Saturday, 22 December 2012

Key Document: Global Fish Farm Diseases - Updated June 11, 2013

Dr. Fred Kibenge, the world expert OIE lab for ISA, has stated that one third to one half of all aquaculture product is lost to disease. That means $32 to $49 Billion annually that is lost to disease.

See this earlier post for ISA disease world wide, and also to the link to Kibenge's powerpoint presentation on ISA: http://www.fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2011/10/isa-infections-world-wide-sine-1984.html.

The purpose of this post is to simply report global disease stats as they become available, and thus show just how much disease that fish farms have around the world. Fish farms need to be on land where they cannot pass disease to wild fish around the world, nor use the ocean as a free open sewer. This list will grow very long:

34. 35. 36, Canada, Atlantic salmon, ISA, IPN, Viral Haemorrhagic Septicemi. New Foundland, NB, BC. http://inspection.gc.ca/animals/aquatic-animals/diseases/reportable/2013/eng/1339174937153/1339175227861

33. Scotland 2012, 8.5 million dead salmon. http://www.robedwards.com/2013/02/farmed-salmon-killed-by-disease-leaps-to-85-million.html. Mostly AGD, 10% of entire crop.
"A mountain of 13,627 tonnes of dead fish had to be disposed of in 2012 by 230 fish farms along the west coast and on the islands, compared to 9,717 tonnes in 2011 and 7,159 tonnes in 2010. The worst problems were in Shetland, where 2.4 million salmon died."

32. Chile, ISA, April 30, 2013. It looks like another epidemic is about to burst forth. The 2008 cost $2 billion. http://www.undercurrentnews.com/2013/04/30/chile-disease-problems-concern-marine-harvest/#.UaFB9bVQGQA

31 Norway, ISAhttp://www.thefishsite.com/fishnews/20313/possible-isa-outbreak-on-troms-salmon-farm

30. Japan, viral haemorrhagic septicemia http://www.thefishsite.com/fishnews/20087/viral-haemorrhagic-septicaemia-confirmed-in-japan

29. Norway, salmon alphavirus, Cermaq, Mainstream, and suspects PD pancreatic disease, Jan 2013.  http://www.seafoodsource.com/newsarticledetail.aspx?id=19199

28. Chile, ISA, Ap 25, 2013 - concern over large amounts of anti-biotics being used in fish farms to fight Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA) which is thought to have never left the Los Lagos and Aysen regions. http://www.thefishsite.com/fishnews/20061/concern-over-chiles-antibiotic-use-isa-cases-not-reported

27. Norway, ISA, Ap 26, 2013.  Kolvik Odden in Vestvågøy.ISA found in all samples. http://www.thefishsite.com/fishnews/20076/infectious-salmon-anaemia-detected-in-lofoten

26. Australia, Tasmania, Feb 22, 2013, Amoebic Gill Disease, affects farmed salmon worldwide. In Australia, it costs the industry up to A$230M a year. http://www.thefishsite.com/fishnews/19547/breakthrough-in-amoebic-gill-disease. Some wild species seem to be immune.

25. UK, USA, Apr 18, 2013 Rosette Agent. http://www.thefishsite.com/fishnews/19963/threat-of-rosette-agent-monitored-in-britains-rivers.

24. Norway, pancreatic disease, PD. Mar 2013.Transmission dynamics of PD in Norwegian fjord. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jfd.12090/abstract.

23. Worldwide, Journal of Fish Diseases, May 2013. Have a look at all the diseases of fish farms.  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jfd.2013.36.issue-5/issuetoc;jsessionid=179E2205255BF7501A38992D67BFF7FD.d01t02.

22. Chile, ISA, Apr 18, 2013. Sernapesca has begun an intensive inspection of all farms north of the Aysen region which has recently had two outbreaks of Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA). http://www.thefishsite.com/fishnews/19994/sernapesca-surveys-farms-north-of-aysen-for-isa.

21. Tropical Third World fish farms, a variety of diseases. This important, far-reaching paper shows the deadly result of fish farm diseases in tropical countries that cannot take complete industry disease kills. The use of antibiotics is leading to antibiotic resistance in diseases.  http://www.scidev.net/en/agriculture-and-environment/fisheries/news/disease-threatens-aquaculture-in-developing-world.html?utm_source=link&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=en_news.  Martin Krkosek adds that, as a precaution measure, areas of coastal waters should be designated no-farming zones in order to protect other sectors such as fisheries, tourism, and wildlife outbreaks in aquaculture.

20. Canada, BC, Grieg Seafood, furunculosis outbreak at hatchery, leading to a cull. 4Q write down of NOK 43 million. Grieg and Marine Harvest are losing money in BC.

19. Scotland, 2012. More than 8.5 Million. Scottish Environment Protection Agency. Main disease: amoebic gill disease. 13,627 metric tons of dead fish had to be disposed of by 230 fish farms along the west coast and on the islands, compared with 9717 MT in 2011 and 7159 MT in 2010. Click here to read the full story from Herald Scotland >

18. Chile, ISA, Apr 2013.An outbreak has been detected by Chile's National Fishery and Aquaculture service (Sernapesca) on a salmon farm in the Aysen region.TheFishSite Editor.
http://www.thefishsite.com/fishnews/19911/sernapesca-chile-detects-isa-outbreak-on-aysen-farm.

17. Cermaq, Canada, Chile. CDN: IHN, winter ulcers (Kudoa?), fungus. CL: Caligus, SRS. Mar 3/13. See page 28,29 of Cermaq's financial report:  http://www.cermaq.com/portal/wps/wcm/connect/86dffe804cc6acd692a4d2d39ceaad15/20120919_Cermaq_CapitalMarketsDay.pdf?MOD=AJPERES.

16. Ireland, sea lice infestation Mar 2/13: http://www.fishnewseu.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9962:galway-farm-draws-formal-complaint&catid=45:scottish&Itemid=54.

15. Canada, Scotland. F20/13. Grieg Seafoods.  Furunculosis in BC. AGD in Scotland: http://www.thefishsite.com/fishnews/19512/grieg-seafood-reports-improved-results-in-norway-weaker-in-uk-canada.

14. Canada. (Feb 20, 2013) Here are nine sites in Atlantic Canada that the CFIA has identified on its site that had ISA in 2012:  http://www.inspection.gc.ca/animals/aquatic-animals/diseases/reportable/2013/infectious-salmon-anaemia-2012-/eng/1339179653413/1339179772511.

13. Scotland, Feb11, 2013. Grieg/Marine Harvest: Ameobic Gill Disease. 'A mountain of 13,627 tonnes of dead fish had to be disposed of in 2012 by 230 fish farms along the west coast and on the islands, compared to 9,717 tonnes in 2011 and 7,159 tonnes in 2010. The worst problems were in Shetland, where 2.4 million salmon died.' http://www.robedwards.com/2013/02/farmed-salmon-killed-by-disease-leaps-to-85-million.html.

12. Canada, Chile, Cooke Aquaculture in the two countries is mired in ISA disease. It is so expensive that they have received junk bond status from Moody's: http://www.southcoasttoday.ca/content/business-poor-moodys-rating-cooke-aqua.

11. Jan 10, 2013 Chile, Marine Harvest, 110 days of production of smoked salmon had listeria. Marine Harvest announced a recall on close to a third of a year’s worth of production. Destined for Sam's Club a Walmart brand.

See: http://www.undercurrentnews.com/2013/01/10/sources-marine-harvest-plant-links-three-smoked-salmon-recalls/#.UPLTi_KQmSo


10. SCOTLAND: July, 2012 This three page government PDF lists the diseases found in fish farms: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/0039/00397960.pdf. The list includes Marine Harvest and the SSC.

