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.
It was on July 21, 2017 that Mikael Frödin, part of a film production backed by the outdoor company Patagonia, visited Altaälven in northern Norway. Alta River, which is considered to be one of the world’s best salmon rivers, is strongly impacted by the Norwegian salmon farming industry. “The salmon strain of the river shows a clear genetic impact, the salmon die from salmon loose parasites and the fjord ecosystem is on the brink of collapse,” says Mikael Frödin.
The Atlantic salmon is a highly threatened species, and the conservation of the Norwegian wild salmon is critical, with growing threat and rapidly decreasing stocks. The Norwegian Scientific Council says that the total population in 2017 was 530,000 salmon, halved in a short period of time. Impacts from the farming industry are the main culprit. In 2018, the Scientific Council again documented the situation showing further shrinking of stocks, and pointed blame at the dangers associated with farming, specifically, salmon lice and the spread of infectious diseases. “If we do not take responsibility now, the entire Norwegian wildlife resource is soon lost,” says Frödin.
Striking footage documented by the film team of diseased, neglected fish has spread throughout the world.
Mikael Frödin was sentenced to a fine of 12,000 kr., or 24 days in jail, in addition to trial costs of 3,000 kr. “I do not think I should be judged for this, but it was my journalistic obligation that the public must be aware of the seriousness of the situation. The right calls this “PR stunt” which I think is very remarkable. If the law says that you can not look after ourselves, we depend on the company to provide correct information. Now that we know how it looks, we know that their information is not correct,” says Frödin.
Frödin and his lawyers now have two weeks to decide whether they will appeal the judgment.
Svein Holden, attorney
+47 478 59 274
Viktor Carlberg, attorney
+46 709 54 02 00
+46 707 784 433
Jens Olav Flekke
+47 404 60 330
+47 992 59 859
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