Monday, 21 November 2016

Hasta La Vista Liberals - Salmon as Important to BC as French to Quebec, Updated Aug 22, 2017

Hi Serge, Justin et al

You Liberals need to wake up, move beyond DFO/fish farm spin, and support Bill C-228 to remove fish farms from BC's ocean.

You are just starting to realize you will lose all 17 BC Lib MPs over Kinder Morgan. Well, salmon mean more to British Columbians than pipelines - as important as French to Quebec (1).

You need to wake up and Google: fish farm environmental damage. You will be reading the 100,000 pages of science damage articles for weeks (2).

You need to wake up. More than 100,000 British Columbians have signed a petition to get fish farms out of the water (6). Anyone who has to live with them, comes to overwhelmingly reject them.

Here are your words in debate over Bill C-228, a bill to remove fish farms from BC waters (3):

1. "we continue to support the responsible development of a sustainable aquaculture industry in Canada."

WRONG: Fish farms are only sustainable on land, where they clean up their waste, contain diseases and switch from a carnivore to a herbivore. Reduction fisheries have trashed 19 of the top 20 world ocean forage fish species for feed (4). They kill 5.76 billion fish to feed an industry the size of BC to harvest (19).

2. "The government is absolutely determined to conserve wild Pacific salmon and ensure that our wild salmon populations remain healthy for generations to come."

WRONG: The Cohen Commission said DFO is conflicted with fish farms and the responsibility needs to be taken away as it gets in the way of supporting wild Pacific salmon (5).

3. “…the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard went to British Columbia… to announce government would continue to follow up on the recommendations of the Cohen Commission.”

WRONG: My Environmental Petition filed with the Auditor General received generic mush as a response from DFO. I know it is mush because I used to write such mush for Government. I asked for disaggregated budgets and FTEs (Full Time Equivalents = people) and received nothing (7).

4. “These new investments include research and monitoring in support of sustainable aquaculture and the improved health of fish stocks.”

WRONG: Give us disaggregated budgets and FTEs. Sustainable aquaculture is a myth (4).

5. “We have also held extensive consultations with first nations, environmental NGOs, and industry stakeholders on the choice of site for finfish aquaculture in British Columbia.”

WRONG: There is not one environmental NGO in BC that supports in-ocean fish farms. This includes the David Suzuki Foundation, Watershed Watch, Save Our Salmon, Living Oceans, Dogwood Initiative, Alexandra Morton and others. Bob Chamberlin, chief, says 151 First Nations oppose fish farms, only 1 is for them. And you haven’t talked to the thousands of scientists who publish the environmental damage of fish farms. Nor commercial fishermen, who are against fish farms.

6. “We are working on having assessments done of the risks associated with the transfer of pathogens between farmed salmon and wild salmon.”

WRONG: In fact, the most shocking thing is that DFO and the CFIA have been shown to be colluding, looking for testing facilities that will give negative results for disease (8). Fraud is the word that comes to mind when searching for what the feds have done. Also, DFO has been, is, and will be in court regarding allowing transfer of PRV infected stock to salmon farms – ‘causes’ HSMI, from Norway (9).

7. “Closed containment cultivation technology is still not technically viable.”

WRONG: I have found more than 160 on-land fish farm systems around the world, comprising almost 20,000 actual on land farms (10).

8. “…aquaculture in British Columbia is managed under a comprehensive and robust regulatory regime.”

WRONG: In fact, several acts have been weakened, among them the Fisheries Act, the Environmental Assessment Act, and regs on the east coast in NS and NB (11).

9. “Measures are in place through regulations and conditions of licence to apply evidence-based thresholds and standards to manage environmental impacts. Moreover, the industry is required to report to Fisheries and Oceans Canada on all of its activities. Additionally, a new regulation requiring even more reporting on aquaculture activities was brought into force in 2015.”

WRONG: See 11. And, fish farms globally use a push/pull system on governments. In 2015, they claimed to be operating under the strictest laws in the world in Canada, Chile, Norway and Scotland, all at the same time. This is false because no two countries have the same laws. Further, Chile is widely acknowledged as the dirtiest country in the world. Then, behind the scenes, fish farms argue for weaker laws, and then say the new features are great because the laws needed modernization. This has happened in NB where you are from. The laws are weak.

