Reforms Needed to Improve Labor Conditions, Protect Marine Mammals,
Contact: Dave Bard of National Environmental Trust, 202-486-4426
Farmed Salmon Exposed, a project organized by partner groups worldwide,
today launched its week of global action. Beginning Oct. 9, campaign
partners in Canada, the United Kingdom, Chile and the U.S. will host a
series of events showing consumers how current aquaculture practices
damage the environment and threaten the safety and lives of workers.
The week of action features video testimonials that give voice to
people worldwide who bear witness to the problems associated with
open-net cage salmon farming. The individuals range from a Chilean
union leader talking about his colleagues and union members dying due
to unsafe working conditions to Alaskan commercial fishermen who are
outraged that salmon farmers who kill marine mammals can still sell
their product in the U.S. The U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act
prohibits U.S fishermen from harassing, let alone killing marine
"We're not opposed to farmed salmon, but the industry needs to adopt
major reforms now," said Andrea Kavanagh, director, Pure Salmon
Campaign, one of the groups participating in Farmed Salmon Exposed.
"When current practices threaten the lives and livelihoods of people as
well as kill marine mammals, it's time for substantial changes."
For years, farmed salmon has been associated with chemicals, parasites
and escapes. But new studies and first-hand accounts reveal even bigger
problems. Salmon farming threatens villages and towns that rely on
subsistence fishing for their jobs and diet. Since February 2005, the
Chilean government has reported that 17 laborers have died on the job
while working at Chilean salmon farms.
Almost all farmed salmon is raised in open ocean pens. Consequently,
seals and sea lions swim around these large nets looking for an easy
meal. Salmon farmers routinely shoot and kill these marine mammals,
animals that are strictly protected in the U.S.
Events during the week of global action expose problems with farmed
salmon that have received little public attention and urge consumers to
demand higher standards for farm-raised fish.
The following is a partial list of planned activities:
-- Canada: Partners will stage protests outside supermarkets that sell
farmed salmon and will pass out fliers at an outdoors retailer
-- United Kingdom: More than 200 supporters in 50 cities will hand out
leaflets in front of supermarkets from London to the far north of
Scotland with the message: "Go Wild for Real Salmon. Say 'NO' to Farmed
-- Chile: Farmed Salmon Exposed partners will host a press conference
coinciding with a newspaper ad campaign and host a round-table
discussion with parliamentarians, non-governmental organizations and
the producer of the award-winning documentary "Ovas de Oro," a film
about the salmon farming industry; partners will also attend a meeting
with the president of the Parliamentary Commission of Fisheries and
-- U.S.: Groups will distribute literature at more than a dozen
supermarkets nationwide that sell farmed salmon and the Pure Salmon
Campaign will host a press breakfast briefing in Washington, D.C.