Thursday, 25 August 2016

Post 2: Forage Fish - Fish Farm Feed Stats

See the previous post for this fish feed series:

This post is about trying to quantify just how responsible fish farms are for fishing down feed fish that should go to feeding third world humans rather than food for fish sold to first world mouths. Examples, are the Jack Mackerel decline off Chile, and now, the decline of anchovy off Peru, a story that is current in 2016. Look at my post on Fish Farm Bad News Bites: I found 600 bad news stories in the global press from July 1, 2015, to July 1, 2016. Hard to believe.

Here is the graph of decline of Jack Mackerel, at its peak some 100M MT caught per year off Chile:

Since the Bad News Bites 2015 to 2016 post, my 2016 post includes more than 100 negative global news stories about the fish farm/seafood industry, in one month, no less:

Now, in this, I consider the results of the Sea Around Us study:

Their work will allow me to quantify just what the Norwegian-style fish farms, Marine Harvest, Cermaq and Grieg Seafood are responsible for killing ocean forage fish to feed to fish farm fish. This is the issue of sustainability. I aim to quantify how much blame they deserve.

Here is some lead in text: 

"In 2016, members of Sea Around Us, using reconstructed global catch data that combine officially reported landings data with comprehensive estimates of unreported landings and discards, documented that, from 1950-2010, global catches were around 50% higher than reported data suggest. Furthermore, total catches seem to be declining faster from their peak catch in the mid-1990s than reported data would suggest. The good news is that the discrepancy between reported data and estimated total catches is decreasing in more recent years, meaning that the comprehensiveness of data reported by countries seems to be improving.
Sea Around Us also communicates to broad audiences to convey the urgency to:
  • Reduce excess fishing capacity (much of which is being ‘exported’ to developing countries).
  • Eliminate damaging subsidies and create extensive networks of marine protected areas.
  • Reconsider the current model of carnivorous aquaculture.
  • Refocus fisheries to the small-scale sectors that are crucial to national food security concerns in developing countries."
I will be reading science for the next while to give you some hard stats on the issue.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

KEY DOCUMENT: Fish Farm Diseases in BC

This key document will list all the diseases in BC farmed fish that come my way. It will, like the 155 on-land fish farm document of mine, be a one-stop post for all I find on this issue.

The on-land fish farm post remains the most viewed of all my nearing 300 posts on this blog. Here is the most recent iteration of the list:

You will note that the AKVA group has had an 'explosion' of on land sales in Q2, 2016:

Like the two tipping point articles I wrote on the on-land issue in Norway and BC, I think the disease post will come to serve that function well. Disease is a constant in fish farms, around the world, from animals too close to one another and thus spreading disease, some 56 billion viral particles per hour. The Kibenge Powerpoint presentation notes that fish farm disease losses come to be one third to one half of all fish farm fish.

I should have started a disease post long ago, as it, like the bad news bites posts, will become equally as long, and equally damning on the global fish farm industry, that needs to raise a vegetarian fish and do it on land. The Bad News Bites post is here - you might be shocked:

You will recall that BC fish farms have had kudoa - MH has had great losses - furunculosis for Grieg Seafood's 'craft' Skuna Bay fish, and Cermaq having an algal bloom in Clayoquot. Then there are the past infections of IHN and IPN. And, you will recall during the Cohen Commission the several different labs that showed ISA in BC, including Are Nyland in Norway, the OIE lab for the eastern hemisphere.

And you will recall from the Cohen Commission, Dr. Kristi Miller's work on the 'viral-signature' wherein she listed the phenotypical disease problems in salmon and what they suggested were the diseases that caused them. This is a novel way of getting at the disease from the problems it causes, rather than the identification of the genetic material of a virus.

Here is the list of diseases, and the issue is that BC is the first place fish farms have come with a huge wild salmon population:

5. The HSMI collection fish, 2013 - 2014, not only had HSMI, but the site had an algal bloom, perhaps caused by fish farm sewage, then there was a lice infection, then Slice treatment. See the Powerpoint presentation, page 6:

4. Furunculosis in BC, Grieg Seafood, Skuna Bay:

3. PRV in BC, a cause of HSMI:

2. HSMI in BC, Miller, PSF:

1. ISA in BC, the 'worst' fish farm disease - Jan 6, Virology Journal:

Jack Mackerel - Fish Farm's Buffalo - Unsustainable Industry

Jack Mackerel in Chile, South America, once existed in vast quantities, just like the buffalo did in North America. The buffalo are all gone. Now, most of the Jacks are gone, too. They formed a substantial part of the global fish meal feed for fish farms. Now the anchovy in Peru is in the same decline.

