Ad campaign in Vancouver and Victoria shows Safeway continues to support farmed salmon despite known risks

For Immediate Release
November 18, 2005

VANCOUVER – A coalition of environmental groups, scientists, fishermen and First Nations have mounted an extensive ad campaign extending into the holiday season to tell the people of British Columbia that Safeway’s sustained support for farmed salmon represents a real threat to BC’s beleaguered wild salmon.

As part of the Farmed and Dangerous campaign by the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform (CAAR), the ads counter Safeway’s new branding initiative “Ingredients for Life” with billboards, transit shelters and bathroom ads throughout Vancouver and Victoria that read “Ingredients for Extinction?.”

The campaign urges consumers to tell their Safeway store managers to stop selling farmed salmon until the chain’s suppliers can provide an environmentally sustainable product. As a leader in food retail and a responsible corporate citizen, Safeway will hopefully listen to their customers concerns.

“The pressure on Safeway will continue to escalate until they listen to the scientists, the First Nations and the thousands of consumers who continue to ask the grocery chain to join the growing numbers of businesses that refuse to support open net-cage raised farmed salmon,” said Dom Repta, of Friends of Clayoquot Sound and CAAR.“

Evidence indicates that outbreaks of sea lice from open net cage salmon farms are putting some wild salmon populations in BC at risk of extinction. Safeway claims to be a responsible corporation, meanwhile it continues to support the fish farm industry’s unsustainable practices. CAAR is calling on the company to become active – to avoid farmed salmon from open net cages and show support for the future of wild salmon and the coastal communities and businesses that depend on the wild stocks. The ads are part of CAAR’s ongoing ‘Smarten Up Safeway’ campaign that has previously focused on the high levels of toxic contaminants, the industry-wide use of antibiotics and pesticides and the synthetic colour additives in farmed salmon.

“It’s deeply disappointing that one of the largest grocery store chains in North America continues to jeopardize the health of our coastal ecosystems by tolerating the fish farm industry’s irresponsible practices,” said Catherine Stewart of the Living Oceans Society and CAAR. “Safeway is in an influential position to demand a sustainably produced product from its suppliers; a step consumers increasingly expect to be taken by a corporation that claims to be responsible and committed to consumer health.”

Over the past three years, The Farmed and Dangerous campaign has educated retailers, restaurants and consumers about the negative impacts of open net cage salmon farming and the positive options of closed containment facilities that do not threaten wild salmon. To date, many restaurants and famous chefs including Rob Feeney, Hidekazu Tojo, Rick Moonen and John Bishop, have adopted responsible purchasing policies to help conserve the health of the oceans and declining wild fish populations.

For more information please contact:

Dom Repta, Friends of Clayoquot Sound, available Nov. 18 at: 202-887-8800

Catherine Stewart, Living Oceans Society, (604) 696-5044, cell: (604) 916-6722

Sophika Kostyniuk, Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform, (415) 561-3474 x226

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