Thursday, 20 December 2018

BAD NEWS BITES - Global Problems in the Fish Farm/Seafood Industry, Updated Jan 17, 2019

I receive 30 global press fish farm/seafood industry newsletters every week. In these, I have found a startling amount of bad news, and decided to do a post on it. I had no idea there was as much bad news as there is.This is my eleventh post in three years. And the last post ended at 4,000 problems, as I put 500 in each post before starting a new one.

Some days I am stunned by the amount of bad news in the fish farm/seafood industry.  Find the fifth BAD NEWS BITES post here: And that reaches 2,000.

This is the link to the fourth post, Jan 14, 2017, it has 500 BAD NEWS BITES in it: it has links to the previous three posts since July 2015. You can find earlier ones at these links.

This is the link to the ninth post, March 29, 2018:

This is the link to the tenth post, Aug 9, 2018:

Here is a summary of the bad news stories:

"In one mouthful, here are the kind of stories I am finding: boom bust industry, billions made and lost, crisis in lice and disease, bankruptcy, workers fired, executives jumping company to company, dividing big bonuses, fraud, corruption, litigation, conflict of interest with government and scientists, using the ocean as a free open sewer – $10.4 Billion in BC alone, killing of whales, seals and sea lions – more than 12,000 in BC so far, slavery, unpaid labour, taxpayers paying millions for diseased, dead fish – $177 Million in Canada, dueling scientists, weakening of laws, unsustainable feed, illegal fishing, jail sentences, disasters in Norway, Scotland, Chile, Canada, bullying of scientists, governments and anyone critical of their business, cartels, collusion, price fixing, fishing down the food chain to Antarctic krill, carcinogens and persistent organic pollutants, fluoroquinolones, chicken feathers in feed, animal feces in feed, eutrophication in a time of global warming, Malachite Green fungFicide in USA seafood, fake industry awards, all the wild salmon in the Pacific ocean, more than a billion, put in peril... it goes on."

Update, Dec 11, 2017: I have found 500 BAD NEWS BITES in less than 3.5 months. That means well over 1000 in a year. That is how much bad news there is in fish farms/seafood industry. This post, the sixth, may be found here:

Update, Mar 29, 2018: You will find the previous posts on these dates: 23/1/2018, 11/12/17, 29/8/17. 5/5/17, 14/1/17, 1/7/16, 6/5/16,  1/7/15, and a total of nearly 3,500 BAD NEWS BITES.  

Update Aug 9, 2018: I have found 500 BAD NEWS BITES since Mar 29, 2018. The total now stands at 3,500 in three years. The Aug post has 500 BAD NEWS BITES, bringing the total to 4,000 problems in three years.

Here are the BAD NEWS BITES starting on Dec 20, 2018 - the tenth post:


80. Court Case - BC, Dzawada’enuzw take feds to court, The Narwhal:

79. Disease - listeria, NZ King Salmon:

78. Disease - Norway, pancreatic disease, Mowi/Marine Harvest:

77. MSC Inquiry - UK, independent, the standard:

76. Bust - South Korean pollock, big decline, bans fishery:

75. Boom - US salmon imports hit $4B in 2018:

74. Offshore Allows Farmers to Avoid Environmental Problems - Norway, report on challenges:

73. Brexit No Deal Bad for Fish Farmers - Norwegian, Asian firms:

72. First Nations Sue Feds - over fish farms, Canada, BC, Broughton, Kingcome:

71. Brexit Could Hit Fish Farms - Scotland:

70. Mega Pollution - SalMar's, Ocean Farm 1, or, the newer Smart Fish Farm to come, puts out the pollution of six fish farms, as it contains 3M salmon. The world does not need ocean pollution on a grand scale. We're not keeping up with climate change, and should destroy the ocean:

69. 4 Year Prison Term - falsely labeling crab, $4.3M, Virginia:

68. Polluting Fish Farms Reined In - China: "Data collated by Aquaculture Wealth: Seafood, an industry publication, shows China's anti-pollution drive has been vast in scale; 300,000 cages and 2.4 million mu of farms with net pens -- equivalent to 160,000 hectares -- have been removed. Seemingly no region has been spared."

