Wednesday, 11 November 2015

On land Fish Farm Costs - $1.56 Billion Subsidy to Use BC as a Free Open Sewer - Updated, Dec 4, 2015

You'll love the first paragraph of the Aquabest analysis of on-land fish farm costs. It looked at the Danish Model Trout Farm model, adapted to the Baltic region of Finland.

 "Environmental policy goals to decrease nutrient emissions have led to stagnated fish production in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR). Fish products are imported into BSR to meet the demand, while environmental consequences are externalized to those regions that produce the fish consumed in the BSR. To switch this trend, BSR aquaculture must adopt new sustainable practices and technologies, and introduce regulation that encourages the development and use of abatement measures."

The PDF is:

In otherwords, Finland is not going to allow fish farm sewage in its waters. 'Nutrient emissions' is the amusing euphemism for fish sewage. So they imported product from Norway et al instead. In another euphemism, the sewage load is 'externalized to those regions that produce fish' meaning Finland was going to make Norway ruin its pristine ocean waters with sewage because it wasn't going to do the same stupid thing in Finland.

'Abatement measures' for the sewage means on-land fish farms. In other words, it was not going to let fish farms use its ocean as a free, open sewer, just as I have been saying is the biggest reason that fish farms aren't going to come out of the ocean without our governments pulling them out. They just let their sewage float away.

But not in Finland. Not any more at any rate. Fish farms are going to be RAS - recirculating aquaculture systems, on land, and deal with their sewage.

The strength of this paper, which I suggest you do read, is that it has the nitty gritty costs all laid out and added up for you. It compares in-ocean, part in- and out-, and fully on-land, for raising rainbow trout for market, at a size of 500 grams, and comments on 1 kg. And also suggests application to salmon - while costs rise, larger fish produce more revenue.

Most of the time when fish farm companies say it is too costly, they don't tell you what costs they are talking about. They say land and hydro and salaries. But they are talking about Norway, where there is no land. BC has plenty of dirt-cheap land to pick up, Canada being the country with great big land in this world. Norway is tiny and 44% mountains and 1190 fjords as much as 4000 metres deep.

And in BC, hydro costs are low. And when Marine Harvest, or Cermaq or Grieg Seafood tells you that salaries are high, they seldom point out that Norway is 30% higher than nearby UK. The latter they readily admit, but ignore these differences when talking about Canada, they just roll the Norwegian figures out and say it is too expensive.

The other thing is that the government of Norway has started is making companies bid in auctions for licences -because they are so unhappy with lice counts primarily. Well there is so much money in fish farming that licences are going for 60- to 80-million Krone each (Formerly, the government price was $1.69M). That is $9 to $12 million on Nov 13 exchange rate of 1K to .15 CDN$.

In BC because the licence fee is a measly $5000, that means we are subsidizing fish farms to the tune of, get this, $1.56 Billion, to use our oceans as a free open sewer. The calculation is $12M X 130 farm licences = $1.56 Billion. The figure is stunning.

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