Farmed salmon exposed in cities around the world

For Immediate Release
October 11, 2006

Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto – Environmental groups and concerned citizens are taking to the streets in five Canadian cities today to demand action from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) on open net-cage salmon farms.

The public protests are part of an international week of action focusing on the impacts of salmon farming in regions where the industry’s practices are raising major concerns. Events are unfolding across Canada, and across the globe most notably in the USA, Chile, Scotland, England and Ireland. (details at: www.farmedsalmonexposed.org)

In Canada, information flyers called on consumers to stop purchasing farmed salmon until the industry cleans up its act and offers a more sustainable product. The groups urged Canadians to tell Fisheries and Oceans to start protecting wild fish stocks which are presently being threatened by the impacts of industrial fish farming.

A new peer-reviewed scientific study published Oct. 2, 2006 confirms, once again, the lethal impacts sea lice from salmon farms are having on juvenile wild Pacific salmon. The study documents up to 95 per cent mortality amongst juvenile wild salmon infected with farm-origin sea lice. Scientists from around the world have repeatedly shown that industrial salmon farming practices lead to massive sea lice infestations. DFO has so far toed the federal line of promoting the industry, dismissing the newest findings as inconclusive.

“If DFO has any credible research that refutes this latest study, or the findings of all the other peer-reviewed science that links salmon farms, sea lice and the impacts to wild fish we challenge them to make it public and subject it to independent scientific review,” said Catherine Stewart of the Living Oceans Society. “Sadly, DFO’s head-in-the-sand dismissal of sound science is turning this once esteemed agency into an international laughingstock.”

Consumers throughout North America are increasingly concerned about both the health benefits and risks of seafood products and the sustainability of fisheries and aquaculture. In response, over 160 prominent chefs and restaurants in Canada and the USA have already endorsed the CAAR campaign and are refusing to sell farmed salmon until the product is more sustainable.

“Grocery stores should stop selling farmed salmon, restaurants should stop serving it and Canadians should stop eating it,” said Geoff Senichenko, Director of Research with the Western Canada Wilderness Committee. “Consumers can send a strong message to the industry and the government by taking matters into their own hands and rejecting this product.”

“It’s past time for serious action on this issue,” said Dom Repta of Friends of Clayoquot Sound. “Wild salmon are the foundation of coastal life in BC. The serious threat to their survival posed by the salmon farming industry is a threat Canada can – and must – address immediately.”

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For more information please contact:

Catherine Stewart, Living Oceans Society, 604-696-5044 Cel: 604-916-6722

Andrew Male Greenpeace Canada Toronto Off: 416-597-8408

Geoff Senichenko Western Canada Wilderness Committee, Vancouver Off: 604-683-8220

Eric Reder Wilderness Committee Off: 204-942-9292 Cel: 204-997-8584

Dom Repta Friends of Clayoquot Sound Off: 604-699-0065

Jessi Junkin Wilderness Committee Off: (250) 388-9292

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