Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Minister Tootoo - Bob Chamberlin - Get Fish Frms out of the Pristine BC Ocean, Updated Dec 27, 2015

Read it for yourself, Bob Chamberlin, a spokesman for BC First Nations, telling Minister Tootoo that fish farms have to be taken out of the ocean that they use as a free, open sewer and be put on land. See:
Dear Minister Tootoo,
The First Nations Wild Salmon Alliance is writing to request an urgent meeting between the DFO and the First Nations Wild Salmon Alliance (FNWSA) regarding the minimal returns of this year’s wild salmon runs in BC, the proposed and existing risks to wild salmon habitat, and the implementation of the Cohen Commission recommendations.
By way of background, the FNWSA seeks to bring First Nations together to speak with a common voice for the protection and conservation and enhancement of wild salmon throughout British Columbia. The FNWSA will work to conserve wild salmon, and advocate and support recovery and restoration.
The FNWSA is extremely disappointed and frustrated by the state of BC’s wild salmon stocks and the inaction of federal and provincial authorities to enact the recommendations and Calls-to-Action of the Cohen Commission of Inquiry into the Decline of Sockeye Salmon in the Fraser River.
Wild salmon are integral to many First Nations’ cultures, well being and livelihood, and the protection of our wild salmon stocks is equally integral to the economic and environmental sustainability of the province and country as a whole.
This year, only an estimated two million sockeye have returned to the Fraser River, far short of the more than six million predicted in preseason forecasts. There is an even further dramatic collapse of the pink salmon fishery, with only an estimated five million fish returning when more than 14 million had been forecast.
These drastic shortfalls are even more alarming given that the BC Ministry of Environment recently provided Taseko with permission to increase its discharge of tailings into the Fraser River by more than 50 per cent at the Gibraltar Mine near Williams Lake, which could lead to even further shortfalls in coming years.
Further to the increase of industrial effluents into critical wild salmon habitat we are also baring witness to the BC Ministry of Agriculture’s approval of four new fish farm tenures, despite the Cohen Commission’s recommendation to develop new citing criteria and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans continual promotion of the open- pen fish farm operations of BC’s coastline, including the proposed expansion of the Maude Island site, facility number 869, from 860 t to 2640 t. These operations have determined negative consequences on wild salmon.
It is clear to the FNWSA that immediate action must be taken to protect our wild salmon for the benefit of all British Columbians and Canadians. A moratorium on the expansion of all finfish aquaculture ventures along the BC coast needs to be implemented until further evidence is gathered on the negative impacts these installations have on our wild salmon. This year’s runs have made it abundantly clear that our wild salmon stocks are in grave danger, and require immediate action to preserve their habitat.
The First Nations Wild Salmon Alliance is calling on the federal government and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, to meet with the FNWSA to discuss the current state of wild salmon stocks, and to discuss the enactment of the Cohen Commission recommendations to safeguard our wild salmon.
Given the urgency of this issue, we look forward to your prompt response.
Chief Bob Chamberlin, Chair
The First Nations Wild salmon Alliance

Friday, 20 November 2015

KEY Document - Fish Feed Sustainability - Check Back - Fish Gut Bacteria

One of the finite parameters of fish farm sustainability has always been the amount of forage, feed fish in the oceans. There hasn't been enough to sustain supplies, and fish farms have contributed to fishing down stocks of fish such as menhaden, mackerel, anchovy and so on around the world.

Then there is the real issue that forage fish should be made into human food, for third world countries, not ground up to feed carnivores sold to first world customers who can afford this wasteful process of using fish protein to make fish protein. Tut, tut.

The reality is that fish feed made of fish is dramatically on the decline. For example, the jack mackerel stocks off Chile and Peru have been decimated so much by Norwegian fish farms and other companies that stocks have collapsed. While there was only one Norwegian ship in the past year fishing there, the rest of the boats were catching what remained to feed to shrimp in Asian countries.

Not sustainable, and not for human consumption.

By the way, there is so much disease and other issues in tropical fish farms, I would not eat the shrimp and so on and suggest you do the same. One practice has chickens raised in cages above the fish. Their sewage drops into the fish ponds as food.

Here is a good current article on the issues:

There are issues with plant based feed like soy, such as GMO problems, deforestation and throwing of indigenous people off their land, and so on.

I will shortly be reviewing the scientific research into gut bacteria of Atlantic salmon. The purpose is to make them able to digest vegetarian diets and thus move to a non-fish diet that has much more scope for greater amount of cheaper feed. A good idea.

Scotland researchers published their work in a recent issue of Nature:

It is important work and I suggest you read it. I will tell you more shortly.

"This week, researcher Dr. Martin Llewellyn (Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, University of Glasgow) and co-workers in Ireland, Scotland, Canada, USA and Wales took a first step towards understanding the role of salmon gut bacteria in salmon health."

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Indigenous People Unite to get Fish Farms Out of Their and Our Oceans, Updated Jan 15, 2016

First Nation's members, in a growing movement of international aboriginals, aim to get fish farms out of the pristine oceans they use as free, open sewers.

