Farmed salmon boycotted

Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2002

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Chefs, scientists, fishing interests and conservation groups have begun a campaign to boycott farm-raised salmon from British Columbia.

In material sent to more than 2,100 retailers and restaurants in the United States, the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform asserted that the pen-reared Atlantic salmon pose potential health and environmental risks.

''Farmed salmon is produced using pesticides, antibiotics and chemical additives to alter the color of the fish, and most consumers know nothing about this,'' coalition spokeswoman Jennifer Lash said Tuesday.

She said 50 stores and restaurants have joined the boycott, including ''white tablecloth'' chefs in San Francisco and Portland, Ore.

Lash compared the campaign to an earlier effort by environmentalists to persuade businesses such as Home Depot not to sell wood from trees cut in British Columbia.

The British Columbia Salmon Farmers Association issued a statement saying only a minuscule amount of antibiotics is given to farmed salmon.

and that both wild and farm salmon get their color from a substance called astaxanthin.

Wild salmon get astaxanthin by eating krill and crustaceans, and substance is added to the feed for farmed salmon, a technique also used for years at salmon hatcheries, the statement said.

Executive director Mary Ellen Walling said the campaign ''certainly will directly impact the people in our coastal communities who depend on farming for their living.''

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