Thursday, 21 December 2017

Letters to the TC, Updated Dec 22, 2017

I sent these letters to the Times Colonist, the Victoria newspaper where I live:

On-land Fish Farms

One of the myths spun by fish farm companies, Marine Harvest, Cermaq and Grieg Seafood, is that the Kuterra on-land farm on the Nimpkish River estuary is totally experimental, a shaky investment and can’t make money. This is silly because I have found 201 on-land fish farm systems around the world, comprising almost 20,000 actual on-land farms:

In their own country, Norway, the government is so fed up with fish farm environmental damage that it stopped auctioning in-ocean licences in 2014 and now only gives out, for free, on land licences, a $9- to $12-million subsidy. It is looking for new systems that isolate a farm from the ocean, and Marine Harvest is investing $100 Million in closed containment systems. Let’s offer the same licence subsidy here, meaning a free licence, and get MH to invest in our cheaper land and cheaper labour. Or they can go home and set up on land at increased cost.

One on-land system, Atlantic Sapphire, being built in Florida, item 176, at 150mt, will be double the size of the BC industry and will devastate the Canadian industry because of transportation cost differences and consumer preference. BC had better get on land or the jobs of workers will disappear. How bad will this be? Well, senior executives from MH are already jumping ship to Atlantic Sapphire. They can see the writing on the wall. And processing jobs will disappear, too, because China has just come out with a 100% automated line.

Here is another one:

Some people in BC actually believe that fish farms don't breed lice on their captive fish. Some people are too innocent for their own good.

Lice are a world wide problem, and Marine Harvest, several years ago, was going to forego putting 4 billion smolts in the water in Norway because they thought they would all die. When I went back to pick up the link to the article, it had been pulled from the internet already. But of course there are lots of problems in the world's oceans from lice. And oodles of links.

BC fish farms like to claim it doesn't happen, but then spin is spin. Their own boss, Aarskog, at Marine Harvest, in Norway, says lice are the world's worst problem for fish farms. What he means is for their fish. He doesn't care about the environment, he is doing the executive thing for profit. That's his job.

But he is still putting $100 million into closed containment, the 'egg' for instance, even though it looks like you can drop the sewage right out the water outlet to the environment, but not suck in the lice from the deep water inlet. And the closed dark cage won't let the lice in without knocking, and they don't knock.

See this for above water:

See this for below water:,+under+water&dcr=0&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=OsaVetF18quNYM%253A%252C3wA-qyaTu099dM%252C_&usg=__btgzoqLChfhAl1XZyYDBivq5-TE%3D&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjXqI-WuPvXAhUH4GMKHaScDKoQ9QEIMTAC#imgrc=OsaVetF18quNYM:

Here is a letter to the editor I penned to a mistaken BC resident, Dec 8, 2017, who thinks fish farms don't cause lice. The innocence of it all:

Yes, Dorothy, Fish Farms Cause Lice

Yes, fish farms cause lice. One female louse on a farmed salmon can produce 1,000 progeny. At 600,000 fish captive per farm that’s 600 million new lice in a few weeks – billions from all farms combined. That’s why Scotland spent $483 million on lice chemicals last year, and lost 10 million fish anyway. Norway was so bad it lost 18 million fish to lice, and Chile lost 25 million to an algal bloom caused, in part, by its own sewage and dumping 75,000 mt of dead fish too close off shore. Collectively that’s 53 million dead fish. 

Marine Harvest’s CEO Alf-Helge Aarskogg has appealed to the world that if anyone knows a solution to lice to get in touch. Marine Harvest has 90 studies on the go to try and catch up to lice, and there are 30 studies on lice in BC. And Cermaq is applying to get 2.3 million litres of chemicals to kill lice in Clayoquot Sound. Grieg Seafood and Marine Harvest have had staff thrown in jail and heavy fines about not reporting/too high lice counts, and Norway no longer allows new fish farms in the water, instead giving out free licences to set up on land, a $9- to $12-milion subsidy based on the auction price in 2014. We should do the same. Norway is so fed up with its companies, including Marine Harvest, Cermaq and Grieg Seafood not reporting escapes that it DNA samples fish and fines the company for deliberately not reporting losses. We should do the same.

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