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Ad campaign by the Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture. (Photo: GAAIA/Stock File/FIS)

Mainstream begins legal proceedings against anti-industrial aquaculture alliance

Click on the flag for more information about Canada CANADA
Friday, March 25, 2011, 22:00 (GMT + 9)

Mainstream Canada has begun legal proceedings against Mr. Don Staniford and his organization the Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture (GAAIA), for defamatory statements that have been made regarding the company's fish farming operations.

Mainstream and Cermaq views his statements as false, misleading and a direct attack on Mainstream Canada and parent company Cermaq's reputations as responsible companies engaged in sustainable aquaculture.

"For a number of years certain environmental activists in British Columbia, Canada, have been attacking our company and the industry with false and misleading statements. We have a responsibility towards our employees, that is why Mainstream Canada is acting now," says Lise Bergan, Corporate Affairs Director of Cermaq.

"Our employees are working hard every day ensuring responsible aquaculture. We adhere to strict regulations and our company code of conduct. Comparing fish farming with cancer is an offence to all our employees, but also disrespectful to all those who suffer from cancer," comments Lise Bergan.

GAAIA Ilustration against salmon farming. (Ilustration: GAAIA)

The company also believes that the statements made by Mr. Staniford have gone beyond logic and defy the conclusions of many well respected researchers and third party experts who have documented and reported on fish farming practices and their impact on individuals, the environment or other industries.

They are also under the impression that Mr. Staniford's intention seems to be to frighten and convince consumers to turn away from eating farmed salmon.

Yet contrary to his statements, the health benefits of eating fat fish like farmed salmon are broadly encouraged, as the American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least two times  a week.

For Mainstream Canada this is not only a question of protecting their reputation, but an obligation to employees, and to their partners like suppliers, the communities where Mainstream operates and Mainstream's First Nations partners.

The objective of Mainstream and Cermaq is a business environment where issues are discussed with fair arguments based on knowledge, and not a situation where individuals or organizations such as Mr. Staniford's obstruct with defamatory actions.

Cermaq is an international group of companies with activities in fish farming, production of salmonid feed and research in aquaculture. It has operations in Norway, Chile, Canada and Scotland, the main geographic regions for salmon and trout farming.

Through its business unit EWOS, Cermaq ranks as the world's second largest producer of feed for salmonids. The business unit Mainstream is one of the world's leading farming companies of salmon and trout.

The group had sales of around NOK 10 billion (USD 1.8 billion) in 2010, and employed ca. 3 500 employees at year end 2010. Whilst Mainstream Canada is the Second largest aquaculture company in BC.

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