Wild Salmon Stocks Collapse in B.C. …

… while Canadian Ministry Promotes “Sustainable” Aquaculture in Norway. 

Media Release by CSRWire.ca:

Government officials promote “sustainable” aquaculture in Norway
while wild salmon stocks crash at home.

(August 17, 2009) Where is Canada’s Minister of Fisheries and Oceans,
Gail Shea, at a time when one of Canada’s most important commercial
runs of salmon is experiencing a catastrophic collapse?  She is
showcasing Canada’s aquaculture industry at the Aqua Nor international
aquaculture trade show in Trondheim, Norway.

British
Columbia’s Fraser River sockeye may be down to less than ten percent of
the predicted return
but this has not deterred Minster Shea from
joining the Canadian delegation to promote an industry associated with
the demise of wild salmon worldwide (Ford and Myers 2008).

Norwegian-owned companies control more than 90% of British Columbia’s
salmon farming production and the Norwegian government is a major
shareholder in these companies
. Sea lice from salmon farms have been
identified in the collapse of several salmon runs in B.C.’s Broughton
Archipelago (Krkosek et al 2007) and preliminary research indicates the
missing sockeye were also infected with sea lice as they passed salmon
farms on their migration to sea. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans
and the Province have allowed numerous salmon farms to be sited
directly on the Fraser River migration route.

“The weight of scientific evidence my colleagues and I have published
in peer-reviewed journals shows that sea lice from open net-cage salmon
farms are pushing wild salmon toward extinction,” said Alexandra
Morton, director of the Salmon Coast Field Station. “These are the wild
salmon that Minister Shea and her department are responsible for
managing.

Instead of denying that salmon farms are having an impact, let alone
promoting salmon aquaculture abroad, action is needed immediately to
reduce the impacts of open net-cage salmon farms.”

The dire need for these Norwegian-owned companies to adopt strict
environmental standards to protect wild salmon populations has led the
Pure Salmon Campaign to attend Aqua Nor. The Pure Salmon Campaign is a
global project aimed at salmon being farmed safely and with minimal
ecological damage. Over 50 Pure Salmon Campaign partners and global
allies sent a letter to King Harald of Norway, who is officially
opening the Aqua Nor trade show, asking him to help protect wild fish
populations from Norwegian-owned salmon farms.  

The Campaign also invited King Harald to a screening of Damien Gillis’
new documentary, “Dear Norway: Help Save Canada’s Wild Salmon“. The
film features testimonials from local scientists, fishermen and First
Nations about how Norwegian-owned companies continue to threaten wild
salmon, thereby impacting the ecological, cultural and economic welfare
of British Columbia.  

When learning of Minster Shea’s presence at Aqua Nor despite the state
of wild stocks at home, Don Staniford, Global Coordinator for the Pure
Salmon Campaign commented, “The Canadian Fisheries Minister is behaving
like Emperor Nero, fiddling while Rome burns.  While the Canadian
delegation at Aqua Nor appears hell-bent on promoting B.C.’s salmon
farming industry as “sustainable”, 92% of which is already controlled
by Norwegian companies, wild salmon are being sold down the Fraser
River.  Hopefully the King of Norway has it in his power to stop the
killing of wild salmon by Norwegian companies operating open net-cages
in B.C.”

###

Watch “Dear Norway: Help Save Canada’s Wild Salmon” –
http://www.puresalmon.org/video2.html

Read the Pure Salmon Campaign‘s press release “Pure Salmon Campaign
Urges King of Norway to Protect Canada’s Wild Salmon
” –

http://huffstrategy.com/MediaManager/release/Pure-Salmon-Campaign/17-8-09/Open-letter-to-King-of-Norway-to-stop-the-killing-of-wild-fish-by/1680.html

Read the letter sent to King Harald –
http://www.puresalmon.org/pdfs/king_norway_letter.pdf

See the petition to Gail Shea to apply The Fisheries Act to fish farms
(now signed by 16,000) – http://www.adopt-a-fry.org/?page_id=42

Read more about Aqua Nor (August 18 to 21) –
http://nor-fishing.no/index.php?page=aqua-nor&hl=en_US

To schedule media interviews, contact:
Don Huff,
Environmental Communication Options/Penasi Communication at:
416-972-7404 (office)
416-805-7720 (Cell)
email huffd(at)ecostrategy.ca

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