Saturday, 17 March 2012

Key Document - EU Welfare Platform - Mar 17, 2012

The EU has just released a major report on problems needing solving in fish farming: The European Animal Welfare Platform (EAWP) has highlighted the key welfare issues in salmon production, with sea lice, vaccines and medicines and water quality being the top three concerns.



1. While Norwegian fish farms in Europe concede that sea lice are a problem, for ex, a $30 million annual loss in Scotland alone, but here in BC, the same Norwegian derivative fish farms are doing a five year study in the Broughton Archipelago, to prove that lice do not cause problems in fish farming.

This practice of only focusing on the area the company is operating in, is a global strategy. They don't acknowledge that their own company, or parent company concedes lice or whatever problem in another part of the globe. The purpose of this is to stall having to move out of the water by calling for science to 'prove' sea lice are a problem. Why get out of the water if lice cause no problem?

2. The study notes that there are no vaccines for many fish farm diseases, and they need to be developed. The point of this one from the point of the environment is that fish farms will do any scientific fix - again could take 10 years to develop a vaccine - to avoid having to get out of the ocean. They say good things about on-land facilities, but their actions show they don't want to get out of the water. It is fair to say in BC, they have to be on land because Pacific salmon are too important to lose.

Secondly, they completely miss the point: it is wild fish that need vaccines against fish farm diseases, but their is no way to deliver those vaccines and the industry doesn't care about fish outside of their own nets.

3. The most important water quality parameters that may affect fish farm welfare are dissolved oxygen levels, dissolved carbon dioxide (hypercapnia), pH levels, ammonia, temperature, aluminium, copper and suspended solids.

Again, the effects on the environment and wild fish are irrelevant to fish farms. They are not talking about solving the problems by getting out of the water, but on the contrary, they are calling for technological fixes to allow them to remain in the ocean using it as a free, open sewer.

Do read the report and satisfy your own conclusions.

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