Thursday, 25 February 2016

Lice Numbers Don't Match Up in BC and with Marine Harvest CEO, Updated Feb 26, 2016

You may have read the Randy Shore article in the Vancouver Sun, or heard a news clip on CHEK and other television stations in BC that fish farms, Marine Harvest, Cermaq, Grieg Seafood et al think that sea lice on outbound salmon fry don't come from fish farms.

Marine Harvest CEO Aarskog asked for help last year because lice are the number one problem around the world in fish farms. Hmm.

Here is the research that BC Marine Harvest has overlooked that show that fish farm lice infect wild salmon fry in BC. It is a long list:

Peacock, S., M. Krkosek, A. Bateman & M. Lewis, 2015. Parasite-mediated release from predation in a juvenile salmon food web. Ecosphere. 6:art264.

Rees, E., S. St-Hilaire, S. Jones, M. Krkosek, S. DeDominicis, M. Foreman, T. Patanasatienkul & C. Revie, 2015. Spatial patterns of sea lice infection among wild and captive salmon in western Canada. Landscape Ecology, 30, 989-1004.

Krkosek, M. & J. Drake, 2014. On signals of phase transitions in salmon population dynamics. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 281, 20133221.

Peacock, S., B. Connors, M. Krkosek, J. Irvine, & M. Lewis. 2014. Can reduced predation offset negative effects of sea louse parasites on chum salmon? Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 281, 20132913.

Krkosek, M., J. Ashander, L.N. Frazer, & M. Lewis, 2013. Allee effect from parasite spill-back. American Naturalist, 182, 640-652.

Patanasatienkul, T., J. Sanchez, E.E. Rees, M. Krkosek, S.R.M. Jones & C.W. Revie, 2013. Sea lice infestations on juvenile chum and pink salmon in the Broughton Archipelago, Canada from 2003 to 2012. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 105, 149-161.

Rogers, L., S. Peacock, P. McKenzie, S. DeDominicis, S. Jones, P. Chandler, M. Foreman, C. Revie, & M. Krkosek, 2013. Modeling parasite dynamics on farmed salmon for precautionary conservation management of wild salmon. PLoS ONE. 8: e60096.

Peacock, S., M. Krkosek, S. Proboszcz, C. Orr, & M. Lewis, 2013. Cessation of a salmon decline with control of parasites. Ecological Applications. 23, 606-620.

Ashander, J., M. Krkosek, & M. Lewis, 2012. Aquaculture-induced changes to dynamics of a migratory host and specialist parasite: a case study of pink salmon and sea lice. Theoretical Ecology. 5, 231-252.

Frazer, L.N., A. Morton, & M. Krkosek, 2012. Critical thresholds in sea lice epidemics: evidence, sensitivity, and subcritical estimation. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 279, 1950-1958.

Krkosek, M., B. Connors, M. Lewis, & R. Poulin, 2012. Allee effects may slow the spread of parasites in a coastal marine ecosystem. American Naturalist, 179, 401-412.

Morton, A., A. McConnell, R. Routledge, M. Krkosek. 2011. Sea lice dispersion and salmon survival in relation to fallowing and chemical treatment on salmon farms. ICES Journal of Marine Science. 68, 144-156.

Krkosek, M., B. Connors, A. Morton, M. Lewis, L. Dill, & R. Hilborn, 2011. Effects of parasites from salmon farms on wild salmon populations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. 108, 14700-14704.

Krkosek, M., R. Hilborn, R. Peterman, & T. Quinn. 2011. Cycles, stochastcity, and density dependence in pink salmon population dynamics. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 278, 2060-2068.

Krkosek, M., & R. Hilborn. 2011. Sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) infestations and the productivity of pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) in the Broughton Archipelago, British Columbia, Canada. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 68, 17-29.

Krkosek, M., B. Connors, H. Ford, S. Peacock, P. Mages, J. Ford, A. Morton, J. Volpe, R. Hilborn, L. Dill,& M. Lewis, 2011. Fish farms, parasites, and predators: Implications for salmon population dynamics. Ecological Applications. 21, 897-914.

Krkosek, M., A. Bateman, S. Proboscsz, & C. Orr. 2010. Dynamics of outbreak and control of salmon lice on two salmon farms in the Broughton Archipelago. Aquaculture Environment Interactions. 1, 137-146.

