Thursday, 14 January 2016

ISA, Fish Farms Must be Removed from Ocean - BC First Nations Tell DFO, Hunter Tootoo, Updated Jan 24, 2016

Like other aboriginals in the world, the Norwegian Sami, for instance, Canadian First Nations want fish farms out of the BC ocean and put on land - or they can go back to Norway and set up on land because the Norwegian government is so fed up with their environmental damage, it is handing out free licences to get Marine Harvest, Cermaq, and Grieg Seafood out of the ocean; this is a $9 to $12-million subsidy, an amount greater than the on-land Namgis fish farm cost in BC - $7.6 Million. It's cheap to be on land in BC.

All British Columbians want fish farms out of the ocean or they can go back to Norway and set up on land there.

In their own words:

Press Release
January 14, 2016
Ocean Fish Farms – ISAV Virus Detected
Wild Salmon Defenders Alliance

Ocean Fish Farms – ISA Virus Bombs?

News of the first published evidence that a European variant of the infectious salmon anaemia virus (ISAV) is present in British Columbia is extremely disturbing.  The peer-reviewed study was published in the Virology Journal, a scientific publication from BioMed Central, a leading academic open access publisher in the areas of biology, medicine and health.  Co-author Dr. Rick Routledge said that the potential of the ISA virus to be contributing to widespread decline in sockeye salmon populations must not be taken lightly.  Dr. Alexandra Morton, independent biologist with Raincoast Research Society, stated, “This work gives B.C. and our U.S. neighbors the opportunity to avoid tragic consequences.”

“I’m so glad to see this paper finally published. I produced a documentary about exactly this issue in 2013 called Salmon Confidential which documents evidence of dangerous European salmon viruses including ISAV which have been introduced to our wild Pacific salmon through farmed Atlantic salmon eggs imported from Europe ,” added filmmaker Twyla Roscovich. "The film is free to view online for anyone interested in the backstory.”

River First Nations titleholders have never given their consent to have fish farms sited on the migration routes of Fraser River wild salmon, and have made clear their opposition to ocean fish farms for many years.  “We see too many wild salmon in our nets with open sores. Some look good on the outside but when we open them, we find numerous white and green balls that look like cancer cells. We burn these fish instead of throwing them back in the environment so the bears, eagles and other wild life don’t get sick. We witnessed too many pre-spawn deaths. This study adds to our grave concerns about fish farms, and they must be removed from the ocean,” asserted Shane John, a Katz First Nation fisher.

The Ahousaht First Nation made the historic decision in 2015 to have a fish farm removed from their territory.  “By not allowing this fish farm in our territory, we gave the wild salmon of the Atleo river a fighting chance to survive, and we protected nearby clam beds to feed future generations,” said Lennie John of Ahousaht First Nation.  “To me, this study reconfirms fish farms don’t belong in the ocean,” Lennie added.

This study warrants a call to action by all stakeholders. We must send a strong message to both the federal and provincial governments that we can no longer tolerate the ocean fish farm industry continuing to play Russian roulette with our endangered wild salmon.  Too much is at stake.  Business as usual expansion must stop. Open-net fish farms could very well be ticking virus bombs, and raises the spectre of wild salmon vanishing, with devastating consequences for biodiversity and the wild salmon economy.

To prevent this, we need to honor the precautionary principle by removing open-net fish farms from the ocean.  An emerging land-based aquaculture industry, properly regulated, would be a sustainable alternative to ocean fish farms, a solution whose time has come.  Government regulations protecting wild salmon from all industrial harm is also imperative.

Media Contact:

Eddie Gardner, Wild Sdalmon Defenders Alliance Coordinator



Now, go and look at the 127 on-land fish farm systems I have found around the world, comprising more than 10,000 actual on land fish farms: It is past the tipping point for fish farms.

Now, go and read my article on my other reasons for coming to the conclusion that we are past the tipping point with getting fish farms out of the oceans they use as free, open sewers:

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