Dear Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform (CAAR):
With regret I ask that you remove Raincoast Research, from your supporter page. While I was one of your founders, I do not support your efforts to certify Norwegian net pen feedlots with the World Wildlife Foundation. Net pen salmon feedlots kill wild salmon around the world. They have to get out of the ocean, there is no right way to do the wrong thing.
Your website suggests you want to “Get the Farms Out” using a picture from the massive demonstration my colleagues and I led - called the Get Out Migration, but the WWF certification you are “steering” does not get the farms out.
I understand the temptation to negotiate with the Norwegian salmon feedlot industry, but I think they have changed you more than you have changed them. They do not deserve your support. Recent media suggests this industry has not exhibited basic social or biological responsibility, putting the North Pacific at enormous risk.
While your goals were meritorious, the negotiation process has led you to support amendments to salmon feedlot leases that the local First Nations oppose.
The Norwegian CEOs tell me they have to keep growing to survive. With all the problems they have heaped on us already, where does their expansion push us? If you certify them they will grow relentlessly. The Cohen Inquiry reveals our federal fisheries are working to sell us on this industry, they have muzzled scientists and prevented them from testing farm salmon for the disease that appears to be weakening and killing the Fraser sockeye. This is wrong and the age-old tragedy of the commons. The wild salmon people do not have lobbyists in Ottawa nor multi-million dollar advertising budgets, but we could save our wild salmon if we stood together.
Please consider standing shoulder to shoulder with us on guard for one of earth’s most generous and last wild resources, wild salmon. Please stand with us to make government support the 1,259 workers in this industry. Please stand with us in opening the door to a Canadian aquaculture industry that is unable to grow in the dark shadow of the Norwegian giants. You want to remove salmon feedlots from the ocean, do not let the WWF dishonour your efforts and members, do not let them and your funders subvert your intentions.
Following the news stories above and their recent AGM, the industry publication Intrafish suggests Marine Harvest is on the run out of BC (Intrafish, 13th May 2011).
I know you started with pure intentions, but please remove Raincoast Research from you supporters page or step away from the World Wildlife Fund’s certification that will seal the demise of wild Canadian salmon. There do not need to be any losers here. The Norwegian companies will find something else to do, their shareholders will be fine and BC has gained the experience to do something truly exemplary with an ethical aquaculture industry. We can have both aquaculture and magnificent wild salmon runs, but not if you certify the out-dated, destructive net pen feedlot technology.
Wishing you strength and clarity,
The member groups of CAAR are:
David Suzuki Foundation
Georgia Strait Alliance
T. B. Suzuki