Despite the uproar in Norway, Norwegian companies trying to expand in British Columbia.
The strong reaction by Norwegian fishermen to the massive escape of diseased North American steelhead into Norway's fjords has not let up. In fact, they have inspired the Norwegian government to enact a new law that would see fines laid for letting farmed salmon escape.
However, the damage has been done. On Sunday, Feb 8, Dr. Are Nylund, leading virologist at the University of Bergen, who is testing these steelhead for free because he is so concerned, reports they were all infected pancreas disease and that all of these fish should have been slaughtered while still in the farms according to the laws of Norway. Instead they are swimming up Norwegian rivers carrying a disease that could harm the last wild Atlantic salmon left.
The response by the Norwegian government, while a good step, is tragically late. Norwegian sport fishermen have removed thousands of the farmed steelhead, but the disfigured and diseased farmed fish just keep coming.
Two political parties in Norway are now recommending that if Norway wants to remain competitive, it is time to move the industry onto land!
Ola Borten Moe, leader of Norway's Center Party, suggests waiving the cost of salmon farm licencing (over $1 million CND in Norway, but given away for free in Canada!) for any salmon farm established in Norway on land. He suggests this would protect Norway’s environment, stimulate innovation, solve the industry’s escalating disease and lice problems and increase job opportunities across the country. Norwegian Green Party Kristin Mørch, made a strong statement aimed directly at the industry "Aquaculture is causing massive destruction and operates large-scale animal cruelty. Change can no longer be refused, restructure is going to push forward whether you want to or not... yes, to farming, but not at the expense of the environment and animal welfare."
Here in BC, it is as if none of this is happening. It is as if the impact of taking a wild foreign fish into a feedlot has no consequence. It is as if the risk of disease is unknown. A wealthy Norwegian shipping family, the Griegs, want to put two more salmon farms on the BC coast, in Knights Inlet.
Here is Elizabeth Grieg winning an award last year.
Elizabeth Grieg, pictured above, is challenging other companies to limit their impact of climate change (see below). This appears disconnected from the activities of the Grieg family here in BC. Wild salmon are critical to fighting climate change in BC, as they provide essential nutrients that feed the trees that pull carbon out of the atmosphere and produce the oxygen we breath! The size of BC salmon runs can be measured in the growth rings of the trees. The more salmon the more the trees grow, the more they grow, the more carbon they absorb. How can the Griegs fight climate change and place more fish farms in BC?
Astonishingly the company that bears her name is advertising a product called "Skuna Bay" by telling the public that they are actually saving wild salmon! There is no evidence the Grieg family company is saving wild salmon. This, in my opinion, is shamefully misleading.
Ms Grieg, may not be aware of the issues that the people of BC have with Norwegian companies raising millions of Atlantic salmon here, releasing tons of waste produce daily per farm, nor the threat of disease from Atlantic salmon on the Pacific.
106,000 people are telling the BC government to stop approving salmon farms.
You can also contact the BC government on the two new farms for the Griegs. CLICK HERE TO CONTACT BC GOVERNMENT
Tell the Grieg family how you feel:
There is an open house in Port McNeill on Feb 10, 4-8pm in the Black Bear Motel on these two new salmon farm applications for the Knights Inlet area. This is an important shrimp fishing area, Chinook salmon traveling up Knights Inlet rest in this area. Tidal currents can carry particles 10 km in a single tide (Institute of Ocean Sciences) and so the effluent from these farms will add to the wild salmon exposure to salmon farm pollution and disease. This includes the Fraser River sockeye salmon.
I believe that it is important to protect wild salmon for many reasons and if you feel the same way, your voice is required. There is no way around it. You have to engage on this, like the fishermen in Norway are doing. Are we going to protect our fishing grounds and the fish that help make the oxygen we breath? Every single voice is powerful.
Challenges 500 top executives
Elisabeth Grieg, Siri Kalvig and Jens Ulltveit-Moe sends this week out climate magazine 2 ° C to the leaders of Norway's 500 largest companies. In the letter which the three attaching magazine challenges the industry colleagues to take the climate threat seriously. The letter states:
Dear colleagues in Norwegian industry,
Year we have put behind us are historical; concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is measured at levels not previously seen and climate change emerges as an unpleasant reality.
- Sea ice in the Arctic hit a new record melt.
- Extreme weather affected thousands of people and destroyed values billion. Caribbean and the US East Coast got great destruction because of the tropical hurricane Sandy. Both the United States, Russia, Spain and the Balkans were affected by severe drought and the Philippines have hundreds of thousands flee floods. Researchers do not link individual events directly to climate change, but notes that climate change increases the risk of more extreme weather.
For us, as leaders in business, is climate change a reality we have to deal with. All businesses should seek to reduce their own emissions. Meanwhile, climate change alter the terms of employment. The development of climate friendly solutions also represents great opportunities. While political processes and development of transnational climate agreements take a long time, businesses have an ability to adapt swiftly and thus considerable influence. We therefore have both the responsibility and the opportunity to make a difference.
The basis for all decision makers - both in politics and business - is the knowledge that climate science brings forth. Precisely why we want to make you aware of the magazine 2 ° C and the website tograder.no. Here is a presentation of climate science news - complex relationships are discussed and analyzed.
Our generation is the first to have the knowledge of how serious the situation is. It commits!
Jens Ulltveit-Moe, founder and CEO Umoe
Elisabeth Grieg, Chair Grieg Star
Siri Kalvig, Partner & weather forecaster in StormGeo AS