Some of the diseases are: vibrio, infectious pancreatic necrosis (IPN), moritella viscosis, salmonid alpha virus, haemorrhagic smolt syndrome, flavobacteria, bacterial gill disease, epitheliocystis, amoebic gill disease, cardiomyopathy syndrome, ichthyobodo.

9. CANADA: BC, July 22, 2012. Reported by the Chilliwack, Progress: “If PRV has been found in a Cultus Lake sport fish [cutthroat trout], it could be contributing to the failure of the lake’s sockeye population to return in abundance,” says Routledge. The virus may be linked to other diseases found on fish farms, he said, such as the heart and skeletal muscle inflammation (HSMI), which hit Norwegian salmon farms and can kill up to 20 per cent of infected fish.

Provincial fish pathologist, Dr. Gary Marty, noted that 75% of farmed fish tested had the PRV virus. 2% died.

See:  http://www.theprogress.com/news/163480656.html.

8. SCOTLAND: Reported by Undercurrents: Scottish Salmon Company (SSC), the UK’s largest independent salmon producer, is cutting its production forecast from 25,000 metric tons to 22,000t, as it continues to encounter problems with amoebic gill disease (AGD). See:


7. CANADA: In the past year, as well reported in Canadian media, fish farms in BC have been found to have serious viruses: ISA, HSMI, IHN and Kudoa among them. ISA has also been found in Nova Scotia, and New Foundland. the NL case is doubly sad as this is a pristine ocean with fish farms only being 'welcomed' in in the past year. 

ISA in NL: July 13, 2012: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2012/07/13/nl-delay-destroying-farmed-salmon-infected-713.html


IHN in Clayoquot Sound, BC: To come.


6. Chile: Dec 24, 2012  Farmed salmon are very susceptible to disease. Vicente Castro from Chile, defended his thesis on June 29, 2012 entitled “Aerobic exercise training for improving robustness of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)” at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. His supervisors were Senior Researcher Dr. Harald Takle from Nofima and Professor Dr. Ståle Helland from the Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences and Nofima.The chief benefit of cardio training is reduced susceptibility to diseases.


See:  http://www.thefishsite.com/articles/1446/aerobic-exercise-gives-more-robust-smolt.

Note that the in-ocean, closed Agrimarine system has a directed current, and this makes the fish 'exercise' and also helps move them to maturity sooner.

5. IRELAND: Sep 4, 2012: Fish farm feces cause algae blooms that in shell fish harvest have lead to 300 severe human illnesses. "SBB supports fish farming but only in Closed Containment Systems." " In a statement issued on the release of the last closure orders by the Marine Institute, SBB said ‘‘While fish farming is not the only cause of the record breaking blooms, the scientific evidence makes it clear that open pen fish farming in these Bays with their poor circulation of water must come to an end’’.

See:  http://www.thefishsite.com/fishnews/18125/record-algae-blooms-linked-to-fish-farms. 

4. Norway, Dec 17, 2012 Thesis of Koestan Gadan. Stress causes increased amount of cortisol in farmed salmon and this makes them susceptible to discease, in this study IPN, infectious pancreatic necrosis. Stress can be as simple as the density of fish in fish farms and has been the most costly disease found in Norwegian fish farms for many years.

Koestan Gadan has studied the consequences of stress on the innate immune defence system of the salmon and how it makes the fish more susceptible to disease. She chose the IPN virus (infectious pancreatic necrosis) as a model virus for her research. IPN is the cause of considerable losses in Norwegian salmon farming and has for many years been the most frequently diagnosed disease for this fish.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-effect-stress-atlantic-salmon-congenital.html#jCp
See: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-effect-stress-atlantic-salmon-congenital.html.

3. Canada, a new case of ISA in NF, Dec 20, 2012.    The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed the presence of the Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) virus at an aquaculture site on the south coast of  Newfoundland and Labrador.

See: http://www.fis.com/fis/worldnews/worldnews.asp?l=e&country=0&special=&monthyear=&day=&id=57706&ndb=1&df=0.

2. Canada, ISA, Dec 2012. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has confirmed the province's second outbreak of infectious salmon anemia this year. This latest outbreak of ISA, which can kill fish but is not harmful to humans, has occurred at a Cooke Aquaculture facility in Hermitage Bay, the CFIA confirmed on Tuesday.

 In July, (2012) 450,000 salmon were destroyed following an ISA outbreak at a Gray Aqua facility on Newfoundland's south coast, causing a loss of $10- to $13-million in sales.

See:  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2012/12/19/nl-second-salmon-anemia-outbreak-1219.html.
Koestan Gadan has studied the consequences of stress on the innate immune defence system of the salmon and how it makes the fish more susceptible to disease. She chose the IPN virus (infectious pancreatic necrosis) as a model virus for her research. IPN is the cause of considerable losses in Norwegian salmon farming and has for many years been the most frequently diagnosed disease for this fish.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-effect-stress-atlantic-salmon-congenital.html#jCp
Koestan Gadan has studied the consequences of stress on the innate immune defence system of the salmon and how it makes the fish more susceptible to disease. She chose the IPN virus (infectious pancreatic necrosis) as a model virus for her research. IPN is the cause of considerable losses in Norwegian salmon farming and has for many years been the most frequently diagnosed disease for this fish.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-effect-stress-atlantic-salmon-congenital.html#jCp
Koestan Gadan has studied the consequences of stress on the innate immune defence system of the salmon and how it makes the fish more susceptible to disease. She chose the IPN virus (infectious pancreatic necrosis) as a model virus for her research. IPN is the cause of considerable losses in Norwegian salmon farming and has for many years been the most frequently diagnosed disease for this fish.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-effect-stress-atlantic-salmon-congenital.html#jCp
Koestan Gadan has studied the consequences of stress on the innate immune defence system of the salmon and how it makes the fish more susceptible to disease. She chose the IPN virus (infectious pancreatic necrosis) as a model virus for her research. IPN is the cause of considerable losses in Norwegian salmon farming and has for many years been the most frequently diagnosed disease for this fish.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-effect-stress-atlantic-salmon-congenital.html#jCp
Koestan Gadan has studied the consequences of stress on the innate immune defence system of the salmon and how it makes the fish more susceptible to disease. She chose the IPN virus (infectious pancreatic necrosis) as a model virus for her research. IPN is the cause of considerable losses in Norwegian salmon farming and has for many years been the most frequently diagnosed disease for this fish.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-effect-stress-atlantic-salmon-congenital.html#jCp
Koestan Gadan has studied the consequences of stress on the innate immune defence system of the salmon and how it makes the fish more susceptible to disease. She chose the IPN virus (infectious pancreatic necrosis) as a model virus for her research. IPN is the cause of considerable losses in Norwegian salmon farming and has for many years been the most frequently diagnosed disease for this fish.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-effect-stress-atlantic-salmon-congenital.html#jCp
Koestan Gadan has studied the consequences of stress on the innate immune defence system of the salmon and how it makes the fish more susceptible to disease. She chose the IPN virus (infectious pancreatic necrosis) as a model virus for her research. IPN is the cause of considerable losses in Norwegian salmon farming and has for many years been the most frequently diagnosed disease for this fish.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-effect-stress-atlantic-salmon-congenital.html#jCp
"Studies on stress and innate immunity in relation to infectious pancreatic necrosis virus in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.)"

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-effect-stress-atlantic-salmon-congenital.html#jCp
"Studies on stress and innate immunity in relation to infectious pancreatic necrosis virus in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.)"

