Saturday, 17 June 2017

Fish Farms: Laws Not Made, Laws Not Enforced, Enforcement Non-Existent, Enforcement- Not Done, Records Not Kept, Records Not Given to Citizens... and so on

I have mentioned in the past that there being laws, and/or regs, and/or policy, and/or FTEs (government term for actual people to do the work), and/or science and/or transparency, and/or Freedom Of Information requests, doesn't mean anything at all when it comes to fish farm problems.

Don't expect these things from government, even though they and fish farms claim they exist, they are sound, they are enforced... and so on.  In BC, if you can believe it, BCMAL that tests diseases, lets fish farms know when they are coming rather than just blind, spot-checking the industry, that can clean up its problems before the inspection arrives. Not to mention having its lawyers step in and argue that information cannot be given out, one reason: it is proprietary information - as in non-transparent.

Here is an example from New Foundland. Bill Bryden made an application for fish farm waste disposal. And the following is his cut to the chase text on the long lengthy process, to gain public information that both government and fish farms claim is available, transparent, and all the other things in the first paragraph.

The kicker in this is that nothing is happening: June 16, 2017 "DFO/Aquaculture Agency HAS to do verification checks (ie spot checks) to monitor company lice numbers (these are the numbers/counts that I asked for). The auditor general caught them not doing this. My guess is that they simply are not doing this; again!?? We'll see."

 But, first, the long and winding story:

This is Bryden's FOI request in May 2017:

"For fish plants processing aquaculture fin fish in 2015 and 2016, what epizootic and zoonotic disease, sea lice and lice egg containment measures were in place at these plants regarding effluent? Please include a description, and model number and manufacturer please.

What are the maximum usage rates, and minimum effective filtration particle sizes for the effluent treatment systems in place in these processing plants and have they been ungraded since originally installed? If upgraded, how and when?

How are the harvest boats and bins "sanitized" regarding sea lice and sea lice eggs in the resulting post fish handling effluent? Is this effluent simply dumped at sea?

Please define "Biosecure" as per the 2014 "What we heard" report?"

And the long tale ends thus:

June 16:

Re: Effluent disease and sea lice

sweet jesus... that's a straight-up admission they are not monitoring/overseeing/requesting data ....

Your request submitted on May 9, 2017 consists of several questions but you have not indicated which government records you which to obtain. Unfortunately I do not have the answers to the questions you requested, but I have provided a link below with a list of licensed processors and harvesters who may be better able to supply the information you require.

get the media to ask the government your questions... and see what they can get from them?
also, the ATIPP coordinator may not know the answers but her superiors including the DM should!

June 16 Subject: Fw: Effluent disease and sea lice

Here is an example of what I get when asking for lice monitoring count numbers. LOL

May 26, 2017 

Hi Rhonda;

I am not sure who has the records or where they are stored. The data and information pertains to the approval (ie specifications, model numbers, etc as stated in my ATIPP request) and monitoring (as stated in my request) of the following:
Short title 1. These regulations may be cited as the Fish Inspection Operations Regulations. Interpretation 2. (1) In these regulations

35. (1) Effluent and waste water shall be disposed of in a manner so that the waste is inaccessible to insect and animal pests and the water supply for the establishment does not become contaminated.
(2) A finfish processor operating within a 20 kilometre radius of a finfish farm site (DON'T THE WILD FISH NEED PROTECTION!!!) licensed under the Aquaculture Act is subject to the following requirements:
(a) liquid waste effluent generated by or from the processing operation shall be collected in an approved containment system; and(b) liquid effluent shall be treated with an approved disinfectant and neutralized prior to release into the environment.
(3) A person shall not dispose of offal within a 20 kilometre radius of a finfish site licensed under the Aquaculture Act.

I hope this helps. Maybe start by asking Jonathan Kawaja?

Policy advice or recommendations

      29. (1) The head of a public body may refuse to disclose to an applicant information that would reveal
             (a)  advice, proposals, recommendations, analyses or policy options developed by or for a public body or minister;
             (b)  the contents of a formal research report or audit report that in the opinion of the head of the public body is incomplete and in respect of which a request or order for completion has been made by the head within 65 business days of delivery of the report; or
             (c)  draft legislation or regulations.

             (2)  The head of a public body shall not refuse to disclose under subsection (1)
             (a)  factual material;
             (b)  a public opinion poll;
             (c)  a statistical survey;
             (d)  an appraisal;
             (e)  an environmental impact statement or similar information;
             (f)  a final report or final audit on the performance or efficiency of a public body or on any of its programs or policies;
             (g)  a consumer test report or a report of a test carried out on a product to test equipment of the public body;
             (h)  a feasibility or technical study, including a cost estimate, relating to a policy or project of the public body;
              (i)  a report on the results of field research undertaken before a policy proposal is formulated;
              (j)  a report of an external task force, committee, council or similar body that has been established to consider a matter and make a report or recommendations to a public body;
             (k)  a plan or proposal to establish a new program or to change a program, if the plan or proposal has been approved or rejected by the head of the public body;
              (l)  information that the head of the public body has cited publicly as the basis for making a decision or formulating a policy; or
           (m)  a decision, including reasons, that is made in the exercise of a discretionary power or an adjudicative function and that affects the rights of the applicant.
             (3)  Subsection (1) does not apply to information in a record that has been in existence for 15 years or more.

Please feel free to call or email if you need further clarification.
Bill Bryden
May 24, 2017

Good day Mr. Bryden,

The purpose of the ATIPP Act is
  • to provide the public with the right of access to records; and
  • to protect the privacy of individuals whose personal information is collected, used and disclosed by public bodies.
  • ATIPPA Legislation can be found at this link:
SNL2015 CHAPTER A-1.2. ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND PROTECTION OF PRIVACY ACT, 2015 . Amended: 2016 c6 s2; 2016 cR-15.2 s30 (not in force-not included);

Your request submitted on May 9, 2017 consists of several questions but you have not indicated which government records you which to obtain. Unfortunately I do not have the answers to the questions you requested, but I have provided a link below with a list of licensed processors and harvesters who may be better able to supply the information you require.
Home. Licensing. Fish Processing Licensing; Fish Processing Licensing. Subject to legislation and specified criteria, the department licenses all fish processing ...

Kind regards,

May 9, 2017

Hi Rhonda;

Hope you are keeping well.
Please see attached and call if you need clarification. 

FYI, a former plant manager suggested to me that not only is the current effluent treatment ineffective, it is also regularly shut down due to being way over capacity (the plants have tripled production rates since they were installed).

Is effluent loaded in innumerable, viable, sea lice, sea lice eggs, and viral sized fin fish pathogens "biosecure" as promised in the 2014 "What we Heard" report? (see attached)?

Bill Bryden

No comments:

Post a Comment