Friday, 14 April 2017

The Strictest Laws in the World? WRONG - Updated Mar, 23, 2018

Weak Laws for Fish Farms, Not Strong for Salmonids.

This post brings together the posts I have written on weakening laws for fish farms and business in the past five years. Don't let them tell you they operate under 'the strictest laws' in the world. That's simply spin.

Below is a long list. Read it and take the link for your own reference. And say: 'not so fast, Slim' when fish farms claim strictness, then hurl this long list at them. I think it will stick.

But first, here is a Hakai Magazine article, written by Erica Gies, from April 5, 2017 on legal weakening and failure to enforce the laws by DFO:

The HADD provision has been central to protecting habitat:

"In 2012, Canada’s governing Conservative Party made a number of controversial changes to the federal Fisheries Act, including weakening protections for fish habitat. One focus of the party’s ire was a principle dating to the 1980s: a prohibition against “the harmful alteration, disruption, or destruction of fish habitat,” known as the HADD provision. Its policy objective was to ensure that, with any development proposal, there is a “net gain of habitat for Canada’s fisheries resources.”"

And Harper weakened it even though DFO had seldom enforced the provision.

"But was the original law actually a burden to industry? According to new research by Favaro and Olszynski, the answer seems to be no: even with the principle for net gain spelled out, Fisheries and Oceans Canada was scarcely enforcing the rule."

So strict laws mean nothing, if they are not enforced.

"Combined, the 78 projects Olszynski and Favaro reviewed from just that six-month period resulted in a net loss of almost three million square meters of fish habitat."

"the federal Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans is currently reviewing the changes made to the Fisheries Act in 2012...

In its initial report published in February 2017, the committee recommended that DFO “renew its commitment to the ‘no net loss’ and ‘net gain’ policies.”

Note that DFO doesn't enforce Canada's weak legislation because the Conservation and Protection budget is so low there aren't enough officers to go around, not to mention that recently, the very few charges brought resulted in Department of Justice not going forward because they thought they would lose the case because of how poorly DFO did.


And now, an update to November 9 2017. DFO is not only not doing everything above and below, they are failing to enforce Regulation 56, among other things, and trying to allow fish farms to put PRV infected fish in BC's ocean, by farming out the responsibility to the CFIA. Hard to believe, but true. Here is ecojustice's take on the court case they are prosecuting. There is a good list of reading material in this meaty post:

In addition, ecojustice has put together a compelling list of weakening of laws regarding fish, DFO weakening the law:

Please donate to ecojustice for taking the Alex Morton case forward.


Now, here is the longgggg list of posts:

1. Key Document: Royal Society of Canada - DFO Failing Canada's Oceans - a stinging indictment (February 2012):

2. Most Stringent Fish Farm Laws In the World (December 2013):

3. Weakening the Strictest Fish Farm Laws In the World (May 2014): Note that it mentions the Nancy Greene posts as well, just a week before.

4. New Aquaculture Regulations in Canada - Very Sad for Wild Pacific Salmon (July 2014):

5. Aquaculture Activities Regulations - Canada (October 2014):

6. Key Document: The Strictest Laws in the World? Not in Canada (November 2014):

7. Canada: Strictest Laws in the World? No. Best Science? No. Weakest Laws in the World? Probably (December 2014):

8. Summary: Fish Farm Environmental Laws Weakened by DFO and Harper Government (December 2014) You will want the good links in this one:

9. Norway to Make Laws Stricter, Not Looser Like in Canada - Shame on Shea (February 2015):

10. Seventeen Ways the Government Is Helping Kill Wild Salmon (May 2015):

11. Stephen Harper Government Eliminates Environmental Laws for Fish Farms (July 2015): There are some good links in this one that you will want.

12. Fixing The Fisheries Act - West Coast Environmental Law (April 2016):

13. Bill C-228 - Liberal Government Stands Against Pacific Salmon. This is Fin Donnelly's bill to get fish farms out of the water. (December 2016):

14. Habitat Protection and Changes to Laws - Righting the Wrongs of the Harper Era (March 2017): This one has the Parliamentary Committee on Fisheries and Oceans report. It made 32 recommendations, and they are in the post.