67. Oligopolies - the big mergers and acquisitions of 2019, Cooke, Iberconsa, and others:

66. Salmon Deaths - 20% NZ King salmon, wants to farm in the open ocean:

65. Krill Carnage - Antarctica, Rimfrost:

64. Boom - record sales, shrimp, Ecuador to China:

63. Disease - norovirus, Ireland:

62. Shrimp Exports Struggle - India:

61. Disease - Scotland, huge research project:

60. Mergers and Acquisitions, 2019 - big ones to watch for, oligopolies:

59. DFO Refuses Disease Testing - BC, won't allow Broughton Archipelago First Nations to use DFO labs for tests for, among others, PRV:

58. First Nation Sues Feds - BC, Dzawada'enuxw, to get fish farm licences out of Kingcome Inlet,

57. Prison Term Appealed - tax fraud, Ventola, National Fish, pays $1.07M restitution, $75,000 fine:

56. Disease - gill disease prompts 3.5M pounds program, Scotland:

55. Huge Sea Lice Problem - prompts record grants to address problem in Norway:

54. Commercial Fishers Against Offshore Fish Farms - USA, 3 to 200 miles offshore:

53. Court Case - Indigenous, Kingcome Inlet take DFO to court over fish farms:

52. Boom - Norway ships a record $11.5B in seafood n 2018:

51. Fishers Against Fish Farms - USA:

50. Disease - listeria, Marine Harvest, now Mowi, salmon from Scotland this time;

49. Disease - listeria, Norwegian salmon to Spain:

48. Boom - $172M pangasius project in Vietnam, Navico:

47. 10- to 20-% Salmon Die - from smolt to adult, in-ocean:

46. Boom - Chile exceeds $5B salmon exports for first time:

45. Omega-3s, No Effect? - NOrway:

44. Disease - SRS - Chile, Cermaq spends big bucks for vaccine. Fish farmers spend more than $700M annually for florifenicol and oxytetracycline, the latter a human antibiotic and one we don't want bacteria to form a resistance to:

43. Fishermen Against Fish Farms - USA:

42. 127 Mergers and Acquisitions - 2018

41. Escapes - Big Fine: $1.2M, Chile Ventisqueros (760,000 Euros):

40. Pen Concepts Rejected - Royal Norway Salmon:

39. Boom - Chile, salmon to increase 20% in 2019:

38. Stringent Water Regulations - WA, until Cooke closes in 2022:

37. Plea for On-land - NL, faced with Placentia Bay mega-sewage fish farm. Notes problems in Scotland, WA, and moving to land in BC:

36. Forage Fish Decimation - Peru, anchovetta, 540,000t:

35. Oligopoly - Chile, government policy is making for consolidation, Agrosuper, for instance:

34. Boom - processing up 50% in Russian, Nurebo:

33. Boom - Multiexport, Blumar to build 50,000mt processing plant, Chile:

32. Fake Awards - one of the problems with fish farms is that they award themselves awards that they set up and control. Fake awards: For example: we became the first salmon producer in the UK to be awarded 2-star Best Aquaculture Practice (BAP) certification for all our marine and processing sites, demonstrating our commitment to environmental stewardship. The world’s most comprehensive third-party aquaculture certification programme, BAP is administered by the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) and is compliant with the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), Global Social Compliance Programme (GSCP) and Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI)."

The BAPs were set up by the industry. The GAA, is an industry set up group, administers the fake BAPs:  Look at all the members, all seafood  businesses. The GFSI came about after large, negative food problems, note that the BAPS are compliant: The GSCP is a UN related body. Note that the BAPs are 'compliant' with all the following bodies.

31. Fish Farms Regroup - Northwest Aquaculture Association to include Or, Montana, Idaho, WA, BC and thinks it can grow in WA, even though it has been phased out by 2025. Typical:

30. Boom - 20% more salmon in 2018, Chile:

29. Undercooked Shrimp - recalled, Kroger:

28. Costs Rise - in-ocean 5% in Norway, cutting into profits, making on-land cheaper:

27. Cold Kills Pangasius, Tilapia - China:

26. Sashimi Royal wins ASC - Danish yellowtail kingfish, on land:

25. Escape - 25,000 fish, Marine Harvest, Scotland:

24. Disease - PD, a different variant, Norway, Marine Harvest:

23. Escape - Chile, Ventisqueros, 129,000 fish:

22. Lawsuit - Chilean fishermen sue Marine Harvest over its 690,000 fish escape:

21. Concepts Rejected - Norway Royal Salmon and other firms, plans not innovative;

20. Boom - India state, Gujarat, plans massive shrimp increase:

19. Illegal Fishing - lobster, Massachusetts:

18. Mergers and Acquisitions - the big get bigger, anti-competitive, in fish farms/seafood in 2018: "To say there were a lot of mergers and acquisitions in 2018 would be an understatement. Undercurrent identified 127 deals, up from 117 in 2017 and 102 in 2016. The fourth quarter of 2018 alone saw 42 deals, the most since we started tracking in January 2015. The joint second-highest quarter for deals was Q3 of last year when we recorded 34, the same as in Q4 of 2017."

