Photo: DSF responds to questions about salmon farming

(Credit: Jeffery Young)

By Peter Robinson, Chief Executive Officer, David Suzuki Foundation

"Why did the David Suzuki Foundation remove Web pages on the dangers of farmed salmon?"

This headline has travelled from an article in the Financial Post, across the Twitter-sphere and into my inbox on several occasions today. Incidentally, it wasn't news to me.

The accusations that the David Suzuki Foundation intentionally removed pages from its website that related to salmon farming appeared in the May 31 article but were originally levelled in a series of emails sent to me by the article's author, Vivian Krause, a former salmon-farming industry executive. Following a long history of communication with Ms. Krause, the Foundation decided last year to stop dedicating resources to responding due to an irreconcilable disagreement over her views of fish farming and its environmental impacts.

The accusation this week that DSF intentionally removed content specific to salmon farming, however, is blatantly false. The Internet archive tool referred to in Ms. Krause's article (also known as the Wayback Machine) only archives a website every few months, meaning this tool can't be trusted for placing exact dates of pages that no longer appear on the Internet. This is clearly explained on the Wayback Machine's FAQ page.

Many of our supporters know that the David Suzuki Foundation rebuilt its website last spring. In the process, we updated most pages and got rid of those that were more than five years old. All of our formal publications, briefing notes and research remain readily available on our site and are searchable — including our science and longstanding positions on salmon farming.

Ms. Krause is a former director of corporate development and public relations for one of the world's largest foreign-owned fish farm and feed companies, Nutreco. She has also worked as a consultant for the salmon farming industry. Her opinions are hardly those of an unbiased, self-funded researcher and regularly misrepresent the work of some of Canada's most credible researchers, analysts and environmentalists. So why are they still being published (and on whose dime)?

Salmon farming has serious problems to solve and people around the world, including DSF and many of our allies across all sectors, are working to solve them. You can read more about our work in a recent Vancouver Sun op-ed, or on our website.

June 2, 2011

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