WHY STOP SALMON FARMING?
THEY POISON OUR WATERS
Open net-pen salmon farms allow the free flow of pesticides, salmon sewage, antibiotics, and excess feed into the marine environment. Meanwhile, processing plants discharge disease-tainted bloodwater right into Tofino’s harbour. There’s a reason Norwegian companies are so drawn to British Columbia: they are using our oceans like a toilet bowl to avoid paying to clean up their own mess.
THEY HARM WILD SALMON
Over-crowded rearing conditions on salmon farms create dangerous breeding grounds for disease and parasites, which pass freely through open net-pens. A diseased salmon farm can shed up to 65 billion viral particles per hour, which are spread far and wide by wind and tides. Wild salmon cannot avoid passing disease particles through their gills as they breath the polluted water. Baby salmon migrating out to sea from Clayoquot Sound’s rivers must run a gauntlet of salmon farms on their migration routes, and pick up fatal loads of salmon lice from the farms.
THEY PUT INDIGENOUS CULTURES AT RISK
First Nations stewarded wild salmon for millennia, creating abundant, thriving cultures. From dried salmon to make it through the winters, to ancestral cedars to build canoes and houses, west coast peoples have flourished along with wild salmon. All of this has been nearly destroyed in the last century in the name of profit. A recent court case confirmed (yet again) that the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations have the right to catch and sell salmon. Yet after finally achieving this huge victory for indigenous rights, they find that there are almost no salmon left to fish.
THEY THREATEN THE WILD SALMON ECONOMY
British Columbia’s coastal economy is entirely dependent on wild salmon—Clayoquot Sound clearly demonstrates this. From commercial fishers to top-level chefs, from bear-watching guides to fly fishers. Simply put, far more people rely on wild salmon for their livelihoods, than on farmed salmon. Wild salmon are in precipitous decline due to the negative impacts of salmon farming. This global industry is putting at risk a pre-existing, larger, and community-based economy.