alternative production technology in its S E A System T M : The Sea System T N M concept arose from the desire to provide the finfish aquaculture industry with a controlled environment rearing technology that would address the production and environmental concerns related to the growing of finfish (Clayton Brenton, President of Future S E A Farms, Inc. December 2, 1996. In Kenney, 1997: Appendix 1) In a letter published in the B C S F A funded report, Net Gain (Kenney, 1997: Appendix 1), Clayton Brenton, the President of Future S E A Farms Inc. reacts to the fact that the D S F has cited their technology as a possible solution to the salmon farming industry in their critique of the industry. This is a very sensitive period in the technology's development and private/public/government perception of the application of this type of technology. We would ask, therefore, that at this stage you do not make reference to Future S E A Farms, the S E A System T M or West Coast Fishculture in the ongoing promotion of your ideas, without first contacting the respective parties (Ibid). The letter goes on to state that the DSF's reference to their technology "is creating a situation that may impede the potential integration of this type of technology into the fish farming industry" (Ibid). Obviously, group interactions are much more characteristic of the conflict that Beck describes than the consensual stakeholder process that ecological modernization envisions. Clearly the volatile situation of stakeholder polarization should be given serious consideration as a possible detractor from the ecological modernization progress. What the actual impact of these group interactions on the overall ecological modernization project would require further  175  investigation. Further, some industry and interest groups will be more interested in cooperative solutions, while others will be more openly polarized. It would clearly be of benefit to assess to what extent these internal dynamics of stakeholder groups affect the potential of ecological modernization in much greater depth. The present investigation stopped short of this level of analysis, however it could be an interesting area for future investigation.  THE ENABLING STATE As we saw throughout the development of the industry, the government placed a heavy emphasis on participation and consultation, including stakeholders in the process rather than imposing stringent regulations. This would clearly be favourable to the goals of an ecological modernization of industry. Increased flexibility, with the active participation of stakeholders, would allow for an ecological rationalization of the overall production process, as opposed to piecemeal and restrictive regulations. However, there has been reason to cast the impacts of the stakeholder processes in a slightly more pessimistic light. From the M A I A C , CRIS, the tenure application process, and lastly S A I A C , these stakeholder processes repeatedly were demonstrated to fall short of their stated goal of inclusion. As discussed, First Nations have increasingly been included in discussions about siting and added as participants in new finfish ventures. This can be seen as addressing both ecological and social concerns, consistent with ecological modernization processes. To this point, there are not many of these schemes and it is hard to assess their real effectiveness. It is also prudent not to forget the power shifts that were necessary for even these processes to be initiated, a fact which speaks to the chance of inclusion of other groups, and perhaps even to the resilience of their position. The validity of the tenure referral process has already been critiqued in some depth with respect to First Nations. However, this critique is similarly applied to other stakeholder  176  processes, such as the CRIS. The issue of salmon farm siting is a particularly salient issue as it is one where stringent regulations might prevent ecologically rational action, however, at the same time it is of crucial importance to numerous stakeholders with vested interests. According to the S A R , the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks has: considerable discretionary authority in making salmon farm siting decisions. Decision criteria are not set out in regulation—adjudication decisions reflect an 'on balance' consideration of the information assembled during the application process in relation to policy provisions and guidelines ( E A O , 1997. S A R Vol. 1 Ch3:8). This would appear to be a sufficiently flexible process to allow ecologically rational action, but one which would be simultaneously kept ecologically and socially rational by the CRIS process: Provincial guidelines and policy do not allow fish farms to be located... within areas identified by Coastal Resource Interest Studies as "No Opportunity" areas for finfish aquaculture (British Columbia, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. Aquaculture and Commercial Fisheries Branch. March 1990a:2). According to statistics compiled by Alexandra Morton, by winter 1998, 42% of farms were located in red zones (Morton, 1998). Statistics differ somewhat depending on source, although the lack of an ability to accurately assess this number speaks volumes in itself. Some cite the problem as a lack of correlation between red-zone maps and others, therefore allowing too much interpretation in the boundaries of red zones. The S A R found that the fact that farms with applications in-stream during the CRIS process were approved had "affected the credibility of the CRIS planning processes and products" ( E A O , 1997. SAR, V o l . 