Threats: Fish farms

Publication - March 31, 2008
Greenpeace has opposed open net cage fish farms for over a decade. The international environmental organization began campaigning for strict aquaculture standards in the early 1990s when Norwegian rivers were being poisoned with Rotenone to kill escaped farm salmon and the shrimp aquaculture industry was rapidly devouring tropical mangrove ecosystems.

Unfortunately, despite these global lessons, fish farms have been introduced in the Great Bear Rainforest and permits for more farms are being handed out like raffle tickets. The ecological impact of these farms include the spread of sea lice and disease to wild salmon and the escape of the non-native Atlantic salmon into habitat normally used by wild stock.

Greenpeace is not alone in its opposition to open net fish farms, and we were recently invited to the traditional territory of the Musgamagw-Tsawataineuk First Nation in the coastal rainforest to help them with their struggle against the farms.

A growing body of evidence implicates the fish farms in the most significant crash of pink salmon ever witnessed in this area. Of the 3.6 million pink salmon that migrated out of the streams in this part of the Great Bear Rainforest, only 147,000 were counted returning to spawn in 2002 (Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans, 2002)

Profits from salmon farms in the Great Bear Rainforest primarily line the pockets of international corporations while those that rely on the rich traditional food source of wild salmon suffer.

Greenpeace supports First Nations