Connors, B., M. Krkosek, J. Ford, & L. Dill. 2010. Coho salmon productivity in relation to direct and trophic transmission of sea lice from salmon aquaculture. Journal of Applied Ecology. 47, 1372-1377.
Krkosek, M. 2010. Host density thresholds and disease control for fisheries and aquaculture. Aquaculture Environment Interactions. 1, 21-32.

Krkosek, M. 2010. Sea lice and salmon in Pacific Canada: Ecology and policy. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 8, 201-209.

Krkosek, M., A. Morton, J. Volpe, & M. Lewis. 2009. Sea lice and salmon population dynamics: Effects of exposure time for migratory fish. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 276, 2819-2828.

Krkosek, M., J. Ford, A. Morton, S. Lele, & M. Lewis, 2008. Response to comment on "Declining wild salmon populations in relation to parasites from farm salmon". Science. 322, 1790-1791.

Connors, B., M. Krkosek, & L. Dill, 2008. Sea lice escape predation on their host. Biology Letters. 4, 455-457.

Krkosek, M., J. Ford, A. Morton, S. Lele, & M. Lewis, 2008. Sea lice and pink salmon declines: response to Brooks and Jones. Reviews in Fisheries Science. 16, 413-420.

Morton, A., R. Routledge, & M. Krkosek. 2008. Sea lice infestation of juvenile salmon and herring associated with fish farms off the east central coast of British Columbia. North American Journal of Fisheries Management. 28, 523-532.

Krkosek, M., J. Ford, A. Morton, S. Lele, R.A. Myers,& M. Lewis, 2007. Declining wild salmon populations in relation to parasites from farm salmon. Science. 318, 1772-1775.

Krkosek, M., A. Gottesfeld, B. Proctor, D. Rolston, C. Carr-Harris, & M. Lewis, 2007. Effects of host migration, diversity, and aquaculture on sea lice threats to wild Pacific salmon populations. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 274, 1341-3149.

Krkosek, M., M. Lewis, A. Morton, L.N. Frazer & J. Volpe. 2006. Epizootics of wild fish induced by farm fish. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. 103, 15506-15510.

Morton, A.B. and Williams, R. 2006. Response of the Sea Louse Lepeophtheirus salmonis infestation levels on juvenile wild Pink, Oncorhynchus gorbuscha, and Chum, O. keta, salmon, to arrival of parasitized wild adult salmon. Canadian Field Naturalist. 120:2

Morton, A. B. and Routledge (2006) Mortality rates for juvenile pink and chum salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha and keta) infested with sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) in the Broughton Archipelago. Alaska Fisheries Research Bulletin. 11:2, 146-152.

Krkosek, M., M. Lewis, J. Volpe, & A. Morton. 2006. Fish Farms and sea lice infestations of wild juvenile salmon in the Broughton Archipelago – A rebuttal to Brooks (2005). Reviews in Fisheries Science. 14: 1-11.

Morton, A.B., Routledge, R, and Williams R. 2005 Temporal patterns of sea lice infestation on wild Pacific salmon in relation to the fallowing of Atlantic salmon farms. American Journal of Fisheries Management. 25: 811-821

Krkosek, M., M.A. Lewis, & J.P. Volpe. 2005. Transmission dynamics of parasitic sea lice from farm to wild salmon. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 272, 689-696.

Krkosek, M., A. Morton, & J.P. Volpe. 2005. Non-lethal assessment of juvenile Pacific salmon for parasitic sea lice infections and fish health. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. 134, 711-716.

Morton, A.B., Routledge, R., Peet, C. and Ladwig, A 2004 Sea lice, Lepeophtheirus salmonis, infection rates on juvenile chum and pink salmon in the nearshore marine environment in British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science, 61: 147-157.

Morton, A.B., and Williams R . 2003 Infestation of the sea louse Lepeophtheirus salmonis (Krøyer) on juvenile pink salmon Oncorhynchus gorbuscha (Walbaum) in British Columbia, Canadian Field Naturalist, 117: 634-641

- See more at:

Yes, a long list, indeed - more than 30 published papers -that Marine Harvest ignores. Now, the short list from them:


2. Do read these as they are fascinating accounts of beach seining, if nothing else.

Now, DFO's own numbers from Quatstino Sound summer of 2015:

Yes, all the fish farms in Quatsino were over the 3 lice limit last year. And one was 300% to 800% higher than the limit, coming in at more than 27 lice per fish.