10. “What does all the data, collected over the course of five years, tell us? Does it indicate that the problems with finfish aquaculture in British Columbia warrant the restructuring of the entire industry? In my view, the evidence tells a completely different story. In fact, the evidence shows an industry that has steadily reduced its environmental impact, mitigated the impacts it has had, and minimized its interactions with wild populations and their habitats.”

WRONG: Just so you know, Norway is giving out free licences to set up on land because they are so fed up with Marine Harvest, Cermaq and Grieg Seafood, the BC industry, a subsidy of $9- to $12-million based on the in-ocean, auction price for a single licence (12).

And, the science notes a 50% decline in wild salmonids around the world where there are fish farms, including in BC (13).

11. “Operators in British Columbia must produce reports on a wide range of technical regulatory requirements from the state of the environment inside and around open-net farms to the number of sea lice on the fish. Operators must report details of any escapes and all illnesses that affect their farmed fish.”

WRONG: These are not publicly available, and, judging by what happens at fish farms, including PRV, that the Province’s system cavalierly sees as no problem, the systems don’t work (14). This is a disaster waiting to happen, PRV becoming virulent HSMI.

And, take a look at the Morton video at a randomly selected farm, and in a randomly selected pen (15). The fish are sick, eating wild fish and a slick pervades the water.

12. “Our country and our government rely on the best scientific advice to inform our regulatory system. We use data to make our decisions. We have no evidence that the environment is sacrificed in order to pursue the economic development of British Columbia's aquaculture industry.”

WRONG: You need to wake up and look at the 100,000 pages of fish farm environmental damage on the internet (2). Take a close look at my links I put below this text. They represent months of work on my part. Why doesn’t DFO know all this and do something about it: put farms on land, as Bill C-228 makes clear?

13. “With respect to the state of the environment under and around marine finfish aquaculture facilities, the regulatory requirements ensure that these sites are left empty if they exceed the established threshold and they cannot be cultivated again until levels return to normal.”

WRONG: The sewage damage floats off in the water column to infect a much larger body of ocean.

Dilution is no longer the solution (16).

And just when we thought fish farms couldn’t get any worse, Norway is majorly polluted, Nov 17, 2016 (17).

And fallowed farms kill marine mammals, a humpback whale in Nov, 2016 (20).

My calculation of the sewage damage in BC is $10.4 billion that we taxpayers absorb – we don’t want to pay (30).

14. “aquaculture operators in British Columbia are required to report any escapes to Fisheries and Oceans Canada within 24 hours.”

WRONG: There are so many farms in distant parts of BC that they can’t check them everyday. And around the world, 4 million escapes happen to the same companies in Chile and Norway. On east coast Canada where you are from, every river within 300 km has its genetics polluted with escaped farm fish. It doesn’t happen in BC because Atlantic salmon can’t mate with Pacific salmon.

15. “With respect to the health of farmed fish, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has a list of diseases that have the potential to seriously impact aquatic animal health or the Canadian economy. Anyone who knows of or suspects these diseases is required to notify the agency.”

WRONG: It is actually the OIE, World Animal Health Org, that has the list. And, the CFIA and DFO, as pointed out, have tried not to find disease by selecting a lab that was likely to give negative results (9). Some would call this fraud.

And, during the Cohen Commission it came out that the Gagne/DFO/CFIA labs could not find fish farm diseases (21).

And, in the fallout of the Cohen Commission, the CFIA went after Dr. Fred Kibenge’s OIE certification for being the only OIE lab for the western hemisphere. Many would call this fraudulent (22). Kibenge was the gold standard for disease.

16. “Fisheries and Oceans Canada periodically inspects the health of fish in British Columbia salmon farms. Three incidents involving infectious diseases were reported to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency over the past six years alone.”

WRONG: Go to the links about weaknesses in DFO and CFIA about disease already listed above. In fact the CFIA has paid out millions - $135 million – for diseased dead fish farm fish, and its list includes multiple ISA in Atlantic Canada in 2016 (23), not to mention the paper on ISA in BC in 2016, the worst disease (24), but CFIA ‘can’t’ find it.

17. “ … sea lice is another highly controversial fish health indicator, particularly in British Columbia. Even if the fish are raised in cages in a parasite-free marine environment, farmed fish can catch sea lice from contact with wild species.”

