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Farmed salmon escape in Canada

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The problems associated with salmon farms in coastal waters are well-documented The problems associated with salmon farms in coastal waters are well-documented

Last month, 138,000 farmed salmon escaped from feedlots on the New Brunswick side of the Bay of Fundy, a fact that scarcely caused a ripple in the Maritime consciousness reports Donald Cameron of Canada's Chronicle Herald.

Elsewhere — in Norway, Scotland, Chile, British Columbia — salmon farming is a highly controversial industry. Here it seems to skate along smoothly under the radar.

Salmon farming is controversial for two main reasons. First, it is a highly inefficient way to produce food. Producing feed for farmed salmon intensifies the pressure on other fisheries around the world. In effect, the process turns four kilograms of wild fish into one kilogram of industrial fish. How clever is that?

Read the full story here...

"The clustered fish are succulent targets for epidemics of parasites such as sea lice, which can move easily through the mesh cages, and viruses such as infectious salmon anemia, which first appeared in Norway in the 1980s, and now inhabits salmon farms in Scotland, Chile and New Brunswick."







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Comments (7 posted):

chuck s on 28/02/2011 04:06:21
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This is a politically charged issue with big money concerns all around driving it. I rate fish farming at less damaging than commercial fishing in general but on the other hand it does damage all too often in areas that are more visibile and easily damaged. The real solution is to wean folks off of all fish except that which they catch with their own two hands but that may take awhile!
mikel on 28/02/2011 18:27:51
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Maybe I'm ignorent and it should, but 138,000 fish escaping into the wild doesn't bother me. Raising many times that many fish in pens creating clouds of filth and lice in water that other fish must travel through bothers me a lot. I've not been to Ak since '04, but I'm hearing of salmon caught infested with sea lice...not 1 or 2 down low in front of the tail, but as many as 20 or 30 all the way up behind the dorsal fin on some fish. Members from Alaska....are you seeing this? I did see this on a TV fishing show, but can't remember which one, sorry... -Mike
dogfly on 19/03/2011 13:39:47
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The mess and environmental disaster outcomes, they should be outlawed. To raise 1# requires 4# of fish; I would prefer that it would be done in the wild. When shopping for salmon at the fish market, I always take the wild caught, the color is deep red and more nutritious. Wished Id live closer to some salmon rivers. I do a lot of catering. If the customer wants salmon I try to sell them the wild ones. When I show them the difference, white color for the farm raised and deep red for the wild, 50% of the time they go for the wild. Even thou it is almost double the price. Now I can also add the lice into the picture. Also heard that some suppliers are putting red dye into the farmed salmon. I believe the environmental impacts would be the same for any fish farm.
nerka on 20/03/2011 05:45:43
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Maybe I'm ignorent and it should, but 138,000 fish escaping into the wild doesn't bother me. Raising many times that many fish in pens creating clouds of filth and lice in water that other fish must travel through bothers me a lot. I've not been to Ak since '04, but I'm hearing of salmon caught infested with sea lice...not 1 or 2 down low in front of the tail, but as many as 20 or 30 all the way up behind the dorsal fin on some fish. Members from Alaska....are you seeing this? I did see this on a TV fishing show, but can't remember which one, sorry... -Mike This is always troublesome. The canadians have gone to the farmed fish despite ongoing and stiff opposition to it in Alaska. Mike, it is not good for them to escape into the wild because they interfere with the wild stocks. I am not from SE Alaska but this is a major point of contention. It is a negative thing when migrating salmon pass through the areas with farms and are potentially subjected to it. It is far more troublesome to me when those fish are mingling with the wild ones and expose them to whatever bad stuff is involved. As for the sea lice issue...I have fished all of southcentral AK, both Price William Sound and Cook Inlet a bit and Bristol Bay from Egegik to Togiak. Commerially and sport fishing all my life. I havent noticed an increase in sea lice. Of course this is only anectodal knowledge from one person. Generally we view a few of them in the tail/vent area a sign of a healthy fish. There are plenty of other threats to our wild salmon stocks happening. I am very concerned about the nuclear situation in Japan and what it might do with the North Pacific and Bering Sea. Then throw in the proposed Pebble Mine which would be the biggest pit mine in North America at the very headwaters and spawning beds of the largest Sockeye and Chinook salmon fisheries in the world, right at the heart of Bristol Bay. Thankfully the commerical fishing of salmon themselves is very regulated and managed in Alaska to retain a maximum yield. Meaning before the fisherman get to put thier nets in the water, enough have to be varified up river to accomodate future generations at sustained levels.
mikel on 20/03/2011 19:14:36
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Thanks Nerka for your perspective... I saw a study comparing (as I recall) the sockeye runs on the Fraser and Skeena. Fraser fish escape to sea through the farms and the Skeena fish do not. The impact was significant, especially on smolts. What that tells me is that the damage may not be visible on returning fish, since the affected ones die young and don't make it home. The pics of infested smolts are disgusting. Anyone who is curious can google "sea lice infestation" to see reports and pictures. -Mike
Bigfly on 20/03/2011 22:06:40
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mikel, although diferent waters, check out the recent national geo. Had an article on farming fish in tierra del fuego. I think the problem is the ever expanding human population. If we licked that, farmed fish wouldn't be needed. Nerka, i want to come see Bristal bay before they muck it up. If the legislators let the mine happen, we'll know the "system" is clearly broken. Provided you really need more proof. Jim
nerka on 21/03/2011 05:20:58
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Thanks Nerka for your perspective... I saw a study comparing (as I recall) the sockeye runs on the Fraser and Skeena. Fraser fish escape to sea through the farms and the Skeena fish do not. The impact was significant, especially on smolts. What that tells me is that the damage may not be visible on returning fish, since the affected ones die young and don't make it home. The pics of infested smolts are disgusting. Anyone who is curious can google "sea lice infestation" to see reports and pictures. -Mike I dont disagree with that notion, it does make sense. The Fraser is a mess these days. In decline for decades and then this year they returned in record numbers. The mining companies pushing Pebble are touting this single return to the Fraser as evidence that the GIbraltor mine and all of the other industrial development along the Fraser havent hurt the fisheries. Now a single occurence with the overall trend for the last few decades showing depleted stocks. Lets see it looks in 4-5 years. I would be curious as to how many of those that returned are three year and 5 year fish. Either way, farmed salmon is bad all around. There is nothing about the process that is actually helpful to the wild salmon stocks that industrially touted to replace and be some sort of alternative. ---------- Post added at 11:20 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:03 PM ---------- mikel, although diferent waters, check out the recent national geo. Had an article on farming fish in tierra del fuego. I think the problem is the ever expanding human population. If we licked that, farmed fish wouldn't be needed. Nerka, i want to come see Bristal bay before they muck it up. If the legislators let the mine happen, we'll know the "system" is clearly broken. Provided you really need more proof. Jim Yes you should...it is an amazing place. Often overlooked in the Alaska theme of things in many ways which is nice. It is still more or less wild. I know that I am blessed and spoiled to have easy access to that little piece of treasure. There might be a lot of gold and copper in the ground out there. But those minerals are available many other places. There is only one Bristol Bay. If you are serious, let me know and I can answer in questions you might have. I am not affiliated with any lodge or outfit, but know a bunch. This about 11pm. The Newhalen River drains Lake Clark into Lake Iliamna. Pebble is just over that mountain about 5 miles away. This river supports among the top 3 largest sockeye runs in the world. It is nothing short of amazing. Little 8footer checking me out. I posted this on another thread, some bear downriver at some point just missed this guy. The claw marks looked ever better when the fish came out of the smoker.
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