On the eve of DFO and the federal government enacting an aquaculture activities act here in BC which would allow the Norwegian fish farms m to dump anything in our pristine ocean, the country where the fish farms are from, Norway, 2014 has been a year of great environmental degradation. If the same companies operate here, they will pollute BC the same way. Read on.
Here is an article from earlier this year in Norway on the fish farm issues of Marine Harvest, Cermaq (now Mitsubishi), Grieg Seafood, et al:
A heralded disaster "Billions (NOK) rolls into salmon farming. Politicians clap excitedly.
It covers up a profound environmental crisis, writes John O. Egeland. Published 4 April 2014.
The aquaculture industry trembles with success. Last year Norway exported salmon worth 40 billion (NOK). The average price of fresh salmon increased by an incredible 44 percent. The owners are counting
the money and the government will have more of the same.
It will be more farms and more fish allowed in each cage. Behind the national parade, the industry is facing the worst. Where the list of issues is long and painful: Escapes and genetic pollution, diseases and parasites,
discharge of sewage and pollutants, large land use in the fjords, feed resources that are not sustainable and a
steadily increasing concentration of ownership.
If industry and government clean up, it's only a matter of time before this toxic cocktail has a devastating effect. Both on sea life, fjords, salmon rivers and the Norwegian economy. Fisheries Minister Elisabeth Aspaker (H) "rejoices with the seafood adventure," wrote the papers that export figures for 2013 were
Yet lice has made more progress than exports. According to the industry's own figures, it costs salmon farmers around two million (NOK) for every pound they produce. Today salmon are treated at least three times a year for lice, which is triple since 2007. What is worse, the delousing agents are becoming less effective and many of them pollute, often for long periods.
It is noted that there is resistance in seven out of ten products used against lice. Marketing Director for the feed company EWOS has stated that "we are about to run out of remedies against lice."
The following diseases in farmed salmon are numerous and complex. Such bacterial and viral diseases can in many cases lead to the infection of wild fish. A study conducted by the Institute of Marine Research shows that escapees can carry viral diseases SAV and PRV to the spawning grounds in rivers. It is also shown that
diseases from aquaculture can be transferred between different populations and species.
The research has come a long way in these areas, which in itself poses a danger. The development still has a clear tendency:
Farming operations seem to be creating more aggressive and more harmful disease organisms than those normally found in nature. The diseases are therefore no internal problem for the industry, but a threat to the ecosytems entire biodiversity. Escapes help to spread diseases and lice, and to the genetic destruction of wild salmon.
In its latest report on the risks of farming, says IMR that the real numbers of escapees is several times higher than those farmers report. Moreover a large part of the escaped fish are the very young fish (fry). Probably the number of escapes is higher than the estimate of 1.5 million fish. Surveys in various rivers show that cross breeding with salmon farming varies from slightly more than two percent to nearly fifty percent.
An increasing problem is the pollution and land use in the fjords. [Note that BC's coastline is almost all long fjords] The pollution has many sources: Sewage from fish, chemicals and toxins from debugging, waste feed and impregnation (copper). Just the sewage volume of feces is the same as from several million people. This naturally affects the environment, particularly in fjords where the replacement of water is poor.
Increasingly, come reports from local fishermen report that good fishing spots are destroyed, or that the fish they do catch have lousy quality. Many places [in Norway] now have growing local opposition to the salmon farms. Conservative mayor Laila Davidsen in Alta stated that the disadvantages are so great that the municipality does not want new farming operations.
The lack of sustainability in the industry has not been solved, even though there are less fish used in the fish feed. The aquaculture industry uses twice as much fish as it produces, and therefore contributes to reducing world food production. As is the concentration of ownership concentrates. The political ambitions of several governments for local ownership and control have not been fulfilled.
The ten largest aquaculture operators own about 70 percent of the approximately one thousand salmon licenses. [In BC the three big Norwegian companies own mor than 90% of the industry] The list of threats is long, but the most dangerous are still the owners, authorities and politicians capitulation to each other. No one will stop the party and take action about tomorrow.
The Salmon adventure has been an after party that is out of control."