Norwegian-owned B.C. fish-farm company sues salmon activist

Mainstream Canada seeks injunction against claims by Scottish industrial-aquaculture foe

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      Mainstream Canada, a B.C.-based aquaculture company, has filed a defamation lawsuit against a well-known anti-fish farming activist.

      The notice of civil claim, filed in the B.C. Supreme Court's Vancouver registry on March 23, states that the defendants, Don Staniford and the Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture, "began a campaign of disseminating and publishing defamatory and false statements of and concerning Mainstream" on or about January 31, 2011.

      Mainstream, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cermaq ASA, a Norwegian company that is one of the world's largest fish-farming concerns and salmon-feed producers, is seeking general, special, and punitive damages, interest, and costs.

      In its filed statement of facts, Mainstream stated: "The Defendant Don Staniford, whose address is unknown, is an activist and author who publishes materials of and concerning the British Columbia salmon farming industry. Mr. Staniford has been and is currently involved in organizing groups and campaigns to attack the salmon farming industry."

      Staniford—an opponent of open-net fish farms who has been described in media reports as a U.K. marine scientist based in Scotland, the European contact for the Pure Salmon Campaign, and a spokesperson for Paddle for Wild Salmon and Salmon Farm Protest Group—has not yet filed a statement of defence in response to the notice of civil claim. Residents outside of North America have 49 days in which to respond.

      Among other claims, Mainstream states in its notice that the defendants' "Anti-Salmon Farming Campaign is calculated to injure the aquaculture industry in British Columbia and elsewhere, including Mainstream's business and the reputation and the goodwill it enjoys with its customers".

      None of the plaintiff's claims have been proven in a court of law.

      In a news release dated March 24, Mainstream Canada stated that it operates three hatcheries, 27 "sea sites", and two fish-processing plants in the Campbell River, Tofino, and Broughton Archipelago areas.

      Previously, Staniford had been successfully sued for defamation by Tofino-based Creative Salmon Company Ltd. as a result of two news releases issued in 2005 while he worked for Friends of Clayoquot Sound.

      That January 2007 judgement in B.C. Supreme Court, however, was nullified after the B.C. Court of Appeal in February 2009 ordered a new trial.

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      9 Comments

      Michael Henderson

      Mar 25, 2011 at 3:16am

      These viking raiders who come here to exploit BC's natural bounty and fete our spineless politicians can spin it any way they want but in the end who the heck wants to eat sea lice?

      mrenviro

      Mar 25, 2011 at 3:48am

      This is totally absurd.!

      Everyone knows that it is Packard that is at the helm of any Anti fish Farm or de-marketing campaigns in B.C. ..Why pick on a small fry when billions of American dollars are been used to fund the environmental movement and open pen fish farms in B.C..

      Clayton Lloyd-Jones

      Mar 25, 2011 at 9:21am

      "Mainstream Canada?" What kind of name is that for a Norwegian owned company? If they want fish farms they should move them all back to Norway. they have ruined salmon runs in Ireland and Scotland. Whay are they still here?

      Denise

      Mar 25, 2011 at 12:06pm

      Um, Canada Wake Up!!! Why is our Courts being made to hear this garbage? The environmental damage from Open net fish farms has been proven, and what ever happened to free speech??? We should all know by now that even closed net salmon farming is problematic, as they have to feed the salmon other fish, so we all should develop a taste for pollack, tilapis instead to be sustainable.

      Bum

      Mar 25, 2011 at 1:06pm

      The defendants' statement of defense should simply say "Imagine if we believed everything we read" - Thats been the aquaculture retort thus far. pretty sure it works in reverse too.

      empty battle

      Mar 25, 2011 at 1:14pm

      The commercial dragging fleet continues to rub its hands together as another activist jumps on the anti-fish farm wagon. There are more issues with the feed fro these farms than the farms themselves. Why dont you handcuff yourself to the commercial dragging fleet before you pat yourself on the back

      GOT

      Mar 25, 2011 at 9:42pm

      OK, am I a daftie or what? WTF are Norwegians doing running what is essentially a stationary fishing fleet in Canadian waters, besides polluting the shit out of (or into) our water and destroying natural fish migratory pathways? Is everything in this fucking country up for grabs to anyone who's got the cash? Do we have a government? Oh no, we don't as a matter of fact. Come on, carpetbaggers! It's a big flea market north of the 49th!!

      21 8Rating: +13

      katharina heitzmann

      Mar 26, 2011 at 2:00am

      well said 'got'. it seems our politicians have no sense and are content to just sit on their asses rather than do something useful. it is almost unbelievable how we have to fight for our salmon in b.c. how can our stupid politicians take the word of fish farmers whoose only interest is to make money for themselves., whereas marine biologists/scientists (intelligent, well-educated,, knowledgeable people) are sharing with us the truth. if there is any chance of harm to our wild salmon (and we know there is a lot of harm to the point of extinction of our wild salmon) these salmon farms should be closed immediately. this is a no-brainer.

      jimbob

      Mar 29, 2011 at 9:13pm

      Don is a Hero trapped in a corrupt world. Close all the farms now for crying out loud!

      18 8Rating: +10