Here is a graph of the Chilean catch, and how it has declined over the years, showing that the industry is not sustainable, despite what fish farm companies may claim:

This is part of the reason that the fish farm industry has moved to wanting plant-based feed for its salmon. The downward curve is indicative of other fish-based protein sources and oils. And the industry is now fishing down the krill in the Antarctic, even below fish in the food chain, but perhaps the most important feed in that ocean, particularly for mammals, baleen whales for example.

Some more background:

"In Chile, a small number of wealthy families own 87% of the jack mackerel harvest. With government agreement, they have been allocated quotas which scientists say are not sustainable.[13] In 2012, a heated dispute developed between Peru and Chile over the fishing of the mackerel.[3][14] Attempts have been made since 2006 to empower the South Pacific Regional Management Organisation so it can effectively regulate the jack mackerel industry on the high seas and across national boundaries. Geopolitical rivalries and lack of international cooperation is preventing this.[4] In an interview with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the French marine biologist Daniel Pauly compared jack mackerels to American bison, whose populations also collapsed in the 19th century from overhunting: "This is the last of the buffaloes. When they’re gone, everything will be gone ... This is the closing of the frontier."[4]

Chilean jack mackerels are canned or marketed fresh for human consumption;[2] they are a staple food in Africa. They are also processed into fishmeal, which is fed to swine and salmon; five kilograms of jack mackerel are needed to raise one kilogram of farmed salmon.[4]"

The answer is to raise vegetarian fish, like tilapia, and to raise them on land.

AKVA - On-land Fish Farm Sales 'Exploding' Trond Williksen, CEO

AKVA, Norway, sells on-land fish farm components. It's Q2 results are the best ever and it says on-land sales are exploding. This means the rest of the world is putting nails in the coffin of fish farms that remain in the water, such as Marine Harvest, Cermaq and Grieg Seafood.

See its Q2 results:

Here is the beginning of their text: 'AKVA group is on track and has completed the second quarter with good overall performance. Revenue in second quarter 2016 ended on 408 MNOK (402 MNOK) with an EBITDA of 43 MNOK (41 MNOK). Second quarter EBITDA margin was 10.4% (10.2%). With the exception of Americas, all business segments and regions are performing well in the second quarter. AKVA group is ending the quarter with the highest order backlog ever of 822 MNOK.

"AKVA group continues to be on track and has completed the best second quarter and first half ever with regards of revenue, EBITDA and order backlog. The resent year's transformation of AKVA group to become a better performing and more diversified Group is reflected in the Q2 results. Operationally and financially AKVA group is well positioned for further growth. The half yearly dividend of 0.75 NOK per share to be paid out in Q3 underlines our solid financial position", says CEO of AKVA group ASA Trond Williksen.'"

From the financials about its global operations, it is clear that on-land is doing the best. This is further proof that the rest of the world, not tied to Norwegian-style fish farms in the ocean, is moving ahead with on-land production close to markets.

Here is their specific note: 'Land Based Technology (LBT). LBT have had a significant improved performance year on year in Q2. Both Plastsveis AS and Aquatec Solutions A/S had a good first half of 2016. AKVA group Denmark A/S had another decent quarter, but there is still potential for further improvements financially. The land based segment ended the quarter with a record high order backlog and has after Q2 2016 53% of the total order backlog in the Group. Land based increased its revenues year on year with 74% and was 23% of total revenues in Q2 2016, hence land based is becoming a significant part of AKVA group. '

Do note that AKVA also sells in-ocean components, and is developing sub-sea farms, something that oceans and humanity do not want to see.

In their outlook, they note that the Canadian market has been off and will be moderate going forward, meaning, we need to start buying on-land. The public in Canada is against in-ocean fish farms and wants them on land.

In a nutshell, AKVA is a technology and service partner to the aquaculture industry worldwide. The company has around 750 employees, offices in 8 countries and a total turnover of NOK 1.4 billion in 2015.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Finally: First Nations Tell Norwegian Fish Farms to Get out of their Territory - Broughton Archipelago, Updated Aug 19, 2016

Go look at the video. Cermaq, Marine Harvest, Grieg Seafood, Norwegians have been told to get out of the water. Thank God, some people have sense, and the clout to get DFO in line. Since Burnt Church, DFO has been afraid of aboriginals.

