In the News
A petition signed by more than 100,000 people opposed to expansion of B.C.'s salmon farming industry has been presented to the legislature in Victoria. More than 100 conservation groups, industry organizations, and business owners also supported the petition.
Victoria — More than 100,000 people have signed a petition calling on the B.C. government to halt federal government and B.C. salmon farming industry plans to expand open-net salmon farming in B.C. waters. The petition has received the endorsement of more than one hundred conservation organizations, industry associations, independent business owners and the Tofino‐Long Beach Chamber of Commerce.
MLA Andrew Weaver (Oak Bay-Gordon Head) will present the petition in the B.C. legislature today.
The Salmon & Trout Association (Scotland) claim that Loch Duart’s farms in the northwest Highlands have been over the industry’s Code of Good Practice threshold on lice levels for all but two of the last 27 months, despite the company treating these farms for sea lice on 67 different occasions. In March 2015,S&TA(S) observes that the company’s farms reached 16 times the threshold designed to protect wild fish from infestation.
In British Columbia, salmon are sacred. For centuries, they have nourished First Nations and settlers alike, and continue to sustain virtually all of the wildlife we cherish in B.C.: orcas, eagles, bears, seals and sea lions, wolves and even our forests. Wild salmon make life possible on the West Coast.
A 24-page booklet released by Pacific Coast Wild Salmon Society provides an overview of the serious negative environmental and economic implications of open-net salmon farms on Canada’s west and east coasts.
“Salmon Confidential: the ugly truth about Canada’s open-net salmon farms” makes the case that the wild-salmon-focused economy of British Columbia far outweighs the contributions of salmon farms. The wild-salmon-related economy contributes twice the number of jobs and four times the total wages paid out.
When Alexandra Morton was first drawing unwelcome attention to salmon farm aquaculture as a potential vector for parasite infestations and disease transmission to wild salmon, I was bombarded with critical emails citing her lack of an advanced science degree.
None of these condemnations addressed her science. They all fixated on her credentials. Morton was a registered professional biologist but had only a BSc.
Hundreds of millions of young salmon are emerging from rivers along the B.C. coast, beginning a perilous journey that will take them north into the Gulf of Alaska. What happens on that remarkable migration, which most of the fish will not survive, remains one of the greatest mysteries of ocean science.
Federal Court abolished the conditions set in aquaculture licensing rules allowing fish farms to transfer diseased fish into open ocean pens, which was welcomed by BC wild salmon campaigners.
In a release sent to FIS.com, Ecojustice explains that the lawsuit was filed in 2013 by biologist Alexandra Morton and the non-government organisation after the Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) allowed fish farm company Marine Harvest to make its own decisions surrounding the transfer of farmed fish carrying viruses that may harm wild salmon, into open ocean pens.
VANCOUVER — The federal government must shield the Pacific Ocean from the potential spread of diseases by infected fish being farmed along the British Columbia coast, a Federal Court has ruled.
The Department of Fisheries has been ordered to shore up its regulations to prevent infections from being transferred from dozens of fish farms to the open marine environment.
Wild salmon campaigners in British Columbia are claiming victory after the Federal Court struck down licensing rules that allow fish farms to transfer diseased fish into open ocean pens.
The ruling came after a lawsuit filed by biologist Alexandra Morton and Ecojustice argued that federal aquaculture licensing was inconsistent with the law protecting wild fish and the marine environment.
The federal government has been ordered to shore up its regulations to ensure diseases aren’t transferred from fish farms to the ocean.
A Federal Court judge in Vancouver has struck down rules around transfer of fish between acquaculture farms and has given the Department of Fisheries four months to fix the regulations.
The decision comes after a biologist accused a fish farm operator of moving diseased salmon smolts from its hatchery to a open pen fish farm on the British Columbia coast.
Independent researcher Alexandra Morton claims a sea-lice infestation in the Broughton Archipelago will kill “hundreds of thousands if not millions” of wild salmon this spring.
And the controversial biologist, who in 2001 sounded the alarm about sea-lice infestations on the B.C. coast, is once again blaming fish farms for the outbreak, saying densely packed farm pens serve as reservoirs for the lice, which drift with the tide, infecting passing wild salmon.
