Fish farming and the Precautionary Principle:  How opposing views on risk influence the aquaculture debate in Clayoquot Sound.

By Catherine Wisniowski and S. Linquist

There is no doubt that the environmentalist group, the Friends of Clayoquot Sound (FOCS) do not see eye-to-eye with the two aquaculture companies operating in the Clayoquot Biosphere Reserve.  But what exactly is at issue between these groups, and is there room for rational dialogue? Here it is argued that these groups are divided over their assessment of risk. Based on what the two groups value, they either accept or reject the precautionary principle (PP), resulting in disagreement on what an allowable amount of risk should be for aquaculture. Looking at how each group responds to this Principle both explains the source of their disagreement and points towards an avenue for progress in this debate.