Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Most Popular Posts - Feb 2018

I have listed the most popular posts on Fish Farm News and Science, as in, this blog, since August 2016. They are posted on the first day of the following month, or close to it.

This posts lists the most popular posts on this site during February 2018. There have been some big responses to a number of these posts.

1. New Science Committee? - Don' Bother Dominic: https://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2018/02/new-science-copmmittee-dont-bother.html. Literally thousands of page views.

2. 217 On Land Fish Farm Systems, comprising 20,000 actual fish farms on land around the world: https://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2016/05/152-different-on-land-fish-farm-systems.html. This is the all time champion posts that receives so many pageviews that it is the most popular of all time.

3. Fish Farm Spin - DC Reid, READ THIS SUMMARY ARTICLE: https://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2018/01/fish-farm-spin-dc-reid-read-this.html. Again, literally thousands of page views in February. If you read only one fish farm post this year, make it this one, as I put together the entire overview with more than 30 references, so that you can know that what is said is sound and that you can go to the sources and read and confirm them for yourself.

4. December 2016, Most Popular Posts: https://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2017/01/december-2016-most-popular-posts-on.html.

5. January 2017, Most Popular Posts: https://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2017/01/january-2017-most-popular-posts-on-fish.html.

6. Lice Kill Wild Salmon - a review article: https://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2018/02/lice-kill-wild-salmonids.html. Like Big Tobacco, Big Fish Farms don't seem to know they have a lice problem. But this is a review article from Norway, where they started and provides a good overview to this big problem.

7. Wild BC Salmon Plan - Contact Your MLA: https://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2018/02/wild-bc-salmon-plan-contact-your-mla.html.  Send this link, or copy and paste the article into an email and send it to your MLA, along with John Horgan, Lana Popham, and Andrew Weaver. Again, thousands of page views.

8. BC Salmon Farmers Association - Even More 'Spin': https://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2018/02/bc-salmon-farmers-association-even-more.html. Get in touch with your MLA and tell him/her that fish farms are very small in BC despite their claiming the opposite. Read the figures for yourself.

9. Big Tobacco, Big Fish Farms - Pretty Much the Same Thing: https://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2018/02/big-toobacco-big-fish-farms-pretty-much.html. My jaw dropped to the floor when this document told me that BC fish farms have used the same PR firm, Hill and Knowlton, that Big Tobacco used, to try and turn around that everyone hates in-ocean fish farms. I think your jaw will do the same.

Monday, 26 February 2018

Big Tobacco, Big Fish Farms, Pretty Much the Same, Updated June 25, 208

I had wondered, since reading the Prof David Miller article on how fish farms, governments, paid scientists, fake back up groups and so on manipulated the world's press to destroy the Hites et al article on the cancer causing chemicals in farmed fish in Science Jan 9, 2004, whether fish farms had employed the same PR company - Hill and Knowlton to promote its products - that Big Tobacco had. Chrome was one of them in the Scotland attack.

David Miller's article can be found through this post: http://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2011/10/key-document-fish-farm-tactics.html.

And I managed to find an article that was right on subject - in BC no less. You will recall that Big Tobacco CEOs didn't know that cigarettes caused cancer decades after everyone in the world knew it. Hill and Knowlton helped them keep on selling cigarettes.

And now, here is a clip from the article:

"Sophisticated public relations maneuvers are nothing new to salmon farming corporations.  In 2003, when sales of farmed salmon slumped due to publicity exposing toxic contamination, the British Columbia Salmon Farmers Association (representing fish farming corporations) hired Hill and Knowlton to provide the behind-the-scenes groundwork necessary to develop a positive media image.  Prior to the work for the BC Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA), Hill and Knowlton’s “accomplishments” included managing public relations after the Three Mile Island nuclear plant accident, establishing the Tobacco Institute to promote cigarette smoking, helping Exxon recover from the Valdez oil spill, and selling the Gulf War on behalf of the royal family of Kuwait.  The BCSFA went straight to the elite (with over 70 offices in 37 countries) of transnational PR spin companies.  Hill and Knowlton’s background work allowed the BCSFA to issue 32 press releases in February and March of 2003 alone (compared with only 8 for the entire year of 2002). "

