Monday, 4 September 2017

Atlantic Salmon Breed in BC Rivers - Tsitika, John Volpe - Economic Stats

(First, look at the bottom for economic stats in the BC industry. BC Stats report and some DFO figures).

This is the classic paper by prof John Volpe, UVic, who found Atlantic Salmon fry from 'feral' parents in a BC river, meaning they were second generation Atlantics, as in progeny from progeny, a very bad thing. In BC, all the plants of Atlantics in the early 1900s did not take, and fish farms like to say Atlantics cannot survive in BC water - part of their on-going spin. Here is their account of the stocking:

This is a USA paper on the USA:

On another post on this site, I give you the stocking data, and it is clear that Atlantics did not take during those plantings that were intended to start runs - an eastern centric philosophy, meaning that to DFO salmon mean Atlantic salmon, not Pacific salmon. Eight decades later, DFO is still favouring Atlantics over Pacific salmon. I think it's fair to say that any informed British Columbian sees DFO intentionally managing Pacific salmon into extinction, despite bleatings to the contrary.

Here are two examples: while DFO has lots invested in stock number analysis on the Fraser, all they are doing is documenting the move to extinction. In 2017, for example, sockeye numbers were about 1.5 million, one of the lowest returns on record.

What DFO should be doing is freshwater habitat restoration to increase spawning habitat for Pacific salmon. It is more important at this stage that salmon are saved, rather than documenting their extinction.

Second, the collapse of the Salish Sea coho was documented in the 1990s by DFO, and they said it was over fishing that caused it and fishing was closed. Well, twenty years of closure later and the coho are still in collapse. Why? It is obvious that the problem is not over fishing. In my opinion, it is lack of habitat restoration that is the problem. There need to be more spawning channels opened like those on the Taylor River on Vancouver Island.

An example of a river that has lots of similar space is the San Juan in Port Renfrew. Any river that has flat estuarian habitat with a stream or river that runs through it is a possibility. The Adam/Eve system on north Van Islse is another obvious example where Taylor-River style habitat work could be done.

Anyway, here is the 2000 Volpe article on documenting spawning by the alien, invasive Atlantic salmon:

We present evidence of the first successful natural spawning of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) docu-
mented on the Pacific coast of North America. Twelve juvenile Atlantic salmon composed of two year classeswere captured in the Tsitika River, British Columbia. We analyzed restriction-length polymorphisms of PCR-amplified 5S rDNA and mtDNA to confirm that these individuals were Atlantic salmon. Scale analysisstrongly suggested they were the products of natural spawning by feral adults. The gut contents, size, and con-dition of these individuals suggest that Atlantic salmon are successfully maturing in the Tsitika River, BritishColumbia. This event has raised concerns that the presence and possible establishment of feral Atlantic salmon may further jeopardize the continued persistence of already fragile native Pacific salmonids throughcompetition for resources and occupation of niches that are currently underutilized.

And, if you look at Volpe's site:, you will find other papers on this issue of colonization by invasive, alien Atlantic salmon in BC. See: Farm Salmon Escapes, 2017.

Here is his conclusion: "While focus remains on diagnosing the implications of escape events such as this, the larger and ultimately more helpful question is: Why are open net pen farms still endangering our oceans? Technology developed here on Vancouver Island and employed around the world has demonstrated the utility and financial viability of land based farms that virtually eliminate every environmental issue associated with old-tech open net  pens."

As I have said before many times, and the recent post to Fin Donnelly, NDP MP, on jobs and revenue in the industry point out that there is no economic reason for fish farms to be in the ocean:

And the whole point of this site is to show that in-ocean fish farms make no environmental sense either. So, the reality is that fish farms should not be in the ocean, they should be on land, and raise a vegetarian - since they have trashed world forage fish stocks for feed that should be human third world food - see The Sea Around Us documents on reduction fisheries. Here is one that will get you into that whole research base:


And this paper is the economic indicators of the industry, from DFO's point of view:

On Page 14 you will see that sales to the USA comprise well over 90% of sales. And that total sales in 2014 dollars, was slightly more than $250 Millions.

On Page 13 you will see that they started wtih BC Stats figures and then massaged them upwards a great deal. For example, 1700 multiplier jobs for all of aquaculture from BC Stats; when DFO finished massaging the figures, darned if it wasn't 4418 some 260% higher than the BC Stats figures.

The point here is that you can't trust stats from DFO, and if you don't have another source that you trust, the stats are a real question mark. Fortunately, from working with BC Stats in the past, while in Finance, we found they were the best of the bunch, largely because of the caveats that they note and thus the assumptions they use. Their caveats, as I recall, is almost 20 pages long  in this report. That makes the figures better.

And once again, here is the BC Stats table:

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