The Transparency Council decided to deny access to data on the quantities and types of antibiotics used for each salmon company in Chile, which had been requested by the marine conservation organization Oceana.
The Council argued that the National Fisheries Service (SERNAPESCA) does not have the obligation to provide disaggregated information by company because it would affect its competitiveness in the market. Oceana filed a claim of illegality against the decision taken by the Council at the Court of Appeals of Santiago.
A team of researchers from the University of Valparaíso (UV) succeeded in developing innovative technology to prevent and control major diseases affecting farmed salmon in Chile.
After eight years of research, development and technology transfer, scientists were able to obtain a product from marine bacteria that is native to the coast of the Valparaíso Region that could help reduce the use of antibiotics in the salmon industry.
There’s only one place left on Earth where imperiled delta smelt are thriving, where their water remains cold and clean.
In the wild, the fish is on the brink of extinction. This month, in their April trawl survey, state Fish and Wildlife scientists caught only one of the pinky-sized, politicized fish with an outsized role in California’s water wars, an alarming indication of just how few smelt are left. And the drought may inflict the final blow.
“There was phenomenal fishing in those inlets,” she continued. “I lived in a floating house and the herring were all over, the diving birds were sitting on my floats. And when salmon farms came in, that ended.”
North America’s only land-based Atlantic salmon farm is on track to meet its production cost targets next year, according to the CEO of Kuterra, the business set up to run the project.
As technical fixes are implemented and the facility ramps up to full production with each successive group of fish entering the facility, Garry Ullstrom projects a production cost in the neighbourhood of $7 per kilogram HOG (head on, gutted).
Use of hormones in breeding of fish is being phased out in a bid to meet key market safety standards and step up production.
Acting director, fisheries resources development and marketing, Dr Harrison Charo, has said the government would change to ‘tilapia technology’, which does not use hormones.
Dr Charo said the move is aimed at complying with European Union safety standards. The EU is the largest fish market globally.
More than a quarter of the seals killed along the nation's coastline last year were shot by RSPCA-accredited fish farmers.
In Scotland alone, 205 seals are known to have been legally killed to protect stocks of salmon and other fish.
Of those, 52 were shot by the animal welfare charity's Freedom Food initiative, which is dedicated to improving conditions for farm animals.
Prawn farms have traditionally used a fish meal made from wild-caught fish, but the new feed is made from the trimmings of fish being processed for human consumption, such as canned fish.
Australian Prawn Farms in Ilbilbie has been hosting the trial.
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Such is the case concerning the argument over whether it is better to restore habitat and permit salmon to take reproduction into their own fins, versus running the process ourselves in hatcheries. Columbia Basin Bulletin reports, “The average cost to produce a juvenile coho salmon through habitat restoration in British Columbia is about the same cost as producing a hatchery salmon, according to a recent study.”
The industry is off to a rocky start in 2015 with reported disease and confirmed escapes, but the public is being kept in the dark by both levels of government, the NGO claims.
Seal cubs are being left to starve to death as their mums are slaughtered by Britain’s fish farming industry.
Hundreds of the protected animalsare being secretly shot along the nation’s coast every year, yet the culling is legal.
In Scotland alone, 205 seals were killed in 2014 as farmers looked to protect their stocks of salmon and other fish.
A conservation group is criticizing federal and provincial agencies for not publicizing a preliminary test showing the presence of a potentially deadly salmon virus at a New Brunswick aquaculture operation.
The Atlantic Salmon Federation says it heard on Monday that a strain of infectious salmon anemia was reported by an aquaculture company located along the Bay of Fundy.
The virus can be fatal to fish but doesn’t cause harm to human health.
COUNCILLORS have backed a move to build the first onshore fish farm of its kind in the country on Portland.
In the latest plan to help regenerate Portland’s economy, the aquaculture unit from Landfish Ltd based on vacant scrubland next to Balaclava Bay would rear up to 200 tonnes of mainly turbot per year in indoor tanks, making use of ‘recirculation’ environmentally-friendly technology to grow saltwater fish.
Nations around the Pacific Ocean may have to cap the number of hatchery salmon they release if sockeye salmon runs are to return to sustainable levels, according to a new study.
