Fish farm activist sued by BC salmon-producer –

Fish farm activist sued by BC salmon-producer Published:  10 January, 2012

BRITISH Columbia-based fish farm opponent Don Staniford is being sued by Mainstream Canada, British Columbia’s second largest farmed-salmon producer.

According to Mr Staniford, Mainstream Canada, which is owned by a Norwegian parent company, alleges that he has used “defamatory and false statements” intended to damage the salmon-fishing industry.

Mr Staniford has clocked up many years of opposition to salmon farming and he says Mainstream’s lawsuit alleges that his Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture campaign uses “defamatory and false statements” intended to damage the salmon-farming industry and curb the World Wildlife Fund’s pending certification for farmed salmon.

“The fact that they’re suing me in the first place speaks volumes about the campaign,” said Staniford.

The statement of claim, filed in the BC Supreme Court, focuses on Staniford’s alleged use of anti-fish farm graphics that mimic health warnings on cigarette packages.

The lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction preventing Staniford from writing, printing or broadcasting future criticism of the international company.

The alleged threats posed by farmed salmon were among the many contentious debates at the recently concluded Cohen Commission, a federal inquiry into the decline of sockeye salmon. Anti-fish farming activists and some scientists argued salmon in fish farms are to blame for the dwindling sockeye stocks, both by communicating new diseases and becoming a breeding ground for sea lice.

Fish-farm operators deny these allegations, saying their product is safe, environmentally sound, closely regulated and has no impact on the wider ocean ecosystem.The action hearing begins on January 16.