1, Ch 3:8). In any case, interest group perceptions of a ineffective participation process is fairly consistent. Years later, some fishers claim that their participation in the CRIS only aided farmers to identify the best salmon habitats in which to locate their farms. While this sentiment has to be taken with an understanding of the bitterness that groups were starting to feel in regards to the  177  stakeholder processes, most sources would agree that the CRIS process had not fulfilled its mandate to address resource-user conflicts. The unbridled enthusiasm with which the government increasingly facilitated these stakeholder processes, despite their repeated failure to produce their stated results, indicates that the goal of the processes may be other than stated. The provincial government had to address the forceful opposition to the industry or face a crisis of legitimacy. Confronted with an equal reluctance to regulate an industry that by 1999 was contributing $677 million to the B C economy, the incorporation of these groups into a weakly effective stakeholder process is a means of muting the dissention. Not every stakeholder process has the nefarious intention of granting a false sense of voice at its core, but the government preference for stakeholder processes in the salmon farming industry appears to have had a great deal to do with their unenforceable consequences. The legitimacy of the state in addressing the concerns over aquaculture were already in question before it became charged with promoting the industry in 1995. While a separate office, the fact that the aquaculture-promoting Commissioner for Aquaculture Development reports to the same ministry that is in charge of the preservation of the wild stocks only exacerbates the situation. The conflict of interest already inherent in the department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada is not lost on many members of the public, and is most definitely not lost on environmental groups. The state cannot be seen as legitimately interested in protecting the wild salmon, if it is simultaneously charged with promoting industry development. The criticism of the governmental handling of the risk issues of salmon farming were not only forwarded by environmental groups. In 2000, the Auditor General of Canada outlined a number of flaws in the conduct of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, including inadequate monitoring, inadequate research in certain areas such as ecological concerns, inadequate enforcement of the fisheries act, and a failure to provide an adequate plan for cumulative risks. 178  Additionally, the Auditor General faulted the Department for having "no formal plan for managing risks associated with an expanded industry should the moratorium be lifted" (Auditor General of Canada, 2000:5). In summary, we have concluded that Fisheries and Oceans is not fully meeting its legislative obligations under the Fisheries Act while participating in the regulation of salmon farming in B . C . . (Ibid: 16). Up to this point, both federal and provincial governments have shown a strong preference for economic goals over ecological ones. It is entirely possible that the social drive for an ecological re-incorporation has not yet reached the level of a full emergence of an ecological sphere, on par with economic concerns. However, to the extent that the state is using stakeholder processes falsely— thus over-riding what might otherwise be a natural social evolution towards ecological modernization— it is artificially preventing the emergence of an ecological sphere. Ecological modernization theorists proposes the role of the state to be that of facilitator of the ecological modernization process, however this would be entirely dependent on state consensus towards the goals of ecological modernization. Clearly, state consensus towards these goals is not a given.  C H A N G I N G B A C K G R O U N D CONDITIONS: T H E N E G L E C T E D E L E M E N T O F P O W E R As we saw from the case study, changes in background conditions, such as salmon escapes and changes in government, had a substantial impact on policy development. The impact of escapes has already been discussed to some extent. The questionable legitimacy of the government's addressing of aquaculture's risk concerns not-withstanding, it is only after the provincial government changed to an N D P government that the more substantial ecological reforms came into place. Of course, while a change in government can facilitate a greater introduction of ecological criteria into policy, a change in government with a different ideology can facilitate the opposite. In May 2001, the province of British Columbia voted in a new liberal government. By 179  January of 2002, the new government announced the lifting of the moratorium on aquaculture tenures. While the promise of the pilot projects that held