Enviro group shows its hypocritical, anti-science side

A prominent environmental group condemns the fast-growing AquAdvantage salmon (above) while championing land-based tank farming, for which this fish is tailor-made. 

For years the Living Oceans Society has been a major opponent of salmon farming in BC and has an ongoing campaign to remove conventional farms from the ocean.

Their solution to the perceived problems with conventional ocean pen-farmed salmon is “Grow salmon in closed containment. An impermeable barrier between farmed salmon and the ocean helps to protect the ecosystem and wild salmon from the problems caused by industrial salmon farming.”

They have been champions of closed-containment projects including the Kuterra tank farm near Port McNeill. They have lent moral support to other closed-containment projects over the years.

You’d think that now, since fast-growing transgenic salmon have been approved for production in tank farms, they’d see the obvious advantage these fish have in making closed-containment projects more viable, right?


They are now running a secondary campaign, funneling donations to Vancouver enviro-law firm Ecojustice, to fight the government in court over the recent US FDA approval.

They are taking a very anti-science position, despite their commitment that “Sound science is the basis of all of the work that we do” and that “Direct outreach to industry and regulations has always characterized our approach: we don’t complain, we encourage them to improve how they do business.”

How do those values fit with their anti-salmon farming campaign and their anti-GMO salmon campaign?

They don’t. It’s anti-science and hypocritical.


The most hypocritical part about this is the very last paragraph in their press release:

“The economic benefit of AquaAdvantage salmon is accelerated growth rates allowing the fish to be brought to market in a shorter period of time resulting in lower costs for the grower. The conventional or existing salmon farming industry has stated that it can match the growth rates claimed by AquaBounty and the industry response to the GM salmon has been lukewarm. In addition, the growing viability of closed containment fish farming where the water temperature can be better controlled may further reduce any benefits from AquaAdvantage salmon. The controversy around GM salmon could harm the already embattled salmon farming industry.

The controversy around GM salmon could harm the already embattled salmon farming industry.

Suddenly, an organization that campaigns to remove conventional salmon farms from the ocean suddenly cares about the industry it is trying to destroy.

This is hypocrisy.


One thought on “Enviro group shows its hypocritical, anti-science side”

  1. They tend to be anti-GMO without reading into what that actually means. I’ve recently heard of a new strategy being developed that solves many of the issues associated with coastal fish farming, without some of the issues associated with enclosed “on land” aquacultre. Obviously these GMO strains would be better suited for the enclosed system, but I found it interesting non-the-less.


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