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New Pressure Group Attacks Aquaculture Policy

CANADA - A group of British Columbia business people have placed an advert in a national newspaper criticising current Government aquaculture policy.

The business alliance wants fish farms sited away from migration routes.

The group claims that both federal and provincial Government policy supports fish farms to the detriment of the natural environment and wild salmon stocks

The timing of the advertisement coincides with the launch of a website - SaveBCsalmon.ca - and a web-based petition.

In an open letter to Premier Gordon Campbell and Ministers Bell and Hearn, the alliance says that there public concern regarding the impact of fish farms on wild salmon and the marine environment is mounting.

"We join MLA’s, scientists, residents, environmentalists and now fishermen and tourism operators to insist you protect wild salmon; it is almost too late," it says.

The letter also quotes incidents of heavy lice infestation seen in sea-going Sockeye Salmon around Campbell River in 2005 and the subsequent associated losses to fisheries and coastal communities; the recommendation that BC fish farms move over to closed containment within 5 years, as made by Committee on Sustainable Aquaculture earlier this year; and the key concerns of John Fredriksen, the primary shareholder of aquaculture conglomerate, Marine Harvest who says he is concerned about the impact of fish farming in fjords and salmon rivers.

The group also aims to highlight the plight of other ocean wildlife and the affect fish farming can have on delicate ecosystems.

Click here to read the letter.

Ellen Hardy

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