Record high numbers of pink salmon in the North Pacific coincided with the disastrously small 2009 Fraser River sockeye return, while the unexpectedly large 2010 sockeye return interacted with 40-per-cent fewer pinks, said Brendan Connors, co-author of the article published by the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.
When it comes to the wild fish we eat, we hope that the water they were swimming in is free of pollution and that fishing practices respect the more sensitive, vulnerable species. Labels to this effect are just as commonplace as their counterparts for fruit and vegetables.
However, farmed fish—domesticated species reared in contained, controlled environments—are a whole other can of worms. The grocery store labels for farmed fish typically indicate the country they were farmed in, but nothing to clue us in on how they were farmed.
The so-called super chill that caused substantial mortalities of salmon and questionable disposal methods in the Annapolis Basin, Shelburne Harbour and Jordan Bay has opened the debate over open-pen fish farms once again.
We have been hearing from the aquaculture industry and the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture and from members of more than 40 organizations who oppose this type of fish farming — but where do Michel Samson, minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, as well the opposition leaders, our MLAs and our tourism associations, stand on this debate?
The ripples of the Blackfish effect have continued for so long and reached so far that it’s hard to tell if the 2013 CNN documentary is still what’s behind the push to change conditions for captive whales in North America.
Ontario moved this week to introduce strict new standards for marine mammals in captivity, including making it illegal to breed, buy or import killer whales. The province is home to the Canada’s only captive killer whale, the elderly Kiska, who lives alone at the Marineland theme park in Niagara Falls, Ont., and has been retired from performing. Since she’s already here, she would not be affected by the changes.
Herring are returning to Howe Sound.
Squamish Streamkeepers’ Society members recently discovered large new herring spawn around the pilings at Squamish Terminals, according to Jonn Matsen of the society.
Herring roe were seen on kelp around the south perimeter of the terminals through to the east dock and to the north of it, according to Matsen.
Matsen said several billion herring eggs seen three weeks earlier had hatched.Click here to read more
Tasmanian salmon producer Tassal will use a Senate inquiry to allay environmental concerns about commercial fish farming.
"We're not raping and pillaging the environment," Tassal's head of sustainability Linda Sams told ABC radio on Wednesday.
An upper house committee dominated by Labor and the Greens will look at Tasmania's aquaculture industry and its impact on the environment.
A SENATE inquiry is set to investigate the sustainability of Tasmania's booming salmon industry.
Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson has successfully moved for an inquiry to investigate the environmental impacts of fish farming.
Claims have this week surfaced that salmon farm effluent and net-cleaning waste has been wreaking havoc on other fisheries.
TASMANIA’S booming aquaculture industry is set to go under the national spotlight with the launch of a Senate inquiry into the sustainability of salmon farms.
Greens Senator for Tasmania Peter Whish-Wilson has successfully moved for an inquiry he hopes will address mounting concerns about the industry’s impact on Tasmania’s waterways.
“In the last few days we have heard publicly from former employees, the abalone industry and a mussel grower about the impacts of salmon farms but the State Government continues to deny that there are any issues,” Senator Whish-Wilson said.
Abalone divers, mussel farmers, conservationists and the Tasmanian Greens have raised concerns about ocean fish farms in Tasmania's south.
All four groups believe not enough is known about the impact of salmon fish nets on underwater ecosystems in the D'Entrecasteaux Channel and Storm Bay.
Salmon producer Tassal wants to combine two of its D'Entrecasteux leases into one, with plans for 28 cages.
It won't be a super sockeye run this year.
But salmon fishermen of all stripes should be allowed to get their nets or lines in the water if advance projections are on target.
Roughly 6.8 million sockeye should come back to the Fraser River this summer, plus or minus a few million, if the pre-season estimates from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans are close.
China has imposed a ban on whole head-on salmon from three Norwegian counties, amid concerns that viruses carried by the products could threaten its fish farming industry.
A letter from China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) to Norwegian authorities stated that imports from Sor-Trondelag, Troms and Nordland would be banned from 23 March.
Wild salmon populations, the most sustainable wild food left on Earth, are seeing their numbers dwindle, and fishing guide turned filmmaker Mark Titus is asking the world start erring on the side that protects this resource.
