The Federal government has quietly lifted the moratorium on salmon farm licenses on the BC coast. So far 11 companies have applied to expand or begin new farms. The entire BC coast is open to applications with the exception of the Discovery Islands archipelago. This area was specifically cited by Justice Cohen in his 2012 decision as an area that should not permit any new fish farms. Most (98%) of the salmon farms in BC are owned by Noregian companies.

"How you feel about the Prime Minister completely disregarding the $26 million Cohen Commission we all paid for that made 11 recommendations specific to protecting wild salmon from salmon farms?" asked Alexandra Morton, BC biologist.

Morton, who has been fighting the salmon farms and working to get information on links to disease in BC wild salmon stated, "It is with disbelief and horror that I pass on the news the Norwegian operators in BC will be raising even more Atlantic salmon in BC's waters. Ottawa has given these companies a licence that allows them to use fish carrying viruses, even though section 56 of our Fisheries Act prohibits transfer of fish carrying a disease agent that may be harmful to the protection and conservation of fish."

A series of farmed Atlantic salmon boycott rallies organized by Salmon Alert will be held on Saturday, January 18 from Noon to 1 pm at Superstores across BC. Superstores are located in Chilliwack, Duncan, North Vancouver, Kamloops and Cranbrook.

The participants hope to educate the public about contamination levels so high that SeaChoice, Oceanwise and Monterey Bay Aquarium SeafoodWatch have all red-listed this as a product to avoid, especially for pregnant women and children.

At the rallies, pamphlets showing what exactly is in farmed salmon will be handed out. The wide fat bars in the salmon flesh where toxins accumulate contain DDT, viruses such as salmon influenza type virus, and a novel reovirus; insecticides such as endosulfan; GMO corn and animal by-products used in salmon feed and PCBs.

“Our experience with the Superstores in Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Duncan, North Vancouver and Nanaimo have been very cooperative,” stated Eddie Gardner, Boycott Coordinator. “These are peaceful rallies, respectful of property and people, and we are hopeful that all Superstores will afford the same respectful cooperation to the boycott rallies across B.C.”

“People notice that Superstore is proud to promote the sale of hormone-and antibiotic-free beef and pork, yet look at the contamination levels in farmed salmon,” Shawna Green said, adding that Superstore needs to be consistent and remove farmed Atlantic salmon from their shelves. Superstores come under the overall management of Loblaw’s.