Thursday, 1 November 2018

The Silent Spring Syndrome - Clayoquot Lice, DFO, Cermaq Transparent as Mud

See the study on Clayoquot Sound lice:

Now see my post on the effects of lice treatment chemicals on wild animals in Norway, at concentrations far below their used levels: This is what I call the Silent Spring Syndrome, i.e., government/industry/chemical manufacturers saying that the chemicals are not harmful, while science ultimately shows that they need to be stopped because at concentrations far below use level are killing wild animals, for example, crustaceans.

Just how bad are current lice levels, and are they killing wild salmonids?

Well: "Clayoquot Sound used to support healthy populations of sockeye, chinook, coho, chum and pink salmon. Monitoring of wild juvenile fish during the spring 2018 out-migration, conducted by the salmon farming company Cermaq whose farms were responsible for the outbreak, captured a single pink salmon and no sockeye. A few juvenile Chinook were captured but released without examination.

Forty percent of the coho and chum that were examined in their study were infested with sea lice, with one chum reported as having 43 sea lice on it. One to three sea lice can kill a juvenile salmon. Sixty percent of the infested chum carried more than two lice. Independent monitoring found 96 percent of wild juveniles carried lice, with an average of 8.04 per fish. Lice counts ranged as high as 50 per fish."

And the well known SLICE used to kill lice has prompted resistance in lice:  "By 2017, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) unquestionably knew that resistance to SLICE™ had developed in west coast Vancouver Island farms, even as they denied it."

And the resistant lice may have been spread by processing Clayoquot farmed salmon in the Brown's Bay processor, thus spreading resistant lice to inside waters such as Johnstone Strait where the Broughton fish farms are located.

And, as I have noted before, sea lice reproduce into wildly high numbers in the presence of farmed fish held in netpens. "A single farm harbouring lice at an average of 3 females per fish is capable of shedding billions of larval lice that can travel 30 km on marine currents. 3"

Do go to the report and note the studies that have proven what is being said.

Around the world it is commonly acknowledged in the industry that lice are the worst cost, to control and in terms of fish loss. Do remember Helge Aarskog, CEO, Marine Harvest, asking for help to control this worst problem, and do remember that putting fish farms on land solves the problem of lice damage, and also the cost of treatment and fish deaths.

 Since this photo was published in 2014, lice problems have only gotten worse, around the world.

Now, the report turns to the issue of transparency. Industry likes to say it is completely transparent about everything, but on page 6 of this document, both DFO and Cermaq, have been non-transparent. in other words, don't believe it when they say they are transparent. The issue is lice counts, actions taken, slippery definitions of treatments, non-reporting of treatments, several months going by without treatment when the laws require action in 15 days, lice counts not being taken during treatments, then the use of hydrogen peroxide (yes, the chemical that has been causing the problems in the Norway post above), and lice levels rose above the 3 per fish level several times over the summer.

This wasn't an isolated case as five farms were treated: Plover Point, Bawden, Bare Bluff, Fortune Channel and Bedwell. Look at Clayoquot Sound on a map as it is closed at one end, as an inlet, thus it doesn't flush well, and there are 22 farms.

At Bawden the lice level rose to the exceptionally high number of 54.7 lice, yes, 54.7 lice per fish, and yes, the limit is 3. So the farms had 26M lice, and yes, downstream represent those billions of lice released.

And here is the point on resistance to SLICE and other chemicals: "Of greater concern is the pattern of peaking and troughing of lice numbers that is seen on this farm and all others in Clayoquot Sound in 2018. Sea lice numbers do not spontaneously reduce: absent some form of treatment, lice numbers just continue to go up. The pattern of peaking and troughing is strongly suggestive of repeated, ineffective treatments.

This kind of repeated, ineffective treatment actually promotes the development of drug resistant lice: lice that survive treatment and reproduce pass on the resistance."

This is exactly the pattern that Carson noted in the 1950s with regard to DDT, dieldrin, toxaphene and a couple of dozen other chlorinated hydrocarbons, as well as phosphorous based ones. This lead to the eventual banning of DDT, PCBs and so on, chemicals that are still with us today, in our livers, in our water tables, in our orcas.

Now we need DFO et al to ban these chemicals and put the farms on land.

But wait, there is more: more farms with high lice levels: Millar, Ross Pass, Dixon, Plover Point, Saranac, Bare Bluff and all the farms between the last two. And this during the out-migration of wild fry, something the industry is supposed to not have happen. (Page 8)

Page 9 has a map of the wild salmon streams on BC's coast. Just look at all of them.

On August 15, 2018 Eric Jensen, Regional Production Manager, Ceremaq confirmed that lice had resistance, and that resistance to SLICE has spread to all areas of west coast Van isle. And furthermore that Paramove 50 (hydrogen peroxide) was now becoming ineffective as well. Not only that, but that Paramove was actually killing 15% of farmed salmon exposed.

And what about DFO you ask? Ah, well their farm audit information has not been published since November 2017. Yes, this is a lack of transparency.

