Saturday, 28 April 2012

Harper's EU Trade Agreement - April 28, 2012

Here is a link to Harpers new trade agreement with the EU:

Comments on the aquaculture measures:

1. This sector employs nearly 5,500 British Columbians. Wrong. Aquaculture has only 2100 jobs says BC Stats while the industry says there are only 820 actual jobs. This sector will only grow once fish farms are out of the water on dry land as the BC public are against in-ocean open-net fish farms. It has to be exported as Canadians won't eat it.
2. BC sold $55 million in farmed aquaculture products to the EU. This ignores that the value of recreational sport fishing is worth $1 Billion annually to the BC economy. We do not want the destruction of BC's pristine waters and wild salmon by such a very small industry, and destroying a much larger economic driver with 15,500 employees.
3. The eliminated tariff barrier of 5.5% will increase sales of BC farmed Atlantics in the EU. WRONG. This is selling ice cubes to the Inuit because Europe is where farmed fish come from. What is happening right now is that Norway is going after BC farmed fish’ most important market: the USA - 85% of BC farmed fish is sold in the USA - because they have been relieved of a 26% duty for dumping farmed fish. And Chile now has overcapacity to 700,000 metric tonnes, which they sell mostly to the US market.
4. Fish prices have already started dropping due to over supply.
5. There is nothing world class about BC farmed salmon. They use the ocean as a free open sewer. One meal of farmed salmon has enough PCBs in it that it will stay in the body for 50 to 75 years.
6. In-ocean fish farms lead to a drop in employment after a short period of being set up. They install lighting systems and automatic feeding which reduces employment.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Norway - Wild Salmon Numbers

It is pretty sobering to see how poorly the wild Atlantic salmon rivers in Norway are doing.


To put this in perspective for the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic salmon should be compared with steelhead numbers as the two species are more closely related than they are to the five species of Pacific salmon.

Steelhead and Atlantic salmon originated in the Atlantic and steelhead moved west in global warming. Global cooling shut the passage way, and now steelhead are found only in the Pacific Ocean. Their numbers are small and they may return to spawn several times before dying.

Steelhead, unfortunately, are the species most likely to die of ISA, so the CFIA study quite correctly includes them as they may well be the first species to be eliminated in the Pacific by fish farm diseases. Lamprey might be a good fish to study, too.

Recently, the head of the Directorate for Nature Management said that the Norwegian fish farm industry must be reduced to save wild Atlantic salmon.

See a previous post:

In the Pacific, however, there are vastly more Pacific salmon than Atlantic salmon in the Atlantic ocean - my estimate is 100 million in BC in an average year.. So it is much more important to save them as they are a key species, unlike steelhead, that are in such small numbers.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

CFIA - Double Standard on ISA - April 19, 2012

Dear Minister Ashfield and the CFIA

1. The CFIA has a double standard with respect to ISA. This should not happen.

In the Cohen December transcripts Kim Klotins says that the CFIA does not want to find ISA in farmed salmon as its mandate is to keep foreign trade going and negotiate with foreign countries as these countries won't take Canadian farmed salmon with ISA.

Now the CFIA says this about Cooke Aquaculture's ISA salmon:

“Since infectious salmon anaemia [ISA] poses no human health or food safety risk, the facility may explore processing options where available. If processing is not an option, fish are humanely destroyed and disposed of in accordance with provincial and municipal guidelines.”

“There would be no special labelling requirements,” because “There is no human health or food safety risk associated with infectious salmon anaemia.”

This is directly contradictory to its international mandate. On the one hand ISA in Canadian fish needs to be suppressed. On the other, it doesn't matter that Canadian fish has ISA.

2. I have pointed out that international trade is not affected as the USA just eliminated a long standing 26% tariff on Norwegian farmed salmon for dumping salmon. This is at the same time that Norway has had ISA continuously since 1984.

See this: This post references Kibenge's powerpoint presentation on ISA world wide.

3. As a taxpayer, I do not support using my tax dollars to pay fish farms when their fish have to be destroyed. As one third to one half of all aquaculture products are lost to disease every year (also in the Kibenge document), that means that a lot of my tax dollars are used to bail out billion dollar corporations.

They need their own insurance. Or they need to be on land where their diseases are their own issue.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Key Document - Low Dose Hormones Lead to Worse Health Problems, April 14, 2012

Some low-dose chemical pollutants in farmed food, and these are in farmed salmon, have just been shown to have worse health problems for humans than the same chemicals in higher doses.

Dozens of hormone-disrupting chemicals include small amounts of BPA (bisphenol A), PCBs, dioxins and atrazine, a pesticide. Atrizine is used for on-land farm crops and thus the use of soybean, corn and other plant oils to replace fish meal oil, that contains PCBs, dioxins and so on, doesn't represent a clear healthy alternative to the forage fish that have been fished down for use for fish feed (and still is in Peru). The point is that wild Pacific salmon have lower levels of these chemicals than farmed salmon.

