Group asks King of Norway to protect salmon


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
August 16, 2009

Farmed salmon activists Pure Salmon Campaign are calling upon King Harald of Norway to force Norwegian-owned salmon farms in Canada to tighten environmental standards to protect British Columbia’s wild salmon populations.

The group also invited King Harald to a screening of “Dear Norway: Help Save Canada’s Wild Salmon,” a documentary by filmmaker Damien Gillis, during Aqua Nor, a four-day biennial aquaculture trade show that attracts thousands of visitors from more than 50 countries.

“The weight of scientific evidence my colleagues and I have published in peer-reviewed journals shows that sea lice from Norwegian-owned salmon farms are pushing wild pink salmon toward extinction,” said Alexandra Morton, director of the Salmon Coast Field Station. “I personally invite the King of Norway, together with fellow passionate angler John Fredriksen, to come out to the Broughton Archipelago to bear witness themselves to the poor practices of Marine Harvest, Cermaq and Grieg.”

Pure Salmon Campaign alleges that the Norwegian government – a major shareholder in the aquaculture industry – has yet to take responsibility for its management practices in Canada. It says Norwegian-owned companies control more than 90 percent of British Columbia’s salmon farming production.

“It is ironic that the King of Norway is opening the world’s largest farmed salmon trade show in one of only two fjords where wild salmon are fully protected from salmon farms,” said Geir Kjensmo, chairman of the Norwegian Salmon Association.  “In view of the declines in wild salmon and sea trout stocks and rise in sea lice infestation here in Norway, the Laksfjord protection in the Trondheimsfjord and the Tanafjord must be extended to completely cover other fjords.  And the message coming loud and clear from Canada is that wild Pacific salmon must be afforded protection from Norwegian-owned open net cages misplaced on migration corridors.”

The film “Dear Norway” shows how current practices used by salmon companies continue to threaten wild salmon and the species that feed on them, including grizzly bears, bald eagles and killer whales. The film also features testimonies from local scientists, fishermen and First Nations chiefs detailing the dangers posed by open-net fish farms to British Columbia’s biologically diverse ecosystems.

More than 50 Pure Salmon Campaign partners and global allies sent a letter to King Harald of Norway asking him to help protect wild fish populations from Norwegian-owned salmon farms.

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