Thursday, 21 January 2016

On-Land Fish Farms In Europe - 8,159 Farms and Counting, Updated Jan 22, 2016

In a major, recent (2014?) report, AQUAFIMA, in the EU, looked at putting in in-ocean fish farms in the Baltic Sea Region, but the problems are so self-evident and possibilities so few - for legal, weather, ice, sewage, public perception, lack of sites, admin burden and so on - that this is really a report about the huge number of on-land fish farms already existing in Europe.

The total number of on land fish farms in Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany , Russia and Poland is, if you can believe it: 8,159.

These are in addition to the 127 on-land fish farms systems I have found in the world, comprising more than 10,000 actual farms. See:

What this means is that it is disingenuous for Norwegian fish farms to claim there are no on-land fish farms in the world, and that it is too costly.  I have now found, the better part of 20,000 on land farms. When is enough enough?

Well, right now. The government of Norway is so fed up with fish farm environmental damage that it is handing out free licences for Marine Harvest, Cermaq, Grieg Seafood, and the rest to get out of the ocean and set up on land. This is a $9- to $12-million subsidy per farm to be on land. And in BC, the Kuterra on-land fish farm cost $7.6 Million. This means it is cheap to be on land in BC, and there is no reason anymore for fish farms to be in our pristine oceans using them as free, open sewers.

Read my analysis of why we are at the tipping point for Norwegian-style fish farms:

The final recommendation in the AQUAFIMA report is this: The use of natural surface waters for aquaculture farms is nearly excluded and mostly forbidden due to environmental protection regulations and spatial conflicts in some regions. Therefore one might seek to introduce aquaculture systems that are land-based. Land-based systems offer the chance to raise fish close to markets.

This is what I have been saying for the past year. Now, if I can only figure out how to get a big grant from the EU for what I write to stand up for wild BC salmon, First Nations, and the people of BC.

Hunter Tootoo, and Justin Trudeau, please get fish farms out of the ocean.

I should add that Ian Roberts of Marine Harvest recently made the same claim: that on-land fish farms are too expensive, citing a cost of $20 Million. Well, this is miles over the Kuterra cost of $7.6 Million. I sent a note to Marine Harvest and they refused to give me the cost breakdown. Ola Helge Hjetland got back to my initial request, asking me why I wanted to know. I responded saying I am doing articles on the cost of on-land fish farms. Five subsequent requests received no response.

So it is almost 20,000 on land fish farms with Marine Harvest refusing to back up its estimate that over states the cost by 263%.

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