such ecological modernizing potential is as yet undetermined, the new provincial government's decision to lift the moratorium on aquaculture expansion is indication of a much different tack being taken. It is somewhat redundant to state that the greater the investment in existing technologies, the less likely there will be a full scale switch to alternative technologies. The impacts of the change in government has a more pervasive ideological component with impacts as yet to be determined. For example, while the previous N D P government spoke of the more precautionary aspects of risk management in the industry, this aspect is much less in evidence from new Liberal government members. The 1997 E A O concluded that the industry presented a low overall risk at current production levels and pending further research, and advocated the precautionary principle in regards to management, specifically "being prepared to alter management practices over time to take account of increased understanding of risk and different means of reducing it." ( E A O , 1997. S A R Summary Report:4). In response to questions regarding the lifting of the moratorium, despite new research by scientists such as John Volpe who tracked the presence of Atlantics in B C streams, the Minister responded that "the E A O said...low environmental risk, and I stick to the E A O " (Van Dongen, 2002). Of course, despite the change in governmental ideology, salmon farming remains highly salient for the general public, and the new government must negotiate this balance in order to maintain its legitimacy. As such, numerous news releases expounding the wonders of implementations of the S A R have been provided to prepare the ground. A B C S F A sponsored survey concluded that 69 percent of respondents would support salmon farming if the recommendations of the S A R were turned into workable regulations ('British Columbians Support' May 20, 1999). By January of 2002, the new liberal government provided a summary of 180  the status of salmon aquaculture review recommendations, outlining past and future action, and indicating great progress (British Columbia. M A F F . January 9, 2000). Needless to say, non-industry stakeholders refute the progress on these recommendations. New policies developed by the liberal government are consistent with their overall privatization agenda, and the 'soft' regulation style characteristic of the previous N D P government is being replaced by an even more ecologically suspect self-regulation style. Further, the decision of the new liberal government to lift the moratorium on salmon farm tenures has to be taken in context of their simultaneous effort to reduce the court-affirmed rights of First Nations through the May 2002 referendum on treaty settlements. As we can see from the rapid developments of the new liberal government, the impacts of the change in governmental ideology is once more going to have substantial impact on the ecological reforms of industry. If the actions of the liberal government do result in the ecological regression that by all appearances it is aiming for, then ecological modernization theory is faced with an another serious issue in addition to its failure to overcome the less partisan economic imperative. The inability of E M T to account for how shifts in the reigning power's institutional ideology affect the ecological rationalization program is a serious failure of the 'consensus' assumption. While more research needs to be done on exactly how factors have conspired to affect changes in the industry, such as how windows of opportunity and shifts in interest group power affected developments, the impact of these changing background conditions is sufficient to conclude that ecological modernization theory has not adequately taken the political environment into consideration.  181  T H E R O L E OF INTEREST GROUPS Mol and Spaargaren warned how the 'reactive' responses of government to the ecoalarmism spawned by environmental groups could prevent the rational social action needed for a true ecological transformation of industry. There is clear evidence of these reactive responses in the case study, particularly in the late 1990's, when the more environmental leaning N D P government was attempting to facilitate industry development while maintaining legitimacy in the face of an increasingly aware and critical public. The flurry of policy activity that followed the two escapes incidents in the summer of 2000 offer fairly unambiguous evidence of this. The October 1999 aquaculture amendments were similarly rushed out, as a very public response to the need to address escape incidents. Therefore, validating Mol and Spaargaren's perspective, there is clear evidence of 'reactive' style regulations resulting from interest group pressure. What is not clear, however, is if this is the best or the worst case scenario, ecologically speaking. While Mol and Spaargaren propose that reactive style regulations prevent ecological modernization, there is no clear evidence that this modernization would occur at all without these external pressures, a concern which is supported by the results of the case study. Therefore, the practical applicability of ecological modernization theory is to some extent questioned by the theory's own critique of the role of interest groups. Ecological modernization theory would like to privilege the role of industry and the state towards the ecological rationalization of industry, and diminish the role of the lay public and the interest groups that represent them. As a result, the theory is hampered by contradiction. On the one hand, it is the combination of increasing reflexivity, de-legitimation of the state, and distrust of expert systems that led to the increasing societal reflectivity and subsequent need for E N G O ' s and N G O ' s to address under-represented social interests. On the other hand, these groups are said to be impediments to a change that would occur naturally if only they did not continuously rile the public.  