Thursday, 22 November 2012

Move Fish Farms Out of Clayoquot Sound To Save Wild Salmon - Nov 22, 2012

Cermaq Mainstream fish farm, during the IHN infection earlier in 2012, blamed the outbreak on wild salmon passing its farmed salmon. This is highly unlikely for many reasons. It is far more likely that the IHN and other fish farm diseases have been killing wild salmon to the point of extinction.

First, a sound is closed at one end, and thus fish farm diseases do not flush out as they would in open channels. They will stay there for as long as each infected fish farm continues hemorrhaging 60 billion viruses per hour and for three weeks thereafter.In the last big outbreak of IHN, circa, 2002, 36 farms along BC's coastline were wiped out.

Second, there are 22 fish farms in Clayoquot Sound, and that at 500,000 to 1,000,000 exotic Atlantic Salmon, this implies as many as 22 million farmed salmon. Here is a ho-hum map of Clayoquot Sound, showing the 22 fish farms: 

Third, the numbers of wild chinook and sockeye are so low as to be non-existent in the Sound. Non-existent fish cannot pass diseases. Because DFO authorized a new Plover Point fish farm in Clayoquot Sound – a UN Biosphere Reserve no less – I plumbed the Clayoquot Sound Chinook salmon and found their numbers are alarmingly low.

See these DFO links for Clayoquot Sound and West Coast Van Isle wild salmonids:

I have summarized the figures as: 2012 counted fish, average number of wild chinook over the past 5 years and  average number of wild chinook over the last 12 years: Bedwell – 93 (5/12 – 60/110); Moyeha – none (120/130); Tranquil – 11 (220/760; Megin – 35 (20/50); Cypre – 362 (no 5/12 figures). No figure for the plummeting Kennedy Lake sockeye. No fish farms should be in these waters as the wild fish numbers are just too low. 

As the Moyeha is 0 and the Tranquil is 11 returned chinook, it is pretty obvious that fish farms, particularly farmed chinook, should not be in Clayoquot Sound. And, while fish farms like to say the source of IHN is wild fish, these numbers are so low - extinction levels - it is far more likely that fish farms are the source of the infection, and they are in fact destroying wild chinook, and sockeye.

DFO has the responsibility to protect wild fish and should have had all Clayoquot Sound fish farms moved to land years ago.

Fourth, the Creative farms - they raise chinook salmon - were shown during the Cohen Commission evidentiary hearings, by Dr. Kristi Miller, to have 25% of all fish with ISA - the worst of all diseases for wild salmon - and HSMI, also lethal, an exotic disease originating in Norway. HSMI cannot be in BC unless it was brought here from Norway and those fish passed it to the Creative farms and one or the other passed it to wild chinook.This means 125,000 infected fish per farm.