Fish farming practices differ sharply from country to country, making some types of farmed seafood unsustainable or unhealthy. Two companies -- Marine Harvest and Cermaq -- are the world's largest salmon producers, with open net cage operations in Norway, Scotland, Ireland, Chile and Canada. And two-thirds of salmon consumed in the United States is farm-raised. Salmon raised in open net farms pose several problems for the environment and public health:
* The waste from millions of captive fish empties directly into the ocean, polluting the water with untreated sewage, toxic chemicals and other wastes.
* Captive farmed salmon make ideal hosts for highly contagious diseases and parasites; escapees compete with and threaten wild salmon in British Columbia and Europe's wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout.
* As they grow, carnivorous and voracious farmed salmon need increasing amounts of wildcaught fish for food, thus competing directly with humans and fish species for this valuable yet diminishing resource. Currently, it takes the equivalent of five pounds of fish from the world's oceans to make one pound of farmed salmon.
This is unacceptable! Salmon can be farmed safely and with minimal ecological damage, if the industry adopts standards that protect the environment, consumers and local communities. Demand that the aquaculture industry adopt strong protections on salmon farms! Tell Marine Harvest and Cermaq it's time to clean up their act!
Dear Mr. Geir Isaksen and Ms. Ase Michelet:
Salmon can be farmed safely and with minimal ecological damage, if the industry adopts standards that protect the environment, consumers and local communities. I will think twice before I buy or eat farmed salmon until the salmon aquaculture industry not merely adopts marginally better "best practices," but adopts farming methods that in the short and long-term:
1. Eliminate the environmental consequences associated with disease transfer, proliferation of salmonid parasites and salmon escapes;
2. Eliminate the environmental and public health consequences associated with the use of antibiotics, biocides and harmful chemicals in salmon farming;
3. Eliminate the environmental consequences associated with salmon farm waste being discharged directly into the environment;
4. Ensure that farmed salmon feed does not deplete wild fish stocks or result in a net loss of marine protein;
5. Ensure that salmon farming practices in aggregate do not harm the environment or wildlife;
6. Prohibit the use of genetically engineered fish and the use of genetically modified organisms in feed;
7. Respect the views of coastal communities and other stakeholders in locating farms; and
8. Adopt and implement ethical business practices, including safe, healthy work environments and fair compensation.
Keep up the great work. Look what you've accomplished!
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