Clayoquot Sound Ahousaht First Nation is taking its petition to Norway to link up with the Sami, Norway's indigenous people to stand together to make Marine Harvest, Cermaq, Grieg Seafood and other Norwegian fish farms to get out of the ocean and farm on land, or in closed containment.

Take a look at this long blog post on the Clayoquot Action site:

The BC group could use your help in funding their historic, January trip to Norway, to meet at the Sami summit and then on to Bergen to present their petition to the government to divest from 'dirty' salmon feedlots, just as Norwegians did with oil.

This is the beginning of a global movement by indigenous people to get fish farms out of the ocean. There are indigenous people in Finland, Chile and other countries.

You may know that Norwegian fish farms companies forever changed the aboriginal people of Chile, by bringing in employment, then ISA that destroyed a quarter of a billion farmed salmon and threw all these people out of jobs, 13,000 to 26,000 of them.

Now, Chile is the acknowledged dirtiest country for fish farms in the world - diseases, lice, escapes, sewage damage, excessive antibiotics. Just a few months ago, in Torbel, a fish farm was not allowed in the water, to save tourism. The pristine Patagonia is being filled with fish farm sewage. And now, the Chilean fish farms, to address Costco's refusal to sell their product, are now manufacturing the advertising spin of: from Patagonia to your plate.

I think that consumers in the developed world will find this a most unappealing concept: that fish farms are busily destroying one of the most revered, pristine areas left in the world.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Nova Scotia Public Rejects In-ocean Fish Farms, Updated Dec 24, 2015

As I have said before, people who have to live with fish farms come to overwhelmingly reject them. In BC, 110,000 people have signed a petition for the BC Government not to issue licences and to get fish farms out of the water:

Now it's the public of Nova Scotia that rejects fish farms. They are particularly unhappy with the new weaker laws governing fish farms. See:

My list of on-land fish farms systems now stand at 122, comprising more than 10,000 actual farms, so fish farms claiming it won't work are disingenuous. We need our governments, like what is done in Denmark and Finland, to put fish farms on land, so they don't use our pristine ocean as free, open sewers. See:

In Nova Scotia, it wasn't long ago that fish farms were crowing about transparency in the new laws that in essence put all the decision-making in their hands.See the Chronicle Herald newspaper:

But non-transparency is precisely the issue: East Coast Environmmental Law in Halifax says that 'openness and transparency are staples missing from the Nova Scotia government's new aquaculture regulations.' These come after the federal government severely relaxed its own regulations of Aquaculture.

And the law charity points out: "One of the main conclusions the panel made [an independent panel] that reported on the over all issue, was you either implement it all or you're not going to get social licence from the people of Nova Scotia."

Aaron Ward went on to say that: "many groups have agreed to put aside their continued calls for such a moratorium if the panel recommendations are implemented in full." As this is not happening, the NS public wants them out of the water.

Ward said a problem is that "industry members are only required to provide basic information through what the province refers to as proactive disclosure. He said the province also fails to provide an instrument to request the revocation of a licence from repeat offenders

When a fish farm company like Marine Harvest, Cermaq and Grieg Seafood, trumpets their transparency, say no, and refer them to this story, and my posts on the Cohen Commission. See the index for this site in October of 2014:

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

On land Fish Farm Costs - $1.56 Billion Subsidy to Use BC as a Free Open Sewer - Updated, Dec 4, 2015

You'll love the first paragraph of the Aquabest analysis of on-land fish farm costs. It looked at the Danish Model Trout Farm model, adapted to the Baltic region of Finland.

 "Environmental policy goals to decrease nutrient emissions have led to stagnated fish production in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR). Fish products are imported into BSR to meet the demand, while environmental consequences are externalized to those regions that produce the fish consumed in the BSR. To switch this trend, BSR aquaculture must adopt new sustainable practices and technologies, and introduce regulation that encourages the development and use of abatement measures."

The PDF is:

In otherwords, Finland is not going to allow fish farm sewage in its waters. 'Nutrient emissions' is the amusing euphemism for fish sewage. So they imported product from Norway et al instead. In another euphemism, the sewage load is 'externalized to those regions that produce fish' meaning Finland was going to make Norway ruin its pristine ocean waters with sewage because it wasn't going to do the same stupid thing in Finland.

'Abatement measures' for the sewage means on-land fish farms. In other words, it was not going to let fish farms use its ocean as a free, open sewer, just as I have been saying is the biggest reason that fish farms aren't going to come out of the ocean without our governments pulling them out. They just let their sewage float away.

But not in Finland. Not any more at any rate. Fish farms are going to be RAS - recirculating aquaculture systems, on land, and deal with their sewage.

The strength of this paper, which I suggest you do read, is that it has the nitty gritty costs all laid out and added up for you. It compares in-ocean, part in- and out-, and fully on-land, for raising rainbow trout for market, at a size of 500 grams, and comments on 1 kg. And also suggests application to salmon - while costs rise, larger fish produce more revenue.

