Safeway Suspends Purchases of Chilean Farmed Salmon

May 9, 2008
Safeway stores suspending purchases of Chilean farmed salmon until more sustainable practices are enacted.
Safeway Stores Inc. suspended its purchase of Chilean farmed salmon, following a similar move by Whole Foods. Along with praise for the move, the Vancouver, Canada-based Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform (CAAR) is calling on Safeway to phase out sales of farmed salmon from all sources until the industry shifts to more sustainable practices. CAAR is concerned the supermarket giant will buy more farmed salmon from British Columbia, where parasite outbreaks on farmed fish threaten entire populations of wild salmon. The latest scientific paper on the impact of sea lice, published in the North American Journal of Fisheries Management, documented that infestations have spread from salmon farms to wild juvenile pink, chum, sockeye salmon and juvenile herring. Researchers calculate sea lice outbreaks from salmon farms in the Broughton Archipelago could cause the local extinction of wild pink salmon within the next four years. Salmon farms are responsible for millions of escapes of non-native farmed salmon into the wild, and the depletion of wild stocks of fish which are used for salmon feed and the dumping of untreated waste directly into the water harming the sea bed and shellfish populations.