Canadian capital pulls anti salmon farming advertisements

Wally Noerenberg fish hatchery, Esther Island, Alaska (photo: Oviphagy)

Anti-salmon farming billboards around Ottawa have been removed following a complaint from the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance, which says the posters contained false claims.

The statements included claims from the eco-activist group Wild First stating that: “Open-net pen salmon farms are banned in Washington, Oregon, California, and Alaska.”

The advertisements called on the Canadian capital to “remove all salmon farms from British Columbia waters.”

A letter of complaint was filed by the Alliance (CAIA) which it says provides clear evidence that the farming of finfish (including salmon) is not banned in California, Oregon, or Washington.

In Alaska, net pens are commonly used to raise salmon for commercial purposes, with the fish being released into the ocean to be caught by the Alaskan fishing fleet (pictured is the Wally Noerenberg fish hatchery, Esther Island, Alaska – photo Oviphagy).

Tim Kennedy, CAIA President and CEO said: “In an age of misinformation, we are pleased that the right thing happened – false ads that did not stand up to the truth test were removed.

“Activists with deep pockets who don’t live or work where our salmon farmers live and work are trying to drive policy decisions in Ottawa that would cancel people’s livelihoods using a storyline based on old data and false information.”

“These anti-salmon billboards included statements by the activist group Wild First that were both false and potentially economically harmful to British Columbia businesses and organizations and their employees that the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance represents.

He added: “Modern, sustainable, in-ocean salmon aquaculture is the second biggest agri-food export in British Columbia and key to the blue economy future for people living in rural, coastal and indigenous communities.”

The Alliance says the billboard agency was given clear evidence showing state regulations in California allow persons to lease water bottoms or the water column for the purposes of aquaculture including marine finfish farming.

In Washington state, where aquaculture has been encouraged since the passage of the Aquaculture Act in 1985, the farming of native fish species in the marine environment (net pens) is allowed and despite a decision by the state’s Commissioner of Public Lands, Hilary Franz, not to renew licences for the last two farm sites in Washington, which is currently being challenged in the courts, there is no net pen ban or moratorium.

No regulations in any of the four states ban the use of netting (net pens) for the purpose of containing fish.

“In Alaska, the use of net pens is common practice in their salmon aquaculture programmes,” says Kennedy.

 

 

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