Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Key Fish Farm Statistics - Keith Ashfield Jan 11, 2012 News Release - Critique

Keith Ashfield (Minister of DFO)

Here is another of your releases, Jan 11, 2012, that contains information that you know not to be true.

“The B.C aquaculture industry currently provides an estimated 6,000 jobs and over CAD 224 million (USD 217.8 million) in wages for British Columbians,” said Minister Ashfield. “As Canada’s aquaculture industry continues to expand, the Government of Canada is committed to supporting responsible growth that provides economic benefits to Canadians.”

Here are the real stats.

The BC stats figure for employment in fish farming is 2100; your 2010 number is 1256; and the industry's own number at the end of 2011 is only 820.

The BC stats figure for fish farming is $214 million with a 0.2% contribution to GPP and only $41 million in wages.
The BC commercial, processing and sport sector, respectively are: $103M; $175 M; and,$248 M, for a total of $526 million contribution to GPP, or .5%. The number of jobs are: 2100; 3700; and 7700 jobs, for a total of 13,500, some 1646% greater than fish farms, and the total in wages is: $104; $124; and $162 for a total of $390 million, or 951% greater than fish farming wages.

It makes no sense to keep these old-tech environmentally-destructive nets in the water.

The only way forward for fish farms in BC is on land. Your money for boats, given the Cohen testimony regarding testing, should be spent on on-land technology, if at all. And the Namgi project, although good, has been going for two years, so announcing $800K as if it is a new project is not correct.

One final thing: the BC Freshwater Fisheries Society has a new 'Air-Lift Technology', that is very cheap, very simple and receives sizable cost savings for electricity through a BC Hydro program for industrial users of electricity, the chief expense of on-land systems.

The BC system introduces oxygen, drives off carbon dioxide and moves waste to retrieval because of the water current produced. See:

So on-land costs are far lower than fish farms say they are. In addition, if they had to pay for the killing of wild fish and clean up the environment, they would already be on land.

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