Tuesday, 30 September 2014

$93 Million for Diseased Fish

You will know that I did an FOI in early 2014 to find out the millions paid to fish farms in BC and Atlantic Canada. The CFIA would only confirm that it paid money for two years. Oddly, the $93 million covers the same time they did the search for me. And then I found out that the Telegram in St. John's had found, when we compared lists about $50.5 Million for fish farms for diseased, dead fish.

So it is very odd that the CFIA has given three different figures, and said categorically to me that it stopped making payments after only two years, and would not tell me who had paid the money before or after. The FOI was further held up because a fish farm had an injunction against release of the figures to me - for ten months - that's how untransparent fish farms are. They have lawyers working behind the scenes very frequently to prevent the public finding out figures, stats, and disease info. Standard practice.

See: https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=1880129387856188740#editor/target=post;postID=2671296788933545164;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=21;src=postname.

This is taxpayer money and I have never talked to one taxpayer that wants to give our tax money to multi-national, billion dollar fish farms that could solve the problem forever by putting fish farms on land in recirculating systems. They refuse, so we should refuse to pay them for diseased, dead fish.

Oh, and if you read the other post, in Atlantic Canada alone, fish farms have been paid for diseased, dead fish some $135 Million since 1996, for ISA. The CFIA and DFO currently say there is no ISA in BC, but their own scientist, Kristi Miller, in Cohen Commission testimony, said that farmed chinook in Clayoquot Sound showed 25% had ISA and HSMI. Little wonder that in five streams the total number of wild chinook in Clayoquot Sound in 2012, DFO's own figures, only 501 counted chinook.

With about 125,000 chinook per farm infected, its little wonder why, in a poorly flushing sound, there are virtually no wild chinook. Oh and the sockeye run for the Kennedy was wiped out in the 1990s and has not come back.

And DFO wants to rewrite the laws, an Aquaculture Act, so that fish farms don't have to mention any of its sewage and other effluent. And DFO is currently trying to allow more fish farms in Clayoquot Sound. Very sad.

Here is the Blacklock's Reporter text on the $93 Million for diseased, dead fish:

$93M Paid For Diseased Fish

Health Canada paid $92.7 million to compensate aquaculture firms for diseased fish, the highest figure cited to date. The department’s Canadian Food Inspection Agency disclosed that payments dated over three years to salmon farmers in British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland & Labrador.

Authorities previously reported “over $84 million” was paid to industry; the higher figure was cited in Inspection Agency documents tabled in Parliament. All compensation was paid for destruction of fish stock with infectious salmon anemia and infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus.

Companies that received payments were not identified. Three Atlantic facilities operated by Cooke Aquaculture Inc. were quarantined in 2013 following an outbreak of salmon anaemia, a virus lethal to fish species but rated harmless to humans. Some 3700 tonnes of salmon were destroyed at two Cooke facilities in Newfoundland & Labrador, following a similar virus outbreak at the company’s salmon farm in Shelburne, N.S.

“The industry has had the outbreaks and was paid more than $90 million,” said MP Malcolm Allen, New Democrat agriculture critic who requested the data. Inspectors said they had no cost-benefit analysis of compensation paid to aquaculture companies “since the decision to order animals destroyed is made on a case-by-case basis”; “When deciding whether an infected population should be ordered destroyed, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency takes into consideration the consequences of not ordering destruction,” the agency wrote. “Consequences could include disease spread from the infected premises to other aquatic animal populations or the establishment of a disease in an area that was free of the federally-reportable disease.”

The agency also reported that effective December 31 it will enact new provisions of its National Aquatic Animal Health Program to track all movements of salmonids and shellfish, including monitoring of their “disease status” by region and province. “I don’t see any reason not to do that already,” said Allen, MP for Welland, Ont. “There is no magic about the December 31 date in legislation as far as I am aware.”

Regulators will also monitor the “disease status” of Atlantic and Pacific coastal waters used by fish farmers, and impose “movement controls” in regions deemed at risk: “The East Coast will be declared infected with infectious salmon anemia and the West Coast will be declared infected with infectious hematopoietic necrosis and the disease response to these specific diseases in areas declared to be infected will be changing,” the agency reported to the Commons.