 Here is the link to Sarah K. Cox report on the subject:

1 The report by Sarah K. Cox, “Diminishing Returns: An Investigation into the Five Multinational Corporations That Control British Columbia’s Salmon Farming Industry” (December 2004), provides information about aquaculture’s connection to Salmon of the Americas and Hill and Knowlton and informs much of this essay. (Note: while the link takes you Raincoast, it does not go directly to Cox's paper. Her PDF is here: http://web.idv.nkmu.edu.tw/~tomhsiao/S%20T%20Management/DiminishingReturns_final.pdf).

So, yes, it's a legitimate question: Big Tobacco, Big Fish Farms, is there any difference? Doesn't look like it based on what Cox put together.

In her report, Cox shows that fish farms have a number of lobbyists to the government:

"Stolt, the largest salmon farming company in Canada, is the only one of the Big Five companies to engage its own government lobbyists. The other four continue to work through the BCSFA. Stolt made the move in 2003 when it hired Global Public Affairs, a company that “manages” policy
issues for corporations and has offices in five Canadian cities. Five Global employees registered to represent Stolt in lobbying several different federal government departments and institutions: Environment Canada, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (an independent body accountable to Parliament through the Ministry of the Environment), Western Economic Diversification, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Indian and Northern Affairs, Industry Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada."
Little wonder why fish farms get such a great amount of conflict of interest shown by government.


And if you can believe it, there is even more lobbying. Little wonder why fish farms are still in the water:

"Provincially, Stolt also hired Global lobbyist Kimanda Jarzebiak in 2003 to discuss “activities related to Stolt’s interests in B.C.” with three different ministries: the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries; Sustainable Resource Management; and Water, Land and Air Protection. Global lobbyist Gary Ley was also appointed to represent Stolt in communication with the three ministries from February 21, 2003 to February 21, 2004. The B.C.government, responding to a freedom of information request, said it had no records of any meetings between any provincial government representatives and Global lobbyists representing Stolt."

So, the lobbyists had these contacts but the government has not record of it. Hmm.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Farmed Salmon Healthy and Nutritious? - No, We Don't Agree

Fish farms like to claim the opposite of what most of us call truth - but let's just call it spin - on a whole range of subjects, for instance that farmed salmon is a healthy, nutritious food. That being the case, it is worthwhile, from time to time, to remind yourself that eating a farmed salmon is eating one of the most chemical filled foods on earth, despite what fish farms say.

Here is that graph from the EU I have put up before, on the chemicals in a range of our meat products. You will note that farmed salmon has 10 times the cancer-causing, and other, chemicals, including more fat than pizza, than chickens, eggs, pigs, cows and other common meats. Yes, dioxins cause cancer.

So, healthy, nutritious, safe? No, I don't think so. When the negative contents of farmed fish are staring you in the face, all you can do is, shake your head and lose respect for companies like Marine Harvest, Cermaq, Grieg Seafood and Cooke Aquaculture, who are saying the opposite of the truth.

Now, here is another image that will keep you reading the chemicals in farmed fish for awhile. There are lots of things, like flame retardants. Take a good look, and when someone tells you they might buy some farmed fish, make sure to tell them they are buying a meat filled with cancer-causing and other chemicals and implore them to buy a safer, nutritious, healthy food, in fact, anything other than farmed salmon.

Take a good look. It is going to take you a while to read all the chemicals. Good reason to not buy farmed salmon.

Friday, 23 February 2018

BC Salmon Farmers Association - Even More 'Spin'?, Check out the Escapes, Updated Mar 4, 2018

Jeremy Dunn (who has moved on) speaking for the BC Salmon Farmers Association, said in iPolitics and the Times Colonist this week, commenting on how BC's fish farms are so much better than the Cooke farms in WA:

" ...let’s not forget that salmon farming in B.C. is worth more than a billion and a half dollars to our economy. It’s a well-managed business that supports 6,600 jobs and has done so for many years and has a great future here supported by world-leading science.”

