Sunday, 23 February 2014

Fish Farm Sewage - Causes Algal Blooms, Updated Feb 25, 2014

As if there were not enough evidence that fish farms should be on land so their sewage and other problems are not fouling our pristine oceans, I have the staggering preliminary estimate of $10.4 Billion cost to the people of BC. If BC cancelled fish farm leases, in sixty days, farms would be on land and cause $0 sewage damage to the ocean and the people of BC.

There is has been so much fish farm sewage for the past decade, that even in the early 2000s, it started causing world wide problems. Read this World Wildlife Fund report from circa 2000: It makes sobering reading of fish farm sewage and its role in toxic algal blooms.

Also see, fish farm sewage causes damaging algal blooms:

"Salmon farm wastes may tip the ecological balance to such an extent that algal blooms become toxic. During the past decade, there has been a worldwide increase in marine microalgae that are harmful to finfish, shellfish and humans. Mass mortalities of farmed salmon have been recorded recently in the Chiloe area of Chile, Shetland in Scotland and in Norway where millions have died in their cages. Harmful algal blooms associated with intensive aquaculture operations have been recorded in Scotland, Ireland, Norway, Japan, Finland, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Canada and Chile. 

Amnesic, Paralytic and Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning events have plagued the Scottish, Canadian, Irish, Chilean and Norwegian coasts. The international community have finally begun to tackle this issue. AQUATOXSAL, for example, is an EC-funded research project involving Chile, Argentina, France and Germany investigating the links between salmon farm wastes and toxic algal blooms. In Scotland, in response to a petition by marine toxicologist Allan Berry, the Scottish Executive have hired Professor Ted Smayda of the University of Rhode Island to assess "the impact of nutrient inputs from fish farms on the algal communities of the Scottish coastal zone". And in British Columbia the Pollution and Prevention and Remediation Branch of the BC Ministry of Environment hired consultants to "document emerging research with respect to plankton blooms and netcages". Other research has focused on the use of seaweeds to remove salmon farm waste, the addition of chemicals to 'neutralise' toxic wastes or the use of 'nappies' to collect wastes. In the final analysis, completely closed systems for the containment of contaminated wastes can be the only solution. The solution to pollution is not dilution."

The solution is getting fish farms out of our pristine oceans and putting them on land in closed containers. Next, the sewage post.


  1. I have stumbled across this website in a search for evidence to link algal blooms with sea-farmed Atlantic salmon. What I am now reading is quite scary and very appropriate for an article I am writing for an online newspaper in Tasmania, the Tasmanian Times.

    We have had recently large areas of the State of Tasmania, affected by algal blooms that brought about a temporary closure of commercial and amateur activities in the abalone, rock-lobster, scallop and other wild fisheries. These closures were based on fears that such toxic blooms might be dangerous to consumer. I see by your profile tat you are adequately qualified, and well rewarded by journalistic awards to present such detailed material in the public interest. I congratulate you on your work. Would you be offended if I were to defer to some of your work and your warnings in my work for the Tasmanian Times. Tasmania has been farming salmon in sea pens since 1984, an exciting venture then, but encroaching now into into harbours and inlets across our State. We have had several algal blooms, but out State authorities and indeed our universities have never attributed such outbreaks to sea-farming. Our State promotes zealously the sea-farming mollusc, oyster and salmon fisheries, encouraging growth with impunity and without reference to the public which is led to believe by well placed and perpetual good-news PR stories that never defer to any negative side. Your articles certainly are an eye opener and a warning to all countries of the dangers of toxicity that are concomitant with the growth of these industries. Should you care to reply to my comment, would you mind if I were to use it in an article in our online newspaper? I am a retired broadcast journalist of many years including specialist areas such as police and fisheries, but alas today they are only given cursory attention in mainstream media. Kind regards, keep up the good work, Paul Tapp, Tasmania.

    1. HI Tapparazzi

      Send me a note at and let's have a discussion.

      Yes, the authorities are so pro-fish farm they are in conflicts of interest. Happens all over the world. Governments hear jobs and revenue and nothing more. The figures used are miles above the real ones.

      In BC you take the fish farm job number and divide it by 7.5 to get the real number of jobs - very few.

      Do get in touch.

      DC Reid