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-effect-stress-atlantic-salmon-congenital.html#jCp[[[
"Studies on stress and innate immunity in relation to infectious pancreatic necrosis virus in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.)"

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-effect-stress-atlantic-salmon-congenital.html#jCp
Cand.Scient. Koestan Gadan defended her doctoral research at the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science on 17th December with a thesis entitled: "Studies on stress and innate immunity in relation to infectious pancreatic necrosis virus in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.)"

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-effect-stress-atlantic-salmon-congenital.html#jCp
Cand.Scient. Koestan Gadan defended her doctoral research at the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science on 17th December with a thesis entitled: "Studies on stress and innate immunity in relation to infectious pancreatic necrosis virus in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.)"

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-effect-stress-atlantic-salmon-congenital.html#jCp


1. Marine Harvest faces anti-monopoly charges in Scotland:
http://www.heraldscotland.com/business/company-news/salmon-giant-caught-on-european-competition-hook-as-deal-nets-36-of-scottish-production.19729303.


Marine Harvest has so far bought 49.5% of Polish-based Morpol, although it is hoping to buy the rest of the company in the coming weeks. Morpol's Scottish salmon farms are concentrated in Orkney and Shetland but its main business is salmon smoking, most of which happens in Poland.
The deal will mean that four of the big five salmon producers in Scotland are controlled by Norwegian interests, leaving the Edinburgh-based Scottish Salmon Company as the only exception. Comment: this is what fish farms do around the world.



Wednesday, 5 December 2012

DFO Refuses to Admit ISA Virus is in BC Wild Salmon - Dec 5, 2012

Go read this article in the Ottawas Citizen on Dec 4. It is a stunning refusal to admit DFO knows there is ISA in wild and farmed salmon in BC:


Then come back and read this rebuttal:


DFO ADM Kevin Stringer’s assertion that there is no ISA in BC salmon is simply shocking. It is stunning that DFO would say so many things that it knows are not true. I am sorry to say it, but, Stringer should be fired, and Minister Keith Ashfield should resign.

Here is why:

  1. There are stringent federal regulations in place to protect Canada's aquatic species, both wild and farmed, from disease. WRONG. In fact, DFO has gutted the Fisheries Act of its fish and fish habitat provisions. Ditto for the Environmental Protection Act. And 200 scientists are being fired.

Furthermore, the enforcement of the regulations is farmed out to the BC testing system that is so cosy with fish farms that it tells them when it will come out and look at the farms. DFO does not do its own testing and relies on the BC system – see its unreliability below.

2.     To date, contrary to some media reports, there has not been a confirmed case of ISA in British Columbia salmon, either wild or farmed. WRONG. In fact there are hundreds of thousands of farmed fish that have been confirmed to have ISA, and wild sockeye back to 1988, and chum, Chinook and pink from the Fraser River. In addition, the farmed salmon have HSMI, which also can only have come from Europe - Creative Seafood in Clayoquot Sound. This is DFO’s own research by Dr. Kristi Miller. Her confirmation of this is in the Cohen Commissin evidentiary hearings into fish farm disease in December 2011 – 25% of the farmed Chinook have both viruses, that is, 125,000 fish per farm.

DFO continues to make this claim, based on the earliest of two sockeye fry of 48 that tested positive for ISA by the Kibenge lab in PEI, that is the World Organization Animal Health (OIE) certified lab for ISA in the western hemisphere. The Nylund, Norway lab is the only other OIE certified lab in the world for ISA. It retested the 48 samples finding one weak positive and its notes say there is a problem in BC. The DFO Moncton lab retested the degraded samples and reached a finding of ‘inconclusive’. Minister Ashfield changed this finding to negative, and has stuck saying no, something he knows is untrue.

3.     Upon the allegations that ISA had been found in wild Pacific salmon, the government reacted quickly and tested the samples using Fisheries and Oceans Canada's Gulf Fisheries Centre, which meets internationally recognized standards for ISA testing; results from our laboratory can be considered valid. WRONG. This refers only to the first two sockeye fry, and the DFO Moncton lab does not meet the OIE standards. In fact, in the Cohen testimony, Miller, Nylund and Kibenge discussed that lab and found that it uses old equipment and could not find ISA in sockeye samples from Miller. Furthermore, Miller retested the samples using the Gagne, Moncton procedures and could not confirm ISA. This means the DFO lab is not up to international standards. The results cannot be considered valid.

4.     The Government of Canada, in collaboration with the province of British Columbia, tested all samples related to the suspected ISA investigation in B.C. WRONG. There have been many wild salmon testing positive for ISA at either the Kibenge or Nylund labs. Furthermore, this is DFO only referring to the first sockeye samples discussed above, not the extra wild salmon tested later. The BC public are so concerned with DFO/BC testing system/CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) that we have anti-ed up $27,000 ourselves to have fish tested.

Furthermore, the Cohen testimony of Miller, Nylund and Kibenge also stated that the BC system said it was using one test, when, in fact, it was not. In addition, it was using a probe developed by an in-house grad student that has never been verified by other scientists, like say, Nylund and Kibenge. This renders the testing of the 4,700 farmed fish as negative for ISA simply unreliable. All the fish need to be tested again - by an arms length lab like Kibenge and Nylund.

5.     Based on the final results, there have been no confirmed cases of the disease in wild or farmed salmon in B.C. In recent years, the Government of Canada and B.C. have tested more than 5,000 wild and farmed salmon in B.C. for infectious salmon anemia. WRONG. Refer back to item 4.

6. None has ever tested positive. ISA poses no risk to people. Pacific salmon appear to be resistant to the disease. WRONG. Refer back to earlier items. There have been hundreds of thousands of confirmed ISA virus-carrying farmed and wild salmon. The doomsday scenario is that ISA may wipe out all the 10 species of wild Pacific salmonids from California north to Alaska and all the way down to Korea. This extinction threat is real and DFO/CFIA/BC Governments are refusing to admit it and get on with getting rid of the fish farms diseases such as ISA, HSMI and IHN.

In Clayoquot Sound, Chinook stocks are on the edge of extinction and there are 22 fish farms in this non-flushing body of ocean. Here are DFO’s own 2012 numbers for wild Chinook: Bedwell – 93; Moyeha – 0; Tranquil – 11; Megin – 35; Cypre – 362. They stand no chance against as many as 20,000,000 farmed salmon, each of 22 farms releasing 60 billion virus particles per hour.

Furthermore, Pacific salmon are not resistant to the disease. See this article for its link to science saying that wild salmon also get the several dozen viral, bacterial and fungal diseases that farmed salmon get: http://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2012/05/fish-farms-infect-wild-bc-salmon-may-13.html

7.     Canadians can have full confidence in the testing results from the Gulf Fisheries Centre, as they can in the Government of Canada's serious and ongoing commitment to protecting the health of Canada's wild and farmed fish from aquatic animal diseases. WRONG. As above, this is stunningly wrong and all the 10 species of pacific salmonids, perhaps a billion fish, are in peril from this refusal to admit the diseases have been brought to the Pacific Ocean. I used to work for government. When the facts came out you modified what you had said before, so that it accommodated the new information. You did not simply continue saying what you knew was untrue. Ashfield should resign.

You may recall that east coast cod were lost because DFO did not follow its own science. The same thing is happening to west coast salmon. The solution is simple: put fish farms on land, or send them back to Norway. There are only 820 actual jobs in BC, less than 0.2% of GPP – against the backdrop of a billion wild Pacific salmon.