See: https://ipolitics.ca/2018/02/20/washington-senator-wants-b-c-follow-suit-phase-net-pen-fish-farms/.

Well, let's just go through this, Slim, cause those figures look mighty high to me:

* Salmon farms worth more than $1.5B? Sorry fish farms, but the BC Stats Report says it is only $469 Million and that is for all of aquaculture. Fish farms are 90%, or $422M, so, the fish farm estimate is 355.5% higher than the BC government's own figures. Sorry.

* Salmon farms support 6,600 jobs? Sorry, fish farms, but the BC Stats Report says it is only 1,700 multiplier jobs and that is for all of aquaculture. Fish farms are 90% or 1530, so, the fish farm estimate is 390% higher than the BC government. Sorry.

*Actual employment is 820 jobs or 12% of what fish farms say. So when fish farms give you an estimate of jobs, divide it by 10 to get to a much closer number.

And you might be very surprised to find that BC fish farms are tiny, despite what Slim suggests.

*The GDP of the entire aquaculture industry is a measly $61.9M, the BC Stats Report says. And fish farms are only 90% of this tiny figure or $55.7M. The rest of the sector - sport, commercial, processing - is $612M. That means the rest of the salmon sector is 1100% higher GDP effect than fish farms, so says the BC government. Sorry.

So, the take away here is don't believe what fish farms tell you. It's all spin, which is a polite word for 'balderdash' which is polite for BS. 


And since the problem with Cooke is escapes in WA, what about escapes in BC? Well, here are some BC numbers:

1.5 million escape, 1987 to 2008, says the BC Min of Agriculture and Lands:  http://www.farmedanddangerous.org/salmon-farming-problems/environmental-impacts/escapes-alien-species/. Yes, that's 1.5 milion

40,000 escape: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/40-000-salmon-escape-b-c-farm-1.828920 (2009)

30,000 in 2011... and Chile lost 12 Million in 2007 to an earthquake. Hmm, isn't BC in a hot earthquake zone? Shouldn't fish farms be on land?

And, by golly, there is more. Look at this: http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/files/fish-escapes-chart_14767.pdf. It notes escapes in Scotland, Atlantic Canada, BC, Norway, US and Chile, only some of the countries with farmed salmon, and found, get this, more than 25 Million escapes 1996 - 2012.

But let's stop with the figures and say the important thing: the available science from John Volpe says he has found adult Atlantics and up to two years of progeny in up to 97% of Vancouver Island rivers with multiple species of wild salmon. This is shocking. Go look at this post and read it for yourself: https://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2017/12/atlantic-salmon-in-van-isle-rivers.html, and then this post: https://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2017/12/atlantic-salmon-in-bc-rivers-bad-news.html, and then this post: https://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2017/10/escaped-atlantic-salmon-in-bc-volpe.html.

I think you get the point: BC fish farms lose a whole lot of fish, to, well, holes. Volpe says in his 2014 article, that it is obvious that fish farms don't report their escapes, because they are showing up in almost every river he looked in. Shocking.

And Slim says it is well managed? The scientist is saying they obviously don't report the losses of escaped fish. How well managed is that? And we haven't mentioned that this is DFO work cuz that is who Volpe worked for...

Oh, okay, you want more stats, and here they are:

And what reasons did the escapes happen in BC: "Escapes were due to system failure related to extreme weather, net tears or structural damage resulting from propeller or boat collision with the nets, attacks by predators such as seals and sea lions or through human error and vandalism."

Sounds a lot like Cooke in WA, doesn't it? Yes, it does.

And, of course there is more, known as 'leakage', about 1% of all fish put in pens, or about 160,000 every year. (See farmed and dangerous). Hmm. Isn't Cooke 263,000, as in they are both pretty bug numbers? Well, yes.

And if we figure out the 'leakage' on today's numbers, it is: 85 farms X 600,000 fish/farm X .01, (or 1%) = 510,000 fish escape every year in BC. That is huge!

And, Slim, up there says BC fish farms are better managed, stellar, in fact.

And Volpe swam some WA creeks, too, and found escapers there:  https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/puget-sound-regions-atlantic-salmon-fish-farms-could-be-headed-for-final-harvest/. "John Volpe of the University of Victoria, one of the few scientists that has studied escaped Atlantic salmon in the Pacific Northwest, has documented reproducing runs in British Columbia. He also videotaped Atlantic salmon in Scatter Creek, in Rochester, Thurston County, in 2003, presumably escaped from a nearby Atlantic salmon grow pond."

And, there are more stats: " Captures of free-swimming Atlantics in both saltwater and freshwater in Washington, Alaska and British Columbia have been confirmed for years, a 2005 study by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission shows." Seattle Times, Feb 26, 2018

And: "Atlantics have been found in WDFW snorkel surveys in 12 streams in Washington since at least 2003." Also, Seattle Times.


The BC Stats Report may be downloaded as a PDF here:

And look at the table summarizing the data here:  

I know this post is getting very long, and tiring, but one important thing in the table that you have to know a little economics to know, and, well, I do, is: if you look at the GDP contribution and the total revenue, you will note the disparity between the two figures. Fish farms contribute almost nothing to the BC GDP (that $61.9M) and at the same time the revenue is more than 750% higher. That means that the great amount of the revenue leaves BC, leaves Canada and goes home to Oslo Norway where company head offices dole it out as dividends to shareholders around the world, and also keep a whole lot.

I'm a little tired here, so I'll stop... but if you want more, let me know, because there is far more to say on the management side. and the legal side and the conservation and protection side, not to mention the sewage, the billions of fish killed to feed the farms... and on it goes.

And let's not have an earth quake, because after all there are 85 farms X 600,000 fish in a good year = 51 million. And Chile lost a whole bunch. Hmm.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Wild BC Salmon Plan - Contact your MLA! - Updated Mar 26, 2020

Wild BC Salmon Plan – Prepared for John Horgan, Andrew Weaver, Lana Popham, Adam Olsen and Other Indigenous MLAs by DC Reid 

The government of BC has the following plan for bringing back wild Pacific salmon: 
1.     We are moving forward to save BC’s iconic Wild Pacific Salmon, threatened now on several fronts. We will fund the Pacific Salmon Foundation $150 million over ten years to undertake freshwater habitat restoration and to protect habitat from being damaged. We are asking the federal government to add the same amount of funding for the same purpose, making this the biggest positive plan for wild salmon ever undertaken in BC! Their current budget is $100 million.

2.     We will be setting up 12 net-pen operations for the next ten years, with 2 million sterilized, fin-clipped chinook fry each to feed southern resident killer whales. We will feed SRKWs with netted Nitinat chinook, delivered to pods and dropped in front of them from helicopter pens.

3.     We will set up net-pen operations in coastal First Nations to raise their own, local, sterilized, fin-clipped salmon.

4.     We will provide funding for our aboriginal brothers to remove Atlantic salmon and their fry from BC rivers.

5.     We propose that DFO curtail the herring roe fishery for the next decade.

6.     Yes, there is science on the problems with fish farms, but there are other issues: wild salmon are in crisis, climate change is getting worse, British Columbians by and large don’t like fish farms, our aboriginal brothers want their wild salmon back and farmed salmon out of the ocean. We are acting in accordance with British Columbian wishes and using the precautionary principle.

7.     In accordance with our plans, fish farms will be moved to land. Globally, the industry has been moving onto land for many years, including in Norway, where BC farms are from, and it is now time to do the same here. 
Norway stopped auctioning in-ocean licences in 2014 and now only grants, for free, on-land licences; this was a $9- to $12-million subsidy to set up on land. Since then, the in-ocean license has climbed to $32- to $40-million, with on-land at zero. We will offer the same subsidy in BC, a free license for on-land, and move immediately to the same price as Norway for in-ocean, until farms are on land.

