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Numerous companies and BCSFA are airing television advertisements that stress the sustainability and health benefits of farmed salmon. (Photo: BCSFA)

BCSFA calls anti-aquaculture ads 'immature'

Click on the flag for more information about Canada CANADA
Friday, February 04, 2011, 23:00 (GMT + 9)

The British Columbia (BC) Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA) has responded to advertisements condemning aquaculture as deadly by calling them "immature." The ads by newly formed anti-fish farming organisation Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture (GAAIA) employ graphic images similar to those used in warnings in cigarette packs and introduced them this week at an international seafood conference in Vancouver.

"Salmon farming kills around the world and should carry a global health warning," said Don Staniford, GAIAA co-ordinator. "We'll be rolling out the ad campaign later this month in newspapers across BC with donations from the general public, concerned fishermen and First Nations."

"Salmon farming kills workers" and "salmon farming is just wrong” are some of the slogans contained in the ads. 

Because they depict the Norwegian flag and the phrase "Norwegian owned," they have provoked objections from the Norwegian parent companies of some aquaculture firms, Staniford told, Postmedia News reports.

But others are on GAAIA’s side. Kurt Oddekalv, head of the Norwegian environmental group Norjes Miljovernforbund (Green Warriors of Norway), believes salmon farmers are indeed failing to consider the scientific evidence pointing to health and environmental risks imposed by the aquaculture industry.

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"In Norway, the industry is on death row with infectious diseases, sea lice infestations, chemical resistance and escapes," he underlined.

Regardless, Mary Ellen Walling, BCSFA executive director, found the advertisements displeasing.

"We are not planning to respond to those ads. We think they are quite immature, inappropriate and irrelevant. We are not taking them seriously at all," she stated.

BCSFA’s website contains good dialogue on salmon farming, according to Walling.

Salmon farming. (Photo:BCSFA)

"We are quite pleased with the level of discussion," she said. "Concerns have been raised (about salmon farming) and we realized we really needed to improve communication with the general public."

Big salmon farming companies and feed companies in BC have gathered resources together with BCSFA and began airing television and print advertisements this week that stress the sustainability and health benefits of farmed salmon. The CAD 1.5 million- (USD 1.52 million) campaign, called BCSalmonFacts, includes a website and forum and Twitter and Facebook pages as well, reports Business in Vancouver.

Salmon farmers Marine Harvest Canada, Mainstream Canada, Grieg Seafood and feed suppliers EWOS Canada and Skretting are some of the companies behind the campaign.

"We also have serious discussions going on with environmental groups," Walling added.

Related article:

- Global campaign launched against Big Aquaculture 

By Natalia Real
[email protected]
www.fis.com

 


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