15. Environment Ruined by Fish Farms - Chilean Rivers (March 2017). This one has the Atlantic Salmon Federation study on the laws in individual Canadian provinces, the USA and Norway, finding, for example, that in NB, the laws reach only 45% of the ASC requirements (And the ASC's are weak themselves): In this one, go look at the ASF graphic of how poorly the various provinces, USA and even Norway does in meeting the weak ASC standard. The link is:

16. Ecojustice iTunes Podcast on needed changes to Canada's environmental laws:

17. Westcoast Environmental Law assessment of needed changes to Canada's environmental laws:

18. Westcoast Envrionmental Law, from 2018, salmon are our buffalo:


Here is another article on the subject:

Here is a Dalhousie University study from 2017:

Here is some typical fish farm spin, 2016:  "Partner, Kjell Aasen in Nekst says: “A key success factor for the Norwegian aquaculture industry is the know-how, skills and professionalism of Norwegian authorities in charge of the industry.  It is a matter of looking around the world, to understand that we could not have built the best aquaculture industry in the world without a good set of regulations and a qualified bureaucracy.” See:

Now, go to the washroom and direct what is coming up your neck from your stomach into the toilet bowl.


Update Feb 28, 2018, Ecojustice's comments on the fisheries act et al:

Friday, 7 April 2017

Tell COSTCO, Safeway, Loblaws et al to Stop Selling Farmed Salmon

Hi Everyone

Please go sign the petition to have stores stop selling farmed salmon:

And ask others to sign the petition, as well.

In a nutshell, Norwegian fish farms, Marine Harvest, Cermaq and Grieg Seafood have a good dozen problems, and should be on land, where the rest of the industry is now moving - for environmental reasons and because consumers won't buy farmed fish anymore.

Go look at Atlantic Sapphire which is building an on-land farm in Florida. At 90,000 metric tonnes per year, it will be larger than the entire BC industry (and BC is bigger than the Atlantic Canada industry - so far), which is 85,000 metric tonnes.


And, of course, my post on the on-land RAS farms now tops 178 different on-land systems, comprising almost 20,000 actual, on-land fish farms. See: This is the all time, number one post on this site. I don't think anyone else in the world has built up such a long list as I have.

Note that the post also has an extensive list of supporting documents covering all aspects of on-land fish farming. The point is that the only reason fish farms want to be in the ocean is to use it as a free, open sewer. Even Norway is fed up with its own companies, and now offers free licences to set up on land.

If you don't want to sift through the research and financial documents, quickly scroll down about two thirds of the way, to start the list of 178 on-land fish farm systems.

And do check out Alex Morton's site that has very good links to the issues and science, in particular to ISA, PRV, HSMI, and other diseases brought to wild salmon by fish farm companies that are a vector for mutating diseases.

See: It has hundreds of articles for you to read.

Note that if you live in a jurisdiction that has fish farms in the water, bring together the citizens and consistently tell governments - who are hopelessly conflicted, that includes DFO, the CFIA and both federal and provincial governments in Canada - that you want fish farms out of the water.

Right now, in 2017, NL faces an unprecedented raft of 11 licences for Grieg wanting Placentia Bay and some 23 for Marine Harvest. They would never try that in BC - where we have been complaining loud and clear and for as long as it takes to get the pestilence of fish farms out of our ocean - and you have to make your protest as large and as long as you possibly can to get the industry out of your pristine ocean.

Atlantic Sapphire is the bell that tolls for Canada, as BC, et al will no longer be able to sell into the USA. And with Trump, he may just end up with a tariff on Canadian salmon, just as the USA had one of 26% on Norway for two decades.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Neoliberalism - Government Conflict of Interest, Norway, NIFES

Hi Justin/Dominic:

This article speaks for itself, taken from the Norwegian press, April 4, 2017:

The article has been translated in better than Google-speak, so read it and know that the Norwegian press doesn't like fish farms. If Norway doesn't like fish farms, what does that tell you for citizens in the rest of the world? It tells you that nobody likes fish farms. They need to get out of the water and raise vegetarians. Justin, Dominic are you listening in the far off country of Ottawa?

"From 4 April 2017: "Hacking Research" [Norway]

"Researchers at the National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Safety (NIFES) have used various parts of the fish to arrive at a conclusion that farmed Atlantic salmon has less pollutants than wild Atlantic salmon. It creates huge reaction and criticism.

By Marit Langseth, Journalist and Kjartan Trana, Journalist

- If we look at the study design that lies behind the results that have been made, so there are major deficiencies in it, and there are several things that are alarming, says professor of toxicology Anders Goksøyr, at the University of Bergen.

It caused a sensation when NIFES stated that farmed salmon has less pollutants than wild salmon. Now it turns out that the institute used different procedure between the wild and farmed salmon for the analysis, something NRK news has been investigating.

Whole fillets of wild salmon were used and only a select part of farmed salmon were sampled to make a comparison.

Goksøyr was shocked that different parts of the fish were used in the assay to compare wild and farmed salmon.

