Booted B.C. teen 'not going to apologize' for opposing team sponsor
Nicole Gibillini, CTVnews.ca
Published Monday, November 2, 2015 9:29AM EST
After her vocal opposition got her kicked off an elite soccer team, B.C. teen Freyja Reed says she is not sorry for speaking out against its sponsor Marine Harvest.
“I’m not going to apologize for standing up for what I believe in,” Reed told CTV’s Canada AM Monday.
Reed, who moved to Comox, B.C., to play with Vancouver Island’s Upper island Riptide soccer team last year, opposes Marine Harvest’s open-net salmon farms because, she says, they threaten wild salmon populations in the area.
“It’s a breeding ground for disease,” she said. “Everywhere that salmon farms go, wild salmon goes into decline—and I love wild salmon. And I don’t like salmon farms.”
On its website, Marine Harvest says it produces 40,000 tonnes of sustainable farm-raised Atlantic salmon each year.
"Our salmon are four-star certified to the Global Aquaculture Alliance Best Aquaculture Practices and we are the first company in North America to have a farm certified to the Aquaculture Stewardship Council salmon standard," it states.
In addition, the company says it does not seek to influence its donation recipients: “Marine Harvest’s donations to community groups have not, and will not, and will never, restrict a recipient’s right to voice their opinions or their ability to speak freely.”
While Reed wasn’t forced to wear corporate logos, or attend fundraising events, she says the team was told not to discuss their opinions about the sponsor.
The stern warning didn’t stop Reed from voicing her opinion. She has been a long-time opponent of fish farming and her advocacy for the preservation of wild salmon started well before she became a member of the team.
“I’ve grown up on the coast, standing up for wild salmon for as long as I can remember,” Reed said.
While Reed says she feels “stressed” and “overwhelmed” for not having a team to train with, she hopes to get back on the field soon. A group of B.C. fisherman have set up a trust fund for Reed to pay for her training.