Friday, 10 March 2017

TRAINWRECK - Gray Aqua, NL, Fish Farm Company, Updated Mar 14, 2017

Here is an article from June 1, 2016 on the Gray Aqua, NL debacle, by Owen Meyers in the Overcast  news outlet. The article illustrates many things that are root problems with in-ocean fish farms around the world: they are a boom/bust industry, workers get fired, no net employment gain, catastrophic busts, the public paying for fish farms to destroy our public oceans, conflict with government, no net revenue, diseases, lice and so on. 

There Are Two Sides to the Debate on Salmon Farming in Newfoundland

Owen Meyers

"On one side are independent scientists, salmon anglers, and conservation groups like the Atlantic Salmon Federation who point to the detrimental effects on wild salmon populations because of disease, escaped genetically modified fish, and the creating of parasitic populations of sea lice that can wipe out millions of fish."

"On the other side are the industry boosters like Mark Lane, executive director of the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association, who in his May 2nd  2016 letter to The Telegram, rolled out all the old platitudes about how aquaculture is the wave of the future. His submission is laden with words like “conservation” and “science” and phrases like “catalyst for rural revitalization from coast to coast” and “sustainable production practices.” It goes on and on."

Comment: The issue here is the on-going spin created by fish farms that they use around the world to first suck people and government in, saying they bring revenues and jobs, but then ultimately crash. The cycle happens all over the world because governments don't do their homework, realize what a bad industry this is, and simply say no. Now, the in-ocean farms are in trouble because on-land is taking over around the world. Don't let fish farms tell you anything different. The Atlantic Sapphire 90,000 mt plan in Florida will wipe out the Canadian industry, dragging Chile with it. It is only one of the almost 20,000 actual on-land farms I have found around the world. See my list in May of 2016:

"The truth of growing salmon is available in documents out of the Court of Queen’s Bench of New Brunswick, where Gray Aqua Group of Companies (one of the biggest salmon farming companies in the Province) went into receivership on April 25th 2016. The affidavit of James W. Hall, vice president of the main creditor Callidus Capital Corporation, details all the things that have gone wrong with Gray Aqua’s operation on the South Coast.

"Gray Aqua are $55 million in debt and this is their second receivership in two years. At paragraph 10 of his affidavit Hall describes how millions of salmon had to be destroyed in 2013 because they were infected with Infectious Salmon Anemia. That triggered the first receivership. Gray Aqua received $33 million in compensation from the Federal Government."

Comment: So millions of fish lost to disease, the public pays millions to save the company - they should have insurance, but most firms will not offer it, because they have done their homework and know that fish farms always crash. The Dr. Fred Kibenge Powerpoint presentation states that one third to one half of all aquaculture product is lost to disease, algal blooms, sewage and etc. See: for the link. Kibenge was the western hemisphere scientist tasked with finding disease in fish farm samples, for the OIE. The CFIA had him fired because they didn't like his Cohen Commission testimony.

"Then there was a massive sea lice infestation that killed off another $11.5 – $14.5M worth of salmon, and which crashed the company again."

Comment: fish farms have lice problems all around the world. Scotland paid $487 million last year on lice chemicals. Norway also lost fish to lice, Added to the 38.2 million salmon lost in Chile to an algal bloom, world production dropped 8.7% last year.

"Finally there was the loss of 380,000 smolt which had to be destroyed due to an outbreak of bacterial kidney disease."

Comment: yes, another disease. There are several dozen diseases of fish farms. If farms are on land, the disease problem is eliminated.

"As for the employees, Hall states in his affidavit that Gray Aqua has approximately 64 employees, none of which are unionized or have a pension plan. Gray Aqua are not the first salmon growing operation to go bankrupt. It is a high risk business and has a record of being a vector for disease to wild fish stocks."

Comment: my way of putting this is that fish farms don't add jobs, they replace jobs that they elimininate with their environmental problems. In BC, the commercial sector has fallen fifty percent, the same number of multiplier jobs in aquaculture: 1700. This does not include the sport industry, tourism, eco-tourism and so on. And they leave a sewage load larger than the entire human population in the jurisdiction in which they operate, $10.4 billion in BC, for instance, the equivalent of 4.8 million people. There are only 4.6 million people in BC.

"Far from being an ecologically sustainable industry providing well-paying jobs for rural residents, aquaculture is a government-subsidized trainwreck resplendent with a comfortable and well paid cheerleading government aquaculture bureaucracy.The politicians from the rural ridings are desperate to be able to point at anything positive in their impoverished rural ridings"

Comment: this is the conflict of interest that government has, in every country fish farms move into, one of the most important problems with fish farms. Fish farms intentionally sucker govenrnments in with their spin on jobs. They have been doing the same thing in Norway since the late 1970s, and all around the world. Read Kjersti Sandvik's book Beneath the Surface to understand the history of the communications spin. It's just spin. They use it because they know it works.
"In reality the taxpayers of the province are paying out millions in grants and subsidies to an industry that has the potential to destroy wild salmon stocks before it goes down in flames like the infamous Sprung Greenhouse cucumber failure of the late 1980’s that cost us taxpayers $17.5 million and was sold to investors for $1. 
To see the dark side of salmon farming  Google “Chile salmon disease.”"

Comment: and, now, Marine Harvest is moving in, picking up the Gray Aqua holdings that we paid for for peanuts. This is another boom, and less than 10 years down the road, there will be another bust. Oh, and those from NL, know well that the Grieg Seafood Placentia Bay plan is an even bigger boom, at least for the moment.

You will recall the recent Cooke Aqua, NS comment to the effect that it is unfortunate that they have to keep telling people about dead/escaped fish that is just normal fish farm business. See the BAD NEWS BITES post for several Cooke articles around item 224 in the list:

The point on this one is it is just part of the fish farm spin that the industry is transparent. In Cooke's case, they are complaining about being transparent. This is common. Don't believe the spin, just Google international fish farm news and you will find the many on-going, through time spin cycles that they use. Another is that they operate under the strictest laws in the world, all around the world at the same time, even though no two countries have the same laws. And so on....

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