Campaign draws criticism

Victoria, BC – The Wilderness Committee, objecting to what they call a big-budget public relations campaign by the B.C. Salmon Farmers’ Association, released a new report on the impact salmon farms are having on wild salmon.

  • Jan. 27, 2011 6:00 p.m.

Victoria, BC – The Wilderness Committee, objecting to what they call a big-budget public relations campaign by the B.C. Salmon Farmers’ Association, released a new report on the impact salmon farms are having on wild salmon.

“Our report tells the truth that the salmon farm industry is desperate to hide with their glitzy ads — industrial salmon farming has had a significant impact on wild salmon stocks both here in B.C. and globally,” said Tria Donaldson, Pacific coast campaigner for the Wilderness Committee.

“Their ads try to discredit over a decade of peer-reviewed science linking industrial farmed salmon with disease outbreaks and sea lice infestations,” said Donaldson.

The report, Shut Down Salmon Farms: Save Canada’s Pacific Wild Salmon, gives an overview of the stresses impacting wild salmon stocks, including the damage inflicted by salmon farms, such as sea lice infestations, disease outbreaks and escaped Atlantic salmon, said a press release from the Wilderness Committee.

Donaldson notes that the website BCSalmonFacts.ca is sponsored by the largest names in the international salmon farming industry – Marine Harvest Canada, Mainstream Canada, Grieg Seafood, Ewos and Skretting – all members of the BC Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA).

“Last May over 5,000 people marched on the legislature demanding an end to industrial salmon farming,” said the campaigner. “The public pressure obviously has the industry running scared and maybe they think that flashy ads can save them.

“Whether it is in Chile or Scotland, wherever there are salmon farms we see the same story – disease outbreaks, sea lice and escaped Atlantic salmon are having their toll on wild salmon and healthy oceans,” said Donaldson. “It’s time to put the protection of wild salmon ahead of the protection of corporate profits.”