182  Ecological modernization theory seems to propose that now that the conceptual oversight of former production practices has been caught, these groups have served their purpose and represent obstacles to further progress. However, the purpose of these groups has been to raise issues and concerns not immediately available to the lay public, who must rely on expert systems to assess the risks that extend beyond their sensory limitations. In this sense, ecological modernization proponents are proposing that the public place an extraordinary amount of faith in industry and government to research, identify, and notify them of risks, and then work towards ecologically rationalizing them. As the case study clearly demonstrates, this level of faith would be ill-advised.  7.5  AMMENDMENTS TO THE PROGRAM As developed in the earlier chapters and reaffirmed to some extent in the discussion here,  ecological modernization theory has a limited arena of applicability, and is substantially disadvantaged in its ability to address the low probability-high consequence risks that are the specialty of risk society theory. Even within localized risk contexts, ecological modernization is limited in its ability to address problems that cannot be incorporated into industry efficiency improvements. However, this issue is not the theory's greatest weakness in its transition into a viable political program. Ecological modernization theory's biggest deficiency involves the issue of consensus. As hypothesized, consensus towards the goals of ecological modernization was not met by industry and conflict between stakeholder groups remained high. In addition, a previously neglected component of institutional consensus issue arose through the case study. Problems with the ecological motivation of the governing authorities were in some ways evidenced by the extent to which the state embraced the structures of ecological modernization processes without embracing their intent. Luke-warm state motivation towards the goals of ecological modernization proved to 183  be a consideration with each succeeding government. However, shifts in political ideology resulting from changes in government proved to be of singular importance in determining the extent of ecological reforms. As a result, it would seem that the element of Beck's thesis that receives the strongest validation here, is also the area of ecological modernization that is the greatest area of concern: the political context. While in the salmon farming case, the role of First Nations was a new element that ecological modernization theory was unprepared to address, the First Nations issue is only a very specific case of the badly neglected issue of inequality and power. Inequality issues operate not only in terms of specific marginalized groups, but also much more pervasively. The growing skepticism that state policies represent the best interests of the public have started to significantly challenge the 'progress replaces voting phenomenon'. In this way inequality and consensus go hand in hand. Until inequality issues are identified and addressed, consensus, in the manner that ecological modernization theory postulates, will likely be unobtainable, and democratic reform will necessarily occur through conflict. Therefore, although ecological modernization, as a social theory, provides a highly desirable model for societal transformation, it is insufficiently rooted in the realities of a political economy. Ecological modernization theory turned political program is seriously challenged by these realities. Therefore if it is to have promise as a theory for social change, substantial amendments would need to be made for its adequate transition into a political program. Perhaps, as Cohen argues, the path out of the risk society lies somewhere between the two theories. When directed towards these issues, science and technology clearly have a role to play in reducing ecological impacts. While ecological modernization theorists would appear to prefer environmentalists remove themselves from the fracas, the theoretical and case-study evidence here indicates that this would be counter to the goals of ecological reform. The actions of environmental groups may, in fact, predispose 'end of pipe' regulations rather than substantive 184  ecological rationalization, however the democratic function they perform in researching, creating social interpretations of, and publicizing risk information cannot be disregarded in the modern risk context. One