Commentary by Captain Paul Watson
Grieg Seafoods like most of the salmon farms on the coast of British Columbia are not very welcoming to visitors if they are environmentalists, independent scientists or from First Nations people with concerns about raising domestic salmon in First Nations territory.
They have never extended an invitation to Dr. Alexandra Morton to visit nor to Chief George Quocksister but they have invited Pamela Anderson back because she is a celebrity and extending an invitation is just simply good P.R. and a possible opportunity to spin the story in their favour.
In June, Sea Shepherd sent a letter to Grieg Seafoods requesting to visit the salmon farm. The letter was never answered. So Sea Shepherd, First Nations people and Pamela Anderson decided to visit anyways.
Grieg Communications Manager Kristina Furnes followed up on the recent invitation to Pamela following her uninvited visit by stating, “It’s the company’s mission and responsibility to ensure it lives “side by side” with wild salmon.”
That’s all well and good for Kristina Furnes to say, but the reality is somewhat of a different story.
With wild salmon populations plummeting, with Orcas starving and disease and parasites being spread into the ecosystem like aquatic wildfire, it is a rather delusional thing for her to say. While the captive salmon may be living relatively well as they await the butcher’s knife, indigenous salmon species are dying, orcas are starving and the once bountiful waters of British Columbia have been savagely diminished.
Kristina went on to say, “This means that we need to be able to control salmon lice and to avoid escapes in the countries where farmed salmon can mix genetically with wild salmon, which we work with in all regions where we farm salmon.”
Precisely Kristina you do indeed need to control salmon lice and you do indeed need to avoid escapes but the fact is that the industry has not done any of this. The escapes have been continuous and the salmon lice have been proliferating. If this is the plan Kristina, your industry has failed miserably.
Kristina said she was concerned about Sea Shepherd and Pamela Anderson’s unscheduled visit and noted that an unplanned visit outside of the company increases the risks for escape, disease transmission and is a safety hazard.
This is one of the reasons that Sea Shepherd specifically asked for permission to visit way back in June, a request that was never answered.
It’s a bit of a mystery how Pamela’s visit could have possibly increased the risk for escape and disease transmission and the only hazard imaginable (to the industry) is that Sea Shepherd, the First Nations and Pamela could have and did in fact expose the unhealthy conditions, the deformities and the open lesions of the unfortunate captives within the rather filthy sea-pens. The go-pro she dropped into the pen also exposed the illegal fishery beneath the surface where the fish meal was attracting young salmon and herring into the mouths of the larger Atlantic captive predators.
We do understand that Kristina Furnes has to say these things although it’s hard to fathom if she actually believes what she is saying. She is paid to say things she knows to be untrue. We can’t expect her to say otherwise because when a person’s employment is dependent upon the survival of an industry no matter how destructive or vile it may be, that paycheck dictates the interpretation thus she has no choice but to project and defend.
Pamela has accepted the invitation with the request that she bring scientists and First Nations and Sea Shepherd representatives with her. She awaits their reply.