Clearly, these companies are very worried about this information getting out to the public.
Marine Harvest’s largest shareholder, incidentally, is Norway’s richest man, John Fredriksen, worth over $10 billion. (In 2007, while fishing on Norway’s River Alta, Fredriksen admitted to the Altaposten Newspaper, “I’m concerned about the future of wild salmon. Move salmon farms out of the path of wild salmon.”)
Similar statements were made by the BCSFA in submissions to the Cohen Inquiry in May this year. The industry lobby conceded that should disease data be disclosed publicly there would be a “likelihood of misuse and irrevocable damage to the economic interests and reputations of participants and individuals.” In another submission to the Cohen Inquiry in May, the BCSFA admitted, “Irreparable damage will occur to the reputations and economic interests of the BCSFA’s member companies and their shareholders.”
While the BCSFA – whose members include the Norwegian companies Marine Harvest, Cermaq and Grieg – has been privately lobbying for the non-disclosure of disease data, they have issued public statements claiming “good health” and “healthy fish” on BC salmon feedlots. This is despite the fact that in April 2010, BC’s salmon farmers began refusing access to government inspectors to carry out disease monitoring.