Here is the video link:

BC First Nation chiefs, Musgamagw Dzawada'enuxw, will no longer allow the 'ecological trainwreck' fish farms in their territory.

This is the most significant step forward in the long process of BC rebuilding our wild Pacific salmon.

Please note that the 'ecological trainwreck'  quote is not mine, but from the most significant conference on fish farm environmental damage in Norway of Canadians, Europeans and so on. The link for that is at this address, and is worth reading:

The people of BC stand behind First Nations in their decision and resolve. Please consider giving them a donation for their expenses:

Here is a link to the study showing that salmon have declined 50% since fish farms set up shop . This is around the world:

Here is a video of the RCMP talking with the First Nations involved in the eviction, Aug 18, regarding their further actions:

And Aug 18, the Musgamagw, cleansed a fish farm, and stated this: 'We, the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw view the destruction of wild fish by the fish farming industry as part of the long history of genocide forced on our people by the governments of Canada. Salmon are essential to our well-being and the well-being of our world.'

In other words, fish farms are in the same class as the residential schools where generations of aboriginals were neutralized from their culture.

See: Please consider donating to this worthy cause.

Salmon Diversity Important to First Nation Food Supply - WCEL, Watershed Watch

A recent study from BC  shows that diversity of stock sub-components, in other words, genetic gene pools in BC rivers are important to longterm food supply for First Nations:

'A recent study, “Species and population diversity in Pacific salmon fisheries underpin Indigenous food security” published by SFU researchers Holly Nesbitt and Dr. Jonathan Moore, is a fantastic example. It’s good timing for the publication of this new science, too, as the findings will be valuable for the newly started review of the Fisheries Act.'

This is a link to the study summary:

The point in the study is that runs of salmon are composed of stocks within the run and it is the genetic diversity of the many stocks that is important to conserving salmon.

West Coast Environmental Law has done an analysis of the laws governing fish and habitat, that were systematically weakened by the Harper government. For a good read of their work, see:

Here is a key paragraph: 'As WCEL has been warning since 2012, amendments made to the Fisheries Act significantly weakened habitat protection provisions under the Act. As the current federal government works to restore and strengthen habitat protection, potential amendments to the Act could include a focus on protecting habitat for sub-species that may not be currently given high priority, but that are vital for ensuring healthy runs. See our brief Scaling Up the Fisheries Act for other ideas for amendments.'

In other words, habitat protection and restoration are key to maintaining salmon. The other major influences on salmon are: DFO itself, fish farms and climate change.

The WCEL brief has this to say:  'DFO’s Wild Salmon Policy (formally known as “Canada’s Policy for Conservation of Wild Pacific Salmon”) has as its first objective to “[s]afeguard the genetic diversity of wild Pacific salmon.” In addition, the Convention on Biological Diversity, to which Canada is a signatory, has “the conservation of biological diversity” as its core objective. We need to take these legal commitments seriously to stem the alarming loss of biodiversity.'

Maintaining biological diversity is a reason for getting fish farms out of BC water because they indiscriminately affect all runs.

Here is an analysis by Watershed Watch. It is worth reading:

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Times Colonist - New research will help salmon - Updated Aug 23, 2016

A few comments on the TC's Aug 13's editorial of the above title:

Please note I freelanced for the TC for a decade, and my comments here are about the text, not a criticism of the paper. The point is that a false impression can be attached to an article that lacks deep knowledge of the subject.

1. The Harper government opened the Cohen Commission to get the subject out of an election year, not because of any great interest in falling salmon numbers.

2. New money for science is a good thing, but only if it gets used for a good purpose. Until I see what it actually gets used for, I restrain my enthusiasm. Not to mention what of the environmental law gutting that Harper did, that is actually returned to what it should be. The early word is that DFO senior staff in Ottawa, don't want to.

3. Leblanc says 32 of 75 Cohen recommendations have been implemented. In my last post, I pointed to my Environmental Petition to the federal Auditor General, that came back as generic mush, not disaggregated budget amounts and FTEs, in other words, until we get those things, there is no reason to believe LeBlanc's words. After all, Min Shea gave me the opposite: 

4. Research to create a sustainable aquaculture industry. This is an oxymoron. There is nothing sustainable about an industry that uses the ocean as a free, open sewer (or if you prefer economics-speak, their sewage is an externality), decimates the world's stocks of wild forage fish for feed. And for sustainability, industry has to be on land, and use vegetable sources for feed, but not ones that result in rainforest being cut down, natives being thrown off their land, and GMO soy or other crop.