So how is it that Marine Harvest figures are so low and they claim lice don't come from fish farms? Seems a pretty shaky assertion to me.

I would add that the April - May time period may catch chum and pink - there aren't that many in Quatsino. But coho migrate to saltwater in July and chinook are estuarial for as much as 6 months after leaving their river of origin, in the summer, not April/May.

I would add that the beach seines were right across from farms so the discrepancy is likely the result of finding figures in the wrong place, as well as at the wrong time. It is not common for fry to be found on beaches, other than chum.

But I would add that as they only found one searun cutthroat trout, that is strong evidence - not followed up - that fish that spend their lives in shallow water just aren't there. They may have died from sea lice and thus not be in the sample, a species of greater interest given that they spend their whole lives in Quatsino Sound -  on beaches in 3 feet of water. No steelhead fry were found either. I can't speculate on their number being zero, but they are the species of greatest concern for being near the limits of extinction given their small population size - often runs can have as few as 150 individuals.


Now, go look at a list of problems in fish farms/seafood industry. Scan the boldfacing. I think you will be shocked:

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Norway Royal Salmon - Consumers Don't Buy Environmentally Unsafe In-ocean Salmon

Here is an example of a fish farm company in Norway that just does not get that the world no longer wants fish farms in the ocean. See this and the PDF, which is a Powerpoint presentation and thus easy to read quickly:

When you consider the following posts in the same context, it is clear that Norway Royal Salmon is 
getting left behind. Consumers don't want in-ocean fish farm salmon anymore because of its
climate change footprinit. Fish farms put more climate change sewage in the oceans of Norway than
the entire human population.

Now, go to the two posts that are on the Sami and Clayoqwuot First Nation summit in Norway, 
and that the concensus - in Norway - in 2016 - is that fish farms are coming out of the ocean because they are 
non-sustainable:, and,

See the NRS website:

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Clayoquot and Sami Aboriginals, Norwegians, Scientists, Politicians, Public: Fish Farms Need to be On Land

Well, the Clayoquot Action Group that went to Norway to call on the Sami peoples, Norwegians, Norwegian government, scientists, environmentalists and Cermaq, in fact everyone they talked to said this about getting fish farms out of the water:

"A clear consensus has emerged over the past two weeks, through meetings with wild salmon advocates, academics, and an investigative journalist. When asked the question, “how can Canada avoid the problems Norway is experiencing with open-net pen salmon farming?”, without hesitation every single person replied: “Shifting to closed containment production is the only way forward”." 

See: Do read this entire article with the Cermaq, Marine Harvest, Grieg Seafood in-ocean fish farms being described as 'dinosaur technology'.

So, now you have heard  what the reaction is in Norway. What we need in Canada is for Justin Trudeau and Hunter Tootoo to take fish farms out of the ocean. In BC, there are 73 Million wild salmon, in Atlantic Canada there are only 170,000 wild Atlantic Salmon left in the sea. BC has 99.8% of all the salmon in Canada, and we want fish farms on land or they can take their small GDP contribution (part of only $61.9M) and their few jobs (BC Stats says  only 1700 multiplier jobs, and I have looked and found it is only 795 actual jobs) back to Norway and set up on land because the Norwegian government is so fed up with them it is handing out free licences to get out of the ocean and set up on land, a $9- to $12-Million subsidy, representing the auction price of a licence in the ocean.

So it is on land in Canada, and Norway. The movement is spreading because the public and aboriginals where there are fish farms overwhelmingly reject them in the ocean. In BC, the petition to stop expansion and get fish farms out of the water received 110,000 signatures.