of the biggest weaknesses of this analysis has been its attempt to handle a large amount of both theoretical and empirical material. The attempt to weigh the theoretical merits of risk society and ecological modernization theories while conducting a detailed policy analysis leads to some weaknesses in transparency, as the broad range of material covered made a strict adherence to a more scientific process difficult. However, this wide coverage of material was attempted in an effort to merge the theoretical and practical aspects of the theories in a way that might otherwise not have been possible. It is possible that through case studies such as this, which challenge the political program of ecological modernization, a new sustainability model acknowledging the element of power and incorporating the role of interest groups (in both their positive and negative capabilities of facilitating consensual reform) could be developed. We would call on an enhanced effort to collect and compare these sorts of case studies. They hold the best promise for not falling into the trap of inferring production decision-making processes while only knowing production outcomes. (Pellow et al., 2000:134)  185  7.6  CONCLUSION In this thesis I proposed to put ecological modernization theory to the test, as an  alternative to the trajectory into the risk society. As a new industry, salmon farming presented itself as an ideal test case of the potential of ecological modernization— within the limited context established for its applicability. The results of the analysis lent support to the micro and macro critiques proposed in the introduction, although clearly more weight of evidence is on the validation of the macro critique. Ecological considerations do not appear to have emerged as a sphere on par with economic considerations. Not only does industry not appear to internalize ecological considerations, but governmental structures also appear to privilege economic over ecological considerations. While it is apparent that the micro critique regarding stakeholder consensus has validity in this case study, the results of this are more subjective and less conclusive in terms of their actual impact on ecological modernization. As mentioned, this could be an area for further investigation. 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"First Nations and Environmental Fish Farm Watch Dogs Team Up." BCAFC Website, www.bcafc.org, July 18, 2000. B.C. Salmon Farmers Association, B . C . Shellfish Growers Association, and the B . C . Trout Farmers Association. 1992. Aquaculture: British Columbia's Future. An Industry Assessment. B.C. Salmon Farmers Association. 1998. News Release. "B.C. Salmon Farmers Call On Provincial Government to Implement Environmental Assessment Review Recommendations." Canada News Wire. http://wvvw.newswire.ca/releases. September 24, 1998. David Suzuki Foundation. 1999. "Criminal Charges Brought Against Salmon Farm for Polluting Fish Habitat." News Release. DSF Website, http://www.davidsuzuki.org. March 8, 1999. David Suzuki Foundation. 2001. "The Price of Salmon." The Nature of Things. B B C / C B C Production. February 14, 2001. Delgamuukw: The Supreme Court of Canada Decision on Aboriginal Title. 1998. Vancouver: Greystone Books. Ellis, David and Associates. 1996. 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"Proponents, opponents claim support from U.S. study on fish farm waste." 2001. Canadian Press Newswire. October 12, 2001. "Proposed salmon farming relocation sites have full First Nations support." 2000. Canada NewsWire. http://www.newswiie.ca/releases/June2000/2l/c7577.html. June 21, 2000. Rose, C. 2002a. "Fish farming brings jobs to Quadra." Vancouver Sun. May 8, 2002, D5. Rose, C. 2002b. "Towards a revolution in aquaculture." Vancouver Sun. May 9, 2002, C5. "Salmon farms must tighten up, Streifel says." 1998. Newswire article. September, 24, 1998. "Scientists fear spread of salmon virus outbreak in Johnston Strait." 1997. Canadian Press Newswire. May 29, 1997. "Surveys find escaped Atlantic salmon in Vancouver Island rivers." 2001. Canadian Press Newswire. Sept. 30, 2001. Sutherland, S. 1999. "Government postpones fish farm decision amid controversy." Canadian Press Newswire. October 18, 1999. Sutherland, S. 2000. "Up to 50,000 farmed salmon escape off B C coast, prompts major investigation." Canadian Press Newswire. August 17, 2000. "Suzuki Foundation wants major salmon farming changes." 1996. Canadian Press Newswire. October 24, 1996. Thompson, W. 1999. "Boom towns to doom towns: B C coastal towns from north to south face extinction." British Columbia Reports. May 3, 1999, Vol. 10, No. 13, p. 36. Wilson, C. 2000. "Seal shootings endanger sea mammal population." Canadian Press Newswire. July 23, 2000. Wiwchar, D. 2000. "First Nations want fish out." Windspeaker. August 2000, Vol. 18, No. 4, p. 8.  195  APPENDIX A ROUGH ACCOUNTING OF ESCAPE NUMBERS ON THE PACIFIC COAST 1989-2000 ESCAPE NUMBERS- WASHINGTON STATE None significant recorded prior to 96 1996 107,000 1997 369,000 1999 115,000 ESCAPE NUMBERS- BRITISH COLUMBIA 1989: 100,000 91-96: 154,981 (or 27,300/year from 92-96 according to SAR) 1997 7,472 1999 32,000 2000 55,000  196  

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