Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Lice in Norway, Free Ride in BC, Canada

Lice are such a bad problem in Norway where the BC industry is from, and they are so resistant to all the chemicals, that the government has finally said they can increase the numbers of fish, if their lice counts are down.

At first and subsequent glances, this seems very strange. Let’s see, count fewer lice, make more money? Pay fish farmers if they reduce lice? It should be: they get taken out of the water for good. And who is doing the counting? After all, the CEO of Marine Harvest last year said he was angry with fish farmers because 40% of them don’t report their lice counts.

So, we pay fish farms that don’t submit numbers? Who will be doing this counting? Government? I am sure I could come up with a lower lice count easily, and then not report those numbers.

The other issue is that the companies then pay $123,854 US for a permit to raise 5% greater biomass of fish, assuming they can count fewer lice – maybe the farms not reporting will climb to 60%. 

And their licences are about $1.69 million. In BC, Canada, the licences are about $5000. So fish farms are subsidized in BC by almost S!.64 Million. This is a powerful reason to say they should be on land, because they are so highly subsidized in Canada that they can easily afford to be high and dry.

 SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Reuters] - March 20, 2015 - 
OSLO, Norwegian fish farmers will be allowed to boost their output by five percent if they succeed in complying with significantly stricter sea lice restrictions, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries said on Friday.
Fish farmers must pay one million Norwegian crowns ($123,854) for the new permit. Only those who meet a limit of an average 0.1 sea lice per fish, well below the limit of 0.5 lice under current regulations, will be allowed to increase output...

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Fish Farm Certification - Marsh Bay, Marine Harvest, BC, Canada - Not a Real Award

On March 20, 2015, my local paper the Times Colonist in Victoria, BC, published a short item presumably picked up among snippets of news feed from other sources, this one noting that Marsh Bay, a Marine Harvest fish farm in BC, 'is the first salmon farm in North America to earn certification from the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (known as ASC)'. The Marsh Bay 'farm was recognized by the council after an independent audit. Certified farms must demonstrate that they use responsible aquaculture practices that minimize envirionmental and social impact.'

This sounds good, but I am afraid it isn't. Most fish farm awards, for example, the BAPs which are industry funded, don't mean anything. The ASC was set up by the World Wild Life Foundation and without any checking a reader would likely think that the award must be a good thing, because of the WWF connection.

But it doesn't mean anything. That is because the WWF included in-ocean fish farms as part of the program. No in-ocean fish farm is environmentally sustainable nor good for the environment in any way. Go read current news from Norway, where fish farms are from and you'll see that citizens are calling for getting the farms out of the water. Go read: Seafoodnews, Undercurrents, intrafish and thefishsite.com.

When the WWF was in the process of setting up the ASC awards it asked me, among others, for comments on the criteria, process and so on. When I looked over the material I felt it would take me more than a week's work to do justice to the task. I don't make any money out of this and am a citizen that wishes DFO would stick to protecting wild Pacific salmon and eliminate its conflict of interest, noted by the Cohen Commission, with fish farms.

The most important problem with the ASC scheme is that it allows in-ocean fish farms to be certified. That is giving up the entire game as fish farms will not be responsible and set up on land. I told the WWF this and that its certification wouldn't mean anything. They responded that, yes, they wanted fish farms out of the water, too, and hoped that in the long run this would happen.

So, until the ASC is for on-land fish farms, its certification means nothing. You may read my list of 75 on-land fish farm systems from around the world, comprising more than 10,000 actual farms on land around the world here:  http://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2012/01/key-document-34-mostly-on-land-closed.html. The list does not include the big players, Marine Harvest, Cermaq and Grief Seafood because they refuse to come out of the water. The biggest problem is their sewage that I estimate that in BC is worth $10.4 billion that we taxpayers in essence pay for. We don't want to pay, along with BC fish farms put more sewage in the water than the entire human population in the jurisdiction, including Scotland and Norway.

More than 100,000 British Columbians have signed a petition to get fish farms out of the water and for expansion to stop. People in Atlantic Canada, Scotland, England, Ireland, the Faroe Islands and Norway feel the same. Here is the BC link: See: https://www.change.org/p/restore-wild-salmon-ban-salmon-feedlots-in-bc.. 

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Norway – Lice Out of Control

Sea lice are out of control in Norway because they are resistant to all the chemicals – and Norway uses many more chemicals than here in Canada – a pattern that repeats itself around the world. Recently the CEO of Marine Harvest said that they are so out of control that fish farms have 90 scientific projects around the world to find a solution. (This also compromises the scientists as they are then in a conflict of interest for their income from fish farms, an occurrence seen in Norway itself, as well as Canada. The Cohen Commission noted conflicts with governments and scientists in its 1200 page report).

