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Operation Virus Hunter's team from left to right, David Suzuki, Alexandra Morton, Chief Ernie Crey and Pamela Anderson. (Photo: Ivan Alexis)

Salmon producers worry about Sea Shepherd’s 'publicity stunt'

  (CANADA, 7/20/2016)

The BC Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA) has expressed concern over the way the organisation Sea Shepherd Society will carry out its activist campaign in which the actress Pamela Anderson will participate and which includes salmon farm audits.

The association fears that despite the fact that the NGO stated that these audits will be done in a “non-aggressive and non-harassing manner,” it has a long history of doing the opposite.

“We’re disappointed that this latest publicity stunt is attempting to paint a misleading picture of an industry that provides a healthy, sustainable product that feeds millions of people,” BCSFA Executive Director Jeremy Dunn pointed out.

“Our industry is obsessed with the health of salmon as salmon health is essential to the success of our industry,” Dunn added.

BCSFA pointed out that farming companies in BC, which have world-leading practices with every farm certified by third-party environmental sustainability and food safety standards, place great emphasis on the health and safety of employees, and the health and wellbeing of their animals.

The association also stressed that farmers raising Atlantic salmon have all committed to achieving the most stringent certification available – the ASC certification – by 2020, and that they are examined on a daily basis, with thousands of laboratory tests done each year in the province to ensure that farmers know the exact health status of their stock.

In addition, these producers regularly participate in collaborative research with government, academics, as well as with vocal critics of salmon farming, recently committing CAD 1.5 million to 2020 through Marine Environmental Research Program.

Dunn also highlighted that BC salmon farmers are involved with the Pacific Salmon Foundation, Department of Fisheries & Oceans, the University of British Columbia (UBC), and others in the Strategic Salmon Health Initiative – the largest single study into the health of salmon on the coast ever undertaken.

On the other hand, the association defended the fact that the industry supports thousands of jobs on the Coast, employing and partnering with First Nations and that 78 per cent of salmon is raised under a First Nations agreement.

Dunn stated that BCSFA members are open to meeting with Sea Shepherd Scientists to hear if they think there is a different approach to that of the leading government and university scientists, or if they can add to the expertise already working on projects.

Related article:

- Environmentalists add Pamela Anderson to the fight against salmon farming


 
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