Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Marine Harvest - Fixes the Image, Not the Problem, Updated Dec 18, 2015

Marine Harvest et al, are having a deuce of a time with lice in Norway, and have just been excoriated in the press over the well-boat dumping of peroxide into the ocean - a chemical to kill lice - for the past 30 years. You can have Google translate this Norwegian press for you: https://www.dn.no/nyheter/naringsliv/2015/12/06/2052/Havbruk/dumper-kjemikalier-uten-tillatelse.

It is pretty raking text regarding the industry and the government. A Norwegian lawyer thinks fishermen can sue for loss of shrimp and fisheries - an issue, here in BC (the new Grieg Seafood licences for instance, for which they offered shrimp fishermen money in compensation).

And the CEO of Fredriksen, the company that owns Marine Harvest, has just been jailed for corruption, item 129 on this list of more thant 200 article links: http://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2015/07/key-document-fish-farm-news-bites.html.

The rest of the list details the problems with fish farms and seafood industry, including, fraudulent reporting of lice and jail sentences for that, boom bust industry, job losses, carnivorous takeovers, diseases, lice, killing of seals, and so on. The problem is fish farms being in the ocean in open nets. The solution is to put fish farms on land, and, voila, no lice, no disease, no dead fish, no sewage, no peroxide, no antibiotics and no dead, shot-in-the-head seals.

Ignoring all the evidence, Marine Harvest chooses to fix the image, not the problem. You see, MH is seeking ASC accreditation for its Norway operations.

Here is their spin:  "Marine Harvest will initially roll out certification against the ASC standard of their salmon farms in Norway and Scotland in cooperation with WWF. The company said it is an important step for the farmed salmon market and will have a profound effect on the industry by introducing and standardising best practices for responsible farming practices on a global scale." 

See: http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1000935/81870/Marine-Harvest-is-Largest-Salmon-Producer-to-Commit-to-Certifying-its-Global-Operations-Against-ASC

Profound effect? I doubt that. In fact it will have no effect, or a negative one. People who have to live with fish farms overwhelmingly reject them. The global news gets out to consumers who have been turning their backs on farmed fish all around the world. The on-land, near market farms will likely kill in-ocean open-net farms in the next decade because of lower transport costs, and avoidance of tariffs will give them enough margin to make more money. And supply a fresh product.

Back to the ASCs. As the ASCs allow in-ocean fish farms, they are not a valid accreditation. Such orgs as Greenpeace, David Suzuki Foundation, Sea Watch and Monterrey Bay Aquarium don't credit in-ocean farms. So Marine Harvest's fix is just not going to fix the problem - so it will persist. They are just trying to fix their image. More and more, consumers just don't buy it.

The Skuna Bay fish farm in Nootka Sound BC did the 'we are organic' routine, though, as an in-ocean fish farm, it was leaching out chemicals, lice, disease, sewage and was also done for killing the unheard of number of 65 seals in its net, netting a fine of $100,000. What are they doing with this in-ocean problem? They, too, are image fixing, sending employees across North America selling to chefs as organic. My article on the US Open Tennis tournament being gullible enough to accept at face value what they were sold is one of the high traffic articles on this site. The link is in September: http://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2015/09/skuna-bay-sells-farmed-salmon-to.html.

Just go look at the list of problems with fish farms I have found in the past five months. I think you will be shocked. See: http://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2015/07/key-document-fish-farm-news-bites.html.

And just look at this Dec 11 news: even the Norwegian government is going to give out free on-land fish farm licences because of lice, environmental damage, and getting fish farms out of the ocean they use as a free, open sewer: https://www.undercurrentnews.com/2015/12/11/norway-to-make-land-based-aquaculture-easier/?utm_source=Undercurrent+News+Alerts&utm_campaign=33b8782ce8-Salmon_roundup_Dec_11_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_feb55e2e23-33b8782ce8-92426209.

So why is Marine Harvest fixing its image when it can fix the problem and get out of the ocean for free? The government also notes that other countries are getting ahead in the on-land bandwagon, leaving Marine Harvest, Cermaq and Grieg Seafood in the dust.

No comments:

Post a Comment