Saturday, 26 March 2016

Under the Surface - Kjersti Sandvik, Post Three

Here is a post on this new book from Norway about the large environmental damage from fish farms and the industry 'going after' scientists who publish research that does not agree with fish farm interests.

I will have more to say on this soon as well as the posts I have already written. Write a note to Hunter Tootoo and Justin Trudeau to get fish farms out of the water. See: This is the Norwegian link, you can have Google Translate render it in English:

By Claudette Bethune (a scientist who published work on the negative side of fish farms, and was given an early 'retirement' in Norway) - on Alexandra Morton's blog:

21 March 2016: "Instead of taking research on the environmental impact seriously, the method is to cast doubt on the scientists' credibility and research results."

The risky cost of Salmon farming

"We need politicians with backbone, who dare to stand up to the powerful economic interests in the Norwegian aquaculture industry.

The aquaculture industry is characterized by denial about the serious environmental problems, and must be subject to stringent political control, writes commentator Skjalg Fjellheim.

Salmon prices are on the whole 55 kroner (NOK) per kilogram. Fish farmers earn big money. And they can look forward to a five-fold increase in production towards 2050, if politicians get their will through. In northern Norway this can be achieved on an even larger increase of biomass. But at what cost?

Famed salmon barons have become so powerful that they rise above all criticism. They are in open conflict with the country's leading research institutions. Instead of taking research on the environmental impact seriously, the method is to try to completely cast doubt on the scientists' credibility and research results.

It is ominous when the directors of the Institute of Marine Research and the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research ( NINA), now feel compelled to defense and tell that the big salmon farming companies are employing smear campaigns against scientists, and that they are not at all interested in technical cooperation to deal with environmental problems.

Along the coast is an increasing feeling that we may be heading for a man made ecological tragedy. The level of conflict increases. But it makes little impression on the major listed companies. There is denial and trivializing no strength.

The Norwegian Seafood Alliance is an organization for the entire industry and has for several years done this job with great persistence on behalf of members. Communications Director Are Kvistad is an example. In Dagens Næringsliv newspaper on 17 March he met criticism of the industry by saying that "this is a large, controlled food production."

It is by no means a credible conclusion. One of the country's premier fisheries journalists, Kjersti Sandvik, has a different story to tell. Recently she released the book "Beneath the surface. A dirty story about the Norwegian salmon boom. " The principle of short-term gain has been guiding and politicians have been absent, writes Sandvik.

This is an independent story we all should take seriously. We should also listen to Sandvik because she questions the glossy tale of salmon as "the new oil."

The reality is , according to Sandvik, the revenue from salmon farming is not taken back to the local communities through either taxes or fees. The big money goes to the owners, who often live themselves abroad.

Along the coast , there is a growing recognition that there is only sewage and sea lice, fish waste and drug residues that remain in fjords there too as the wild salmon and sea trout are gone.

The political environment in the capital has for long had a distant relationship to the issues that are out of their sight. This can not continue. There is now an urgent need for political control of the seafood industry. Lobbyists have for long had free rein in the corridors of power. They have even, until recently, had the pleasure of meeting with fisheries interests in the industry across the board.

The last thing we need is yet more politicians who speak for industry by mouth. But acting independently on behalf of us all. It is obvious that the industry is not able to clean up on their own.

If politicians continue with their uncritical applause, we face an ecological collapse in the Norwegian fjords. No one should say that it was not raised the alarm in time."

Vi trenger politikere med ryggrad, som våger å stå opp mot de mektige økonomiske interessene i norsk oppdrettsnæring.


Now, go see a list of current fish farm/seafood industry problems. Scan the boldfacing, I think you will be shocked:

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