Pamela Parker, executive director of the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association, said members were unaware of the timing: “We had some awareness it was being considered but we had no knowledge the decision had been made,” Parker said.

Bill Taylor, president and CEO of the Atlantic Salmon Federation, said disease monitoring of wild salmon has been in place in British Columbia waters with a similar program proposed for Atlantic fisheries. “Originally this program was supposed to be initiated and underway in 2013, and here we are in 2014 and it’s still not underway,” Taylor said. “If you are farming your fish in the open ocean your biosecurity will never be 100 percent.”

The report to the Commons was Inquiry Of Ministry no. 501, dated May 13 but only now tabled in the House.

By Kaven Baker-Voakes
$93M Paid For Diseased Fish | Blacklock's Reporter

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Conflict of Interest Continues - DFO Backs Fish Farms Not Wild Salmon

When organizations like the David Suzuki Foundation, Pacific Salmon Foundation, Watershed Watch Salmon Society and Save Our Salmon Marine Conservation Foundation back out of DFO’s Integrated Management of Aquaculture Planning Process (IMAP), you know it is time to once again, as the $26 Million Cohen Commission did, point out that the federal government has no interest in wild Pacific Salmon.

DFO is in conflict with fish farms, Marine Harvest, Grieg Seafood, and Cermaq (which is currently being bought up by Mitsubishi). Please read the letter of the BC based science organizations: http://www.saveoursalmon.ca/files/Conservation_and_Environmental_Groups_Regrettably_Decline_to_Participate_in_Flawed_Fisheries_and_Oceans_Aquaculture_Advisory_Process.pdf.

Here is a quote: “As conservation and environmental organizations, we strongly support more rigorous oversight of the aquaculture industry, better protection of the marine environment, and a legitimate advisory process that might actually help DFO, industry and Canada realize these goals. We also know that a large majority of British Columbians agree with us. Sadly, after three years of meetings and written exchanges with DFO, we were recently notified by DFO that the issues we have raised about the process will not be addressed. Faced with entrenched positions and serious flaws in both the IMAP and AMAC processes, we must decline to participate in this “advisory” process.”

You will recall that more than 100,000 people have signed a petition to get fish farms out of the BC ocean and put on land: http://www.change.org/p/restore-wild-salmon-ban-salmon-feedlots-in-bc. BC citizens do not want fish farms in our ocean anymore, yet DFO continues its conflict of interest supporting products that BC residents don’t want and don’t buy – 85% of the product has to be shipped out of Canada to the US because we don’t buy it. And there are only 795 actual jobs in aquaculture in BC, that’s how small it is. At less than $61 Million in GDP, (BC Stats paper (Get the PDF here: http://www.bcstats.gov.bc.ca/StatisticsBySubject/BusinessIndustry/FisheriesAquacultureHuntingTrapping.aspx), fish farms will never be a substantial contributor to the BC economy, in GDP terms.

As they quit, the science organizations said this: “Our main concerns around the proposed AMAC terms of reference—and DFO’s rigidity against implementing needed changes—lie mainly around the skewed composition of the AMAC’s proposed membership, and the absence of any assurance that the process will be informed by sound science advice being made available to AMAC members and DFO regulators.”

DFO’s stocked the deck. On the committee, 9 seats were given to industry and industry aquaculture associations, only 3 for environmental organizations, and 2 for regional districts. Despite repeated requests to balance the committee, DFO’s, Diana Trager, on April 14, 2014 said no.

“DFO also rebuffed calls by us and others to commit to broadening the science advice available to the AMAC. This is a fatal flaw in the process, raising a significant risk that the advisory process will be based on incomplete and potentially biased science advice…Indeed, substantial evidence was tabled throughout the Cohen Inquiry into the Decline of Sockeye Salmon in the Fraser River to support that DFO’s science advice on the impacts of open net-cage aquaculture was overly narrow, often biased, and likely skewed by the Department’s “conflicted” mandate of being both a regulator and promoter of aquaculture.”

Twenty two of Cohen’s 75 recommendations centred on fish farm environmental damage, and getting them out of the water, and for DFO to be stripped of its conflict and get on with saving wild salmon.

