Canadian taxpayers may be on the hook for tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars while Mowi, the world's largest factory fish farming conglomerate, continues to spread parasites, viruses and bacteria along wild salmon migration routes in British Columbia.
Eleven of Mowi’s factory fish farms sites in an important wild salmon migration route known as the Discovery Islands were recently removed by the federal government. (However, they continue to produce farm salmon in other parts of B.C). Studies show that migrating juvenile salmon had elevated levels of harmful parasites and bacteria after the wild fish migrated by the fish factories. In retaliation for the closures, Mowi filed a civil lawsuit against the federal government, suing for damages and lost profits.
Mowi is essentially suing us—Canada—our country, after we’ve allowed their CEOs to rake in millions in profits. This is the real story of Mowi.
In Mowi’s civil lawsuit it says it had millions at stake in lost profits due to the federal government's decisions in the Discovery Islands: “at stake was the loss of 1.18 million fish, $26 million in lost investment and profits”. This is interesting because Mowi rarely talks publicly about its profits.
Interestingly, we weren’t able to find mention of this lost-profits lawsuit on Mowi’s website; meanwhile, they've been quite public about their other legal efforts to reverse the Discovery Islands decision. Also, Seawest News, an aquaculture industry website believed by many to be funded by salmon farming companies, also does not appear to report on Mowi’s lost-profits lawsuit against Canada. But they, too, have several stories on the judicial review.
Does Mowi want to keep its lawsuit against Canadians quiet? Does the narrative of Mowi bleeding untold millions from Canadian taxpayers during tough times work against its slick public campaign image? If you didn’t know any better and followed their social media, you’d believe them to be a sustainable company that seems like a “family” working to protect the marine environment and communities. Who are they trying to kid?
Perhaps Mowi doesn’t want Canadians to know the real truth about their true intentions. Profits, profits, profits. By the way, this is another subject you won’t find much about on Mowi’s website—their profits. Mowi (previously known as Marine Harvest) has been profiting at the expense of Canadians and British Columbia's wild fish and coastal waters for years.
We can’t let Mowi bully Canadians or our elected leaders with threatening lawsuits. We know their lobbyists have swarmed Ottawa this year because they’re worried about the promise the prime minister made to transition all open net-pen salmon farms from B.C. by 2025. This is a pivotal moment. We can’t let up. Let’s continue to stand strong and urge our elected officials to get on with their promise and get all factory fish farms out of B.C. by 2025, before they try to bleed Canadians further.