Grant Warkentin, the PR mouthpiece for the salmon farming giant Mainstream, is blowing smoke when he claims in recent correspondence that wild salmon and salmon farms can co-exist.
Mr. Warkentin knows full well that salmon farming operations in Norway, Scotland and Ireland have pushed wild fish stocks to the brink of extinction.
Readers should take Mr. Warkentin’s comments with a huge pinch of salt. He works for Mainstream which is a Norwegian state-owned company whose largest shareholder is the Norwegian government’s Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Norway has a vested interest in promoting Atlantic salmon farming – and the oil and gas industry – at the expense of wild Pacific salmon.
The global spread of the deadly disease Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA) should be a wake-up call. It is the European strain of ISA – an exotic virus – which has now been found in sockeye salmon.
It is inconceivable that Atlantic salmon farms in BC – which are 92 per cent owned by three Norwegian companies – are not the source of the infection.
Thankfully, fishermen and First Nations succeeded in fighting off applications for over 30 Norwegian salmon farms near the Skeena River several years ago. However, the detection of ISA in Rivers Inlet on the Central Coast over 100km away from the nearest salmon farms shows that infectious diseases can spread vast distances – and the Skeena salmon is still not safe. Only with the immediate closure of all Atlantic salmon farms in BC will wild salmon breathe easily.
Healthy wild salmon stocks and disease-ridden farms are incompatible. The people of B.C. have a simple choice – do you want wild Pacific salmon or Atlantic salmon farms? Sadly, you cannot have both.
Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture,