Sunday, 9 November 2014

Key Document: Fish Farms Eliminate Jobs, Citizens Complain: Laws too Weak

I have pointed out in posts on this site that fish farms do not result in net new employment, but rather the opposite: they eliminate other jobs and replace some of them, for a net negative result.

The BC stats report on the economic effect of the fishing sector has useful stats on this point. You can find it here in the index to this blog:

The BC Stats multiplier number for the commercial fishing sector is 1700, as is the  entire aquaculture sector (fish farm employment is a only part of this sector's employment). But the commercial sector has lost 1700 jobs in the time fish farms have been in BC, strongly suggesting that fish farms don't result in new jobs at all, but just replace some of the jobs they eliminate. The reference is in this document:

Since fish farms set up in BC, 50% of wild salmon have been lost, little wonder why the commercial sector has been in decline. See: See:

This pattern prevails around the world. News just in from Ireland, in the Irish Examiner:

Citizens in Bantry Bay are very angry with fish farms, as citizens are in many countries of the world.

"With one of the world’s biggest fish farm companies Marine Harvest planning to develop a new facility at Shot Head in Bantry Bay, Mr O’Donovan said: “This could result in a significant loss of jobs, given 30 fishermen also currently work Bantry Bay for crustaceans such as shrimp, prawns, lobster and crab. [ The issue is the chemicals they use, like cypermethrin, against the law in Canada with Cooke Aquaculture being done for using it illegally, killing lobsters and other crustaceans].

“The Shot Head salmon farm, in the meantime, would only create two full-time positions."
So lose 30 replace with 2. Hmm.
The article goes on:
“We fully back the researchers call for international quality standards to be drawn up. Irish environmental quality standards, differ from those in the UK. The standard set for teflubenzuron allows five times the residual quantity in our waters, and we have no standard at all for diflubenzuron.
“These were the two most problematic pesticides in this study and both are authorised for use in Irish salmon farms. But, to make matters worse, to date the Department of Agriculture has refused to release data on emissions of these pesticides in Irish salmon farms. ”
So the laws to do with chemicals is weak in Ireland, and they differ from the UK. How do fish farms then claim they operate under the strictest laws in the world? In the past year, they have said this in Scotland, Canada, Norway and Chile. Then as index articles note, they argue for weakening the laws to make business viable. 
Hmm. What about those 30 crab fishermen?
The article goes on: "The samples were tested by researchers for an environmental research organisation, Norwegian Institute for Water Research, on some of the commonly used fish farm pesticides — such as diflubenzuron, teflubenzuron, emamectin benzoate, cypermethrin, and delta-methrin.
As Norway has no environmental quality standards (EQS) system, the data was compared to the thresholds set in the UK. [emphasis added by DC Reid]
For teflubenzuron in sediment, the EQS was exceeded in 67% of the samples; and levels of diflubenzuron in water exceeded the EQS in 40% of samples collected."
Note that Norway has no chemical quality standards. That means it does not have the strongest laws in the world. And in Canada cypermethrin is against the law to use because it kills moutling animals, for example, lobsters. And we can add Ireland to the list of 'weak' lawed states.
In the Atlantic province of Canada though, Cooke Aquaculture was taken to court for using this chemical - which is against the law - for using it for lice for two years. They faced up to 99 years in jail and millions in fines. Cooke decided to take a closer look at the court documents, the situation went out of the public sphere, and months later, Cooke was given $25 million by the provincial government.
So, this is weak laws, 'alleged' illegal activities, putting fishermen out of work, and receiving money for doing so. Hmm.
The article goes on:
"Researchers also note that: “A crude assessment of the concentrations detected in the shrimp collected from one location and the levels at which chronic effects are seen in shrimp would suggest that there is a potential risk to shrimp. It would also be reasonable to extrapolate this to any species that undergoes moulting during its life cycle.”
Alec O’Donovan, secretary of Save Bantry Bay — an organisation opposed to a massive fish farm in the region — said the researchers’ warnings should be heeded.
“The value of shellfish landed in Bantry Bay was €646,590 in 2009, and the industry continues to support a number of local jobs,” said Mr O’Donovan.
“It is ludicrous to put this at risk by adding more salmon farms and greater pesticide emissions that have the potential to wipe out stocks.”"
Just like in BC where the fish farm industry threatens, and eliminates other jobs, it does the same in Ireland. And government supports fish farms. Oh and seven out of ten lice chemicals in Norway no longer work, they have so many lice and have used the chemicals so many times.
And the federal government in Canada through DFO, wants to bring in weaker laws that allow fish farms to put whatever chemicals in pristine BC waters that they want? Hmm.

Fish farms claim: "Fish farms operate under the strictest laws in the world." Answer: I don't think so.

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