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PAA Confronts Activists

Protesting the Protesters: Positive Aquaculture Awareness (PAA) Confronts Anti-Aquaculture Activists

October 11, 2006

Led by the Western Canada Wilderness Committee and staging yet another performance, anti-aquaculture activists gathered predictably outside Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in Vancouver today to potest open net-cage salmon farms.

The activists met with opposition from Positive Aquaculture Awarenss, a grassroots group representing aquaculture workers and their families in British Columbia. PAA president Ian Roberts traveled to Vancouver with Norm Penton of the BC Salmon Farmers Association. They were joined by Trevor Figueiredo and Jeremy Twigg of Greenspirit Strategies Ltd., who lent their support by handing out educational materials to media and the public.

While spreading misinformation about disease, waste and health risks, the activists called for Fisheries and Oceans Canada to instigate “closed containment” salmon farms on BC’s coast. Yet most salmon farms are located in remote locations off the electrical grid, and so-called closed containment systems would require polluting diesel generators to pump sea water. No country has a viable closed containment system for raising farmed salmon. Such systems are not economically viable, and would needlessly put more than 4,000 jobs in coastal communities at risk–with no environmental benefit.

Farmed salmon–which has become British Columbia’s largest agricultural export–is an affordable source of heart-friendly protein available year-round.

The activist protest was notably uneventful.

Photo: PAA President Ian Roberts (front left) questions a protester in front of Fisheries and Oceans Canada in Vancouver. Behind, Norm Penton displays the ‘Proud to be a BC Salmon Farmer’ sign.

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