17. Escape - SalMar, offshore Salmon Farm 1:

16. Disease - ISA, Cermaq, Chile, results in rush harvest:

15. Fish Farm Spin - Feed, they don't think algae or maggot feed should be seen as more sustainable than the forage fish they have trashed for decades:

14. Boom - huge pelagic catches for fishmeal, Norway;

13. Boom - PE firm makes $3B purchase of Quirch, USA:

12. Boom - Ecuador ships 500,000t of shrimp: Tenfold increase to China, total sales exceed $500 million.

11. Environmental Damage - Atlantic Canada:,

10. *Cancer, Sterility from Eating Farmed Salmon - Norway: Google translate, from Alex Morton:

9. Boom - Iberconsa buys Valestro vessels, eyes others:

8.Blood Water, PRV Flowing - BC, Tofino, fish processing effluent:

7. DFO Against Wild Salmon - BC, DFO is busy trying to find that fish farms don't harm wild salmon, an outcome of the Cohen Commission, saying they need to remove fish farms by 2020 if they can't prove minimal damage. Living Oceans nails this one: "DFO’s aquaculture scientists have been busy trying to establish that the farms cause “no more than minimal harm”; while at the same time, the Department is a partner in the Strategic Salmon Health initiative led by Dr. Kristi Miller Saunders. Dr. Miller’s team is finding the reverse: viruses from salmon farms do infect Pacific salmon and the result can be deadly. The virus PRV, introduced from Norway, causes the red blood cells of Chinook salmon to rupture." See:

6. Farms to Close in BC - Marine Harvest, Cermaq:

5. Chemicals Harmful to Crustaceans - SLICE, peroxide, Teflubenzuron, Ireland study:

4. Excuses for PRV - Disease, Benchmark the supplier to Cooke, in WA, that has to destroy 800,000 fry it got as eggs offers up an endless list of excuses and out right falsehoods, rather than accept that they supplied PRV eggs:

3. Escape! Escape! - Marine Harvest, Scotland, 24,572 fish, in a storm:

2. Diseases - in farmed fish, eggs, fry:

1. Bankruptcy? - China Fishery Group, Peruvian anchovy operations, part of Pac Andes:

4,000 Problems in 3 Years - No Problems in BC Fish Farms???

I don't think so. 

Here is the note I sent to government and press today. It is tiring, less than a week after Marine Harvest and Cermaq said they would go along with closing Broughton Archipelago farms, for their Atlantic trade association to be saying there are no problems. No problems? Well, there are those 4,000 I have found in the past three years in the global fish farm/seafood industry press.  See below.

Dear All:

As much as I wanted to believe that the fish farms were willing to close farms in BC last Friday, Dec 14, 2018 in the Global News video of the announcement of closures in the Broughton, less than a week later their Atlantic fish farm association is spouting the same tired spin they invented almost 50 years ago, and disagreeing there is any problem with fish farms in BC, and elsewhere in Canada.

Leopards don’t change their spots. As I have mentioned before, the strategy for saving wild BC salmon is to use the precautionary principle for putting fish farms on land (because asking for science is a never ending circle) and Indigenous rights along with their court wins such as the Tsilhqut’n Decision. And pump money into freshwater habitat restoration.

Also today, Cooke, just south of BC, has to kill 800,000 smolts infected with 'exotic' PRV, the same virus that affects more than 80% of BC fish farm smolt stocks and been shown by Dr. Kristi Miller to cause HSMI, and jaundice/anemia in wild chinook. The WA government ordered the cull. You might do the same.


