OTTAWA, Feb. 12 /CNW/ - A new study published in the Public Library of
Science Journal that correlates the decline of wild salmonids on both coasts
of Canada to the incidence of salmon farming takes a very narrow perspective
on a complex issue.
"There are many threats and challenges facing the survival of wild
salmon, such as urbanization, forestry, agriculture, mining, transportation
and climate change," says Ruth Salmon, Executive Director of the Canadian
Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA). "To bring it down to one issue, such as
salmon aquaculture, is far too simplistic."
While this study cites salmon farming as a significant cause for concern
to wild stocks, there are many other studies that support a different view.
For example, recent findings of the BC Pacific Salmon Forum's 2007 research
program show adult pink salmon returns to the Broughton Archipelago in 2007
were similar or slightly improved relative to 2005, showing salmon aquaculture
and the wild fishery can co-exist harmoniously.
And according to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans website, there is
little evidence to support the suggestion that the presence of salmon farms
increases the risk of disease in wild stocks.
This is, in part, due to the fact that all aquaculture operations in
Canada must meet rigorous federal, provincial and international environmental
standards. In fact Canada has established some of the most stringent
environmental standards of all aquaculture-producing countries. These
standards, based on the best available scientific research, are in place to
minimize and manage any potential risks associated with aquaculture
"The Canadian aquaculture industry does not take the issue of declining
wild salmon stocks lightly. We recognize the concerns of interactions with
wild fish populations and work with government, scientists, and others to
actively address them." said Ruth Salmon. "Both wild and farmed salmon share
the same environment - so it is in everyone's best interest to collaborate on
preserving the health of our marine resource. In fact, the aquaculture
industry has become a partner in many conservation and protection programs.
Farmers in New Brunswick work directly with groups such as the Atlantic Salmon
Federation to promote the conservation of wild salmon stocks in the Bay of
Fundy. And in BC, the industry has been working in partnership with the
Pacific Salmon Forum to address potential wild/farmed fish interactions."
The Canadian aquaculture industry has consistently demonstrated its
commitment to protecting wild stocks and the environment. It's time to stop
the accusations and begin recognizing the importance of enhancing wild salmon
stocks and supporting a sustainable salmon farming industry.
The Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA) is a national industry
association headquartered in Ottawa. It represents the interests of Canadian
aquaculture operators, feed companies and suppliers as well as provincial
finfish and shellfish aquaculture associations. CAIA is dedicated to promoting
a responsible and healthy Canadian aquaculture industry that follows sound
environmental practices and showcasing the health benefits of a wide variety
of nutritious seafood products.
For further information:
For further information: Ruth Salmon, Executive Director, Canadian
Aquaculture Industry Alliance, BC Phone: (250) 951-9866, Cell Phone: (250)