Océans en santé. Communautés en santé

Found: “Missing Canadian Meals” of farmed salmon

May 17, 2024
Industry claims Canadians "lost" meals while increasing exports of farmed salmon.

Vancouver, On the traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations:

Corporate salmon farming giant MOWI is so concerned about the federal government’s decisions “removing 192 million salmon meals from the dining tables of Canadian households” that it has decided to begin exporting its product from eastern Canada to Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, with plans to expand into China.

In an article published May 13 in the online industry publication Intrafish, the company confirmed that its first shipments from eastern Canada to the far east took place in the first three months of this year. MOWI Canada West has always exported up to 90% of its production to the US and far east.

“This takes disingenuity to a whole new level,” said Karen Wristen, Executive Director at Living Oceans. “Here they are, lobbying the federal government with nonsense about Canadian food security depending on farmed salmon, insisting they need closed farms re-opened to provide this ‘essential nutrition’ to Canadians; and all the while, they’re exporting even more Canadian product.”

Not two weeks ago, the lobby group Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA) published a media release headed, “Latest production numbers confirm home-grown salmon has been taken from Canadians”. In it, CAIA laments that this salmon must be replaced by more expensive and carbon-intensive salmon flown in from other countries and urges the federal government to restore lost production (from BC farms that were closed to protect wild salmon) “to provide affordable meals to Canadians”.

Apparently, MOWI (which lost the most production of any company in recent farm closures) isn’t all that concerned about providing affordable meals to Canadians.

“Food security means having food that is nutritious, available, affordable and culturally appropriate,” said Wristen.  “Wild salmon tick all those boxes; farmed salmon do not. We need salmon farms closed to enable wild salmon populations to rebuild.  Then, we will all have food security.”



Karen Wristen, Executive Director:  604-788-5634

kwristen [at] livingoceans.org