Indians Fear Panfish (translated)

At the general assembly for Pan Fish yesterday the Indians gave effective expression to their worries about the impact of salmon farming on the economy and environment on the pacific coast.

Bjørn Aage Krane Published 31.05.2006 07:07 - Uploaded 31.05.2006 07:07

The Case

Canadian and Chilean Indians fear that Pan Fish fish farms in their countries are destroying the environment. Together with the environmental group Pure Salmon they have bought stock in the company to gain the right to speak at the general assembly in Forus.

Giuliana M. Furci of the organization Terram in Chile expressed concern for working conditions in the aquaculture industry in her country.

- Marine Harvest has with good support from the government actively lead a fight against the unions, she said to the 19 shareholders present.

CEO Atle Eide expressed a desire by Pan Fish to do business by Norwegian standards and hopes for unions and elected representatives in his plants. After the meeting Furci told Aftenbladet that the statement gives her hope that working conditions will improve in Chile. But time is of essence, she added.

Bob Chamberlin who represents an Indian tribe on Vancouver Island, was not as optimistic. Pan Fish and other Norwegian companies have been operating fish farms there for several years.

You say in your annual report that you do business in accordance with nature and that you do not leave a <

>. But that is exactly what you do – you leave clear footprints in the form of fish lice attacks on young salmon and destruction of shellfish on which we depend for survival.

Atle Eide was of the opinion that aquaculture businesses are welcomed by many Indian societies who are happy for the work and income they provide to many. But he agreed there was room for improvement in the management of the concern.

- We really do believe that the only way we can be succefull in the long run in this industry is to do business in a sustainable manner that takes the environment into consideration, said Eide. This however was not enough to calm Chamberlin’s fears completely.

- In my society most people earn no more than 1100 Krones per month. It makes them totally dependent on gathering food from the ocean for survival, he said.

Eugene Bryant is a spokesperson for a tribe which lives far north in British Columbia on the border of Alaska
His message at the annual meeting was:
- We have no fish farming in our ocean regions and we wish to keep them that way, just like you have fish farm free salmon fjords. Nature, so far north in British Columbia is quite virgin. It is most valuable that way to both us and you, he said.

Bart Naylor of the organization Pure Salmon also presented findings that show that most people are willing to pay a bit more for salmon when they know it has been raised in an environmentally sound way.

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