Please note: I won the 2012 Art Downs Award for environmental writing for my continued research into the science and diseases of farmed salmon.













Thursday, 22 November 2012

Move Fish Farms Out of Clayoquot Sound To Save Wild Salmon - Nov 22, 2012

Cermaq Mainstream fish farm, during the IHN infection earlier in 2012, blamed the outbreak on wild salmon passing its farmed salmon. This is highly unlikely for many reasons. It is far more likely that the IHN and other fish farm diseases have been killing wild salmon to the point of extinction.

First, a sound is closed at one end, and thus fish farm diseases do not flush out as they would in open channels. They will stay there for as long as each infected fish farm continues hemorrhaging 60 billion viruses per hour and for three weeks thereafter.In the last big outbreak of IHN, circa, 2002, 36 farms along BC's coastline were wiped out.


Second, there are 22 fish farms in Clayoquot Sound, and that at 500,000 to 1,000,000 exotic Atlantic Salmon, this implies as many as 22 million farmed salmon. Here is a ho-hum map of Clayoquot Sound, showing the 22 fish farms: http://mappery.com/map-of/BC-Salmon-Farms-Map. 


Third, the numbers of wild chinook and sockeye are so low as to be non-existent in the Sound. Non-existent fish cannot pass diseases. Because DFO authorized a new Plover Point fish farm in Clayoquot Sound – a UN Biosphere Reserve no less – I plumbed the Clayoquot Sound Chinook salmon and found their numbers are alarmingly low.

See these DFO links for Clayoquot Sound and West Coast Van Isle wild salmonids:

I have summarized the figures as: 2012 counted fish, average number of wild chinook over the past 5 years and  average number of wild chinook over the last 12 years: Bedwell – 93 (5/12 – 60/110); Moyeha – none (120/130); Tranquil – 11 (220/760; Megin – 35 (20/50); Cypre – 362 (no 5/12 figures). No figure for the plummeting Kennedy Lake sockeye. No fish farms should be in these waters as the wild fish numbers are just too low. 

As the Moyeha is 0 and the Tranquil is 11 returned chinook, it is pretty obvious that fish farms, particularly farmed chinook, should not be in Clayoquot Sound. And, while fish farms like to say the source of IHN is wild fish, these numbers are so low - extinction levels - it is far more likely that fish farms are the source of the infection, and they are in fact destroying wild chinook, and sockeye.


DFO has the responsibility to protect wild fish and should have had all Clayoquot Sound fish farms moved to land years ago.

Fourth, the Creative farms - they raise chinook salmon - were shown during the Cohen Commission evidentiary hearings, by Dr. Kristi Miller, to have 25% of all fish with ISA - the worst of all diseases for wild salmon - and HSMI, also lethal, an exotic disease originating in Norway. HSMI cannot be in BC unless it was brought here from Norway and those fish passed it to the Creative farms and one or the other passed it to wild chinook.This means 125,000 infected fish per farm.







Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Cohen Commission Report Released, Oct. 31, 2012

The Cohen Commission Report into declines in the Fraser River sockeye runs has been released.

Here is the news release: http://www.cohencommission.ca/en/NewsReleases/FinalReportReleased.php.

And this statement from it:  'Cohen emphasized that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) should fully implement and fund both the 2005 Wild Salmon Policy and the1986 Habitat Policy. “DFO should develop and publish a detailed implementation plan as set out in the Wild Salmon Policy and, without further delay, honour its commitment to implementation,” he noted. “The goals of the Habitat Policy and its No Net Loss principle are sound and should be retained.”'

This is a sound recommendation. Anyone who follows salmon issues knows that the Wild Salmon Policy disappeared from view almost immediately after it was written. And the Habitat Policy also contains good information on protecting salmon habitat. It also died an early death. On both issues, DFO has failed badly.

In addition, the Harper government recently gutted the Fisheries Act, the Environmental Protection Act of fish protection as well as began cutting 200 scientists in 2012.

And this statement about fish farms, in the news release preceding the report, states the issue directly and correctly:

'To address the potential conflict for DFO between promoting salmon farms and regulating them, the Commissioner recommended that DFO no longer be responsible for promoting salmon farming as an industry and farmed salmon as a product. “As long as DFO has a mandate to promote salmon farming, there is a risk that it will act in a manner that favours the interests of the salmon farming industry over the health of wild fish stocks,” he said.

The Commissioner concluded that salmon farms along the sockeye migration route in the Discovery Islands have the potential to introduce exotic diseases and to aggravate endemic diseases which can have a negative impact on Fraser River sockeye. “Mitigation measures should not be delayed in the absence of scientific certainty,” he said.

For that reason, Cohen recommended a freeze on net-pen salmon farm production in the Discovery Islands until September 30, 2020. “If by that date, DFO cannot confidently say the risk of serious harm to wild stocks is minimal, it should then prohibit all net-pen salmon farms from operating in the Discovery Islands,” he said. Cohen also recommended that if before September 30, 2020, the government determines that salmon farms pose more than a minimal risk to Fraser River sockeye, the government prohibit their operation immediately.'

Here is the report: http://www.cohencommission.ca/en/. Click on the icon and read the 1200 pages of the three volume report. The third volume contains more than 75 recommendations.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Salmon Farm Activist Acquitted of Defamation - Oct 4, 1012



Salmon Farm Activist Acquitted of Defamation

My guess is the average sport fisher does not know who Don Staniford is. And I venture that Staniford doesn’t know the difference between a bull head and a bull trout, or even how to catch a salmon. But the roughly 300,000 licenced sport fishers in BC owe him their gratitude. That is because he has been fearless in his opposition to in-ocean fish farms, particularly in BC, Scotland, Norway and other countries.

Staniford’s approach to criticizing the industry that has in recent months had well-reported disease problems in BC, Washington, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, is flamboyant in the extreme and often foolhardy. His approach lies somewhere between Monty Python and Darth Vader, with the Energizer Bunny supplying manic energy to his 24-hour a day activism.

Mainstream Canada sued him for defamation in February 2012. Judge Adair has just released her findings. I have excised five pages of relevant clauses from her ruling and you may find it on my blog, www.fishfarmnews.blogspot.com, which also contains the link to her 71 page ruling – really worth reading in its entirety. [Note: the excised comments are the next post on this blog].

Mainstream’s reasons are summarized in clause 10: “Mainstream claims that, in their natural and ordinary meaning, Mr. Staniford’s statements, in context, meant and were understood to mean that Mainstream’s business and products kill people, and that Mainstream is knowingly marketing a carcinogenic product that causes illness, death and harm. Mainstream says that the “sting” arising from Mr. Staniford’s publications is that farmed salmon – like smoking – causes cancer, and that the salmon farming industry is as odious and dishonest as the tobacco industry.”

Pretty damning stuff. And Judge Adair roasts Staniford’s character: “[his] value judgments… [are] prejudiced, exaggerated and obstinate [171].” And, [from 174]: “Mr. Staniford’s judgements have no balance because balance does not exist in Mr. Staniford’s world when it comes to salmon farming. He has dedicated himself to eradicating it.” She also found that his comments were defamatory [118], and that they applied to Mainstream [141].

But at the end, Adair excused Staniford of defamation on the grounds that he believed what he was saying was true. Having read a lot of what he has written, I ignore his inflammatory approach and follow-up his links to the science. They are on the money.

My opinion is that, sadly, the top four problems for ten species of salmonids are: fish farms, DFO, run of river power and Global Warming. The last we can do little about quickly, but the other three can be addressed today with policy decisions. The Cohen Commission into Fraser sockeye collapse reconvened in December 2011 to assess whether fish farm diseases kill wild salmon. Its report is due by October 30, 2012. I’ll let you know what it says.


