Originally Posted by mikel
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...
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.