Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Fish Farm Yellow Rating? In BC? Anywhere?

Hi Seafood Watch

Giving an in-ocean fish farm in BC even a yellow rating is too high.

Even Norway stopped giving out in-ocean licences three years ago because it is so fed up with their environmental damage. They give out on-land fish farm licences for free, now, a $9- to $12-M subsidy based on the former in-ocean auction price.

And you obviously did not watch the video taken during the Sea Shepherd’s recent disease trip. The deformed, infected fish and the cloudiness of the fecal content of the water is clear at every place they filmed.

Here is a link: It is to a short video of the problems, but you can easily search for the entire footage. Same issues everywhere. And Sooke, BC, as well as Tortel, Chile have just prohibited fish farms in their waters. See items 102 and 99 in this post:

And just so you know, in an industry the size of BC’s, fish farms kill 5.76 billion forage fish to bring in one harvest. Here is how to do the calculation:

And the sewage cost of the BC industry is a huge $10.4B. Here is how to do the calculation: don't want to pay.

And Alaska's salmon harvest was 213 million wild salmon this year, while BC's is non-existent this year. Alaska forbids fish farms. And protest in Washington by Our Sound Our Salmon is calling for an end to in-ocean fish farms after the Cooke Aquaculture Cypress farm collapse with more than 300,000 farmed salmon. Cooke fish farm salmon have been caught in Tofino and Campbell River, up to 250 km away.

Please put BC fish farms back to the Avoid category. Fish farms need to be on land.

DC (Dennis) Reid

Monday, 18 September 2017

First Nations Call for Closed Containment


Here is what the FN are saying:

"the FNFC has heard from the vast majority of nations that fish farms cannot be supported.

“While we recognize that some First Nations seek economic returns through arrangements with some of these companies, the diseases and pathogens introduced by finfish farms pose too much risk in the ocean environment and our already struggling wild salmon populations, and cannot be supported by the Fisheries Council” said FNFC President Ken Malloway. “We do support the notion of transitioning these types of enterprises to land based, closed containment systems."

On this issue, here is what I have to say:

BC First Nations demand removal of all open net pen fish farms

This is the most important occurrence toward getting fish farms on-land, so far.

Aboriginals, after 30 years of complaint in BC, are actually putting their foot down on that the farms must be gotten out of the water. They vow to stay on the two farms until they are out.

The other things that go along with this are: DFO, in Ottawa, got burned in Burnt Church, and no longer wishes to quarrel with aboriginals; and the Delgamukw and Sparrow decisions paved the way for the most significant decision, the Tsilhqut’n regarding lands and waters in BC. The UBCIC, i.e., BC Indian chiefs, from my back and forth with them, are well aware of this. Hopefully, DFO and the feds lose.

It is not true that the WA escape led to the BC First Nation occupy movement. The two happened at roughly the same time, but the BC action was started concurrent with the Sea Shepherd sailing to record fish farm diseases, and the trip started in July.

Some stats on the low jobs and low revenue in fish farms are here: Use the percentages to scale down DFO estimates in Atlantic Canada. Just so you know, the BC Stats report was for DFO and its name is on the cover, but DFO has refused to use the figures, using only Stats Can figures because they are higher. BC Stats started with the Stats Can figures and refined them, resulting in lower jobs and revenue. And, yes, look at the table and note that all aquaculture revenue is only 9.3% of the saltwater fish revenue. Look at how low the salary bill is as well, contributing to the low GDP effect.
Image removed by sender.
Hi Fin Donnelly I have to point out to you, again, that fish farms are not about jobs and revenue, and they are not a big part of t...

On a related issue, it is fair to say that British Columbians lost faith in DFO a very long time ago, and it seems they are intentionally managing wild Pacific salmon into extinction, rather than freshwater habitat restoration, the solution. My calculation is that BC’s salmon averaged 73 million fish in the ocean before fisheries in the recent past, but DFO, in Ottawa’s, take is ‘any fish is a good fish’ (Otto Langer, former DFO scientist), even though this is 99.8% of all the wild salmon in Canada. Sad, as Mr. T would say.


Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Tracking the Tassal Disaster - Tasmania, MacQuarie Harbour, Updated Sept 16, 2017

In a major timeline of fish farm problems in MacQuarie Harbour from the heady halcyon days before the farms to the end of an asphyxiated, sewage-laden harbour, ABC News has gathered together a long list of stories over the years, detailing the problems in the industry, mostly from Tassal.


Do go to the site and scroll down the stories. This is more than 30 years of a disaster slowly building. This is the way fish farms work: they start out okay, but as the sea gets polluted, the problems start happening and keep getting worse until fish die (not to mention the wild fish).

Even after 30 years, the EPA, has approved Tassal using, get this, a tarp under the pen to collect sewage, not a closed container, not on land. There isn't much point putting a napkin under a feedlot.

Here are a few links, of the 30 years of articles on the environmental damage in MacQuarie Harbour on the site:

June 30, 1986: Tasmania's first Atlantic salmon harvest: Noraqua, a Norwegian company operating with the State Government, harvests 55 tonnes of Atlantic salmon from its Dover sea farm.

Feb 5, 2003: Tassal buys into Macquarie Harbour: Tassal, which operated farms in southern Tasmania, went bankrupt in mid-2002 owing about $30 million. The receiver charged with sorting out the mess was Mark Ryan from audit firm KordaMentha.He convinces the banks to stump up the money to buy Tassal's rival Nortas. The move gives Tassal 65 per cent of Australia's salmon market and a stake in Macquarie Harbour.

April 14, 2011: Push to expand begins, warnings dismissed: "Primary industries minister Bryan Green backs the expansion bid as being in line with the industry's aim to double production by 2030.
He rejects concerns the expansion will threaten the World Heritage Area, citing "extensive" work and modelling that was "world's best practice". Does this sound familiar? The government is pro-industry, in a conflict of interest, and the world best science says they are right.

Ron Morrison, who founded Southern Ocean Trout, said:
I did say at the time that if the expansion went, as per the EIS [Environmental Impact Study], up to 29,500 tonnes, that the environment in Macquarie Harbour would probably completely collapse within five to seven years."

Jan 13, 2012: History of Non-compliance. Tassal

May 28, 2012: Expansion gets the green light. "The State Government approves the Macquarie Harbour lease expansion that would triple the state's salmon production"

April 10, 2014: Tassal gets ASC certification 

This shows that ASCs don't mean much. "Tassal's becomes the first salmon producer to receive Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) accreditation"

Some more text: "The ASC website states the certification is a badge of environmental responsibility.

"ASC certified farms deliver a cleaner seabed, cleaner water, healthier fish, preserve the diversity of species and wild population, follow strict feed requirements and ensure social responsibility," it reads."
Does this sound familiar? The WWF's ASCs saying things will be good, but in no time flat, Tassal is out of compliance, if it ever was in compliance. Read on:

Aug 24, 2014: And no oxygen a few months later in August:

"Secret report prompts expansion rethink


Acting on evidence that shows dissolved oxygen (DO) levels were in steep decline, the salmon producers form a working group to investigate.

Fish struggle and even suffocate in low DO water.

The group — made up of salmon farmers, CSIRO, IMAS and government representatives — confirms there has been a "clear downward trend" of DO in deeper water since 2009, corresponding with fish farm expansion."

 Jan 9, 2015: Less than a year after ASC certification, "'Tassal's Franklin lease should be destocked immediately'" because of worms within 4 kms that only show up feeding on feces.

May 21, 2015: So, two months later, Petuna has: "Massive fish kill after storm surge" into Mac Harbour.

This is how the industry goes every place it operates around the world. Growing and endlessly advancing environmental damage.

There are several dozen more articles that chronicle Tassal's problems, the lawsuits, the government endlessly backing fish farms as the problems get worse, as the public begins to demand taking fish farms out of the water. And this is a world heritage designated body of water.

You can read the several dozen more articles on the ABC site. Sobering is a polite word for the ongoing 'disaster', yes, a Trump word, but in this case it is true.

Oh, okay, one more article - on the issue of transparency. Industry always claims to be transparent, but seldom is:

 April 24, 2017: "Tassal claims 'dead zones' improving:

After calling a press conference to announce Tassal's internal testing had shown a "dramatic environmental improvement" in their MH leases, CEO Mark Ryan says the data is not available for public view.
Environment Tasmania's Laura Kelly accuses Tassal of "double-speak".
"We have got Tassal claiming to be transparent but refusing to release their own internal data. The public just wants to know that their World Heritage Area is being protected," Ms Kelly says."
Here is the last item:

June 30, 2017: the EPA approves the tarp under fish farm sewage removal 'system':

Yes, a tarp is a sewage removal 'system'.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Your Promise to Move Fish Farms onto Land - Jobs and Revenues Low in Fish Farming, Updated Sept 16, 2017


You all promised to get fish farms out of the water when campaigning for office. Well, we voted you in, and now we want fish farms taken out of the ocean. You can achieve this by pulling licences, which takes effect in 60 days.

I have read Lana starting to waffle in the press about getting the stakeholders together. This is not what British Columbians voted for. We voted for taking them out of the ocean.

Fish farms do not result in jobs and revenue for the jurisdiction in which they use the ocean as a free, open sewer. In fact, they are low in jobs, low in wages to GDP, and revenue goes out of the country.

See: And look at how low the jobs and revenue are: only 820 actual jobs and contribution to GDP an insignificant $61.9M for all of aquaculture.

There are only about 10% of the jobs that DFO and fish farms claim. And, at $10.4 Billion, the sewage cost is extraordinary, and revenue goes out of the country, back to their home country of Norway. Even Norway is so fed up with their environmental damage it stopped granting saltwater licences three years ago and now gives out on-land licences for free, a saving of $9- to $12-million. If Marine Harvest, Cermaq and Grieg Seafood don’t want to come out of the water here, send them back to Norway where they will have to set up on land.

Note that BC Stats is your own government people, doing a great job. When I worked in Finance, Treasury Board Staff, we felt they were better than Stats Can, because of the effort they put into being accurate. Look at the caveat section of the report in my post:

One final thing, my post on the 192 on-land fish farms systems around the world, comprising almost 20,000 actual on-land farms, shows that the new Atlantic Sapphire farm being set up in Florida on land, will be larger than the entire BC industry and sell into the USA, a more sustainable product, at a cheaper price, ruining BC industry sales, unless they, too, are on land.

Please let British Columbians know when you plan to pull fish farms, that make no economic or environmental sense in the ocean, out of the water.

Everywhere in the world where fish farms are set up the public comes to overwhelmingly reject them. See:

DC Reid


Here is Les Leyne, writing in the Times Colonist newspaper, also pointing out that you campaigned on getting fish farms out of the water:

"[Andrew Weaver] still has to delineate differences with the government [NDP + Green] to preserve a Green identity. "I'm sure they thought I was going to offer a softball," he said during his first question.

Instead, it was a dig at Transportation Minister Claire Trevana. She promised that the NDP would clear the entire north island of fish farms. Weaver said the promise was made specifically in Alert Bay to convince First Nations people not to vote for the Greens.

So when will the salmon pens be closed?

Agriculture Minister Lana Popham said: "We're figuring out where we go next," and no tenures are being granted or renewed [this has been the case for several years anyway, because fish farms are so overwhelmingly rejected in BC]."

So, John Horgan, when will you pull the licences and get the industry out of the water? After all their own country thinks its dumb to destroy their own ocean and is giving out free licences to set up on land in Norway  Let Marine Harvest, Cermaq, Grieg Seafood go home and set up on land, if they don't like it here.


Finally, Sooke, BC has just passed a resolution to prohibit in-ocean fish farms. And in Chile, Tortel, has also blocked in-ocean fish farms in its waters. See items 99 and 102 in my BAD NEWS BITES post, started in Sept 2017 (there are five previous ones, totaling more than 2,000 bad news stories in fish farming/seafood industry):