Sport fishers should pat Staniford on the back – he has withstood being sued three times over the past decade by fish farms, though never successfully – because his bottom line is to stand with wild salmon in BC. In fairness, I don’t see that fish farms need to be eradicated - they need to be on land where their density-related disease amplification affects no other fish or species. I have found more than 8,000 actual on-land farms around the world, so there is no technological or economic impediment. We need wild salmon and so do 37 species of our wild animals like bears and eagles.

560 Words

dcreid@islandnet.com



Sunday, 30 September 2012

Don Staniford Acquitted of Defaming Mainstream Canada, Sept 30, 2012

Judge Adair released her ruling in Mainstream Canada's case accusing Don Staniford of defamation. She found that he had defamed Mainstream, but dismissed the case as she reasoned that he truly believed what he was saying. The last five pages are a quite involved argument.

Find her 71 page ruling here: http://donstaniford.typepad.com/files/judgment-28-september-2012-adair-re-mainstream-canada-v-staniford-09-28.pdf.

Here are some of the most relevant sections for those who do not have the time to read the entire ruling:



Mainstream Canada vs Don Staniford - Summary
[10] Mainstream claims that, in their natural and ordinary meaning, Mr. Staniford’s statements, in context, meant and were understood to mean that Mainstream’s business and products kill people, and that Mainstream is knowingly marketing a carcinogenic product that causes illness, death and harm. Mainstream says that the “sting” arising from Mr. Staniford’s publications is that farmed salmon – like smoking – causes cancer, and that the salmon farming industry is as odious and dishonest as the tobacco industry.
[11] Mainstream seeks substantial

[57] Mainstream pleads over fifty particulars of defamatory words contained in the publications. These include the following, many of which appear on mock-cigarette packages (page references indicate the page(s) in the Schedules to the Amended Claim):
Mainstream Canada v. Staniford Page 19 a) from the “Salmon Farming Kills” campaign: “Salmon Farming Kills” (p. 1); “Salmon Farming Seriously Damages Health” (p. 1, p. 27); “Salmon Farming Licenced to Kill” (p. 3); “Salmon Farming Kills Around the World and Should Carry a Global Health Warning” (p. 7); “Salmon Farming Seriously Damages Human Health, the Health of our Global Ocean, and the Health of Wild Fish” (p. 7); “Salmon Farming is Toxic and Poison” (p. 3); “Salmon Farming is Toxic” (p. 4); “Fish Farmers are playing ‘the same game as the cigarette manufacturers did for many years’” (p. 1);
(b) from the “Silent Spring

57, c Put a copy of ‘Smoke on the Water, Cancer in the Coast’ in your pipe and smoke it” (p. 26); “Salmon Farming Kills Like Smoking” (p. 27); “Salmon Farming . . .

Clause 58: reasonable person as a comment upon true facts, and not as a bare statement of fact: see Ross, at para. 58 (quoting from Brown, The Law of Defamation in Canada). In other words, the comment, though it can include inferences of fact, must be recognizable as comment.
though the comment satisfies the objective test, the defence can be defeated if the plaintiff proves that the defendant was actuated by express malice. See WIC, at para. 28.

[59] The “Salmon Farming Kills” pages contained several mock cigarette packages with the statement “92% Norwegian Owned.”
[60] Under the heading “Salmon Farming is Toxic and Poison”, Mr. Staniford repeats a quote from an article in the Toronto Star (hyperlink underlined):
“I would never feed a child farmed salmon,” said Canadian scientist David Suzuki (as quoted in The Toronto Star). “It’s poison!”

Clause 74 and 75 about cancer causing chemicals in farmed and wild salmon

Mainstream’s defamation claim clause 99 Mainstreams claims 101, 103

[115] In a number of places in the publications in issue, Mr. Staniford states “Salmon Farming Kills,” and also that “Salmon Farming Kills Like Smoking.” Mr. Staniford also says that “Salmon Farming Seriously Damages Health.” These are among the many statements that Mainstream asserts are defamatory. Moreover, in the “sting” alleged, Mainstream’s focus is on humans and human health.

[118] I conclude therefore that Mr. Staniford’s words are capable of bearing a defamatory meaning, as pleaded in para. 22(a), that “Mainstream’s business and products kill people.”

[120] Mr. Staniford’s words “Fish Farmers are playing the same game as the cigarette manufacturers did for many years” are, given the notoriety of the harmful effects of smoking and of the conduct of “Big Tobacco,” capable of bearing the meanings pleaded in paras. 22(d) (“Mainstream has actively misled, deceived, and lied to the public”), (e) (“Mainstream is knowingly marketing a carcinogenic product that causes illness, death, and harm”) and (j) (“Mainstream engages in corrupt and
Mainstream Canada v. Staniford Page 36
immoral behaviour”). Labelling someone as a liar, and asserting the person is knowingly acting in a way that causes illness and death, and otherwise is engaging in corrupt and immoral behaviour, is defamatory.

(iii) Do the words [the defamatory words] in fact refer to Mainstream?

132,

[141] For these reasons, I find, therefore, that Mr. Staniford’s words in fact refer to Mainstream.

[142] In summary, I conclude that Mainstream has proved the essential elements of a defamation claim, namely that: Mr. Staniford’s words are defamatory, in the sense that they would tend to lower Mainstream’s reputation in the eyes of a reasonable person; the words in fact referred to Mainstream; and the words were communicated to at least one person other than Mainstream.
(b) Mr. Staniford’s defence of fair comment

[144] Statements of opinion – a category which has been described as including any deduction, inference, conclusion, criticism, judgment, remark or observation which is generally incapable of proof – may attract the defence of fair comment: see Grant, at para. 31. A defendant claiming fair comment must satisfy the following test: (a) the comment must be on a matter of public interest; (b) the comment must be based on fact; (c) the comment, though it can include inferences of fact, must be recognisable as comment; (d) the comment must satisfy the following objective test: could any person honestly express that opinion on the proved facts?; and (e) even
Mainstream Canada v. Staniford Page 42

[146] “Honest belief” requires the existence of a relationship between the comment and underlying facts.

(f) if Mr. Staniford was an honest man expressing his genuine opinion on a subject of public interest then, no matter that his words conveyed derogatory imputations, no matter that his opinion was wrong or exaggerated or prejudiced and no matter that it was badly expressed so that people read all sorts of innuendo into it, nevertheless he has a good defence of fair comment.
[
[154] However, words that may appear to be statements of fact may be properly construed as comment. Binnie J. wrote in WIC, at para. 26:

Mainstream Canada v. Staniford Page 47
mark the path towards superior understanding of the world around us."
Mr. Sutherland argues that there is a direct parallel in this case, and that what Mainstream is attempting to do by bringing this action is to silence a critic in the face of scientific controversies.

[166] This is essentially the argument advanced by Mainstream: that Mr. Staniford’s statements are verifiable and capable of proof, and therefore must be found to be statements of fact.
[167] The EWCA did not agree with Eady J. The court explained the flaw in Eady J’s reasoning, and thus also a flaw in Mainstream’s argument, in this way (underlining added):

[168] In order for Mr. Staniford to succeed on his defence of fair comment, it must be shown, with reasonably clarity, that the words are comment and not statement of fact. The test is whether the matter would be recognizable to the ordinary
Mainstream Canada v. Staniford Page 49

[170] However, I have concluded that the statements are comment, not fact. They reflect Mr. Staniford’s value judgments – as prejudiced, exaggerated and obstinate as they are – based on what he has read in the literature and how he has interpreted that literature.

[171] Mr. Staniford’s statements, such as “Salmon farming kills” and “Salmon farming kills like smoking,” although they look like statements of fact, can only be – and must be found to be – statements of opinion. The unexpressed – or not completely expressed – premise is: “based on this peer-reviewed scientific evidence.” They must be statements of opinion because there is scientific controversy about the effect on, and the benefits to, human health from consumption of farmed salmon. The point is illustrated, and, for my purposes, confirmed by the fact that different scientists have reached different conclusions, and by Dr. Gallo’s evidence.

[173] The existence in the flesh of farmed (and wild) salmon of contaminants that can cause cancer has been verified as a fact. However, the consequences and effect on human health of consumption of salmon given that fact is still the subject of debate. In

From 174:
Mr. Staniford’s judgments have no balance because balance does not exist in Mr. Staniford’s world when it comes to salmon farming. He has dedicated himself to eradicating it.
(d) since 2000, scientists have tested farmed and wild salmon and found in the flesh of the fish contaminants that are capable of causing cancer. The existence of the contaminants has been established to be true. Dr. Gallo, for example, accepted and did not disagree with the data used for the Hites Papers;

Mainstream Canada v. Staniford Page 54
(iv) Could any person honestly express Mr. Staniford’s opinions based on the proven facts?
[184] I have concluded the answer to this question must be yes. Mr. Staniford (at least) believes what he says. He expresses his beliefs in the March 23, 2011 letter to the King of Norway, and in “Smoke on the Water, Cancer on the Coast.”

Hill and Knowlton used by tobacco firms

[186] I have concluded that Mr. Staniford is akin to a zealot. Virtually anything that conflicts with his view and vision is wrong, bad, disgraceful and worse. Individuals who work in the salmon farming industry do jobs that are “nauseating.” He is highly suspicious. Neutral facts (for example, that at one time the BCSFA used the public relations firm Hill & Knowlton to do some work for it) will lead him to jump to irrational conclusions. Because Hill & Knowlton at one time also did work for members of “Big Tobacco,” the firm must have been hired because the BCSFA and its members were engaged in a cover-up, just like Big Tobacco.

[189] I have no doubt that Mr. Staniford is severely prejudiced when it comes to salmon farming. His views are exaggerated and obstinate. I express no opinion on whether this makes him an effective campaigner: that is for others to judge. However, I have concluded that he honestly believes the opinions he has expressed.

(v) Malice
[190] The defence of fair comment will fail if the plaintiff proves that the defendant was actuated by express malice:

Apart from those exceptional cases, what is required on the part of the defamer to entitle him to the protection of the privilege is positive belief in the truth of what he published or, as it is generally though tautologously termed, ‘honest belief’. If he publishes untrue defamatory matter recklessly, without considering or caring whether it be true or not, he is in this, as in other branches of the law, treated as if he knew it to be false.

[195]

[196] On behalf of Mr. Staniford, Mr. Sutherland argues that Mr. Staniford must be afforded a very broad scope for speech because his purpose is to end industrial aquaculture. He is a campaigner attempting to influence public opinion on legitimate public issues. Therefore, so long as Mr. Staniford’s statements and publications are related predominantly or primarily to that purpose, it cannot be said that Mr.
Mainstream Canada v. Staniford Page 58
Staniford is actuated by malice. Mr. Staniford’s loathing of the aquaculture industry is not unrelated to his purpose, and therefore cannot constitute malice.

[197] I have concluded above that Mr. Staniford honestly believes what he says. This finding is inconsistent with finding that Mr. Staniford said things he knew to be false, or that he was reckless. However, has Mainstream nevertheless demonstrated that Mr. Staniford’s dominant purpose in publishing the statements in issue was to injure Mainstream because of spite or animosity?

The language in his publications – including the mock cigarette packages in particular – is extreme, inflammatory, sensationalized, extravagant and violent. The word “kills” is everywhere.

[200] I have no hesitation, therefore, in finding that the publications in issue were actuated by Mr. Staniford’s express malice towards Mainstream.
Mainstream Canada v. Staniford Page 59

[201] However, I am unable to conclude that this was Mr. Staniford’s dominant purpose in publishing the statements in issue. Mr. Staniford’s main goal is to end industrial aquaculture, and he seeks (albeit in clumsy, crude, irrational or foolish ways) to influence public opinion to that end. That (currently) is his life’s work. His commitment to that cause is illustrated by his self-published magnum opus – “Smoke on the Water, Cancer on the Coast.”

[202] Although I have concluded that Mr. Staniford’s statements are defamatory of Mainstream, I have concluded that he should succeed on his defence of fair comment. I have found that he was actuated by express malice towards Mainstream. However, I have found that he had an honest belief in the statements he made, and injuring Mainstream because of spite or animosity was not his dominant purpose in publishing the words in issue.
[203] In view of those findings, I do not intend to address damages or other remedies.
[204] The plaintiff’s action is, accordingly, dismissed.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Fish Farms Kill Seals and Sea Lions Around the World, Sept 23, 2012

The purpose of this post is to begin making a list of all the countries in the world where fish farms kill pinnipeds, more commonly known as seals and sea lions. No figures are kept for the numbers of sea birds, otters and other animals killed at or by fish farms.

See my earlier post showing than 11,469 seals and sea lions have been killed in BC Canada from 1984 to 2011: http://fishfarmnews.blogspot.com/b/post-preview?token=H-079jkBAAA.RcoTO8mQDOiHL4_fjsIP0Q.AfyGFV8kmoGhfuIWmy-VoA&postId=7900949561164738070&type=POST

This post shows the 2012 seal kills in Scotland:  http://www.robedwards.com/2012/09/sites-where-seals-shot-kept-secret-in-fear-of-protest.html. There have been 310 killed so far.

Marine Harvest operates in 21 countries around the world. So as I begin to track down and put the stats and references here, you will see it is a truly staggering number killed, mostly shot in the head.

Fish farms like to make it sound like the seal is at fault, in various jurisdictions calling them 'nuisance' animals or 'rogue' sea lions. But the problem is not the animal, it is the fish farm. If you dangle food in front of a predator, the predator wants to eat it. That is the problem and the solution is to put fish farms on land where their environmental damage can be contained. Zero sea lions would then be shot in the head.

Countries where fish farms operate include: Ireland, England, Norway, Denland, the USA, Atlantic Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Shetland Islands, Faroe Islands and many others. Check back to this post as it tabulates the grim world wide pinniped kills.


Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Key Document: Fish Farms Damage Ocean Bottoms

This is a report on Shelburne Bay, NS, fish farming in 2012, prepared by Inka Milewski on damage to the bottom of the ocean:http://www.friendsofshelburneharbour.org/uploads/McGregorMilewskiSandyPointApr2012.pdf.

I post this out as it is current report and typical of the damage caused by fish farms to the bottom of the ocean, taking, in some cases more than a decade to recover once fish farms have been pulled out.

Milewski says that: "in her decades of research in the area, she has seen regular outbreaks of infectious salmon anemia (ISA), sea lice infect caged salmon populations in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. In February, Cooke Aquaculture was forced to slaughter 700,000 salmon in Shelburne Harbour and last week a firm in Newfoundland was ordered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to slaughter more ISA-infected fish. [July, 2012]

"In April, Milewski sent a copy of the report and her findings to Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Sterling Belliveau, with an invitation to meet with him to discuss her findings. She said that, to date, she has had no response to her offer." See this article:

She also says: "The government must release all environmental monitoring data for all existing salmon farm sites, says Milewski. “If the province can’t publicly produce environmental monitoring data from existing fish farms in a timely manner,” she says, “They certainly can’t be relied upon to act when environmental damage is being done by these farms”." 