Most of the time when fish farm companies say it is too costly, they don't tell you what costs they are talking about. They say land and hydro and salaries. But they are talking about Norway, where there is no land. BC has plenty of dirt-cheap land to pick up, Canada being the country with great big land in this world. Norway is tiny and 44% mountains and 1190 fjords as much as 4000 metres deep.

And in BC, hydro costs are low. And when Marine Harvest, or Cermaq or Grieg Seafood tells you that salaries are high, they seldom point out that Norway is 30% higher than nearby UK. The latter they readily admit, but ignore these differences when talking about Canada, they just roll the Norwegian figures out and say it is too expensive.

The other thing is that the government of Norway has started is making companies bid in auctions for licences -because they are so unhappy with lice counts primarily. Well there is so much money in fish farming that licences are going for 60- to 80-million Krone each (Formerly, the government price was $1.69M). That is $9 to $12 million on Nov 13 exchange rate of 1K to .15 CDN$.

In BC because the licence fee is a measly $5000, that means we are subsidizing fish farms to the tune of, get this, $1.56 Billion, to use our oceans as a free open sewer. The calculation is $12M X 130 farm licences = $1.56 Billion. The figure is stunning.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Kristi Miller, DFO Scientists Allowed to Speak Under Trudeau Government

During the Cohen Commission on collapse of the Fraser River sockeye run, the Harper, Conservative Government muzzled government scientists, including Kristi Miller at the biological station in Nanaimo, BC.

She was told her paper on her viral signature work - phenotype work, rather than genotype, meaning what the fish looked like, its symptoms and which disease that that represented - could not be spoken about. Many scientists quit, and she considered it.

On the stand, if you read the third section, on disease, she is quoted as saying she found HSMI and ISA in Clayoquot Sound chinook farms. And the Sound, a Unesco Biosphere no less, wild salmon are pretty much extinct since 22 fish farms are in operation in a non-flushing sound. There are only 501 chinook in six streams. The Kennedy Lake sockeye run, once the second largest on Vancouver Island, was fished down and has never recovered during the period that fish farms have been in Clayoquot.

Little wonder.

The Trudeau government has opened the door and Miller, along with other scientists are now allowed to speak independently of the government. Here is an article that notes her response to the new freedom that she and others find themselves in:

That means her new genomic work on wild and farmed salmon that Miller is the lead scientist in will allow her to speak, in a process that is stacked against wild Pacific salmon by having fish farm representatives on the committee to parse news releases, and DFO, which continues in a conflict of interest with fish farms. They won't have the last word. Thank you Justin Trudeau.

Thank you for putting an aboriginal in as the new Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.Now, let's follow the Cohen recommendation that DFO be stripped of its role of supporting fish farms and simply get on with protecting wild Pacific salmon.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Fish Farm Sewage - More than the Entire Human Population of Norway, Updated Jan 17, 2017

The sewage on the bottom of the ocean in Norway from fish farms is the equivalent of 17 million people:

As the population of Norway is only 8 Million people, that means fish farms put more sewage on the bottom of the ocean than 213% of the people in Norway, more than twice as much.

Looked at another way, Norway's human population would have to grow 9 million people more to equal the sewage under the fish farms.

But there is another way of looking at this. Sewage includes all the sewage released into the water column plus the remainder that ends up on the bottom. A way to calculate a conservative estimate is, at the accepted equivalent of 10 fish equal the sewage of 1 human, a conservative 1000 farms, and a conservative 500,000 fish per farm. The calculation is: 1000 X 500,000/10 = 50,000,000 humans.

In other words, the conservative estimate of the total sewage load from all the fish farms in Norway, is the equivalent of 50 million people, some 625% more than there are right now.

Note the article references 'researchers' who are not concerned. My response is: are they conflicted with fish farms? The fishermen say that fish eat the sewage and are so foul they would not eat them, or catch them to sell at market to humans.

Little wonder why those citizens who have to live with fish farms overwhelmingly reject them. You will recall the 110,000 British Columbians who signed a petition to stop expansion of fish farms in BC and get the farms out of the water. See:

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Alexandra Morton - Summary Video of Fish Farm Companies Problems, Mostly Norweigian

For a good, quick summary of current fish farm issues, watch this video by Alexandra Monton. It is good and covers a lot of different problems:

Then go and look at my News Bits and Bites. I read four fish farm global newsletters every day, and decided to do a post of quick links to problems. I am very taken aback by the many issues that happen around the world every day - a lot of carnivorous and illegal activities. See:

As of November 5, 2015, there are more than 129 quick links, from the past several months.

Here is a new one: A fish farm CEO was sentenced to six months in jail in Norway for illegally reporting false lice numbers. Former CEO Egil Johansen of farming company Nord Senja Laks.

And then a Nov 5 post shows that Jo Lunder, CEO of Fredrikson Group was just charged with corruption. Fredriksen Group CEO Arrested, Charged with Corruption - FG Owns Marine Harvest. See:

So, on the one hand we have a long list of illegal activities, boom bust cycles and so on. And on the other, we have DFO's take on current lice reporting. Does this make DFO sound naive? See: It should do independent audits, but it really doesn't have enough Conservation and Protection staff to do the job.