Sunday, 3 February 2019

Transparency in Fish Farming? Well, NO Fraud? More Likely

One of the shibboleths that fish farms and governments shovel out by the manure load full, er, shovelful, is that fish farms are transparent.

Take a look at the Global Salmon Initiative fish farms trying to rebrand themselves by discovering the same spin that they 'discover' every five years or so that they are transparent and above all feeding humanity in its need for sustainable protein:

Really. Well, this post is about 'nontransparency'.

In NS/NL, Canada, Bill Bryden, a good citizen trying to protect our oceans and streams, did a freedom of information request on the ISA problem at Dartek and others in 2018, data kept by the government on this transparent industry, but which they refuse to give out the transparent information, make you do a time-consuming freedom of information request to get this information about the 'transparent' industry, and finally, when prodded for some time, put together a huge pile of texts and then redact all the information so the transparent industry doesn't have to be, er, transparent. Not to mention that in Bryden's case he was able to point out how they deliberately went about keeping information from the public that came from those transparent fish farms.

In case it hasn't settled in by now, or you work for the government down east, the issue is nontransparency in fish farming. This is only one way that the industry is nontransparent even as it claims everywhere, including the GSI, that one of the four major pillars in its 'sustainable' industry is transparency.

If a fish farm ever claims transparency to you, just ask them for the information. They will say no, or say go to the government, all the while knowing full well that the government won't give you the information, either. As in NONTRANSPARENT. Then they will tell you that they are transparent. Hmm.

You really have to look at the information that was redacted and sent to Bryden, about the worst disease in fish farming, ISA, to realize the scope of refusal to be transparent. Government complicity is a polite way to put their actions. Look here: It gives you a download button to the PDF of the answer to the freedom of information request.

Here's how it starts: the transmittal note from the government tells why it won't be transparent, as in it won't give you the information you want, listing all the reasons it doesn't have to give you the transparent information:

You will note that this is so secret they could not even give the public the name of the person who had made the freedom of information request, Bill Bryden. But do go through the 91 pages, yes, 91, of nontransparent information to see the truly staggering amount of information that they refused to give the public on this 'transparent' industry, on the worst disease in fish farming, ISAV. Once you have assured yourself that the industry/government is not transparent, do read what Bill has to say, because there are more issues in this subject than just transparency, as in government coverup, government manipulating disease testing so as not to find ISA, and so on.

Here is what Bryden has to say:

"Reading the link below Freedom of Info response from NS and my NL freedom of Info response (see earlier email) and media reports about ISAv outbreaks in NL starting Oct 2016 through 2018, it becomes painfully obvious that indeed ISAv infected fish left NS and were imported to NL at the Spyglass Cove and 2 others sites DURING the ISAv outbreaks in Dartek and Little Hbr government surveillanced hatcheries and that this was covered up by CFIA and the vets involved. The initial infection site at Spyglass Cove ISAv that was months later culled in NL has to this day never been listed by the CFIA on the public website - despite a provincial quarantine and cull. An elaborate scam to cull the fish before confirmation testing started last summer to try and hide the number of outbreaks. I managed to thwart this for the most part - but media lost interest.

The entire viral screening and surveillance system is broken and diseased fish regularly are shipped around in Canada and between countries by the open net pen aquaculture  industry. See the ICES Disease and Pathology Working Groups reports for the long list of hatcheries caught in recent years in Canada (government sites included). With 10s of millions of dollars involved in many shipments and entire provincial industries at stake, it is little wonder.

Attached is a heavily redacted NS government response to a freedom of info request made for documents concerning the NS government's investigation as to how this single incident at Dartek happened. They desperately went looking for a "spontaneous generation" excuse. Note also that most of the info was hidden behind CFIA "Protected B" schemes that aim to circumvent any freedom of info requests by faxing documents and using the telephone rather than emails for especially incriminating evidence.

Note the statements that "four loads that went to NL" etc statements on page 9! I have ATTIPAs that show every single import from these infected hatcheries in NS. The NS and Federal vets in this NS investigation were trying to figure out a way to explain the ISAv outbreak in the freshwater biosecure hatchery by blaming trucks carrying it back from NL open net pen transfer sites...when in fact the Sept shipments to NL were also later condemned in NL for ISAv! The company informed the CFIA that different trucks were use for each of the 6 shipments.

To this day the NL vets say that the virus in the NL open net pens that was allowed to fester for months and were supplied by Dartek DURING the ISAv outbreak  was not the same strain of virus as the Dartek ISAv. LOL I guess they were sampling with the wrong genetic primers (again!). Self policing at its finest!

A link to the document can be found here:

Kind Regards;
Bill Bryden"

This tells you that fish farms are nontransparent, and that governments do whatever it takes to make the entire process non-transparent. Note that a word like fraud is actually relevant here, as the CFIA tried to make the process give a negative response, along with the province. Fraud is a much stronger word than nontransparent.

You will find the name Amanda Swim at many points in the PDF you download above.

Here is a comment from a responder to the Bryden post: 

"Amanda Swim is the same vet that testified at our court case against the NS gov. for withholding access to information.  After the government lawyer trying six ways from Sunday to try and explain the incestuous relationship between fisheries and the industry the judge would not let that pass.  The judge basically said to Swim, “you work for the people of NS not Cooke Aquaculture”!  The coverup for the industry is completely unacceptable and we need to do our level best to take that behaviour out of our institutions..."

Please note that the word fraud is the best word to describe what the CFIA/DFO did in BC to find a lab that would give a negative response for the PRV virus. When DFO says it operates on the basis of evidence and science, just laugh at them, and then shake your head at the waste of time and money to keep the industry nontransparent.

Here is an example of the CFIA/DFO fraud on PRV testing in BC: I have done many posts on this subject.

Here is another example of DFO not following science in BC: Stan Proboszcz.

Here is another on DFO refusing to do science with Volpe on escaped Atlantics in BC rivers: Item 3 will take you to one post of a half dozen I did on this issue of refusal to use evidence and science.

Here is another:...

Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, if you believe your department is using evidence and science, you are the naive person in the trilogy of people who ask for science. They are: naive, hubris, or manipulating the situation.

The answer is so simple: put fish farms on land.

Update to Feb 5, 2019: DFO loses case on testing for PRV in farmed fish. Thank you Alex Morton and Ecojustice. From my BAD NEWS BITES post: 144. PRV - DFO Minister loses case, must test farmed fish for PRV. Thank you Alex Morton and Ecojustice:

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