The GAAIA campaign against salmon farming uses images similar to those used against the tobacco industry. (Photo: gaaia.org)
Global campaign launched against Big Aquaculture
Wednesday, February 02, 2011, 15:30 (GMT + 9)
The brand-new Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture (GAAIA) has commenced a global campaign against Big Aquaculture warning consumers about the dangers of salmon farming. This month, the alliance will issue a new report on salmon called “Smoke on the Water, Cancer on the Coast” and later others on shrimp, tuna and genetically engineered (GE) fish.
GAAIA’s “Salmon Farming Kills” campaign uses similar graphic imagery to the “Smoking Kills” campaigns employed against Big Tobacco.
“Salmon farming kills around the world and should carry a global health warning,” said Don Staniford, global coordinator for GAAIA in British Columbia (BC). “As good global citizens we need to face the fact that salmon farming seriously damages human health, the health of our global ocean and the health of wild fish.”
Kurt Oddekalv, leader of Norges Miljøvernforbund (Green Warriors of Norway), disputed that salmon aquaculture’s pricey PR campaigns endorsing farmed salmon as safe and sustainable are red flags that salmon farming is injurious to the environment and human consumers. He said it is thus counterproductive for salmon farmers to deny peer-reviewed scientific evidence describing human health and environment dangers.
“Here in Norway the industry is on death row with infectious diseases, sea lice infestations, chemical resistance, escapes and depleted fish feed issues looming as the last nails in the coffin,” Oddekalv stated.
|Salmon Farming Kills, campaign. (Image: gaaia.org)
Juan Carlos Cardenas, a veterinary doctor and director of Chile’s Ecoceanos, argued that Norwegian aquaculture firms operating in Chile provoked the biggest sanitary, environmental and social crisis in the country’s south coastal regions. In the last three years, 20,000 jobs have been lost there.
He also commented on the use of wild fish for farmed fish feed.
“By draining our Southeast Pacific oceans of wild fish for feed, Norwegian-owned salmon farmers are robbing Pedro to pay John and stealing fish out of the mouths of Latin Americans,” said Cardenas. “This lethal industry has been responsible for the deaths of divers and 64 workers as well as hundreds of sea lions and other marine birds and mammals.”
Canadian biologist Otto Langer compared the fish farming industry to that of tobacco insofar as denying the health risks of its products.
|Salmon Farming Kills, campaign. (Banner: gaaia.org)
“If the fish farmers want to play the same game as the cigarette manufacturers did for many years and live in denial they’re welcome to it but it’s not going to give rise to any solutions,” he said in the documentary film “Farmed Salmon Exposed: The Global Reach of the Norwegian salmon farming industry” shown during last year’s Seafood Summit.
GAAIA is an international network working to further environmentally and socially responsible fish farming. It recognizes that the farming of salmon, shrimp, tuna and “Frankenfish” threatens sustainable and safe seafood production.
GAAIA touts itself as leading the fight against standards-setting and certification schemes for salmon and shrimp farming especially.
Don Staniford, global coordinator for GAAIA, is now attending the Seafood Summit “Responsibility Without Borders?” in Vancouver.
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By Natalia Real