Photo: Cermaq Canada
Photo: Cermaq Canada

Cermaq responds to Sea Shepherd furore

Cermaq has issued a statement following several weeks of harassment, false accusations and trespassing on its BC sites by professional protestors based aboard the Sea Shepherd's R/V Martin Sheen.

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Cermaq Canada has released a public statement in response to the barrage of protestor activities that have taken place around their farms in the Broughton Archipelago over the last month or so.

"Over the past few weeks, our employees have been harassed by the Sea Shepherd Society and other activists," the company stated, going on to list a few facts about the activities of the protestors aboard the Sea Shepherd's Martin Sheen.

"Despite their claims, there is no scientific expertise aboard their boat, nor are they conducting scientific research; they have trespassed on private property despite warnings; they have taken samples of dead fish without permission or following proper scientific procedures; they are using drones to fly directly over workers; and they continue to make unsubstantiated allegations," listed the release.

After an allegation that fish carcasses found in a mort tote were wild salmon was shown to be grossly inaccurate, the eNGO neither retracted their statement nor apologize for the misunderstanding.

"The small salmon carcasses found in the mort totes are Atlantic salmon grown from our own broodstock, not Pacific wild salmon as alleged," said Cermaq.

Furthermore, Sea Shepherd is still claiming that fish from Cermaq's Venture Point farm, which were dying from a low dissolved oxygen event, were in fact showing signs of HSMI - a disease that a) has never been shown to exist in BC, and b) requires the diagnosis of a histopathologist.

Cermaq points out that this type of behaviour by the protestors is counter-productive, stating that: "Trespassing, buzzing drones, and invasive photography do nothing to contribute to a constructive dialogue."

The salmon producer concludes by praising their own employees' professional conduct in the face of the harassment, and for continuing to show tremendous pride in their work.