“Justice Cohen took particular pains to make a case that science advice on salmon conservation and aquaculture regulation should be broadened to include outside academics and conservation groups. That advice—not to mention most of the Inquiry’s other aquaculture specific recommendations—have seemingly been forsaken by the federal government in the” AMAC structure.

“Even while we continued to negotiate these issues in good faith, DFO and Industry almost unilaterally proceeded with the development of and adoption of what they call a "final" Integrated Management of Aquaculture Plan that clearly sets out their own agenda of Industry expansion—absent any real input from any of the other key interests that have been invited to the table.”

The conflict continues. DFO does not support wild BC salmon. A time is coming when BC will take back authority over wild salmon, and get fish farms out of the water. I hope it is soon.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Fish Sales Fraud in Europe and the USA

It is hard sometimes to believe what fish are labelled as when buying fish. In Canada it is often the case that many species of bottom fish from South America are sold as 'sea bass'. 

And now in Denmark, The marine conservation organization Oceana, and the TV program 'Go Aften Denmark' did a study showing that 18 % of cod sold in Denmark is not cod, but haddock or saithe.

Previous studies in other European countries have shown 32% fraudulent sales in Italy, 30% in Spain, 19% in Ireland, 3.5% in France, and 6% mislabelling, and thus, untraceability, in England.
See: http://www.thefishsite.com/fishnews/24139/oceana-unveils-high-levels-of-seafood-fraud-in-denmark.

Oceana has also previously carried out extensive studies on seafood fraud in the USA, which was the biggest study of its kind, and in France, in collaboration with Bloom.

In the States, it is common for Atlantic Salmon from Chile to be mis-labelled. Recently, it was mislabled as from Scotland, where the industry has said it is organic for so long that world markets actually believe it, though the sewage put out is more than the entire population of Scotland, something common in other countries, for example, Norway.

To give you an idea of how the industry plays up the Scotlant industry, read this: http://www.thefishsite.com/fishnews/24096/scottish-salmon-showcased-at-leading-food-event. All that is done is that they say it is organic and no one contradicts them, even though the sewage and other problems are the same as the other 22 countriies with farmed Atlantics.

In fact, it was in Scotland, where I first read the David Miller articles on the neutralizing of the Hites et al article in Science in 2004, that made me realize that everything fish farms say is spin. I always groundtruth what is said, and this site is the result of all the environmental damage caused to pristine oceans by in-ocean fish farms.

Read the Miller (originally on Spinwatch.org) article here: https://www.academia.edu/2939514/Spinning_farmed_salmon. I am sure you will agree that the lengths fish farms went to destroy the science on persistent organic pollutants and cancer causing chemicals in farmed Atlantic salmon from Scotland reads more like a Hollywood thriller than good corporate citizenry.

Hites et al have continued publishing articles on the cancer-causing chemicals in farmed Atlantic salmon in the decade since the original article. And the main message out of Norway in the past year from scientists and doctors is that people should not eat farmed fish due to the chemicals in them.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Key Document - More Fat in Farmed Salmon Than in PIZZA

See this: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/11095351/Farmed-salmon-has-more-fat-than-pizza.html.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/11095351/Farmed-salmon-has-more-fat-than-pizza.html.

 And here are the figure in the Sunday Times study of fat levels in farmed salmon versus wild salmon:

An analysis by the Sunday Times found a classic Pizza Express margherita contains 6.4g of fat per 100g while Sainsbury's Scottish oak smoked salmon made from farmed fish contains 14g of fat per 100g.

The wild equivalent, Sainsbury's wild Alaskan smoked salmon contains 3.2g of fat per 100g.

Tesco's farmed smoked salmon contains three times as much fat as the wild alternative with 9.9g of fat per 100g compared with 3.3g of fat, the newspaper found

In Waitrose, the Heston Blumenthal lapsang souchong tea smoked salmon contains 10.5g of fat per 100g while the wild Alaskan whisky oak smoked salmon contains just 2.7g per 100g.

And this:

The omega-3 fatty acids in fish are beneficial but United States Department of Agriculture data has shown that the fat in farmed salmon contains a smaller proportion of omega-3 fatty acids than in the wild fish.
The farmed salmon is, however, likely to contain more omega-3 overall because of the higher levels of fat.