And it gets worse. You see, DFO covered up the trail of SLICE and resistance, a 2014 email on the issue, later being described - after redaction - as being in error. And DFO's Simon Jones initiated a project into resistance, in collaboration with Marine Harvest. While some text notes resistance, a paper has yet to be published. And DFO scientists said SLICE was ineffective in 2016, because of high water temperature. Not so, the manufacturer says it is equally effective at all temperatures.

It appears that the BC committee, Minister's Advisory Council on Finfish Aquaculture was convened, and was misled by testimony of various experts including Gary Marty of BCMAL. It filed its report in 2018 saying there is no evidence that lice are resistant to SLICE. Yet, in 2017, emails from DFO clearly show that resistance to SLICE is a well known phenomenon. Hmm.

Oh and I should add, something that I will use in a post on the new Wild Salmon Secretariat, Jeremy Dunn, ED of the farmers association was on the Minister's committee. In other words, the committer of the crime was part of the judge and jury in the case against itself. If they don't settle this, there is no way the Secretariat is getting fish farms out of the water.

The paper says this: "The evidence points plainly to one of two things: an attempt to mislead the Minister’s Advisory Council and concerned members of the public; or an inexcusable failure to communicate critical information about drug resistance to senior officials within the DFO."

Why would DFO mislead the committee/public, you ask? Well, the report, page 15, says: "The question why the Department might seek to mislead the public or the Council on this issue is not hard to fathom: uncontrolled sea lice and the cocktail of drugs and chemicals that have been used to combat them pose risks to wild salmon and marine ecosystems that many of us find unacceptable. The advent of drug-resistant sea lice takes B.C. into an entirely new regime of lice management, in which chemicals toxic to aquatic life will be dumped into the ocean multiple times in the course of each farm grow-out cycle, with unknown implications for wild salmon ecosystems."

This is the Silent Spring Syndrome - industry/government/manufacturers claiming the opposite of what society comes to know and take action to eliminate chemicals that kill farmed animals, such as DDT has been. Many humans were killed by the insecticides/herbicides/fungicides, so make sure not to come in contact with them.

Here are some of those scientific papers we need: "In one study, exposure to salmon farms increased sea lice infection on migrating wild salmon for 80 km, killing 9-95% of young wild pink salmon on migration routes in the Broughton Archipelago26. The youngest stages of wild salmon in the Broughton Archipelago were killed by just 1-3 lice per fish27. Heavily infected juvenile Fraser River sockeye salmon were 20% less successful at consuming food than lightly infected fish. 28"

And the industry is supposed to sample wild salmon fry during the spring migration. If you look at the data it masks the levels of lice due to the way it is presented. P17

Tellingly, an independent sampler, Cedar Coast Field Station also sampled the Clayoquot fry and found 96% had lice. Also, levels ranged from 0 to to over 50. Hmm.

And the Salmosam Vet, the third drug authorized is a phosphorous based drug, It's chemical name is: azamethiphos. See:

It is a phosphorous based insecticide, in other words, exactly the kind of chemical Carson pointed out had lots of science behind its toxicity, and resistance building when used as an insecticide way back in the 1950s. Just look at her book for the studies. We need to relearn what we have forgotten.

And the killer is that the Health Canada website says Salmosan Vet shouldn't be used near lobsters, failing to note that there are no lobsters in BC, yet says nothing about the crustaceans that are here.

As an alternative, the industry has tried to zap lice in Europe with warm water, the so called, Thermolicer, or Hydrolicer. Even with warm water, lice develop a resistance. Some lice die, but the ones that survive produce lice that also won't die, in other words resistance to the lice process itself. And in 2016, Marine Harvest killed 175,000 of its fish in Scotland using the process. Look at my BAD NEWS BITES posts for several articles on the losses. Each has a link.

Here is one, item 319 in this post:

And here is a report on a series of lice treatments in Scotland, all of which, were less than successful, i.e., resistance, leading to use of another chemical that also was less than successful: "Furnace Quarry was inspected on 28th February 2017. The FHI recorded,”...Treatments: Slice in April and June 2016, Alphamax June 2016, Salmosan 2 x August 2016 and end September/beginning October 2016, Hydrogen peroxide in October 2016, Hydrolicer x 2 beginning and end of November 2016. Levels coming down post treatment but resettlement [of lice on the fish]was reported to have been quick."

Now, to end, the solution to the lice problem is, wait for it: put fish farms on land where there are none. And the money saved from not using chemicals and from not losing fish due to being killed helps make more profit, too.


Okay, one more final thing, DFO said this to Global News, Oct 31, 2018: "However, there were documented failures of SLICE treatment at Klemtu in 2013 and Esperanza Inlet in 2017 and now Clayoquot Sound in 2018,” the DFO said in a statement to Global News." 


And one more: Marine Harvest uses Hydrolicer to get rid of SLICE resistant lice, Campbell River:

And yet another, on the global sea lice problem

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