Cermaq board agrees to review Pure Salmon reform plan – Fishupdate.com

Cermaq board agrees to review Pure Salmon reform plan Published:  04 May, 2006

THE Pure Salmon Campaign has announced that Cermaq, one of the top three producers of farmed salmon globally, has agreed to review a resolution that aims to resolve environmental problems associated with salmon farming.

“We are pleased that Cermaq’s board has pledged to take this proposal seriously,” said Don Staniford, Pure Salmon Campaign’s European Organiser. “Our resolution asked Cermaq to establish the highest standards for farming salmon, and shareholders agreed unanimously.”

The motion, made by Cermaq Chairman Sigbjorn Johnsen, was approved without objection by the shareholders at yesterday’s annual general meeting in Oslo. In Cermaq’s 2005 annual general report, Chairman Johnsen said, “We will protect the environment in terms of discharges and in concern to wild salmon. We will make fish feed from raw materials produced in a sustainable manner. We agree with all this – indeed we are a prime mover for achieving these goals.”

At the meeting, Don Staniford, applauded the chairman’s words and said, “The Pure Salmon Campaign invites the board to work with us, using the resolution as a guide to fulfill its pledge to shareholders.”

The meeting included a representative from the state of Norway which holds 43% of Cermaq stock. This resolution was one of the first environmental shareholder resolutions to go before a Norwegian corporation. The Pure Salmon Campaign will also be presenting an identical shareholder resolution – seeking to reform farmed salmon practices by switching to closed containment – at the annual general meetings of Fjord Seafood on May 4 and Pan Fish on May 30.

The resolution asks the companies to: “Undertake the necessary steps to adopt salmon production techniques so that disease transfer, waste pollution, and escapes are eliminated, and to make sure that fish feed is sourced solely from sustainable fisheries.”

Closed containment systems have an impermeable barrier that prevents the transmission of diseases and parasites which, the Campaign claims, reduces the impact on wild fish and the need for chemical and antibiotic treatment on the farms, as well as eliminates escapes and discharges of wastes into the oceans.

Closed containment technology is being used in Canada, Washington State and Tasmania by companies such as, AgriMarine, Eco-Farm, Mariculture Systems and Future Sea Technologies.

“It makes long term economic sense to establish sustainable operations,” said Don Staniford. “Closed containment systems are the only way the salmon industry can move forward in an environmentally and economically sustainable way.”

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