Salmon of the Americas

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Fake websites

According to Spinning Farmed Salmon[1]:

In January 2004 the main fish farming lobby group in the Americas, Salmon of the Americas, launched several fake web-sites to direct web traffic towards their own website. Domains such as,, and, were used by SOTA to offer ‘concerned consumers a biased interpretation of fact and fiction about farmed salmon and PCBs.’[2]
All the web domain names had been registered on 26 August 2003 by Steve Bleezarde of a company called Market Action.[3] Market Action is a PR firm headed by Alex Trent, the Executive Director of Salmon of the Americas. Both organisations are based in offices on Nassau Street (194 and 209) in Princeton, New Jersey. Market Action was hired by Salmon of the Americas in July 2003 just after SOTA was created by amalgamating the North and South American salmon farmers associations.[4] The websites were taken down in early 2005 when they had served their purpose.[5] The fact that they were registered in August 2003 suggests that the industry was prepared for the eventuality of criticism over four months before the publication of the paper in Science.
For instance, ‘instructs readers not to worry too much about the toxins in farmed salmon because "PCBs and similar compounds are so widespread in the environment that they are in the air we breathe, the water we drink and swim in, and the foods we eat.... [T]hey are virtually impossible to avoid"’.[6] All the websites featured links to the others, as well as to the Salmon of the Americas website, but nowhere did any of the sites indicate that they were run by the industry, a classic deceptive PR technique.

See also


  1. David Miller, Spinning Farmed Salmon (part 2 of 3) Spinwatch 28 May 2008
  2. 70. Johnson, G. Don’t be Fooled: The Ten Worst Greenwashers of 2003, Boston: The Green Life.
  3. with the exception of registered on 2 September 2003. Market Action’s one page website is
  4. As reported by Fishlink, an industry information service, Vol. 8 No. 1, 7 July 2003
  5. To view the content of the sites as they were, see the Internet Archive:*/ ;*/;*/ ;*/;*/
  6. Johnson, G. Don’t be Fooled: The Ten Worst Greenwashers of 2003, Boston: The Green Life.