Now they are flushing fish with so much pressure that it strips the skin right off the fish. And in one image the treatment ripped an eyeball out: http://www.abcnyheter.no/…/kampen-mot-lakselus-gir-faele-vi…http://www.abcnyheter.no/files/imagecache/normal/2015-12/lakseskade-aqua-kompetanse6.jpg
“The new technique can provide grisly wounds on the fish." Thomas Vermes / ABC News
Wednesday, 03.18.2015, at. 12:00.

“The picture shows a salmon with lacerated and falling off skin in an attempt to flush the sea lice at Salmo's site in Geitryggen, Rørvik. But the sea lice sits hard. The result can be very, very painful for farmed salmon.
Both the article and veterinarians are questioning why fish farms have not being prosecuted for brutality to animals, under Norwegians law. They also say that fish farms should be in closed containment so they are not in contact with the ocean, and thus, lice.

“I see this technique as aquaculture industry's last, desperate attempt to get rid of lice. They have poured in with all the drugs so that lice have become resistant,” says Roald Dahl jr. ABC News.

“It is rare to hear that poor fish welfare is a challenge for the aquaculture industry,” writes one of the senior figures among Norwegian veterinarians, Trygve T. Poppe, together with veterinarians Martin Binde, Aud Skrudland and Steinar Johnsen FSA in Norwegian Veterinary Journal.

“How mortality may represent the loss of several million fish during a single debugging. Poor animal welfare is not evident from the contract notes, continues veterinarians.

The veterinarians went on to say, “If we shut up, it is simply because this concerns our workplace and because we are in various ways dependent on a good relationship with major players in the industry? ask veterinarians Poppe.

Note that in BC, the same companies, Marine Harvest, Cermaq and Grieg Seafood would have Canadians believe that lice cause no problem, something that is contrary to fish farms all around the world, and these are the same companies operating in Norway, their head offices. Hmm. Isn't this saying the opposite of what they know is the truth?

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Canadians Don't Want In-Ocean Fish Farms - Fake Eco Labels

Hi Gail Shea
I object to your looking at ‘eco’ labels for farmed salmon with representatives at the Boston conference from other parts of the world. There is no such thing as ‘eco’ farmed salmon from in-ocean pens. They need to be on land, or they can go back to Norway.
As I have pointed out, the people in the jurisdictions who have to live with these in-ocean ‘farms’ are overwhelmingly against them. That is in Atlantic Canada, and even more so in BC where more than 100,000 British Columbians have signed a petition to stop expansion and to get them out of the water. See: https://www.change.org/p/restore-wild-salmon-ban-salmon-feedlots-in-bc.
You are simply making British Columbians angry by ignoring what we want. You are elected to work on our behalf and we pay your and your civil servants salaries to do our business. We don’t want you acting against our wishes.
Fish farms are in the ocean to use it as a free, open sewer. We want them out. Here is my list of 75 on-land, mostly recirculating fish farm systems from around the world, comprising more than 10,000 actual fish farms on land right now: http://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2012/01/key-document-34-mostly-on-land-closed.html.
Please act as citizens want and take these open sewage containers out of our pristine oceans.
DC Reid
US, Norway, Iceland, Canada Fisheries Regulators Meet in Boston Regarding Normalizing Eco-Label Practices
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton - March 17, 2015
A high level meeting involving the top fisheries officials in the US, Norway, Iceland, and Canada took place at the Boston Seafood Show yesterday to address the issue of regularizing or normalizing use of seafood ecolabels based on FAO criteria.
Attending were Russell Smith, deputy assistant secretary for International Fisheries at NOAA, Eileen Sobeck, Adminstrator of NMFS, Iceland's Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, Mr. Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson, the Deputy Fisheries Minister of Norway, and in place of Gail Shea, the Canadian deputy minister, along with some US state officials, including Mike Cerne from Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute and Damon Morris from the ...

Friday, 6 March 2015

Fish Farm Feed Tonnage Declines, May Level Out, Sort Of

One of the limits on the fish farm industry is the global supply of fish oil and meal. No food for open-net salmon farms, no farmed salmon.

In the past year, supply of feed has dropped: " Global production of fish meal and fish oil fell 11.5 percent and 7.5 percent respectively in 2014." "The production of fish meal fell to 4.1 million metric tons in 2014, while the amount of fish oil fell to 843,000 mt."

There is a real disparity between the growth and proposed growth of fish farms and the available feed for the fish. Read the article: It all depends on Peru.

See: http://www.intrafish.com/free_news/article1407285.ece.

The article suggests that the feed industry should level out - meaning feed all the farmed fish - in 2015, provided Peru's anchovy stocks hold up with enough mature fish. If not, the global feed supply will not feed all the farmed fish.

But if you go down the articles in the March 5, 2015 list, you will find that new species of farmed fish will require about 50% of fish meal/oil in their diets, meaning the global growth of farmed fish will climb dramatically.

