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Salmon Feedlot Boycott at Walmart Eagle Landing Shopping Centre in Chilliwack

Wednesday, January 30th 2013 4:19:10pm

Media Advisory

Salmon Feedlot Boycott at Walmart Eagle Landing Shopping Centre

Date: Friday, February 1, 2013
Time: 12:00 Noon - 1:00 PM
Location: Walmart, 8249 Eagle Landing Pkwy

The Chilliwack chapter of the Salmon Feedlot Boycott is urgently asking the store manager at Walmart to remove Atlantic farmed salmon from their shelves. As we speak, Fraser River salmon smolts are making their way out to the ocean and swimming past open net feedlots that amplify sea lice, and they suffer from a blizzard of pathogens and feces released by the tons of Atlantic salmon that are confined in those feedlots. “The most ominous threat open net feedlots pose is the spread of deadly diseases,” Eddie Gardner said. “The CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) as much as acknowledged that ISA (Infectious Salmon Anemia) is here to stay, as it couldn’t get rid of ISA in Atlantic waters.”

Patricia Ouellette, a regional program officer with the CFIA in the Maritimes, recently said inspectors have finally realized that killing farmed fish does not eradicate the disease. “I suspect government is getting tired of using taxpayers’ dollars to cull virus-infested farmed salmon,” said Chris Gadsden.

The CFIA claims ISA is harmless to humans, and steps are followed to prevent the spread of ISA during the transportation and processing of fish that are already infected, as was the case when Cooke’s 240,000 ISA-infected fish were moved to another province for processing. “Ok, now we have the CFIA allowing sick Atlantic farmed salmon on the market for human consumption,” said Jessie Gladstone of Squiala First Nation. “That’s not appealing for consumers, and the risks are still there for the spread of this ISA virus. Diseases like smallpox nearly wiped us out in the past, now European viruses are threatening our wild salmon. I want my grandchildren to have wild salmon,” said Jessie.

“We have fish farms using open net feedlots on the pacific coast, and there is increasing alarm it could spell the total collapse of wild salmon. Our sockeye salmon have to swim past those fish farms on their migration routes, so First Nations along the river are stakeholders in this risky business. It’s imperative we be consulted,” said Ernie Victor of the Cheam First Nation.

“I am astounded by recent actions of the CFIA allowing a strain of the ISA virus to brew in an open  net salmon feedlot in NS for 6 months when they state on their website that it can spread through contaminated water,” said Anissa Reed who initiated www.salmonfeedlotboycott.com. “The only reasonable way CFIA can stop the spread of diseases that threaten wild fish is removal of feedlots from east and west coasts. Without this decisive action, wild stocks are in peril,” Anissa said.

“This is what Idle No More is about! Bill C-38 and Bill C-45 gutted the Fisheries Act and eliminated environment protection measures that make it easier for big foreign owned companies like fish farms to have their way,” said Robert Jimmie of Squila First Nation. “Idle no more is about protecting the environment and our precious resources like our sacred wild salmon,” Robert said.

The salmon feedlot boycott will continue with activities to educate consumers about the issues, ask Big Box stores like Walmart, Superstore, Safeway and Costco to remove Atlantic farmed salmon from their shelves and empower consumers to make the ethical choices for their own well being, for the marine environment and for preservation of wild salmon.

For more information:  
Eddie Gardner, Chilliwack Salmon Feedlot Boycott Movement