Photo: Salmon farming continues to be a major issue

Open net cage salmon farming is one serious risk (Credit: GoBot via Flickr).

By Jay Ritchlin, Western Region Director

Salmon farming continues to be a major issue in Canada and the world. The David Suzuki Foundation receives many questions about this issue, and our CEO's recent meeting with a delegation of Norwegian parliamentarians in Vancouver raised more interest in our current work in this area.

The David Suzuki Foundation continues to place top priority on the conservation and recovery of Canada's wild salmon. Open net-cage salmon farming is a serious risk over which we, as Canadians, can exercise real-time control. We advocate for the removal of open net-cage salmon farms from Canadian waters and a transition to closed-containment technologies for raising farmed salmon and related finfish. There is no evidence that open net-cage salmon farms can operate near wild salmon without increasing the risk of disease and parasites, among other environmental impacts from escapes, pollution and predator control. We also believe that other forms of aquaculture, with species that require fewer feed and chemical inputs, represent a better way to provide food and economic opportunities.

Sign up for our newsletter

We speak to and work with many stakeholders, from First Nations, government, industry, food retailers and closed-containment entrepreneurs to wrestle with the complex social, economic and environmental challenges of getting open nets out of the water and shifting to closed containment. However, our message is consistent and is reflected in the key messages CEO Peter Robinson delivered to the Norwegian Parliamentary delegation:

  • There is a wide range of well-informed and affected people you need to talk to, in particular First Nations that oppose fish farming.
  • Fish farming has been framed as an economic development opportunity, but progressive and responsible legislators cannot put economics above mitigating the impact on natural systems.
  • DSF is absolutely concerned about wild salmon: We have incredibly important and valuable wild salmon stocks and ecosystems in B.C. and we are committed to protecting and rebuilding them for the benefit of natural systems and the people who depend on them.
  • Open-net fish farms harm wild salmon and no one has been able to fully control the impacts once they begin.
  • We must invest in closed-containment technologies and stop the expansion of net-cage farms while we work to shift from open-net farms to closed containment
March 14, 2012

Read more

Post a comment


Mar 15, 2012
1:12 PM

I think the fishing industry, to some extend environmentalists, have done a horrible job of distinguishing open net-cage salmon farms from closed-containment farmed salmon. All the public hears is "farmed salmon" is bad. I'd suggest a different nomenclature is really required to help distinguish. Maybe something like "Tanked Fish" or "Closed Farmed Fish"….

Mar 15, 2012
8:43 PM

How do I know if the "farmed" label on the package refers to net caged or closed containment farming? Does Sea Choice put their label on either?

Mar 17, 2012
4:04 PM

Far too many humans on this planet who care less about God's beautiful,wonderful, innocent animals and the environment. So….so…so.. sad. I pray The Devine Creator of all lliving things and Mother Nature who does her best to nurture all in a healthy manner does something soon to protect all the wonderful animals and the good, humble humans who care for animals and the environment and who understand to live simply.

Jun 13, 2012
2:02 AM

I like your blog very much. Thank you for your very nice articles. As a student i always search for new blogs or articles or recent news to learn something new. And i look forward to visiting your site in the future! Methods of Modern Farming

The David Suzuki Foundation does not necessarily endorse the comments or views posted within this forum. All contributors acknowledge DSF's right to remove product/service endorsements and refuse publication of comments deemed to be offensive or that contravene our operating principles as a charitable organization. Please note that all comments are pre-moderated. Privacy Policy »