Read this:

Go back to this article on fishfarmnews to read the list of chemical pollutants in farmed salmon:

The 2012 article reviews hundreds of scientific studies and is a brilliant synthesis of world wide science on the effects of hormone-mimicking chemicals found in our foods. Here is the abstract:

For decades, studies of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) have challenged traditional concepts in toxicology, in particular the dogma of “the dose makes the poison,” because EDCs can have effects at low doses that are not predicted by effects at higher doses. Here, we review two major concepts in EDC studies: low dose and nonmonotonicity. Low-dose effects were defined by the National Toxicology Program as those that occur in the range of human exposures or effects observed at doses below those used for traditional toxicological studies. We review the mechanistic data for low-dose effectsanduse a weight-of-evidence approach to analyze five examples from the EDC literature. Additionally, we explore nonmonotonic dose-response curves, defined as a nonlinear relationship between dose and effect where the slope of the curve changes sign somewhere within the range of doses examined. Weprovide a detailed discussion of the mechanisms responsible for generating these phenomena, plus hundreds of examples from the cell culture, animal,andepidemiology literature.We illustrate that nonmonotonic responses and low-dose effects are remarkably common in studies of natural hormones and EDCs. Whether low doses of EDCs influence certain human disorders is no longer conjecture, because epidemiological studies show that environmental exposures to EDCs are associated with human diseases and disabilities. We conclude that when non-monotonic dose-response curves occur, the effects of low doses cannot be predicted by the effects observed at high doses. Thus, fundamental changes in chemical testing and safety determination are needed to protect human health. (Endocrine Reviews 33: 0000–0000, 2012.

This is scary and farmed salmon are scarier than wild Pacific salmon.

Friday, 13 April 2012

LICE In Norway/LICE in BC - April 13, 2012

In Norway, sea lice are out of control. Read these articles:

The New York Times (2011). Copy and paste this:

"In Norway, which is a leading producer of farmed salmon, the head of the Directorate for Nature Management recently called for salmon production to be halved to save wild salmon stocks. Such drastic action was needed to bring lice under control, he said"

The Caledonian Mercury (2010):

"The Norwegian Institute for Nature Research has estimated that there are over 300 million lice infesting 350 million farmed salmon in cages along the coast of Norway. The industry is six or seven times larger than its environmentally sustainable limit, the institute suggested.

The Norwegian government’s Directorate for Nature Management is arguing that salmon farming in Norway must be reduced this year."

Copy and paste this link into Google for its very long list of articles on sea lice being out of control in Norway, :,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=b6eae99fd1f9e98c&biw=991&bih=531

This scientific paper, 2012, says that Norwegian sea lice are at such a high level that they limit growth of greater numbers of farmed salmon:

The problem is so bad that Norway, where Marine Harvest, Cermaq/Mainstream and Grieg Seafood, the parent companies of those in BC, originate, that K44 million is being invested in research to find new chemicals because SLICE does not work on lice.

What is happening in BC, you ask? The Norwegian derivative fish farms are doing a five year study in the Broughton Archipelago to prove - wait for it - that sea lice are not a problem. The point is that fish farms deny a problem in every new legal jurisdiction they open in and will argue - often for more than a decade - what they have given up on in the rest of the world.

Do note that the BC fish farms claim 1.5 lice per farmed fish and that that's not so bad that it can harm anything. You will also note from above that the figure in Norway is 300/350 or .86 lice per farmed salmon. That means that BC fish farms have almost twice as many lice as Norway where the parents of BC fish farm companies acknowledge lice are out of control.

How many lice are there per smolt in BC? Price et al, 2011, found very high lice numbers:

The study found an average of 4.83 sea lice per fish in 2007 and 1.61 sea lice per fish in 2008. Upstream from the farms, they found 1.10 and 0.95 sea lice in 2007 and 2008 respectively. In 2007, there were just 0.17 sea lice per fish off the north coast of BC, where there were no salmon farms.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

More ISA in BC

Two of Alexandra Morton's recent posts on ISA are well done, concise documents on ISA in BC salmon. BC, DFO and the CFIA are doing nothing. At some point some very expensive lawsuits may be launched against all three. We are watching a potential tragedy unfold, with no one in charge doing anything other than saying it is not happening.

More ISA Virus Test Results, Ap 10, 2012:

It notes, among other things:

There are four milestones in detection of ISA virus (salmon flu) in salmon:
1- visual sign in the organs
2- PCR positive result
3- sequencing the virus
4- finding the live virus and culturing it.

Culturing it can prove exceedingly difficult as Dr. Fred Kibenge noted when he was the lead OIE lab covering the ISA outbreak in Chile. It produced a $2 billion loss, but no cultured live virus.

Do look at Dr. Gary Marty's small table (of the BC test system), as in fairness, you need to know that ISA testing is not simple and conclusiveness needs to be statistically significant:

Also published on Ap 10, 2012, Morton summarizes the Cohen testimony and other notes in a timeline in Backgrounder: ISA Virus Results/Testimony in BC:

I crunched through the papers on the Owikeno sockeye collapse, and while several other plausible scenarios could explain why the third largest commercial sockeye harvest in BC collapsed in the early 1990s, it has never come back, and is consistent with ISA/fish farm lice as an explanation. The smolts are small and are not dying in freshwater: