Friday, 24 March 2017

Environment Ruined by Fish Farms - Chilean Rivers

I have mentioned before that Chile is widely considered the dirtiest country with respect to fish farms in the world. I will soon do a post on the false claim by fish farms that they operate under 'the strictest laws' in the world in every country in which they operate. Marine Harvest, Cermaq and Grieg Seafood are the cartels, er, consolidated companies, that operate in most of the world.

The Atlantic Salmon Foundation has done a good study on the subject in BC, NB, NS, NL, Maine USA and Norway. The study is here: It is a lot of reading, but you keeners will dive right in.

New Brunswick comes in at 45% of the ASC standard. NL is 50%. Maine is 59%. NS is 64%. BC is 69%. Norway 82%. When you consider that with more than 1100 fish farms Norway constantly has lice, sewage and disease issues, it suggests that the ASC isn't really a difficult measure, and yet there is an almost 40% difference between bottom and top, and no one is stellar. Please note that I have pointed out that the WWF's ASCs have a pretty significant hole in them; that is they allow in-ocean, open net fish farms as sustainable, something that is patently false.

You will note that Chile doesn't even make it on the ASF study (not the ASCs) list. And it is with great sadness that I have noted the country is so polluted, fish farms are trying to get away from their own sewage and disease by moving into one of the world's most hallowed, pristine areas: Patagonia, something that should not happen. The strong word that applies is: this is a travesty.

Things are so bad in Chile - you will remember the 13,000 people who lost their jobs in the ISA disease crisis of 2008 where $2 billion was lost, and the 5,000 people who lost their jobs in 2016, less than 10 years later, to an algal bloom caused in part by fish farm's own sewage and dumping their own dead fish too close offshore, the El Nino not seen to have raised the ocean temperature, hence not contributing to the algal bloom. In this one, in 2016, Chile lost 38.2 million farmed salmon and helped dent the world supply 8.7% (along with Scotland and Norway whose lice were so bad, they also had large fish losses. You will. of course remember that Scotland calls itself the best organic farmed fish in the world. Sad, but true, and they spent more than $480 on lice chemicals in 2016. Organic? I think not.).

Now there is a paper out on fish farms polluting rivers in Chile - and those rivers flow into the ocean, of course. Fish farm hatcheries are on shore, but use pristine river water that they then dump back into the river full of sewage, chemicals, antibiotics and so on. This is sewage with no sewage treatment.

You can read a several page summary of the Chile sewage article on this site:

Here are a few quotes from it:

1. "40 tonnes of dissolved organic substances end up in the rivers for every 50 tonnes of farmed salmon." Yes, you got that right. For every five tonnes of fish, they release four tonnes of sewage. That is what is passing into any lake or river used for fish farm hatchery purposes - in the world - unless, of course, they actively pick up sewage. In BC on Van Isle they are congratulating themselves on picking up the sewage under the Georgie Lake net on Van Isle: Golly gosh, I'm almost  shedding sentimental tears. Lovely spin Marine Harvest. On the other hand, there is the vast percentage that pollutes the water, and rivers down stream.

2. "In particular, much higher concentrations of carbohydrates, proteins and their building blocks, and lipids are present downstream of the facilities. The aquacultures therefore provide the low-nutrient rivers with a kind of fertilizer boost." This is a polite way of saying they are polluted with sewage.

3. "Nevertheless, rivers should not be misused as natural sewage treatment plants," emphasises Norbert Kamjunke." Really, who'd a thunk it?

4. "The researchers also draw another conclusion from their study. They do not consider it advisable to install any further aquacultures on Chilean rivers. The authorities have already imposed a moratorium on new salmon farms in the country's lakes. Operators are now considering the option of moving the farming of medium-sized salmon from the lakes to the rivers. "In theory that could work," believes Norbert Kamjunke. "But from an ecological perspective, it would not be a good idea."" You will note the strategy is: if the lakes we use are polluted with our sewage, let's move to pristine rivers and pollute them. Hmm, good strategy.

So, in summary, you can add to Chile being the dirtiest fish farm country in the world, by adding that they are not only killing the world's oceans, they are killing their own rivers, and, of course, estuaries because all rivers flow to the sea. And isn't Patagonia a world treasure for all of humanity? I would say so.

No comments:

Post a Comment