Marine Harvest is investing $100 Million in closed containment, and the other companies also have their plans. It makes sense for Norwegian companies to spend in BC, on our much cheaper land, with cheaper labour than Norway, with their monetary policy inflated Krone that will buy more in BC, rather than go back to Norway and set up on land there.

8.     We will retrain workers who may be displaced by the move to land.

9.     We will set up a 20,000mt on-land fish farm, working with industry leader, Aqua Maof, and our aboriginal brothers at Kuterra; or the agreement will be with Whole Oceans who signed a 15 year agreement to operate this facility. And we will build others, for example, a 33,000mt facility with Atlantic Sapphire.

10.  Specifically, we’ll retire 33% of current leases each June for the next three years. We’re here to help in the transition to land. And with our lower costs, you’ll be contributing to the BC economy, without the damaging externalities of the old way of doing things. Aquaponics will be an extra revenue stream, and a wise use of fish waste.

11. Finally, we will help fish farm companies with $1M for any farm relocated on land in BC.
Supporting Communication Phrases:

We’re here with a new plan for wild salmon.

We’re here to help you – with free licences.

We’re here for jobs - to move in a new direction.

We’re here for retraining - and moving British Columbia forward.

We stand for British Columbians who want fish farms removed – 113,000 citizens signed a petition in 2018 for moving farms to land. More recently this petition for our help has climbed to 200,000.

We stand for investment in BC – and moving this industry to land.

We stand for wild salmon – threatened now on several fronts.

We stand for wild salmon – we are asking the federal government to curtail the herring roe fishery for a minimum of 10 years.

We stand for the precautionary principle – wild salmon threatened now on several fronts and need to be fostered.

We want your industry to prosper – on land is the way forward, here and around the world.

We’ll be protecting wild salmon – by ridding our rivers of farmed salmon and their spawn, a costly outcome of farmed salmon escapes.

We stand for meaningful relations with First Nations – the UBCIC says 90% of FN want farmed salmon to be moved out of their and our ocean, and for wild salmon to be fostered.

We stand for jobs – why your own executives are jumping ship to the massive Atlantic Sapphire on-land plant in the USA. We want your jobs to continue, so getting on land is a must for you, or the new on-land USA firms will destroy your main market.

We don’t want to see the industry wither away because it is not on land. You will know that your own executives (Mowi) are already moving to AS. And, as you know, where you are from, Norway wants you on land, too. Everyone does.

We stand for jobs – and have a list of more than 300 on-land fish farms systems around the world, comprising 20,000 actual farms. So, we’re here to help you move forward.

We stand for jobs - fish farms have only 1800 jobs, and declined 5.3% in the past 20 years and we will have them transitioned quickly. 
We are bringing BC in line with our Pacific neighbours - Alaska and California forbid in-ocean farms, Oregon has none, and, as you know, Washington is in the process of removing fish farms from the ocean.

We hear what our municipal governments are saying - Sooke and Victoria are against fish farms. Victoria is taking the lead to have all BC cities ban fish farms.


Four BC MLAs are Indigenous: Adam Olsen (Green), North Saanich and the Islands; Carol James (NDP), Victoria-Beacon Hill; Ellis Ross (Liberal), Skeena; and Melanie Mark (NDP), Vancouver-Mount Pleasant.

Email Addresses: All MLA addresses have the same format:

Melanie Mark: melanie.mark.mla@leg.bc.ca

Final Note: In a chinook netpen, the fry are put in a pen in saltwater, fed for three weeks and then released to carry on with their lives. They return to the site of the pen as adult fish, rather than into a river. In the case of chinook, they can provide a fishery in their second to seventh year, depending on whether the chinook nurse in a near shore area, and on how many years the stock from which they are chosen typically lives before returning as an adult fish.