WRONG: 30 scientific papers have been published on fish farm lice in BC and elsewhere (25). On-land fish farms have zero lice. In-ocean fish farms amplify them to such a degree that the CEO of Marine Harvest, Helge Aarskog said last year of Norway, that lice were their worst problem (26), (27).

18. “To reduce the spread of these parasites, there is a regulatory limit of three lice per fish during the seaward salmon migration. Fisheries and Oceans Canada audits of the last migration showed that, on average, 96% of salmon farms were below that limit.”

WRONG: We need independent scientists doing the research, there are those 30 papers on lice after all, and Aarskogg on MH lice in Norway (26), (27).

19. “As a whole, Canada's aquaculture industry has an exemplary record.”

WRONG: In fact, the global fish farm/seafood industry is a boom/bust industry with a huge amount of bad news, including Canada. I receive more than 20 global fish farm newsletters each week, and the number of bad news stories is almost stunning – I have found almost 1,000 in the past year (28). Scan the bold face text for problems in Canada and abroad.

20. “Based on the data, we believe that the regulatory regime is strong enough to ensure stable, well-paid employment for thousands of people living in rural and isolated coastal communities, as well as first nations, to promote an innovative, world-renowned aquaculture industry, and to protect wild populations and the aquatic environment.”

WRONG: You need to wake up and look beyond DFO/fishfarm communications spin. Look at the links I have put below, particularly on legislation problems, and Google: fish farm environmental damage.

And, as for employment, fish farms claim there are 6,000 jobs in BC, while I have determined the actual employment. It is only 820 or only 13.7% of what fish farms claim, or only 1 in 10. (29). And the link has Marine Harvest saying that employment is low in fish farms because most of the work is automated. And I have given a link to Bob Chamberlin saying 151 First Nations are against fish farms.

Here is another long link of problems in fish farms in Canada:

21. “I stand in the House in full support of British Columbia's aquaculture industry as well as the aquaculture industry across the country, in support of our robust regulatory regime, in support of good jobs, and in support of the healthy and nutritious farmed seafood products that feed Canadians as well as people around the world.”

WRONG: I have pointed out the legislation problems, and the problems with regulation/testing, that there are only a few jobs in fish farms, and finally, look at this graph on cancer causing and other chemicals in farmed fish. Farmed fish have ten times the chemicals than any other meat product. Flame retardants, yum, nutritious.

And Serge, Cooke Aquaculture in your own area has people hopping mad. Read about the litany of complaint:

Serge, Justin, Kevin, and Dominic you need to wake up. There is no way forward for fish farms in BC other than to be on land. Or they can take their few jobs back to Norway and set up on land there because their own government is so fed up with their environmental damage in the ocean they are handing out free licences worth $9- to $12-million for each on-land farm (based on the in-ocean auction price for a licence).
References and Links:

1. See survey:

2. See damage:

3. See Serge Cormier, Liberal MP: 

4. See the Sea Around Us document on reduction fisheries:

5. See Cohen Commission/Watershed Watch item #3:

6. See:

7. See my petition wording:

8. See:

12. See my index for a list of such articles on the subsidies for on-land:

14. See the Marty document: This is a disaster waiting to happen, tested by the testing system.

19. See the calculation of 5.76 billion forage fish:

23. See CFIA pays millions for diseased dead fish farm fish: My site has several more posts on this issue.

25. Science papers on sea lice in BC:


Now, Dec 20, 2016, a letter from Hedy Fry, Liberal MP, who voted for Bill C-228, for taking fish farms out of the ocean. Thank you Hedy:

Dear Constituent,
Thank you for writing to me about Bill C-228, An Act to amend the Fisheries Act (closed containment aquaculture), which was defeated by the House of Commons on December 6th. Like many of my fellow Members of Parliament from BC, I supported this Bill.
For many, especially the Cohen Commission, it has been shown that a total transition to closed containment technology for Atlantic farmed salmon on the West Coast is a necessary measure needed to protect our wild salmon from sea lice, pollutants, and other harmful substances.
I will continue to press the government to act on the Cohen Commission’s recommendations, as we have committed to do, and to continue discussions with provincial counterparts on standardizing regulations. This follows on our almost $200 million commitment over five years to improve fisheries and aquaculture science.
Once again, thank you for writing to me about C-228, which I was proud to support in the House of Commons. Please do not hesitate to write to me on this topic or any other.
Hon. Hedy Fry, PC, MP
Vancouver Centre

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