|Sunday, September 02, 2007|
Salmon Farmers Driven out of British Columbia
British Columbian salmon farmers say they have had enough, and many of them are throwing in the towel, according to an August 31 article in the Canadian Financial Post. Many blame aggressive conservationist-driven anti-salmon-farming campaigns as the reason they are leaving Canada to work on salmon farms in other parts of the world. Due to intense opposition by environmentalists, expansion of this environmentally destructive industry has been brought to a standstill.
Although this is good news for British Columbia, it is bad news for New Zealand, as many industry deserters are moving down south to help the Kiwi's expand their salmon farming enterprises. In fact, the New Zealand government has pledged to triple the market for farm-raised salmon within the next 15 years. Other salmon farmers are moving to help build up the industry in Tasmania.
According to the Financial Post, in British Columbia (B.C.) alone, applications for 15 fish farms-most of them salmon-are currently languishing in the licensing system. Some have been languishing since 2002. The delay in their approval has cost the industry about $450 million, estimates Mary Ellen Walling, the Executive Director of the B.C. Salmon Farmers Association. That is more than value of the industry's entire 2006 sales.
"Our goal is nothing less than the elimination of this ecologically destructive industry," said Founder and President of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Captain Paul Watson. "Alaska and Washington recognize the damage that these domesticated exotic salmon have caused to wild salmon species, and they have banned salmon farming as a perversion of nature. If wild salmon are to be protected in Canadian waters, these vile salmon raising prisons need to be eliminated."
Sea Shepherd is opposed to farm-raised salmon for the following 10 reasons: