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Salmon Aquaculture Dialogue to Meet in Chile in May

Impact of salmon farming on workers and communities to be focus of the meeting

WASHINGTON, DC: How to address the potential negative impact salmon aquaculture can have on farm workers and local communities will top the agenda at the next meeting of the Salmon Aquaculture Dialogue. The meeting, which is open to the public, will be May 12-13 in Puerto Montt, Chile.

Ideas raised by meeting participants will be used by the Dialogue’s Steering Committee to develop draft standards that, when implemented, will help minimize or eliminate the key negative social impacts associated with salmon aquaculture. Draft standards that will help do the same for the environmental impacts of salmon farming are in the final stage of development. The full suite of draft social and environmental and social standards will be released for the first of two public comment periods in June.

“This will be a unique opportunity for stakeholders to respectfully share ideas and shape the development of credible standards,” said committee member Hernan Frigolett of Fundación Terram.  “We encourage all people interested in salmon farming in Chile and other regions of the world to come to the meeting.”

To provide a foundation for the conversation, the Dialogue’s Social Technical Working Group (TWG) will present its new “State of Information Report.” The report addresses the social context of salmon farming in three primary salmon producing countries, as well as associated labor issues and impacts. The TWG is made up of experts on labor, economic and community issues from primary salmon producing countries. Elena Arengo of Social Accountability International served as lead author for the report. Estrella Diaz, a sociologist, wrote the portion of the report related to Chile. Both will be at the meeting to present the TWG’s findings. This will be the last of eight TWG reports developed for the Dialogue.

The salmon Dialogue began in 2004. It is directed by a nine-person Steering Committee that consists of representatives of the salmon industry and the NGO community, and it is coordinated by World Wildlife Fund. The standards under development will be voluntary and are intended to build upon existing regulation.

For more information about the Dialogue and the meeting, go to www.worldwildlife.org/salmondialogue. A detailed meeting agenda and the TWG’s report will be posted on the website approximately one week before the meeting. You can register for the meeting by sending your name, title, organization/company name and email address to paula.moreno@wwf.cl by May 3.

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