The report is a stinging indictment of fish farming, and is typical of conditions found around the world. The issue that has not yet been measured is how the water column is infected with trillions of viral particles for many miles in both directions that the tide flows. This is particularly problemmatic in bays and sounds, like Shelburne and Clayoquot Sound, BC, because they have one closed end and thus to not flush.

to see how fish farms destroy the ocean bottom with sewage and feed, making them dead zones in many locations. 

Google:Youtube video on sea bottoms under fish farms: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=ocean+bottoms+under+fish+farms&sa=X&spell=1&search=Search&oi=spell.There are move videos on sea bottom damage on YouTube, these are just sample videos.  In fairness there are a few, well selected sites, by fish farms.
 
As hard as it maybe to believe, Belliveau has just awarded Cooke Aquaculture $25 million to expand. This at the same time that they are charged with using the lobster killing and illegal chemical cypermethrin to kill lice. These charges may bring millions in fines and jail sentences. Cooke, in its court case, has said it wants to 'study the evidence', and thus has taken the subject out of the news. This is a very typical ploy by charged fish farms around the world, and in this case it is shameful that Belliveau came up with the $25 at a time when Cooke is charged and has had to slaughter. Just shameful.
 

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Key Document - Fish Farm Diseases That Infect Humans - July 5, 2012

This post will grow over time, so check back from time to time, as I put the new update date in the title.

Do remember that most cold water viruses do not affect humans, however, the issue is that fish farms, due to their density of fish, cause mutations in viruses. There are also fungal and bacterial diseases in farmed fish, several dozen in total.

1. Google: fish farm diseases that infect humans and you will be reading for days:  https://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&site=&source=hp&q=fish+farm+diseases+that+infect+humans&oq=fish+farm+diseases+that+infect+humans&gs_l=hp.4...421.6609.0.7472.37.35.0.0.0.0.269.3750.14j20j1.35.0...0.0.zV5g8os4OMk.

2. Kudoa septempunctata. This is not the Kudoa species that has been found in Marine Harvest BC farmed salmon. It is a relative, and has been shown to make more than 1300 people in Japan sick from eating raw fish. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22281845.

3. Fish diseases that infect humans: http://mudiparofarms.com/?p=90.

4. Asian fish product diseases that infect humans. See this for liver flukes and trematodes: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/15/4/08-1147_article.htm.

5. A long list of diseases that fish transmit to humanshttp://www.scribd.com/doc/3699145/Disease-Trasmitted-From-Fish-to-Human.Note that these are not necessarily from fish farms, just from fish.


Wednesday, 4 July 2012

BAP Awards Not Awards - Updated July 5, 2012

July 5, 2012. One day after Marine Harvest took credit, as below, for BAP certification in BC, CTV has reported on fish farm diseases: Marine Harvest alone spent $12 million last year to clear out infected fish [Kudoa] and provide refunds for tainted products, and there are estimates that Kudoa affects 20 to 50 per cent of all salmon farmed in the province.


Read this:http://bc.ctvnews.ca/parasite-ridden-salmon-sold-in-b-c-stores-1.864202.


So, what is it that BAP awards mean? Not much.


Now, read my July 4 post on the BAPs

Read this:  http://www.canada.com/Marine+Harvest+gets+certification/6880995/story.html.

Marine Harvest et al have been trumpeting the past couple of weeks around the globe in news reports about receiving the really worthwhile BAP awards. The problem is that the BAPs are not awards at all.

The industry got together and made the organization then they all put money into it. And they now get the BAP certification from themselves. Don't be fooled. Nothing has changed. Fish farms only want to be in the ocean to use it as a free, open sewer.They should be on land.

You may recall it is only a couple of weeks since 7 fish farms in BC and Washington tested positive for viral diseases. And remember that at the recent Cohen Commission in December, 2011 testimony showed that 25% of Clayoquot farmed chinook tested positive for HSMI and ISA. (This is a huge problem for wild fish, and my bet is that the Clayoquot Sound chinook and Kennedy Lake sockeye are in trouble because of billions of viruses in the non-flushing Sound).

In truth, Marine Harvest Canada is in trouble. It lost money in Q1, of 2012, -.6%, its only major operation around the world to post a loss. And they let go 60 employees at Christmas time. And are reducing orders for smolts.

And, by the way, the CEO of Marine Harvest, Alf Helge, in Norway has just complained about fish farms refusal to bring forth sea lice data. See: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/84be8a79#/84be8a79/16.
You see, 40% of farms don't report lice and the government doesn't follow up. Meanwhile, here in BC Canada, Marine Harvest has just pulled out of a joint study with environmental groups studying, wait for it, ... that sea lice do not cause problems with wild fish or transfer diseases. Same fish farm company, completely different response.

What Marine Harvest did get out of the five year agreement with the Suzuki Foundation and so on in BC is not being criticized in the press. I would say that lucky outcome has ended.

Oh, and you will remember that Marine Harvest plead guilty in December of 2011 of having wild salmon and herring in its nets in BC - having for almost two years previous, protested its innocence. And in Ireland, Scotland and Norway, in the past year nearly 500,000 farmed salmon escaped from fish farms. Hmm.

The BAPs don't mean much.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

"Red Alert' - Elena Edwards Note to DFO - July 3, 2012

I have been asked to publish the letter below, sent to Brenda McCorquodale at DFO. A letter from McCorquodale to Elena Edwards and her response prompted my note. Elena's note to McCorquodale is below.




Hi Brenda McCorquodale
I have just read your response to Elena Edwards note to you and have some comments.
But first, you have to realize there is no way forward for old tech, polluting Norwegian fish farms in BC other than on land in closed containers. By their own admission there are only 820 actual jobs in aquaculture. I estimate there are 100 million wild salmon in BC. It simply makes no sense to threaten them anymore.
1. Treating wild fish for pathogens.
The point is that we don't want anymore 'scientific' fixes. We want fish farms on land. I have a list of 51 different on-land closed systems comprising some 8055 actual, on land fish farms around the world. See:http://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2012/01/key-document-34-mostly-on-land-closed.html. The only reason fish farms want to be in our pristine ocean is to use it as a free open sewer.
Not to mention that treating wild fish for pathogens isn't possible, for example, a million wild sockeye in the Fraser. How do you catch every one? And what mortality would there be in catching the few you do catch?
Not to mention that 7 farms/hatcheries have been found to have viral pathogens in the past month in BC and Washington.
2. The CFIA and their biosecurity protocols.
The December Cohen testimony pointed out the conflicts of interest of the CFIA, DFO and the BC testing system and that the Moncton lab was not able to find ISA.
We don't want the CFIA to do anything because they are not trustworthy. What is needed is an international panel reporting to the public of all the nations on the Pacific Ocean with salmon. Kibenge, Nylund and Miller should be on it.
3. Plover Point
You fail to note that all sites in Clayoquot Sound are in channels that don't flush as they have one closed end. They shouldn't be there and no one should have let fish farms in a UN Biosphere.
I think the science will show that the Kennedy lake sockeye and the Sound wild chinook have been wiped out by the non-flushing nature of the Sound. The water column will be filled with billions of viruses for a good ten miles from every fish farm as a sound does not flush.
4. Salmon Aquaculture is a major business.
No it is not. With only 820 actual jobs (and MH losing money) aquaculture is tiny - logging is large, with 87,000 jobs.
Aquaculture will never contribute in a meaningful way to the BC economy, but we lose all species of wild salmon. And in any event, fish farms, no matter what their employment is, need to be on land.
Sport fishing is far larger than aquaculture, at $1 billion and 15,000 jobs. It makes no sense to destroy a billion dollar industry to put money in Norwegian pockets.
5. Fallowing results in clean bottoms.
There are easily a dozen videos on youtube showing that this is not true. The bottom is full of sewage. In Norway, the problem is so bad that in some fjords they have had to dredge out several km of polluted bottom sediment.
6. POPs shouldn't be in the environment.
True. And fish farms on land would never put POPs into the water. The most recent paper, in 2012, says that the amount of PCBs in one meal of farmed salmon will take 50 to 75 years to clear your body. Who wants to eat such fish?
And the new feeds have chicken feathers in them, ones laced with a dozen different pharmaceuticals including flouroquinolones. Some new feed uses chicken feces and animal feces. Then genetically modified plant oils, for example, soy and canola, are being used in feeds. Further, they are fishing the low end of the food chain, krill, in the last pristine ocean, the Antarctic.
7. Dialogue
You are not hearing what BC residents, including First Nations have been saying to DFO for years: all of us want fish farms on land. But if they are unwilling and you can't hear what we are saying, then they need to go back to Norway.
DC Reid


