The Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture (GAAIA) will testify to New Zealand's salmon farming industry tomorrow (26 September) via a conference call from Europe - read a summary of Don Staniford's submission online here.
"GAAIA believes that further expansion of salmon farming in the Marlborough Sounds will inevitably trigger waste pollution, benthic contamination, toxic algal blooms as well as the spread of infectious diseases and mass mortality events," wrote Don Staniford in GAAIA's formal objection filed in April 2012. "If the history of salmon farming tells us anything at all it is the fact that overproduction causes problems wherever salmon farms operate. New Zealand ignores the global warnings at its peril."
"Permitting salmon farming expansion is an open invitation for disaster and would jeopardise New Zealand’s green and clean image abroad. Sanctioning even one new farm (let alone nine farms) in the Marlborough Sounds would be 100% irresponsible."
"Does ‘100% Pure’ New Zealand seriously intend on promoting the pollution from salmon farming as a tourist attraction and natural wonder of the world?"
"King Salmon claims that: “Fish farming is a highly efficient use of marine space, taking pressure off wild fish, which are currently being exploited beyond sustainable limits.” Yet it fails to mention the fact that the farming of salmon drains our oceans and leads to a net loss of marine resources (read more via ‘Raising Tigers of the Sea’)."
"In June 2012, I participated in a protest with the Green Warriors of Norway outside a conference in Norway attended by King Salmon’s chief executive Grant Rosewarne (and Kofi Annan)," added Staniford in his objection. "In a letter published in The Marlborough Express (20 June), Mr. Rosewarne claimed: “Opponents continue to promote the myth that it takes many kilograms of wild fish to produce one kilogram of salmon when in fact salmon farms produce more marine protein and oil than their fish consume.”
"However, it is a fact that it takes anywhere between three and ten tonnes of wild fish to produce one tonne of farmed salmon (read the letter to Kofi Annan online here). “Promoting salmon aquaculture as a solution to the world food crisis is socially and environmentally irresponsible,” said Kurt Oddekalv. “Farming salmon is stealing precious protein from the mouths of hungry people in Africa and South America. Salmon farmers are modern day pirates of the seven seas.”
"In view of the all King Salmon’s bullshit it is not surprising to read in The Marlborough Express (25 April) that: “Sustain Our Sounds will complain to the Commerce Commission that New Zealand King Salmon is breaching the Fair Trading Act by misleading the public ahead of its application for more farming space in the Marlborough Sounds.”
"In conclusion, here’s what GAAIA thinks about claims by King Salmon regarding a “strong sense of environmental responsibility” and aim to “lead the world in sustainable, renewable, farmed King salmon resource management” (one for each of the eight new salmon farms proposed):
Read GAAIA's objection filed in April 2012 against King Salmon's plans to expand in the Marlborough Sounds in New Zealand - online here
Read GAAIA's previous blog 'New Zealand's King-Sized Salmon Problem' (30 April 2012) - online here
Read GAAIA's press release (26 September): "Staniford Testifies to Salmon Inquiry in New Zealand"
Don Staniford visited King Salmon's operations in the Marlborough Sounds back in 2003 and was alarmed even then at the scale of their operations (read more online here and here). The New Zealand Herald dubbed Mr. Staniford "the fish farm bogeyman".
Read more via "British Activist Rubbishes Wild Fish Farming" (New Zealand Herald, 29 September 2003)
Don Staniford is an award-winning campaigner and author. He is author of ‘A Small Fish in a Big Pond’ (2002), ‘The Five Fundamental Flaws of Sea Cage Fish Farming’ (2002), ‘Closing the Net’ (2003), ‘Silent Spring of the Sea’ (2004), ‘Fish Farmageddon: The Infectious Salmon Aquacalypse’ (2011) and the forthcoming ‘Smoke on the Water, Cancer on the Coast’.