Salmon farm to spare predators with nets

Oct. 19, 2011 at 11:11 AM
| License Photo

VICTORIA, British Columbia, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- After outrage over the killing of seals, a large western Canadian salmon farming company says it is installing nets to keep them out of the salmon pens.

The farms belong to Marine Harvest Canada, situated on the northwestern coast of British Columbia's Vancouver Island.

Canadian law allows marine farmers to kill seals and other predators that threaten their stocks. However, such is not the case in the United States, which was among five countries to protest the company's practices last month, the Victoria Times-Colonist reported.

The countries asked the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's fisheries division to investigate after Marine Harvest announced it had killed 216 seals and sea lions in the first six months of the year.

Amid the protests, the company's production director, Jame Gaskill, said special steel-core plastic netting was going to be placed around salmon pens to keep predators out. Each net costs $250,000, although Gaskill didn't say how many were going to be used.

The Canadian operation employs more than 500 people and produces 45,000 tons of Atlantic salmon each year, its Web site says.

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