And we need to raise a vegetarian, like tiliapia, not an exotic carnivore, that requires fishmeal.

In fact, Canadians and Norwegians think that fish farms are 'an ecological train wreck' - their words, not mine:

6. Science will answer the contentious questions surrounding fish farms. Well, no, fish farms around the world are always asking for more science. That is because they get five more years in saltwater before calling once again for more science. There are hundreds of thousands of pages of science on the environmental damage caused by fish farms. Google: fish farm environmental damage and you will be reading for days.

Helge Aarskogg, CEO in a related issue, pointed out that lice were Marine Harvest's biggest problem. In fact they have 90 studies on-going at present. What this does is create conflict of interest in science, and increasingly journals require divestiture of sponsorship.

A BC example, is that MH did private work to find no lice problem in Quatsino Sound last year. I published a list of more than 30 scientific studies that showed lice are a problem in BC, as well as DFO's own problem numbers in Quatsino:

7. Yes, Fraser sockeye numbers are bad in 2016. But don't forget that the research in the Cohen Commission showed 100% of Cultus Lake sockeye had ISA, the globe's worst disease. DFO has done nothing about this so far.

8 Last year only 1.4 million salmon returned to BC Rivers. The error here is using the Fraser's number as the entire province. Wrong. For example, the Stamp number of sockeye for last year was 1.8 million.

9. Cohen said we need more work on fish farms. Really? What he said was that in absence of scientific evidence to the contrary, that Quadra area farms should be removed. His most important recommendation was to take the conflict of interest of DFO out of DFO and for them to get on with the Wild Salmon Policy, etc. The TC makes this point.

10. The BC Salmon Farmers Ass says fish farms employ 5,000 people and produce $1.1 Billion in BC. This is miles wrong.The best stats, the BC Stats report said it is only 1,700 jobs, with only $469 M in revenue, with only $61.9 Million in GDP - less than 10% of the other sectors, commercial, processing and sport.

As for the 5,000 figure, they usually use the 6,000 number, but the best stats (look at the index of this site to find the table), are 1700, or 34% of the Ass claim. Furthermore, I went out and found the actual figure of employment and found it is only 820 actual jobs - references in my files. In other words, actual employment is only 16.5% of what the Ass claims.

11. Fish farms say science and certification are on their side. Well, no, go Google the science and it demonstrates lots of problems around the globe. For example, the March algal bloom in Chile, in part the result of fish farm sewage, killed 25 Million fish and resulted in more than 10,000 jobs being lost. And you will recall the algal bloom in 2016 in Clayoquot, and Grieg Seafood's furunculosis fish deaths in Nootka in 2016.

If you want to see how fish farms actually operate, I think you will be some stunned to read my News Bites post of the bad news in the fish farm/seafood industry. Marine Harvest for instance, had the CEO of the company that owns MH, sentenced to a jail term for corruption, of hundreds of millions of bribes in Uzbekistan. There is far more: Just scan the boldfacing for a minute.

I should add that you can find the links to the science on this site that says BC's salmon have declined in numbers by 50% since fish farms set up shop. And the global figure for smolt lost is 34%. Check out the indexes:

As for the certifications, most do not stand up to scrutiny. The BAPs are industry funded. The ASCs include in-ocean fish farms and thus are not reputable. The MSCs are usually out of reach, but
Seafood News did an editorial on the cartel nature and manipulation problems with the MSCs. The only system that is good is the Monterrey Bay one and it lists in-ocean fish farms as unsustainable.


I agree with much of the ending of the editorial, and suggest that you go read it. But I have no belief in science helping things, as manipulated as it is around the world. Why even DFO had a defection scientist, Michael Kent, who disavowed his research on the Cohen stand - along with three other scientists - something very disappointing to those of us who follow the debate closely. You can find his words in the Cohen transcript.

Shouldn't DFO be getting back all the taxpayer dollars they paid Kent? And, what does that do to all the papers on the subject of salmon leukemia virus, a term that he created? Doesn't that render all those papers false? Just so you know, a few years ago, I read all 125 abstracts of his articles. What parts of the list should be taken off the public record? And by whom?

The abstract list showed he worked with fish farm friendly scientists, for example, Saksida.