494. Communications Spin - Atlantic Canada salmon ass still spouting the false 1970s spin about feeding a hungry world, being sustainable, and so on, while disagreeing that fish farms are a problem in BC:

These two items come from my most recent post on the problems in the global fish farm/seafood industry. I have found 4,000 problems in the last three years. Cruise the boldfacing for a quick look:

Friday, 14 December 2018

John Horgan Closes 10 Fish Farms!!!, Updated, Jan 7, 2019

John Horgan is speaking right now on:

From Greater Vancouver: 604 681-0260 From elsewhere in Canada and
>>> the U.S. (toll-free): 1 877 353-9184 Participant Pass Code: 28711#

Dec 14, 2018

Please, all my followers, go and listen. Also, see video link to Global News coverage below.

Chief Bob Chamberlin speaking now: 10:17

Jonathan Wilkinson speaking as of 10:21. He says 17 farms will move out of the Broughton A. He is also talking about the precautionary principle, which is the method I said was the important one, along with freshwater habitat restoration.

David Kimmel from Cermaq: 10:29 He says a bunch of stuff that could be good: habitat, climate change. Still saying fish farms have lowest carbon footprint, ignoring the $10.4B in sewage they put in the BC ocean. Talks about feeding people.

Diane Morrison, Marine Harvest (Mowei) saying good things about speaking with one another, reconciliation. Business must evolve and that means us. 600 employees (it is only about 500), wild salmon/environment and blah blah, transition in BA to... indigenous monitoring in their territories. We care about wild salmon....And this consensus based approach (Hmm)

Lana Popham: we came in with wanting to do reconciliation. Still she is not talking specifics. Strengthening wild salmon while strengthening aquaculture.


Horgan speaking, 10:40, we are moving forward. Cohen Commission, starting point. 10 removed to create channel for smolt migration from Fraser (also Broughton pinks, as well).

Bob; 10:45. Let's get it done (he has a cold). It's a one way street, meaning government, but we now come as equal partners (reconciliation). To improve wild salmon, this is one, then forestry, water licences, etc. global warming, WA state, Bolt Decision 50% of salmon to Indigenous. Salmon need help and this does help. Let's move forward, no more what we have done in the past, integration is good and we want Indigenous partners in Cascadia, all of it, management, WRT survival of fish.

Horgan, 10:48, 54% of biomass eliminated by 2022. Indigenous will now work with business to move forward. Create more wild salmon at the same time.

Wilkinson: 10:51, area based management. Need aqua, and Wild stocks. 'Absolute comfort with this.'

Horgan: 10:53, all options are on the table. But thinks Marine Harvest/Cermaq will move to transition. Cooperation moving forward. Template can be moved to other BC industries. DFO has a new announced budget ($100M but it doesn't have details.)

Nelson Bennett: job losses? Why are companies okay?

Horgan: 10:55, 7 remaining will remain. Skepticism? We are all here

Bob: to Nelson, 10;56, 2022 must have agreement, or out. That is the longterm. We wind down farms and have indigenous monitoring at all times. Sea lice treatments, for example, we are skeptical of health on fish farms, we define that, the testing, drugs, lice, we will train and do it on sites, so we can tell our own leadership out there. FN/BC/Fed. Window of opportunity for new technologies. (Sure, the Egg?)

11: it's a wrap. Legislative Conference Call.

Here is a link to the video conference: And, specifically:


Now, what do I think? Well this sounds good, but there are those almost 4,000 problems I have found in the industry over the last three years:

It sounds good to talk of wild salmon, with fish farms working around them, however, the problems still remain, of disease, lice, chemicals, the Second Silent Spring, sewage, relatively small GDP input by fish farms with the straight forward way forward is to put fish farms on land, move feed to insect based, use sewage for hydroponics...

But there is Wilkinson seeming clued in, Lana seeming clued in, JH, and BC seeming clued in. Hard not to feel a warm fuzzy after so many decades of deception and fish dying.

As mentioned previously, the stats show: fish farms (all of aqua) only a $61.9M GDP contribution, meaning the bulk of the $469M (all of aqua) going back to Norway, only 1700 multiplier jobs in fish farms, with only 850 actual jobs, sport revenue of $2.52B, the most conservative sewage cost to us of $10.4B.

And the four major problems remain: freshwater habitat restoration (DFO number of $100M is short on detains), DFO, fish farms and climate change.

The proof will be in the pudding.


