New photos of diseased farmed salmon spark outrage in Iceland

Despite countless assurances by the open net pen aquaculture industry that salmon farming in Iceland would avoid the many harmful impacts seen in Norway, Scotland, and Canada, recent evidence indicates that history is repeating itself.

Footage of deformed and diseased fish captured by kayaker and human rights activist Veiga Grétarsdóttir in the West Fjords of Iceland shocked the public, igniting a public debate about the industry’s accountability and plans to expand. Click here to read recent news coverage on the issue (note: Google translate erroneously labels open net pen farming as “seaweed farming”).

Dead Loss: the high cost of poor salmon farming practices

Economic analysis of salmon farming by UK think tank Just Economics reveals that the industry has produced negative externalities worth in the region of USD$47 billion since 2013.


Report finds that “a combination of growing environmental impacts, consumer demand for ethical and environmentally-friendly products and direct losses from poor fish husbandry are creating long run economic risks to the industry, that can only be mitigated by investing in better farming practices and reduction of environmentally harmful aspects, such as use of wild-caught fish. It shows how measures such as high stocking densities, are a false economy as they have led to increasing mortalities on salmon farms.”

This infographic clearly and succinctly summarizes the issues covered. Read the full report, here.

 

New report, The FoodPrint of Farmed Seafood, takes a deep dive into examining the history of aquaculture and its evolution into modern day underwater CAFOs.

Its authors write, “aquaculture has been practiced sustainably for thousands of years, from the traditional fishponds of Hawai’i, to the fish and rice rotations still practiced in Asia. Unfortunately, high-input/high-impact forms of modern aquaculture, such as shrimp farming and salmon farming, have given the ancient practice a bad name.” Click here to read more.

Patagonia to launch new documentary, Artifishal, in Iceland

The film aims to draw international attention to the fight to protect Iceland’s marine environment.

April 4, 2019, Reykjavik. International clothing company Patagonia will be hosting a world premiere of the documentary film Artifishal in Iceland next week in order to draw global attention to the threat of open net pen farming in the country.

The company has partnered with Icelandic NGO the North Atlantic Salmon Fund (NASF) to support its Against the Current campaign. This effort is fighting the expansion of aquaculture in open net pens in Iceland and seeks to educate the public about the benefits of fish farming on land or in closed net pens.

“We are excited to partner with Patagonia in focusing international attention on the issue of open net pen farming in Iceland. It comes during a critical time, with the current fish farming bill before Parliament,” stated NASF Chairman Fridleifur Gudmundsson.

As a result of the campaign, over 10,000 concerned individuals have signed a petition seeking a move toward closed containment instead of expanding open net pen production.

Artifishal discusses, among other things, the harmful effects of open net pens on salmon stocks on the coast of Norway, where open net pen farming is conducted on a larger scale. As has been pointed out in the public debate, open net pens are a pathway to disease and pollution, both on shores and in rivers.

The film also focuses considerable attention on unsuccessful efforts in North America to undo and justify harms caused by dams and fish farms. This involves an examination of so-called hatcheries in the United States, where salmon is cultivated in plants rather than being allowed to spawn in their natural environment.

“While such activities are rarely found in Iceland, we appreciate the lessons learned by conservationists in the US,” stated Gudmundsson. “Iceland has struggled with the stocking dilemma in the past and has learned from its mistakes. Here, the limited stocking that does still occur is done in a sustainable and natural way.”

“It is key to note the distinction between native stocking programs and the harms caused by escaped farmed fish,” said Gudmundsson. “These escapees are all Norwegian, and they’ve been bred to be eaten, not to survive in the wild. When they reproduce with native stock, they permanently weaken those lines and decrease the likelihood of survival for Icelandic salmon.”

NASF launched the Against the Current campaign (againstthecurrent.is) in late 2018.  The fund has hosted informational meetings and presentations, and sought to provide citizens with information about the environmental impacts of open net pen farming. It should be noted that the documentary is not made or premiered by NASF (North Atlantic Salmon Fund).

Along with the production of quality outdoor clothing, Patagonia has for many years been devoted to nature conservation, in many cases in collaboration with NGOs.

 

Mikael Frödin Sentenced for Trespassing

The Swedish journalist and author, Mikael Frödin, was sentenced by the Alta District Court for having documented conditions at Greig Seafood’s salmon farm in Norway, Altafjorden. Frödin claimed that the act was a journalistic obligation, and that there was no choice but to swim near the cages. “The public must know how the industry affects ecosystems, how bad animal husbandry is and how this food is produced,” says Frödin.

Continue reading “Mikael Frödin Sentenced for Trespassing”

Orri Vigfússon – words in action.

Orri Dream store

 

 

This article was published by Dreamstore on December 7, 2017.

Dreamstore has been pleased in the past to support the North Atlantic Salmon Fund (NASF) in its central mission; helping towards the buying of commercial nets to reduce the impact of commercial harvesting on migrating salmon stocks. This remains an essential action in the conservation of the species.

Orri Vigfússon was an indefatigable campaigner for the North Atlantic salmon, and the driving force behind the North Atlantic Salmon Fund’s nets purchase programme, and much besides. It was with great sadness that we learned of his passing in July 2017.

Click here for the full article