Randy Shore article: https://www.timescolonist.com/business/salmon-farmer-pursues-radical-new-pen-designs-1.23394534.
Dear Letters Editor
Randy Shore’s above article on on-land/in-ocean fish farms contains many errors. Typical ‘new’ designs such as the Egg by Marine Harvest, Havfarm and Aquadome by Cermaq and so on, are not fully closed containment systems. They leak viruses up to 56 billion particles per hour, and do not collect their waste and use it as a revenue stream, so it pollutes the ocean. They have a 'potential' to collect sewage, but it is not something fish farms care about, hence they will not do it.
My list of on-land fish farms has 242 different on-land RAS systems around the world, and in the list are several dozen studies on cost comparisons. On-land is not massively more expensive, that is industry spin. Any academic who holds such a view is out of date by a decade, and/or connected with the fish farm industry. And current in-ocean licenses run $32- to $40-million dollars, while on-land licenses are free in Norway.
The reality is that in-ocean is a dying, dinosaur industry. In fact, the BC industry may likely be wiped out by the USA on-land newcomers, if BC doesn’t get on land also. The Atlantic Sapphire, Nordic Aqafarms, Aquabanq and Whole Oceans on-land farms coming on stream in the USA at 218-thousand metric tonnes will be almost 2.5 times as large as the entire BC industry that has as much as 85% of its product currently sent to the USA.
With transportation cost savings for USA companies and consumer preference for environmental sustainability, BC will be hard pressed to sell its product in the USA any longer. It is vital for them to move to land or their workers could well be out of jobs in the next two years.
DC (Dennis) Reid