Here is another quote from the Clayoquot Site:

"Signs of a tide change beginning to sweep the industry are breaking daily in major Norwegian media. Dagbladet, the country’s second biggest paper, ran a story pointing out that catches are plummeting in the Alta, “the world’s best salmon river” as the amount of farmed salmon in the nearby Altafjord increases. The production manager of Grieg Seafood’s operations in Alta was quoted saying: “The only solution is to get the fish into closed containment”.
The following day the front page of the paper in Bergen read: “CEO of Marine Harvest prepared to invest US $100M: if everything works as planned, closed containment systems will replace open-net pen salmon farms”.
The Delegation also met with MP Frank Bakke-Jensen, from the governing party, and suggested that with the clear consensus emerging in Norway finally being acknowledged by industry, the government runs the risk of no longer providing leadership, unless they get out in front of the parade."
Thank you Clayoquot Action Group for taking your stand to Norway and contributing to fundamental change in the way our ocean is treated. No more fish farm climate change sewage.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

KEY Document: Aboriginals of the World Say No to Fish Farms, Updated Feb 11, 2016

The joining of aboriginal peoples from around the world against in-ocean fish farms has begun. This is another watershed moment just as the tipping point that happened in 2015 with the Norwegian government change in licence policy. See:

Clayoquot Sound, BC, is a UNESCO Biosphere it is that special. Why then has Christy Clark, BC Premier, and Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada allowed some 20 fish farm sites, most - 15 - owned by the Norwegian-style firm Cermaq, to remain stationed here?

As the Cohen Commission explained in its 1200 page tome into the collapse of the 2009 Fraser River sockeye runs, the government needs to take the conflict of DFO supporting fish farms out of their hands and for DFO to get on with saving wild salmon.

There are only 501 wild chinook salmon left in Clayoquot Sound, and the Kennedy Lake sockeye run collapsed in the 1990s from commercial-fishing. In the presence of 20 fish farms, that when they have diseases, like IPN or IHN, are shedding 56 billion virus particles per hour, which in 12 hours at a 2 knot tide, spread to 24 nautical miles, the run has never come back.

Look at the location of the Clayoquot Sound fish farms below and it's pretty easy to understand why no wild salmon could dodge the disease in its waters.

The Clayoquot Action group is meeting with the Norwegian Sami in February 2016 and taking its text to lay before the Norwegian government to get fish farms out of the ocean. They should get a friendly hearing because the Norwegian government is so fed up with the environmental damage of fish farms that it is handing out free on-land licences to get Marine Harvest, Cermaq, Grieg Seafood and the rest out of the ocean and set up on land. This is a $9- to $12-million subsidy, representing the foregone in-ocean auction price of a licence.

Look at the itinerary below the graphic. I will post more on this important subject.

The Huffington Post sums up what British Columbians feel about fish farms: “While marches in the rest of the world largely targeted the fossil fuel industry, in BC, salmon farming is viewed as our own version of the tar sands, as despised as big oil.

Hmm: As despised as big oil. I think that says it all about how British Columbians feel about in-ocean fish farms. Marine Harvest, Cermaq and Grieg Seafood are just watching the world tell them to get out of the ocean and set up on land. And the consumers are paying attention, a long term issue if the fish farms can ever get anyone back. And Justin Trudeau thought that we were angry about the Northern Gateway oil pipeline. Sorry to tell him that just ain't so. Christy Clark needs to pay attention. She thought LNG was a big issue. 

Canadian Wild Salmon Delegation Itinerary

Oslo: January 28
Bergen: January 30-February 4
Public presentation: Wednesday February 3 / 1900 / More info
Alta: February 6-10
Public presentation: Monday Feb 8 / 1000-1130 / More info
Oslo: February 11-12
Public presentation: Thursday February 11 / 1900 / More info
Update Feb 11, 2016. Here is an article in a Norwegian paper about the trip of the BC aboriginals to Norway to contact the Sami people and lay documents at the feet of Cermaq and the Norwegian government to get fish farms out of the world's oceans and particularly in BC. Do read this article, that points out that our coastal rainforest is dependent on salmon carcasses for nitrogen and carbon (in a previous post, I referenced the salmon carbon amount in cedar trees as 14%):

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Consumers: Avoid Canadian Fish Farm Salmon - Toxic Chemicals

I thought readers would like to see a full release on the Seafood Watch text pointing out to Canadian consumers that they should not buy farmed Atlantic Salmon. There are many reasons - Canada using the second highest level of chemicals in the world, after, the acknowledged worst country, Chile - but I will leave it to the NR, and only note that Norway is in the process of getting fish farms out of its ocean and set up on land because it is so fed up with the environmental damage in their ocean waters. This is a $9- to $12-Million subsidy based on the auction ocean-licence price. Look at the index for this site for recent posts:

The SeaChoice website is: And the link for this article is:


Chemical Use, Escapes, and Disease Continue to Pose a Threat to the Marine Environment and Endangered Wild Salmon Populations, According to New Seafood Watch Report.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 2, 2016

Halifax, NS and Vancouver, BC - Open net-pen Atlantic salmon remains on the “Avoid” list after a new assessment outlines the ongoing threats posed by excessive chemical use, high levels of escapes, and the presence of persistent diseases in Atlantic Canadian farms. The Seafood Watch report, completed as part of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s seafood recommendation program, also assessed farms in North East US, which have scored a “yellow,” or ”Some Concerns” ranking. These differed from Atlantic Canadian farms as they have lower disease outbreaks and the existence of a successful regulatory framework which includes protection for wild Atlantic salmon through a containment management protocol for escapes.

“This report confirms that there are significant problems with Atlantic Canada’s open net-pen finfish farming operations,” says Susanna Fuller of the Ecology Action Centre. “How is it that in Maine – just across the bay – net-pens owned by the same company have less disease and such fewer escapes? This very clearly indicates that the lack of regulations here in Canada is resulting in higher, and completely unnecessary, environmental damage.”

One of the major concerns facing both assessed regions is the extremely high levels of chemical use. Antibiotic and pesticide use in Eastern North American farms is significantly higher than other salmon farming regions in the world - 241 times higher than in Scotland and 204 times higher than Norway. Also, some of the chemicals used are listed as Highly and Critically Important to Human Health by the World Health Organization, according to the report.

“It’s alarming that such high amounts of chemicals, including antibiotics, are being used here in Atlantic Canada,” says Matt Abbott of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. “This is of particular concern as the Canadian government has recently weakened laws and regulations prohibiting the use of chemicals, with the introduction in summer 2015 of the Aquaculture Activity Regulations. Not only are there high amounts of antibiotics in the farmed salmon, the regulation of pesticide use is now significantly less than it was a year ago.”

A significant difference between the US and Canadian farms was the regulatory requirement to track all escapes back to the farm. In Canada, there are no such requirements, although the Nova Scotia government is in the process of developing a similar protocol as part of its recent regulatory changes.

“Impacts on endangered populations of wild Atlantic salmon as a result of aquaculture operations cannot be underestimated.” says National SeaChoice Manager Lana Brandt.

With wild Atlantic salmon listed as endangered in both Canada and the US, the additional threats created by open net-pens pose an unacceptable risk to the future of wild populations. We need to address these issues and create changes in our regulatory system to ensure that Atlantic Canada’s ocean ecosystems are not unnecessarily and irreversibly harmed by these open net-pen farms.


To view the full Atlantic salmon recommendations please visit the SeaChoice website.
Or, for more Information contact:
Susanna Fuller, Marine Conservation Coordinator, Ecology Action Centre 902-446-4840
Lana Brandt, National SeaChoice Manager 778-833-2954

 New Brunswick and Nova Scotia make up over 60 per cent of all North American marine farmed Atlantic salmon.
 100 per cent of US farmed Atlantic salmon is from Maine – accounting for 25 per cent of North American market.
 60 per cent of Atlantic Canada’s farmed salmon is exported to the US.
 Average North American antibiotic use between 2012-2014 for Atlantic salmon farms was 241 times higher than in Scotland, 204 times higher than Norway, and 6 times higher than British Columbia.


 Escapes pose ecological and genetic threats to the historically low wild Atlantic salmon populations, which are listed as endangered in Canada and the US.
 In Canada, there is currently no centralized Containment Management System (CMS) to monitor escapes. Instead, it is self-regulated.
 In the USA, they have a very successful, multi-faceted CMS in place, and there have been no containment breaches since 2003.
 Only 0.24 per cent of wild fish found in the Gulf of Maine originated from a farm, compared to a New Brunswick river where 70.3 per cent of fish in the wild were from a farm origin.
 Additionally, in Maine it is required to maintain a genetic database of hatcheries so that escaped fish can be traced back to their specific production site. This database does not exist in Canada.


 A severe viral disease called Infections Salmon Anemia (ISA) is still present at many Canadian Atlantic salmon farms, while there have been no cases of ISA in the US since 2006.
 In Atlantic Canada, sea lice loads are higher than industry-authored limits, and there is also a high transfer of disease on farms.