His love story about salmon, "The Breach," winner of the award for best international documentary at Ireland's 2014 Galway Film Festival, opens with a subdued Irish voice that says "once we were so many we couldn't be counted."
A broad-based coalition is calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper
to halt proposed changes to federal aquaculture regulations, warning
they could damage the environment and existing businesses.
The proposed amendments to the federal Fisheries Act would exempt the aquaculture industry from provisions that "prohibit the release of deleterious substances into water frequented by fish."
Coalition members are worried the changes will result in pesticides routinely being dumped into the Bay of Fundy and remove Environment Canada's role in aquaculture activities, said spokeswoman Maria Recchia, the executive director of the Fundy North Fishermen's Association.
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The department says they have more information available to them now than when they gave the green light for the project to go ahead.
The project is the first government-sanctioned project of its kind in South Africa.
Marine biologist Shirley Parker-Nance explains, “The farm will farm with a predatory fish, a fish that eats other fish. So to feed this fish they need to catch wild pelagics like pilchards and anchovies which are rich in fat and protein. The modest conversion rate is 2.1kg anchovies to 1kg of yellowtail. So it does not alleviate the pressure on our wild stocks at all."
The tourism and water sports industries will be directly affected.
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In a clearing near Port McNeill, an experiment is under way. Inside an unassuming steel-clad building, thousands of Atlantic salmon swim in circular tanks.
When those fish are big enough – in about 12 months, when they have grown from 100-gram smolts to between three to five kilograms in weight – they will be harvested, having never touched the ocean. Their waste will be processed into garden soil. Water, almost all of which is recirculated, comes from nearby wells and the plant is highly automated.
"I am deeply disappointed in Canada continuing to put wild salmon at risk,'' said Chief Bob Chamberlin of the Kwikwasutinuxw Haxwa'mis First Nation. "This process may have ended, but our struggle to safeguard wild salmon will not falter for a moment.''
Independent biologist Alexandra Morton worries that B.C. is in a “pre-outbreak state” and that early indications of Infectious salmon anemia (ISAv) in Rivers Inlet sockeye should not be ignored. This comes as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency this week released a terse statement to the press, declaring that B.C. is entirely free of ISAv and infectious pancreatic necrosis (IPN).
These days, the director of the new documentary The Pristine Coast — playing Oct. 3 and 7 at the Vancouver International Film Festival — isn’t fishing anymore. And the fish stories the lifelong B.C. angler tells are less about the one that got away than the ones he wished he’d never seen.
Vancouver Sun - The federal government quietly paid $4.1 million in compensation to two Norway-headquartered aquaculture companies operating in B.C. that had to destroy fish hit by a deadly virus in 2012. The payments came from a program that has paid out $94 million since 2011 — mostly to East Coast fish farmers — to cover losses from exposure to disease.
The village of Hirtshals, located on the northwest coast of Denmark on the North Sea, bustles with deep sea fishing boats, markets, tourists and fish auctions. It is one of the old, established Danish fishing communities.
Just up the hill from the harbour inside a large, nondescript building, a Scandinavian salmon supplier is doing something unique. The company not only raises its fish in tanks, but it recirculates more than 99% of the water in a closed system. Danish Salmon’s plant saves vast amounts of water – as well as corresponding energy for pumping fresh water from the sea. It also reduces waste material discharge and helps to prevent fish exposure to parasites and other predators.
On holiday recently, I visited the Japanese sacred area of Kumano Kodo. Miles of treks mark pilgrim routes from the ancient capital of Kyoto to a number of shrines located around the Wakayama peninsula...
Fish-farming opponents from B.C. and the United States wrote the Commission for Environmental Co-operation in October 2012, alleging the federal government wasn't enforcing the Fisheries Act.
Consumer and environmental activists, facing likely defeat in their bid to block government approval of the first genetically engineered salmon, are trying a different tack to keep the fish off America’s dinner plates: Getting retailers not to sell it.
The news about the salmon farming industry suggests the world is becoming aware of how big a problem salmon farming is.
A remarkable new farmed salmon documentary ("Farmed and Dangerous?") has just come out. It will be online for just...
It's a VIFF first for Ms. Roscovich, who has worked as a director and cinematographer for the BBC Natural History and Discovery Channel. In Confidential, she turns her...