For the next two weeks, the Pure Salmon Campaign will join Alexandra Morton – renowned scientist, whale researcher and activist – and hundreds of other individuals as they journey 250 miles from one end of Vancouver Island to another. This is part of an on-going effort to save wild salmon from Norwegian-owned salmon farms.
The “Get Out Migration,” is an effort to eliminate the impact of salmon farms on wild fish and ecosystems by removing salmon farms from British Columbia's waters and relocating them to land. The “migration” begins with a kick off today, Earth Day, in Sointula and ends with a ceremony in Victoria on May 9, Mother's Day.
“In an act of solidarity, we're asking consumers to ‘migrate' away from farmed salmon raised in British Columbia and eat something else,” said Don Staniford, global coordinator, Pure Salmon Campaign. “Open-net cage salmon farms in British Columbia waters jeopardize the future of wild salmon populations. These industrial-scale feed lots should be transferred to land. And the five farms in the Wild Salmon Narrows should be some of the first facilities relocated.”
As juvenile wild salmon begin their own migration out to sea, they must swim by salmon farms that threaten their survival with the risk of contracting diseases and parasites including sea lice. Additionally, escapes of farmed salmon – which interbreed and compete with wild salmon – and discharges of wastes and chemicals into the ocean threaten wild fish, grizzly bears, bald eagles and other key predators that rely upon wild salmon for their survival.
During the “Migration,” supporters will walk alongside Alexandra Morton and will join flotillas in local water ways. Organizations will host events leading up to the final rally at the British Columbia Legislature on May 8 in Victoria. At that time, ”Migration” participants will meet with members of Parliament and the Legislative Assembly to encourage them to oppose open-net cage salmon farms in British Columbia's waters.
The “Get Out Migration” is a call to action to make the British Columbian government aware that its citizens want a higher priority placed on wild salmon than on the profits earned by Norwegian-owned salmon farms.
“We will take the passion from the ‘Migration' to Oslo, Norway in May when we continue to press for salmon aquaculture reform at the annual general meetings of Marine Harvest and Cermaq,” said Bart Naylor of the Pure Salmon Campaign. “It's time for the world's two largest producers of farmed salmon to get their farms out of the Wild Salmon Narrows and move all their operations into closed containment.”
This past March, Alexandra Morton received an honorary doctoral degree in science from British Columbia's Simon Fraser University. And on April 15, she was one of five women to receive the 2010 Women of Discovery awards for advancing scientific inquiry and environmental conservation. Morton is a biologist based in British Columbia who has been published in several peer-reviewed journals such as Science. She has been profiled in the New York Times, has authored several books and remains an outspoken critic of unsustainable aquaculture practices.
For more information go to Alexandra Morton's Salmon Are Sacred GET OUT MIGRATION page.
Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information, visit the Salmon Aquaculture Reform campaign.