And now, watching the video for the first time, rather than just audio, I am struck by how ill informed people are on the employment in fish farms. It is only 1700 multiplier jobs, and actual employment is only 850 jobs (I determined this myself). That means the Indigenous jobs, at 20% are only 170 jobs. Are we going to continue with fish farms in the water, when only 170 aboriginals are employed, and only 1,700 economic effect? Sport is 8,400 jobs. Why do we talk so much about fish farm jobs rather than the vastly more jobs in other parts of the salmon world?

And Jon W goes on to say they will do a study of on-land and closed containment, to determine 'industry readiness'. Well what about the 218,000 MT coming on stream on land in the USA? Atlantic Sapphire, Whole Oceans, Nordic Aquafarms, and Aquabanq? What about the additional 260, 000 that PE Fund is going to put around the entire world? And what about the 260 on-land fish farms that I have found? What planet are you guys on? You need to do your homework.

Jon W goes on to trumpet his new aquaculture act, which is simply words, like transparency, best practices and so on. The issue is where the rubber hits the road, and I am not hearing: we are putting you on land for free! A $32- t0 $40-million huge subsidy, as in the same as Norway!

And Jimmy Kibble for Cermaq says that he is sure wild salmon will be better with fish farms in the water. Sorry, I fell off my chair at that one, after all of his first five minutes of puff stuff.

And when he went on to straight face claim that fish farms have the lowest carbon footprint of all farming methods, I fell off my chair again. It is a conservative $10.4B that we pay, for your sewage. And other farming methods at least keep all the crap on land, where it can be used, rather than sprayed all over the ocean where it can only cause eutrophication and algal blooms, and change in pH.

And then he went on to claim the same Blue Revolution BS that the Norwegians have been claiming since the 1970s, 'farming the ocean will be essential' ... and when he claimed sustainability, I decided I had better not write anything more and just grit my teeth until he was finished.

Then Ms Morrison from Marine Harvest, soon to be Mowei: says Jon's work will be critical, even though Jon is talking science. Then she says there are 600 MH employees. There are not, they may reach 500, and I have several references for that figure. She then says the agreement will not lead to any staff changes in the Broughton. Hmm. Could that be because, on many farms there are no employees and they are visited by employees who see many farms? After all it only takes 2 people to run a farm.

I like the Indigenous oversight part of her talk, though the devil is in the details, as Alex Morton's work showed how DFO and the CFIA essentially fraudulently tried to find a lab that would give a no-disease response to them. They will do the same thing again.

Then Lana goes on to say we want lots of wild salmon and a sustainable fish farm industry. Hmm. I don't think they really get the point of on-land.

John seems to get that we need more wild salmon as he answers Keith Baldry, about BC and WA working together on salmon/SRKW. Not to mention that there are 300,000 sport fishers who aren't keen on DFO, meaning we don't believe them anymore.

He does mention that the Cohen Commission was used to take the 10 fish farms out of the Broughton, and goes on to mention Discovery, just south of there, at Campbell River.

Bob is quite eloquent about the one-way street of the past, being government/court/government, and now that may be changing. Roughly minute 46 if you want to go directly there. He goes on to say that on this one topic the door to Indigenous inclusion has been opened. I hope he's right.

He has a good comment on management based on survival versus management based on the economy (minute 50), when referring to cross border Indigenous inclusion in the process.

Jon comes back to talk about area-based management. But then he destroys it by using the old shibboleth of fish farms talking about a growing world population needing protein and we need to use the ocean, and fish numbers are going down, and the same old fish farm spin stuff that they have been using for 50 years. It is sad to hear the same words from the DFO minister, for example, the ocean fish decline of 20 global fish stocks is directly caused by the fish farm industry killing for feed.

And then John has to ruin what he has to say by saying that Cermaq and Marine Harvest are leaders in technology, when that just isn't true. I refer you to the USA, PE Fund, and my list of 260 on-land farms. Marine Harvest has the Egg, which allows it to release its sewage from the tank, and Cermaq has iFarm that looks at every fish, and releases its sewage. We need them just to put the farms on land. That is all this is about.

Bob also spoke at the end, saying it is a time to test new technologies. Sad, as Trump would say. As I have mentioned, the industry 'advances' don't look anything like on-land for solving all the problems of being in the water, and letting the sewage, etc. float away.


Finally, the Times Colonist article, Dec 15, 2018, by Les Leyne on fish farms being taken out of the Broughton:

Here is another article, by Nelson Bennett:


And, from Alex Morton, Jan 7 2019, a video on the closing of the Glacier Falls fish farm site: