Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Lice Out of Control in Scotland, Updated Dec 29, 2015

A study out in December 2015 points out that lice are beyond control of operators in most of Scotland and wild salmonids suffer, and are in need of urgent protection. They recommend public inspectors take over lice counts and that fish farms move to closed containment.

Read the PDF: http://www.salmon-trout.org/pdf/THE%20CONTROL%20OF%20SEA%20LICE%20S&TCS%20REPORT%20December%202015.pdf.

Here is part of the Executive Summary:

... little consideration is being given to the consequent negative effects on wild salmonids.

Where there is evidence of early harvest or culling out of farmed fish, this appears only to be associated with unacceptable damage being caused to the farmed fish, causing either commercial losses or animal welfare issues for the farmed fish, rather than this occurring in order to protect wild fish.

Action by Scottish Government is required urgently to address the sea lice issue as it affects wild fish. The major barrier to proper scrutiny of the fish farms - the lack of published farm-specific sea lice data - needs to be removed and further information concerning newer control methods for sea lice should be recorded and published to ensure that a complete picture is obtained of the sea lice control methods used.

The voluntary CoGP should be made a statutory code, as provided for in the 2007 Act, and an upper tier sea lice threshold should be introduced, above which an immediate cull or harvest of farmed fish is mandated. It should not be possible for fish-farmers, where sea lice numbers have effectively gone out of control on their farms, to assert that they remain in compliance with the CoGP merely because they have instigated treatment, regardless of its efficacy in reducing lice numbers. 2

The Scottish Government should amend legislation with the express purpose of protecting wild fish from potential damage caused by fish-farms, with inspectors given a legal duty to control sea lice on fish-farms expressly in order to protect wild fish populations. Those farms consistently failing to control sea lice should be identified for closure and / or relocation.

In parallel, Scottish Government should focus on alternative more sustainable production methods with the ultimate objective of moving to full closed containment of farmed salmon production in Scotland to eliminate the biological interaction between farmed and wild fish.

You will recall  from a post a week or so ago on fishfarmnews that Marine Harvest is going for ASC accreditation in Scotland and Norway, resulting, it thinks, in a 'profound' change for fish farms. Sorry Jo Lunder et al, it just ain't so. See my post: http://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2015/12/marine-harvest-fix-image-not-problem.html.

Not to mention that the Norwegian government is so angry with fish farms, about lice and other problems, that it is giving out free licences to get them out of the water and set up on land, a saving of $9 to $12-Million for on-land. See:  https://www.undercurrentnews.com/2015/12/11/norway-to-make-land-based-aquaculture-easier/?utm_source=Undercurrent+News+Alerts&utm_campaign=33b8782ce8-Salmon_roundup_Dec_11_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_feb55e2e23-33b8782ce8-92426209.


Here is a list of the chemicals used in Scotland to kill lice. Slice is used in BC, Cypermethrin is the illegal chemical that Cooke Aquaculture used for two years in Atlantic Canada - and paid a large fine of, as I recall, $500,000, which was far less, and no jail sentence, from the penalties that could have been handed out.

Azamethiphos is an organophosphorus pesticide, which works by interfering with the transmission of nerve impulses. It has been used in a spray form to control insects such as cockroaches and flies in buildings, warehouses and intensive farming installations10. Azamethiphos is highly toxic to birds and aquatic invertebrates and moderately toxic to fish11 .

Deltamethrin is a pyrethroid insecticide and is highly toxic to humans and other mammals and is a neurotoxin. It is relatively non-toxic to birds and earthworms although it presents a high risk to most aquatic organisms and honeybees12 .

Cypermethrin is an insecticide and is considered a serious marine pollutant. It is moderately toxic to mammals and there is some concern regarding its potential to bioaccumulate. It is highly toxic to most aquatic species and honeybees13 .

Emamectin benzoate [that is, SLICE] is a pesticide which works by interfering with nerve impulses in the body. It is used in agricultural settings to control insects amongst vegetable crops such as cabbage and broccoli and on cotton plants. Emamectin benzoate is toxic to birds, mammals, fish and other aquatic organisms (particularly those living on the sea bed)14 .

Teflubenzuron is used to control a wide range of insect pests and mites in fruit, vegetable, cereal and seed crops. It works by interfering with the synthesis of insect chitin, which is essential to their growth and development. Teflubenzuron is classed as having low toxicity for mammals, fish and birds. Other aquatic organisms (particularly crustaceans and those living in sediments) may however suffer adverse effects if exposed15 .

"These are administered either as a bath or in feed treatment. Bath treatments are applied using full enclosure, in a tarpaulin, at a marine cage site, or in a well-boat adjacent to the marine cages. Bath treatments include azamethiphos (Salmosan), deltamethrin (Alphamax), cypermethrin (Excis). Emamectin benzoate (Slice) or teflubenzuron (Calicide) can be administered as in-feed treatments. Hydrogen peroxide is also used to control sea lice as well as other diseases of farmed salmon, such as Amoebic Gill Disease."

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