- In the wild salmon, they used whole fillet, while in farmed salmon, they only used part of the fillet called the "Norwegian Quality Cut" or NQC.

Theoretically, the section of farmed salmon contains less pollutants than the whole fillet of wild salmon used in the analysis. NIFES explains that they used what they had available for wild fish.

- Farmed salmon are part of an annual monitoring program where the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (FSA) takes samples of farmed salmon, with just the NQC cut. In the project on wild salmon, we had the whole fish available, says the head of the research project, Anne-Katrine Lundebye at NIFES.

- Would not it be desirable to have the whole fillet on both, so that the underlying data was exactly the same?

- Yes, but that is not what we here. It is very expensive analysis, so the sampling and analysis was already done previously, so we just used figures that were available.

Read also: - Irrelevant to compare wild salmon with farmed salmon Aggregate samples and individual samples

Goksøyr also reacts to the fact that there is no specified age specified for the fish used in the survey, when we know that contaminants accumulate with time.

In addition, he notes that in collecting samples of farmed salmon, they use an average of five salmon, while the wild salmon, they used single whole fish samples.

Lundebye explains that this is due to EU standards which samples were taken in collecting samples.

- While to know more about the variations between individuals, which we had the opportunity in wild salmon study, we analyzed the individual, she says.

Anne-Katrine Lundebye led research on toxins in wild and farmed salmon.

NIFES is linked to the Ministry of Industry and Fisheries Ministry. Fisheries Minister Per Sandberg said last year that the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) will be an aquaculture industry-friendly Institute, and the Institute will share the political ambitions of growth of the seafood industry.

- Is this what we face here?

- I do not have contact with the fishing minister, and will not say that this is business friendly. We have written an article based on the findings we found, says Lundebye.

Goksøyr will not comment on that, but points out that in other instances the approach used might would have had problems to publish such research."

Hmm. Garbage in, garbage out.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Placentia Bay Fish Farm - Government Duped, Conflicted, Up dated April 2, 2017

Hi Justin/Dominic/Dwight 

I pass on to you the comments I made to Owen Myers, lawyer in the NL court case, Mark Quinn at CBC, writing on this subject  and Kenn Oliver of The Telegram: 

I send along a note that I put on Fishers Against Fish Farms, that I took from my own blog: My site has become a global portal for fish farm environmental science damage, and will exceed 300,000 page views in the next couple of weeks. 

You should know that there is more than simply environmental concerns with this mega-development. 

Here is the text: 

350. 'Conflict of Interest - NL, govt expenditure of $45m into Grieg, Placentia Bay dev is a conflict of interest by a government who has to regulate the industry.’ I should add that in Norway, the auction cost of the 11 in-ocean licences would be an $88- to $121-million outlay for Grieg, not 11 free licences plus $45 million. They know perfectly well that fish farms are a licence to print money and any government that would charge zero and add $45m, thus conflicting itself, is an idiot. See: “

Grieg Seafood, Marine Harvest and Cermaq have been part of the speculative licence situation in Norway for more than 30 years. Kjersti Sandvik’s book, Beneath The Surface, Glydendal, Norway, goes over this history, and the millions made by applicants who then sold the licences to others and made big bucks for doing nothing. At 23- to 25-% profit margin, it is a gold mine to have a licence.

The point is that the federal govt and NL government have not done their basic homework, and should be charging millions for each licence here, not falling for the disingenuous calling for funding because the development can’t go ahead without out it. That’s bull and Grieg knows it.

On the environmental side, two things: I have figured out that a fish farm kills 113 forage fish to bring one farmed salmon to harvest, in an industry the size of BC that means 5.76 billion killed fish for one harvest; also, the sewage cost is enormous. In BC, I estimate it is $10.4 billion that we taxpayers absorb. The same size of figure can be anticipated in NL. 

If you need more info or how to calculate the figures for NL, let me know.

DC (Dennis) Reid


Updated, April 2, 2017: The evidence suggests that the cost of an in-ocean licence in Norway is even higher than the earlier auction price above:

"No new licenses have been awarded since 2014 [in Norway], when SalMar bid NOK 66 million for a license [$10.56 million Canadian]. Since then, the Seafood Index (OSLSFX) has doubled, suggesting the market value of a license is also higher.”

This means for the 11 licences Grieg would have had to pay in Norway, if indeed any were allowed for in-ocean, would be $10.56M X 11 = $116.2 million. Why are they not charged in Canada? Why does anyone think charging zero is reasonable, and then adding an additional $45M to sweeten the already sweetened deal? This is a $161 million subsidy for Grieg. Does any taxpayer want this for an industry that uses the ocean as a free open sewer?