Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Lyin DFO, CFIA - Marine Harvest, Cermaq, Grieg Seafood

Sorry, the Trump campaign has made me more virulent than usual.

Here is the bottom line: DFO and CFIA are acting to find another lab that will confirm their story that fish farm diseases are not happening in BC, i.e., the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. These Ottawa centred organizations have lost their way, DFO should have lost its 'mandate' to support fish farms, recommendation 3 in the Cohen 1200 page tome.

Shame on them. Many public employees should lose their jobs for acting against wild Pacific salmon.

More to come. In the meantime, see:

This is a very serious issue, agents of the Government of Canada acting against British Columbia and its wild salmon, to  bring in carnivorous, exotic Atlantic Salmon that should not have been allowed in the ocean in the first place.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Fish Farm Disease in BC - Sea Shepherd, Alex Morton, Pamela Anderson, David Suzuki, Paul Watson

Well, its only been a couple of weeks since the Skuna Bay 'organic' 'craft' salmon were dying of furunculosis:

And that post has a link to the algal bloom deaths in Clayoquot Sound in 2016, as well as to the Chile bloom that killed 25 million farmed salmon, with their own sewage a likely cause of the bloom. It also refers to deaths at Grieg Seafood farmed salmon on the Sunshine Coast in 2016. Marine Harvest lost 2.5 million fish in Chile to the bloom. The overall loss has been pegged at $800 Million with 10,000 multiplier jobs lost.

Meanwhile, here in BC, while DFO and the CFIA have been shown to be trying to find different labs that don't find PRV disease in BC, something that should get many staff fired, and the industry is crowing about how well run BC farms are, the Sea Shepherd with Alex Morton will be moving north shortly to take water samples near fish farms:
Go look at the site and if you see the Sea Shepherd boat, do take some video and stills. I will be on the river estuaries north of Campbell River for two weeks fly fishing pink salmon. In 2012, I photoed an infected salmon that could not swim straight and kept swimming in a circle, and ending up on shore, where it died, after I had put it back in the ocean several times.
You will note the infection in its gills. It's brain looked okay, but both gill covers had infections, its heart was mushy and its liver looked green. These are consistent with several diseases of salmon farms, and could have arisen there, there being dozens of fish farms in Johnstone Strait from Campbell River north.

This link takes you to Pamela Anderson and David Suzuki talking about farmed salmon as well as the Sea Shepherd project:

Here is a photo of the Gopro camera put into a random net of a random farm on the midcoast. It sure looks diseased to me. It has the symptoms of HSMI.Would you eat this? Do you want it in our ocean? I think not:

Now, From Alex Morton
In a stunning development Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd offered me a ship and crew to further my work protect wild salmon from salmon farms!
The launch of Operation Virus Hunter begins today with a press conference with First Nation leaders, Pamela Anderson and David Suzuki.
If you want to follow this voyage I have created a website to allow you to keep track of us and most importantly for you to help!
I don't think the Liberal government is being properly briefed on the impact of this dirty industry and so I set sail on the Martin Sheen on a research and public awareness mission.  This will be a peaceful journey, no harassment of the workers, no disruption of the daily operations of the farms, but we will be taking a close look at these farms.  They thrive on secrecy, however they are using public waters...
Here is the web link:
If you see the ship go by please photo and share.  This is our chance to speak to the world about the destruction of one of earths rare places that still makes clean water and food.
Alexandra Morton, Gwayum'dzi

Here is the post for the boat:

Friday, 15 July 2016

Highest Antibiotics in Farmed Fish - Human Problem

Everyone knows that use of antibiotics creates resistant bacteria. So, we want as little as possible in the food chain because we, humans, may pay the price. See:

How is Chile doing you ask? Not very well:

"Following a Chile Appeals Court order, the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service (Sernapesca) revealed that the country's salmon producers used 557 tonnes of antibiotics in 2015, with consumption rate per tonne of salmon reaching its highest point in the last nine years at 660 grams per tonne. The previous high was 640 grams per tonne in 2007. Usage was as low as 310 grams per tonne in 2010, Undercurrent News noted. The newest figures were compiled from 46 companies that operate in both freshwater and sea water."

SRS, or piscirickettsiosis, causes lesions, hemorrhaging and swollen kidneys and spleens. Do note that there is a difference between bacteria in cold-blooded and warm-blooded animals. Bacteria are adapted to the temperature range of their hosts, and are inactive at other temperatures.

And the unsustainability of feed derived from small pelagic fish that should feed human beings has consistently been pointed out as a problem: "Environmentalists have criticized salmon aquaculture, aka fish farming, as the carnivorous fish are fed animal-derived proteins called “fish meal,” or fish oil made from anchovies, which have been shown to carry Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other toxins that can make their way into the human food supply." We don't need carnivorous fish being raised, only vegetarians.

Going on to related subjects, Justine Hausheer wrote: “Even the best farms still pollute their waters with parasiticides, chemicals and fish feces. The Chilean farmed salmon industry uses over 300,000 kilograms of antibiotics a year, causing bacterial resistances that affect fish, the environment and human beings.”

And SRS vaccines account for almost 90% of antibiotics use.

In the USA:  "The superbug crisis has been linked to 23,000 human deaths and 2 million illnesses annually in the U.S. at a price of $20 billion in direct costs." This is for antibiotics used in livestock, ie, warm-blooded animals.

Studies show antibiotics work their way into waterways, leach into soil, and thus cause resistance even when the chemicals have past through the livestock, an issue in farmed fish as well as on-land livestock.

