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International Declaration Against Unsustainable Salmon Farming sent to United Nations

Monday, November 3rd 2008 10:09:55am

Media Release

Fish farm opposition - the gathering storm goes international

International Declaration Against Unsustainable Salmon Farming sent to United Nations


(Norway, Chile, U.S., U.K., Canada) November 3, 2008 - International environmentalists, First Nations, scientists, tourism operators and owners, fishermen/women met in Chile, Norway and Canada on the impact of salmon farms. Joined by people from Scotland, U.K and the U.S. they are sending the Declaration Against Unsustainable Salmon Farming to the United Nations reporting that industrial salmon farming is using the same ruinous tactics worldwide. “They came into my territory and denied, delayed, distracted us from the truth for 20 years with no regard for their impact on the environment and my people”, states Bob Chamberlin chief of the Kwicksutaineuk/Ah-kwa-mish First Nation in Canada.

Industrial net pen salmon farming originated in Norway then moved into Scotland, Ireland, Canada and is now spreading rapidly through Chile at huge ecological cost. Scientific studies show that wild salmon populations are crashing wherever there are salmon farms due to pathogen amplification and genetic pollution, but the damage runs much deeper.

Participants signed the Declaration in united opposition to the current practices of industrial salmon farming, citing not only damage to wild salmon, but also labor law infractions in Chile, viral epidemics, impact on the indigenous Sami of Norway and First Nations in Canada, fouling of local food resources with drug and waste release as well as reduction of the global food supply - taking more wild fish than it produces.

“I'm deeply ashamed as a Norwegian. After damaging our wild salmon, the industrial salmon farmers are fouling the pristine waters of Canada and Chile. Nobody in Norway knows about this, but I will tell them,” warned Kurt Oddekalv of Green Warriors of Norway.

Anne Mosness, of the U.S. Go Wild Campaign says, “In Washington and Maine massive escapes, diseases and the possibility of genetically engineered fish and offshore farms pose huge risks to the viability of our oceans. We cannot ignore our obligation to future generations to keep our oceans alive."

The 1995 United Nations Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries states “As a primary goal, aquaculture development should conserve genetic diversity and minimize negative effects of farmedfish on wild fish populations, while increasing supplies of fish for human consumption.

“We declare each of these principles violated by today’s salmon farmers,” says Canadian biologist Alexandra Morton.

While some would like to see salmon farms in closed tanks, Dr. Wolfram Heise, of Chile states: “It is simply not possible to produce salmon in a sustainable way. You will never get it into ecological balance. There is no right way of doing the wrong thing! This industry plunders the wild fish stocks of the oceans and to destroy the coastal marine ecosystems which will need decades to recover, if ever."

The signatories have spent years working to protect their coastlines from salmon farming with little result and today come together in a global response to a global industry. They invite others to sign the Declaration Against Unsustainable Salmon Farming at www.ourglobalocean.org.


The full text of the declaration can be viewed by clicking on Download Original Release.


Contacts:

Alexandra Morton, Canada 250-973-2306, 250-974-7086 info@adopt-a-fry.org

Chief Bob Chamberlin, First Nations, Canada 250-974-8282 mooguy@Shaw.ca

Kurt Willy Oddekalv, Norway +47 90 89 22 68 kurt@nmf.no.

Anne Mosness, USA west coast Eatwildfish@aol.com

Don Staniford: USA +1 202 251 3997, don_staniford@yahoo.co.uk

Wolfram Heise, Chile +56-65-250079 wolframheise1@gmx.de

Bruce Sandison, Scotland 01847 611274, 0759 3187634 (mobile) bsandison@btinternet.com