New aquaculture species will drive demand. They include grouper, cobia, amberjack, and tunas.

“Furthermore, as aquaculture evolves and becomes more intensive and modern in the future, there will be more need for formulated feed and in turn need for more fish meal.”

The point is that fish feed had to branch out into other protein because the ocean’s supply of fish protein was limited. Soy, canola, chicken feathers, Antarctica’s supply of krill (almost the bottom of the food chain) – all have environmental issues associated with them. Fish farming has culpability in driving down some stocks, for example, jack mackerel in Chile. Norway has almost eliminated fishing for this very depleted stock, but Asian companies are still fishing it down.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Fish Farms are a Boom Bust Industry

I have done several posts on the crash and spike nature of the huge multinational fish farm companies.

Fish farms are not about farmers, mom and pop operations, existing for fish and worker health. It is all about big business. It’s a race to grow bigger and faster and gobble other companies up on the way, solidifying the industry in fewer and fewer operations, leading, ultimately to less efficiency and higher prices, as the industry ricochets up and down. 

Typically workers lose jobs, and governments are bullied into reducing legal conservation/environmental laws just to keep these voracious, environmentally degrading companies in the country. They play off one country against the next.
Read the following article from Undercurrent News: http://www.undercurrentnews.com/

Undercurrent News: World’s 100 Largest Seafood Companies 2014
Author: Undercurrent News    Published: September 21, 2014    Price: $779
The still nascent global seafood sector is highly fragmented across continents and markets, but some companies have emerged as leaders, in one field or across several activities.
It is these companies that Undercurrent News aims to provide an overview of with our latest World's 100 Largest Seafood Companies 2014 report, by detailing who they are, what they do, while ranking them by the size of their 2013 or latest available turno ver figure.
Combined, the 100 companies on our ranking this year had revenues of nearly $100 billion, up by $1.8bn from our 2013 report.
Salmon prices were a major driving force behind this increase -- the combined revenues of salmon producers on our report this year are up $2.2bn from our 2012 report, with two new salmon players making it to the ranking.
High shrimp prices also benefited some -- Zhanjiang Guolian Aquatic Products' revenue jumped 53%, and Minh Phu Seafood was up 23 places thanks to a 41% revenue increase.
Similarly to last year, the ten largest companies - with revenues of more than $2bn each -- accounted for over a third ($35bn) of the total revenues and the 25 largest for over half ($57bn).
As in our 2013 report, Japanese companies comfortable dominate with 26 of the companies listed. The US is next largest (11) and Norway third (9), again fairly stable from last year.
However, there are also several changes from the previous report. Looking at the companies’ movements up and down the ranking from the 2013 report illustrates some of the key events and trends that shaped the seafood industry in the past 12 months.
Take for instance the spectacular drop of Pescanova, which, after a year in bankruptcy, has fallen from eighth largest in our 2013 report to 18th largest, and is likely to drop  further as creditors and administrators sell off its assets.

Dutch shrimp processor Heiploeg, which was the 100th company in our ranking last year, also fell into bankruptcy, and is now largely incorporated into Parlevliet and van der Plas.

A third company from last year’s ranking went into receivership: Yihe, a US-based salmon processor. The group no longer features on our report as its revenues are thought to now be below the $300m mark.

Other players, in turn, have been incorporated into bigger ones through acquisitions: Morpol is now part of Marine HarvestAmerican Pride Seafood is now part of High Liner FoodsCopeinca has been engulfed by Pacific AndesNorway Pelagic by Austevoll Seafood.
Both Maruha Nichiro and Marubeni have acquired smaller players, while Russian Sea Catching has been growing fast, gobbling up Russian pollock catchers, although not yet big enough to feature in this year's ranking.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Norwegians, Canadians, Europeans, Americans, First Nations Tell Norway to get Fish Farms Out of the Ocean

Please go and sign the petition that people from around the world are adding their name to. 3600 have signed so far to tell Norway to get its fish farms out of the water. Do read the comments as they truly come from consumers and citizens from around the world who are tired of the old-tech dinosaurs in-ocean fish farms. They need to be on land and closed to the environmen.

See: https://www.change.org/p/to-the-citizens-of-norway-divest-from-dirty-salmon.

Read this note from Alexandra Morton: When 63,000 diseased North American trout escaped into Norway's fjords in January, Norwegians made it clear salmon farming is threatening the last wild Atlantic salmon.  I realized both Canada and Norway are suffering bad government decisions that allow salmon farming to expand at the expense of local people and economies.  I believe we need to reach out across borders, across the world and make this industry grow up and clean up.  No more DIRTY SALMON.  

BC First Nations are against fish farms in Canada. BC has 200 First Nations, one third of all in Canada: http://www.ubcic.bc.ca/News_Releases/UBCICNews02251501.html#axzz3T927ykNl. Read their opposition to in-ocean fish farms.