Salmon SLAPP Spawns Heavyweight Fish Fight

The ‘Salmon Farming Kills’ lawsuit between the Norwegian-owned giant Cermaq and Don Staniford is shaping up into a fierce fight with the bloody and brutal battle expected to go the full distance until 10 February.  Today (27 January) marks the half-way point – Day 10 – in the scheduled 20 day trial and could see the defendant (Don Staniford) take the witness stand for the first time.  Mr. Staniford’s lawyer David Sutherland will be calling one expert witness – in the shape of Dr. John Volpe of the University of Victoria – on Monday and Tuesday (30 & 31 January).  Mr. Staniford is expected to be on the stand the rest of next week (1-3 February) and perhaps running into the week beginning 6 February. 

“Events of this week would have had Monty Python scratching his head,” said Mr. Don Staniford, an award-winning campaigner and author.  “First the plaintiff attempted to prove malice by referencing my work with the caped crusader Captain Condom and his call to stop the spread of STDs (Salmon Transmitted Diseases).  And then we had a two-hour debate yesterday about whether reference to Queen’s 1978 smash hit ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ (in relation to Mary Ellen Walling of the BC Salmon Farmers and Leanne Brunt of Positive Aquaculture Awareness) represented intimidation and victimisation of witnesses or even contempt of court.  Such is the farcical nature of Cermaq’s case that later today we could expect to see the ‘Fish Slapping Dance’ or Cermaq’s lawyers attempting to revive the Norwegian blue dead parrot.”

Don Staniford has raised over $22,000 from the public for financial support for the lawsuit – via the web-site Go Fund Me – and 60,000 NOK ($10,000) from the Norwegian salmon fishermen’s group Reddvillaksen as well as a $20,000 donation from West Coast Environmental Law.  Norwegian TV featured the lawsuit in a news report broadcast in Norway on Saturday (21 January) – watch online here (click the orange play button).    
“Cermaq’s entire case is a case of smoke and mirrors,” said Mr. Staniford who launched the ‘Salmon Farming Kills’ web-site last weekend and re-launched the GAAIA web-site mid-week.  “Norwegian-owned multinationals are blowing smoke all over the world underplaying the environmental, social and public health risks of salmon farming.  It is heartening to see so much moral and financial support from members of the public around the globe including in Norway.” 
Watch an interview with Don Staniford on yesterday morning’s surreal proceedings – online here
Watch a mid-trial update – online here
For more details follow news updates online here
GAAIA will publish a new report ‘Smoke on the Water, Cancer on the Coast’ in March.   

Don Staniford is in courtroom #52 at the Supreme Court of British Columbia today and all next week – court hours are 10am to 12.30pm and then 2pm to 4pm. 
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