Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Local News

Turning the Tide

Rally thanks local Safeway for action on farmed salmon

Submitted by Eddie Gardner, Chwk/Voice photos


e applaud Safeway’s sustainable seafood commitment, which is: "By 2015 all fresh and frozen seafood, as well as private labeled canned tuna will be sourced from sustainable and traceable sources, or be in a credible time-bound improvement project."

Under this policy, Canada Safeway is committed to not selling any species ranked as “red” or “unranked” as deemed by SeaChoice’s science-based assessments, and this includes farmed salmon.

In an email to Eddie Gardner, Kelly Roebuck, SeaChoice Representative from Living Oceans Society, stated: “SeaChoice and Canada Safeway will continue to work on making progress towards the full phase out of red-ranked farmed salmon to a sustainable alternative by (if not before) the 2015 timeline.”

“Although this is definitely encouraging news, salmon ethics calls for red-listed farmed salmon to be phased out much sooner than 2015,” said Eddie Gardner.

Wayne Froese hands out brochures at Safeway on Yale Rd. Tuesday. Below, Eddie Gardner holds a sign which will be reproduced in a billboard size format.

“Wild Salmon is in serious danger of extinction and the aquaculture industry may be the last nail in the coffin of this keystone species,” emphasized Gary Haggquist, member of the Chilliwack Boycott Chapter.

“We need to encourage SeaChoice and Safeway to continue the work of educating Safeway customers why farmed salmon are red-listed – health concerns and environmental issues. This helps consumers make an informed decision to “avoid” contaminated farmed salmon,” Wayne Froese of the Chilliwack Boycott Chapter advised.

Jim Wilcox of Wild Game Fish Conservation International, based in the US, sent the following statement, “We applaud Canada Safeway for your meaningful and sorely needed seafood sustainability policy, a policy of extraordinary leadership that will go a great distance in our efforts to ensure robust populations of wild Pacific salmon. Your courageous seafood sustainability policy will also greatly improve public heath, wild ecosystems, cultures, communities and wild salmon economies.”

The Union of BC Indian Chiefs Vice-President, Bob Chamberlain, tells us wild salmon face a perilous danger from fish farms on the BC coast. Chamberlain, Chief of the Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxa’mis First Nation, and founder of the Wild Salmon Alliance, pointed out other countries are putting the brakes on net-pen fish farming. “I’ve been to Norway four or five times and they now ban fish farms on the National Fyords.”

Safeway store manager Brad Edmondson listens to Eddie Gardner's concerns. Edmondson was accommodating and even bought the group Starbucks coffee.

Chief Chamberlain keeps hope alive by observing the province has not allowed the expansion of fish farms in recent years, and Fraser River First Nations are very receptive to supporting the Wild Salmon Alliance. Mr. Chamberlain fully endorses the farmed Atlantic Salmon boycott.

Today, the Chilliwack Boycott group turned what was intended as a boycott rally at Safeway, to a celebration of Safeway’s new seafood policy. Wal-Mart, Costco and Superstore need to immediately red-list net-pen farmed salmon and encourage their customers to avoid this product for the sake of their health, the well being of wild salmon and its habitat. Using this new momentum, boycott action by the Chilliwack Chapter is scheduled for Wal-Mart Tuesday, September 24 and another one at Superstore in October.

Download Eddie Gardner's comments in .wav format here.

For more information, visit www.salmonalert.org



© Copyright (c) 2013 The Valley Voice