Here is Elena's Letter:

Greetings Brenda,

Thank you for your last thorough response.

Almost one year later since our last correspondence there have been a great deal of additional concerns raised regarding the practice of salmon farming in B.C. waters. 

Given your role in Senior Aquaculture Management for DFO, you will be aware of the Cohen Commission proceedings on the topic of Aquaculture as well as the Cohen Commission reopening for three days examining the positive ISAv findings in wild and farmed salmon. I trust you are very familiar with the proceeding of those days and the significant concerns that arose through the evidence and testimony presented.

You will also be aware that Justice Cohen's final report has been postponed until Sept 30th. As I understand from your response, it will be business as usual for the aquaculture industry in spite of the alarming evidence of European viral strains being present in both farmed and wild salmon, of which DFO has failed to acknowledge aside from Dr. Kristi Miller's testimony during the Cohen Commission.

Now I see on the DFO website that regulations are being proposed to treat wild fish populations to control pathogens. 

"Under some circumstances, under the Health of Animals Act, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency may need to treat wild fish populations to control fish pathogens that may have been introduced into Canadian waters."

This raises even more serious concerns as DFO and the salmon farming industry have been completely quiet about the presence of introduced pathogens that pass between farmed and wild salmon. For the government to take such drastic actions is not only indicative that there has been a serious breach in security regarding protecting wild fish from foreign pathogens, but that rather than address the source of these introduced pathogens the government is now seeking to treat a wild species with something that is completely unnatural to wild fish stocks with the effects of such treatment being unknown. 

Can you please elaborate what this means and why DFO is considering treating wild salmon for an introduced pathogen and what these introduced pathogens are?

Regarding the comment that;
"DFO is consulting directly with First Nations with respect to their issues and concerns.
I question the extent to which First Nations are able to come forward with their concerns when they are not even made aware of what the concerns are. For example, to what extent has DFO informed First Nations along the Fraser River of the introduced pathogens that are a threat to Indigenous wild salmon? Are they being informed that the CFIA and DFO are considering treating their wild fish for these pathogens? Should they not have a say in the matter? Does DFO only consult with First Nations who have salmon farms in their territory? If such is the case then there is a case of grave negligence in recognizing that so long as open-net farms are in waters where migrating wild salmon swim by then it is a concern for all First Nations whose wild salmon might be infected.

You also note that;
"A number of measures are in place both with CFIA and DFO in order to ensure that any possible risks with respect to fish health are minimized.        As a Condition of Licence, a Fish Health Management Plan is required for each facility, which includes the development of biosecurity protocols."
Is the presence of introduced pathogens not evidence that biosecurity protocols have failed? 

While the 6th question of my previous email may seem of a more ethical nature than scientific, I would still appreciate a response as it falls to the core of allowing the salmon farming industry to have become a seemingly permanent fixture in the marine environment that wild salmon must survive in. I am re-posting that question in the hopes that someone might be able to offer a valid response, especially given the recent outbreaks of diseases in the salmon farms and highly contagious viruses being found in farmed and wild salmon;

6.) Given the knowledge that it IS possible for such a virus to spread beyond the veterinarians ability to monitor or control it, how is it acceptable for DFO/ the government, to allow such a risk to be placed in the oceans when wild salmon populations already have numerous factors threatening their survival into the future? How is this considered using the precautionary principle? 

Regarding the Plover Point application;

When you note that;

    "The Plover Point application, to which you have specifically referred, is considered to be a potential replacement site which is currently being assessed to determine if it could improve upon the environmental performance of an existing aquaculture licence. Plover Point is being considered as a replacement for the Cormorant Island site. Once a new, more appropriate location for a farm is approved, the Cormorant Island licence will be rescinded."

What this implies is that the Cormorant Island site has had a negative environmental impact where it is located and now a Unesco Biosphere is being considered as an alternative site location. It goes without saying that the reasons for the transfer indicate that the Plover Point site will suffer the same environmental problems that are requiring the Cormorant Island licence to be rescinded. The logic in this site transfer completely fails in exercising the precautionary principle.

In the DFO report on contaminants which you participated in (http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/Library/278588.pdfit is noted; 

"Salmon Aquaculture:  is a major industry in the central coast as the majority of all BC salmon 
farms operate in this region. Chemicals are used in many aspects of salmon aquaculture including 
intentional use of pesticides to control sea lice, chemical additives in food, antifouling chemicals, as 
well as inadvertent chemicals found in feed and building materials. Organic enrichment from fish 
wastes and excess food can result in sediment contamination and changes in the ecological 
community below salmon net pens.  
Most chemical contamination impacts from salmon farms appear to be localized in nature and are 
relatively short-lived. For instance, ecological communities below net pens often largely recover after 
a 6-month fallowing period. However, it is uncertain how ecological communities are affected by 
pesticides, antibiotics, and organic enrichment. In addition, cumulative impacts of multiple farms or 
net pens is an important issue that must be resolved in order to determine the number of farms that 
should be located in any given area. Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) found in some salmon feed 
presents a source of harmful contaminants to the marine environment that should be eliminated. "

Given that every problem that has ever existed within salmon farming still remains along with additional problems, it can only be seen that there is no appropriate location for the Plover Point farm and that the only precautionary action at this point would be to fallow all farms and move this risky practice into closed containment. 


Regarding your comment that;

    "The department is committed to developing advisory processes and a management approach which encourages dialogue between First Nations, industry, and stakeholders, and we look forward to recommendations from all parties relating to siting requirements for aquaculture."

Does such dialogue only allow for those of who accept the placement of additional salmon farms in the marine environment or does it allow for the presence of those presenting the case that salmon farms should be sited away from wild salmon completely?

In the past year the threats to wild salmon have only increased and with bill C-38 being proposed to strip protection of fish habitat, millions of dollars being put toward aquaculture expansion, and another another bleak run of the Fraser River Sockeye salmon, the Cohen Commission is being made a complete mockery and waste of $26 million if such decisions are being made prior to Justice Cohen submitting his final recommendations.

I hope you are able to respond to these concerns as it is becoming increasingly challenging to get straight forward answers in a time when they are much needed.

Thank you for taking the time.

Sincerely,

Elena Edwards