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Food and Water Watch: New Study Shows Devastating Impacts of Industrial Fish Farming on Wild Fish Populations

DECEMBER 14, 2007
1:13 PM

CONTACT: Food and Water Watch
Erin Greenfield
(202) 797-6550

New Study Shows Devastating Impacts of Industrial Fish Farming on Wild Fish Populations
Statement of Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter

WASHINGTON, DC - December 14 -- “Yesterday’s study in Science magazine entitled, ‘Declining wild salmon populations in relation to parasites from farm salmon,’ conclusively demonstrates that industrial salmon farming in British Columbia, Canada has seriously undermined the health of surrounding wild fish populations.

“The study showed that parasitic lice infections from salmon farms were devastating wild fish populations, and pushing the wild pink salmon close to extinction. As compelling, the study found these industrial farms were causing more harm than the commercial fishing industry that used to exist in the area.

“This is precisely the same sort of unforeseen consequence that needs to be studied and addressed before our nation plows forward to allow industrial fish farming in federal waters as the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is now proposing to do. The Council’s action is ostensibly premised on reducing commercial fishing’s stress on wild fish populations; however, their plan will likely cause more problems than it proposes to solve. The Council’s plan to raise fish could be extremely detrimental to marine resources in the Gulf. More studies like this one will continue to prove that offshore aquaculture is not the solution, making it clear we need to find sustainable alternatives to easing pressure on our collapsing wild fish populations.”


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