Whilst Marine Harvest was completing the final stages of their hostile takeover of salmon farming giant Cermaq in Norway, WWF Scotland was applying the finishing touches to a green makeover. The Guardian newspaper reported (21 May):
WWF Scotland joined the Marine Harvest makeover team with a gushing tribute yesterday (21 May).
Alan Sutherland, Managing Director at Marine Harvest Scotland said in a WWF Scotland press release (21 May):
“We very much welcome the introduction of ASC certification as we are committed to the sustainable development of salmon farming globally. This is a relatively new industry and we have been working hard in recent years to improve our environmental performance and our sustainability. This is a process which is ongoing and the ASC accreditation will provide us with a framework to work within. Our plans for investment over the next five to 10 years will help us fulfill the strict criteria in the ASC standards and we aim to have all of our farms certified under the scheme by 2020. In the meantime we will report on our progress towards that target.”
Lang Banks, Director of WWF Scotland said:
“The salmon farming industry’s activities have quite rightly come under close scrutiny recently, so this announcement is really good news for Scotland’s environment. However, to deliver the greatest possible impact, we need to see the standards adopted at an industry-wide level. We therefore call upon all fish farm operators to follow Marine Harvest’s lead and seek accreditation by the ASC.
“As many of the ASC standards go beyond existing legal requirements in Scotland, meeting them will certainly be a challenge. However, it is only when all salmon farm operators embrace the standards that we will know if, as an industry, they are really serious about operating sustainably and reducing their impacts on the environment."
Chris Ninnes CEO of ASC said:
“We are very excited that Marine Harvest has chosen to take the lead in moving the salmon industry towards taking greater responsibility for its environmental and social footprint. Through meeting the ASC standard for responsible farming and communicating this to the market through ASC's on-product logo, farms can clearly show consumers that their seafood has been produced so that environmental and social impacts have been minimised.”
Ally Dingwall, Aquaculture & Fisheries Manager at Sainsbury’s said:
"Through the partnership we already have with Marine Harvest, Sainsbury's is the largest UK retailer of responsibly sourced RSPCA Freedom Food Salmon. Today's announcement is a great move forward, the ASC standard will encourage good practise and continued improvement. It's leading initiatives like this that support our own 2020 target for all the fish and seafood we sell to be independently certified sustainable - which makes up part of our wider 20x20 Sustainability Plan."
Read more via WWF Greenwashes Marine Harvest!
The Aquaculture Stewardship Council shameless selling of farmed salmon as "responsible" and "sustainable" may yet trigger a complaint to their namesake - Advertising Standards Canada (as well as advertising authorities in Europe and around the world!).
Read more on the ASC via "Abominable Salmon Council - Buyer Beware!"
WWF's toadying greenwashing of the world's largest salmon farming polluter (aka Marine Harvest) would make even Miss Piggy blush with embarrassment. It's not easy being green - just ask Kermit.
However you dress up Marine Harvest's green makeover it's still difficult to escape the conclusion that salmon farming's "environmental" claims are nothing more than hogwash.
Scrape off all the make-up and the ''Responsible Salmon Aquaculture Standards" being applied by WWF and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council do not look pretty at all.
For example, the "responsible" standards allow the killing of marine mammals, escapes, sea lice infestation, the spread of infectious diseases and the use of toxic chemicals including artificial colourings to make the farmed salmon look pink.
Read more on the artificial colourings such as Canthaxanthin (E161g) and Astaxanthin used to turn the flesh of farmed salmon pink online via "Silent Spring of the Sea".
More details via "Ugly in Pink: Cosmetically Challenged Farmed Salmon!"
The shameful standard also allows salmon farmers to drug unhealthy farmed salmon with up to three doses of antibiotics!!!
WWF came under fire last year by film-maker Wilfried Huismann for their support of Marine Harvest's "floating pharmacies" in Chile.
The ''Responsible Salmon Aquaculture Standards" actually specify the number of "lethal incidents" permitted on salmon farms - with nine animals including two marine mammals such as seals or sea lions allowed to be killed!
Sign a petition to "Stop the Certification of Farmed Salmon as ‘Sustainable’ and ‘Responsible’’
No wonder that WWF is now labelled the "Killer Panda"!
"CAAR is particularly concerned that the standard falls short in a number of significant areas including elimination of disease transmission between farmed and wild fish," stated a press release. "It does not adequately address the impacts of existing exotic species. While there are some important limits on the use and discharge of antibiotics and toxic sea lice chemicals, the standard does not eliminate them. The standard is intended to certify individual farms, and thus struggles to deal with the cumulative impacts of the industry and its potential expansion."
Pew Environment Group also expressed serious concerns at the final draft of the standards:
"The proposed certification by WWF promises to legitimize environmentally and socially damaging forms of aquaculture in the name of cheap prawns and salmon," Natasha Ahmad, secretary of Asia Solidarity Against Industrial Aquaculture, told SeafoodSource back in 2009. "It’s high time that WWF stops pandering to the interests of big business and instead begins to listen to the voices of real people that rely on the oceans and forests to survive."
Read more about Marine Harvest's appalling environmental track record online via "Who's Calling Who A Convicted Criminal?"
From 1 June 2013, salmon farmers in Europe can even use chicken and pig products in their fish feed.
The salmon farming industry's desire to use pig and chicken products is not altogether suprising given the fact that salmon feed giant Nutreco (a former owner of Marine Harvest) also supplies feed for the poultry, pig, ruminant and livestock industry.
In February 2013, after wrapping up the farmed salmon standards and passing them onto the ASC, WWF's director of aquaculture left to join Nutreco (Jose Villalon also used to work for Marine Harvest). In fact, the ASC board now includes representatives of WWF, Nutreco and Marine Harvest.
Read more via "Panda Porn: WWF Leaps Into Bed With Salmon Giant Nutreco"
Next time you go to the supermarket, beware flying pigs and "100% Sustainable" farmed salmon!
For more details read: