Aquaculture for all

The Price of Farmed Salmon

Salmonids Biosecurity Water quality +4 more

CANADA - Salmon aquaculture is devastating the world's oceans and an international coalition of scientists, Canadian First Nations and tourism operators have called for a global moratorium.

"We've seen a regional collapse of all sea life in the 20 years since the salmon farms moved in," Chief Bob Chamberlin of the Kwicksutaineuk Ah-kwa-mish Canadian First Nation in the province of British Columbia on Canada's west coast told Stephen Leahy for InterPress Service.

"I can only shake my head in bewilderment that this is allowed to continue," Chamberlin told IPS from Gilford Island in the Broughton Archipelago, where 20 salmon farms are in operation.

Scientific studies have linked sharp declines in wild salmon populations in British Columbia to disease and parasites originating in open-ocean salmon farms. Millions of non-native salmon have escaped ocean net-pens in Chile and have become an invasive species, transforming the ecology of local river systems.

These and other unsustainable practices violate the United Nations code on Responsible Fisheries, claims the coalition from Norway, Canada, Chile, Scotland and Ireland. An international declaration has been submitted to the UN calling for a global moratorium.

There is little debate that salmon aquaculture is both unsustainable and environmentally destructive. Three or more kilogrammes of wild fish are needed to produce one kilo of farmed salmon. The ocean bottoms under and around the open-ocean net pens are usually devoid of any life, buried under the excrement of up to a million salmon overhead.

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