There's a grim life or death struggle taking place in the Pacific Northwest, where most of Canada's salmon lives. Mounting scientific research paints a disturbing picture: Farmed salmon are threatening the very survival of their wild counterparts.
The salmon farming industry has long been banned in Alaska, where it's believed to be a threat to the state's healthy wild salmon populations. But that's not the case in Canada, where Norwegian-owned aquaculture multinationals have done a terrific job of winning over the federal government.
When you are a multi-billion dollar, foreign-owned industry continuously mired in controversy over your environmental record, you have but two options: you clean up your act, or you clean up your image. The latest public relations offensive from B.C. salmon farmers leaves little doubt that for them, image is everything.
AquaBounty Inc. sought and was granted approval to manufacture genetically-modified AquAdvantage salmon eggs at a facility in Prince Edward Island, ship those eggs to Panama for grow-out, and then sell the salmon as food in North America. Outcry and opposition was swift, particularly in reaction to news that the FDA will not require genetically-modified salmon to be labelled.
Joe Oliver, Canada's new federal Minister of Finance, made quite a name for himself during his tenure as Minister of Natural Resources. With Oliver moving to the helm of the country's finances, perhaps it's time to take a look back over his notable career. Is Oliver's selective use (and misuse) of the facts restricted to the oilsands?
Salmon seems to be the perfect food -- very tasty, high in protein and healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, and easy to prepare and cook. But as with every other overfished species in the sea, there simply aren't enough of them left in the wild to meet our growing demand.
A partnership between two freshwater conservation institutions is producing healthy, unstressed farmed salmon without vaccines, harsh chemicals, and antibiotics in closed-containment freshwater facilities on land. The goal is to give fish farmers and regulators the opportunity to choose a different way to grow fish that is, not only better for the environment but better for business, too.