Pure Salmon Campaign Calls on Cermaq to Make Significant Management Changes

May 21, 2010 12:28

At Cermaq's annual shareholder meeting on 20 May 2010, the Pure Salmon Campaign submitted a resolution urging one of the world's largest producers of farmed salmon to significantly restructure its management team. The campaign also pressed Cermaq to relocate its open-net cage salmon farms onto land, reports www.megafishnet.com with reference to Pure Salmon Campaign.

Challenges facing the salmon farming industry, from persistent disease problems, demand stagnation and widely publicized environmental criticism have led many leading producers of farmed salmon to institute management changes. Even Marine Harvest has replaced its CEO three times in five years and has made some efforts to lessen the environmental damage caused by its open-net cage salmon farms. Cermaq, on the other hand, has had the same CEO for almost 15 years. Under this leadership, the company has ignored peer-reviewed scientific studies and has refused to make any changes to its current industry practices.

"Cermaq's management has been asleep at the wheel for far too long," said Don Staniford, global coordinator, Pure Salmon Campaign. "Short-sighted decisions and gross miscalculations led to the collapse of Chile's farmed salmon industry. And that's just the tip of the iceberg."

"To add insult to injury, Cermaq refuses to admit that high concentrations of sea lice found around its British Columbia open-net salmon farms pose any threat to populations of wild salmon," said Alexandra Morton, renowned British Columbia-based biologist whose work has been published in several peer-reviewed journals including Science.

The shareholder resolution that has been submitted to Cermaq on behalf of the Pure Salmon Campaign requests that the Board demand greater corporate accountability of the company.

Riskmetrics, the world's leading proxy advisory service for institutional shareholders, supports the Pure Salmon Campaign's shareholder resolution.

"Beyond Chile and Canada, Cermaq faces investigations stemming from the import of fish oil from Western Sahara, whose occupation by Morocco is opposed by the Norwegian government," said Bartlett Naylor of the Pure Salmon Campaign.

In addition to attending the Cermaq and Marine Harvest annual general meetings, representatives of the global Pure Salmon Campaign will also attend briefings with Norwegian-based stakeholders, including Members of Parliament, scientists, river owners and fishermen.

The Pure Salmon Campaign is a global project with partners in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and Chile all working to improve the way salmon is produced. To learn more, go to www.puresalmon.org .

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