Océans en santé. Communautés en santé

Global Salmon Farming Resistance

February 12, 2024

What happens when a large number of small groups get together across the globe to put an end to unsustainable salmon farming? A resistance movement stronger than the sum of its parts is born. 

Ocean-polluting salmon farming is conducted by relatively few giant global companies operating under a patchwork of different regulatory schemes in each nation that allows them in. By co-operative campaigning, GSFR members help shine a global light on national policies and practices that harm wild sea life and habitat. Sharing assets like scientific papers, video and photographic evidence of poor farm practices and impacts to wild fish, every member is empowered to educate more citizens and put more pressure on governments to stop this industry before it depletes the global commons completely. 

A recent article from the FAIRR Initiative summarized how close we’ve come to global depletion. With over 90% of world fisheries classified as overfished or fished to the limits of sustainability, the industry’s apparently insatiable demand for forage fish used in feedstock threatens to collapse the ocean’s food web from the bottom up. Authors estimate that “Overall, the costs of salmon farming to marine ecosystems through pollution, parasites and high fish mortality are estimated to be about USD $50 billion globally from 2013 to 2019.” 

National governments and regulatory authorities aren’t used to international scrutiny of their practices around salmon farming and the fact is, they behave differently when they know they’re being watched. After all, it’s hard to show up in international forums like the United Nations and press for sustainable development goals or aid when your counterparts know you’re allowing open-net pens to operate like open sewers in your coastal waters. Or to claim you’ve created your share of marine protected areas, except you’ve allowed salmon farms to pollute them. 

Living Oceans is proud to share our experience and learn from colleagues around the world about how they’re spreading the word and exposing salmon farming practices. 

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