Friday, 26 October 2018

Sustainable Wild Salmon Future? Well, No

Walter Schoenfelder has done an op-ed in the Times Colonist, Oct 26, 2018. Fish farms have done such a good job of creating false communication's spin, er, scratch the false, as all communications is spin, that he, a lodge owner in Quatsino Sound, can spit it out just as well as Marine Harvest et al can.

Walter says: 'I believe we need both wild and farmed salmon.'

A: After I lifted myself off the floor from a fishing guide singing the fish farm tune, I'd say, if you want to eat farmed fish, eat a vegetarian, not a carnivore that kills protein to make protein and thus is a net loss. And, no one is saying, close the farms, only that, it is time to put them on land and solve their environmental degradation like sewage.

And, on-land is now common, the spin is out of date by a decade. My list of on-land farms is now at 250: Walter and in-ocean fish farm companies don't seem to know the world has moved on. Take a look at Atlantic Sapphire (No. 176), Nordic Aquafarms and Whole Ocean, the new, mega farms being built in the USA. They will come in at almost triple the size of the entire BC industry, and if it isn't on land, it may just go belly up, throwing workers out of jobs.

Walter: The issue should be 'More survival for wild fish, and more healthy food for the world.' And, 'a modern industry is creating more wild-salmon stocks.'

A: The science shows that fish farms kill more than 50% of wild fish around the world where they operate, and this includes in BC:

And there is even more fish death. The Sea Around Us, in exhaustive research, determined that of the top 20 ocean forage fish, 19 are either collapsing, poorly managed or both, because they are caught to feed to farmed salmon: I calculate that the BC industry kills 5.76B of these wild fish to bring in one crop:

And healthy food for the world? The answer is no because farmed fish is far too expensive for most people on the planet. And there is that Hites article on the cancer-causing chemicals in farmed salmon, and Prof. Miller showed how fish farms, governments and related websites colluded to destroy the article's credibility, even though the science was true. This post has that link and a long list of links on the chemicals in farmed fish: So, no, not healthy food.

Walter: 'fish farms provide surrounding areas with nutrients from the farmed fish's waste... Far from creating some kind of dead zone, fish farms help create a healthy marine environment.'

A: You should work for Marine Harvest et al. You can create spin better than they can. Fish farm sewage is, in my opinion, the worst problem of fish farms. I spent several weeks figuring out that the conservative estimate of fish farm sewage in BC is $10.4B that we taxpayers pay for. We don't want to pay. The other end of conservative is triple this amount, at $31.2B. I was shocked to calculate these figures. This post has useful links:

In fact, global aquaculture, ocean trawling and human sewage have killed the vast Bengal Bay, and have scientists already worried about a global crisis in our oceans. Fish farms cause vast areas of ocean eutrophication and should not be allowed. Read about Bengal Bay:

And Grieg Seafood just had an algal bloom problem in BC, in 2018, causing a quarter of a million dead salmon: Hmm.

Walter: fish farms 'can't afford to have fish that aren't healthy, and that healthy fish pose no disease danger to wild salmon.'

 A: Go back up and read that article finding more than 50% of wild salmonids die when there are fish farms around.

And, Dr. Fred Kibenge, a world expert on fish diseases, says that one third to one half of all fish farm products are lost to disease, globally, so a huge amount:

Here is a short list of fish farm disease losses:

And in 2018, the CFIA notes a dozen ISA diagnoses at farms in Atlantic Canada:, and the year is not yet over. Oh and there are several dozen diseases.

I could go on but won't, other than to say that in BC Marine Harvest has been hampered with furunculosis many times, IHN for Cermaq and Grieg Seafood, and Cermaq just bought 2.2 million litres of lice chemicals, for release in Clayoquot Sound, a UN Biosphere designated water no less, and still had to close some farms because of lice being out of control.

The point is that fish farming is hugely risky; that is why, small producers, even in BC, go belly up and the big multi-nationals buy them up for peanuts because they have the resources to survive bankruptcies at individual sites.

Walter: These are hard times for wild salmon. 'Changing ocean conditions, commercial fishing and the destruction of habitat are part of' the picture.

A: Huh, we share some agreement. I'd say the big four problems for wild salmon are: freshwater habitat restoration, DFO, fish farms and climate change. We can do something for the first three. Here is why we don't trust DFO:

So, it is time to move on to have the BC Wild Salmon Secretariat get into putting money into freshwater habitat restoration by giving money to the Pacific Salmon Foundation that leverages such money 4 to 7 times:

Walter: The biggest benefit for wild salmon is that 'the fish produced take the pressure off remaining wild stocks.'

A: I have answered this above pointing out that farmed fish kill wild salmonids and kill huge numbers of wild forage fish to feed them. I am saddened that fish farm communications spin has been adopted by an angler who should know better, and look into the facts.

Walter: fish farms help us with out salmon netpens, and 'all the salmon we serve guests is farmed Atlantic.'

A: I have fallen off my chair, but am happy they are doing something with a social conscience. Too bad it doesn't include moving to on land farms and solving virtually all the problems. They could still help you out rather than spew their externalities on public ocean.

It sounds odd hearing fish farm spin, some dating from 50 years ago in Norway, come from a lodge owner's mouth, but Marine Harvest has been helping him. See:

I note from this article algal bloom problems in Quatsino. When I motored by the fish farms, I was concerned with just such an issue in a long, narrow, poorly flushing inlet.

Now that I have gotten off the floor: this post gives you more than fifty references for the problems with fish farms:

The point is: don't believe the spin, do some research and find the real answers. In a nutshell it will tell you: put fish farms on land, and raise vegetarians. 

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