Chile has been criticized for its 'staggeringly' high use of antibiotics, and it is still reeling from the 2016 algal bloom, partly resulting from fish farm sewage, killing 25 million farmed salmon, meaning  15 percent of the country's salmon production.Norwegian fish farms Marine Harvest and Cermaq operate in Chile. MH has lost 2.5 million salmon.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Norwegians, Canadians Reject In-ocean Fish Farms - "An Ecological Train Wreck"

Norway, Canada, Atlantic Salmon Federation, NS and BC Public reject Norwegian in-ocean fish farms. See:

Read the ASF summary of issues in eastern North America and Norway. One commentator, Nat Reed, for Presidents Ford and Nixon, served as assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks:  “Norway, considered by the majority of the world as a land with a social conscience and a leader in environmental affairs, is the largest villain when it comes to allowing extensive sea and even fjord netting and permitting salmon farms often at the mouths of their once highly productive rivers . . . . They are destroying their own rivers’ salmon stocks and have even taken to intercepting the migrating salmon headed for the northern Russian salmon rivers.”

It is little wonder that Norwegians are getting a rough ride by countries where their industry uses the oceans as a free, open sewer. In NS, for instance: "...about 100 salmon farms packed into Canada’s Bay of Fundy (the highest concentration in the world) have been largely responsible for devastating wild-salmon runs. Just 40 years ago some 40,000 wild salmon returned to the inner bay. Today returns are down to about 250."

The lengthy summary document goes on, not mincing words, to say: "Saltwater salmon farming is a global disaster. Nothing poses a graver threat to Salmo salar—not global warming, not habitat destruction, not even grossly unsustainable inshore and offshore netting by Norway, Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, Greenland and Russia."

You will recall Dan Lewis and the Clayoquot delegation went to the same Alta summit the ASF writes about. This is how bad it is in Norway: "At a conference held in Alta, Norway, this past February—attended by most movers and shakers in the Atlantic-salmon-conservation world—the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research shared data indicating that the majority of the nation’s wild salmon have been compromised by hybridizing with aquaculture escapees. An analysis of 125 of Norway’s 650 salmon rivers revealed that only 35 percent of the stocks were genetically intact. Twenty-five percent had been severely compromised, 7 percent moderately compromised and 33 percent lightly compromised."

And is there a lice problem? More unminced words: "So hideous are the lice infestations in some Norwegian rivers that hatchery smolts have to be placed in tanks, towed past the net pens out of the fjords, and released in the open sea."

And, in Norway, the industry cannot be trusted because they don't honour their agreements: "In 1994 Norway and the six other members of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization, all major producers of farmed salmon, convened in Oslo to sign an agreement ponderously entitled “The Convention for the Conservation of Salmon in the North Atlantic Ocean to Minimize Impacts from Salmon Aquaculture on the Wild Salmon Stocks.” All signatories pledged to keep net pens no closer than 30 kilometers from the mouths of salmon rivers, and all promptly reneged."

And how bad is the encroachment on wild Norwegian salmon rivers? Well:  "The Alta, famed for huge fish and generally recognized as the greatest of all Atlantic-salmon rivers, has about 150 net pens in its fjord."

How bad are things in the 'enlightened' Norway? See:  "Pathogens proliferating in crowded net pens are rampant in Norway. These include pancreas disease, amoebic gill disease and infectious salmon anemia (a fatal, hemorrhagic virus transmitted by sea lice that replicates in the gills, kidney, liver, intestine, spleen, muscles and heart). In January 2015 Norway fjords boiled with an estimated 120,000 escaped steelhead trout, some of which carried pancreas disease that may have infected salmon and sea trout and some of which doubtless tore up incubating salmon eggs while attempting to spawn. Anglers were instructed not to eat the alien trout, because they’d been fed delousing drugs. Total salmon escapes for that year were reported at 160,000—the operative word being “reported.” Scientists set the figure closer to 800,000."

And:  In 1983, 5.5 percent of adult salmon entering the Magaguadavic [NS] were net-pen escapees. Today 98 to 99 percent of all salmon in the river are escapees—every one unaccounted for…

Norway is doing one good thing: "...if escaped fish show up in a river and no company has reported a loss, Norway’s government conducts genetic testing, [and] traces the escapees to the company and fines it heavily."

The significance of the ASF brief is this: "Despite all of the ecological squalor created by Norway’s salmon farms, the country is still considered a world leader in salmon-farming best practices. That pretty much says it all about the state of the industry worldwide."

Pretty sad state of affairs. And now, in Canada we have DFO and the CFIA actively colluding to change the science on finding fish farm diseases in BC, in 2016. My article on this will come shortly.

And you will remember Cooke Aquaculture that got fined big time for using the banned chemical cypermethrin for two years, and then received $25 million from the government for plants and etc, on which it reneged:

"Cooke Aquaculture, currently the only operation in Maine, does brisk business in Maritime Canada and Chile, where it eschews the best practices it employs in Maine and where it is therefore red-listed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. In 2013 the company was fined $490,000 for killing Atlantic lobsters with an illegal pesticide deployed against its sea-lice infestations. The same year infectious salmon anemia ravaged two of Cooke’s Canadian facilities in Newfoundland, obliging it to destroy 3,700 metric tons of product—for which it was compensated by taxpayers to the tune of $13 million. “Practices are different from region to region,” Carr said. “I think companies just do whatever they can get away with. That’s where our frustration lies.”"

And the CFIA who is trying to cover up ISA in BC, and the govt has paid a total of $177 M up to 2014: "In one recent three-year period aquaculturists who lost fish to infectious salmon anemia shook down the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for $92.7 million, a tradition the agency has found tiresome. So it recently announced that, at least for this disease, the industry is on its own."

I should add that the money no longer comes from the CFIA as my FOI request to them showed. They were unwilling, meaning they refused, to tell me who pays the slaughter money now, that we taxpayers don't want to pay to foreign, multi-billion dollar corporations.

You will remember my list of on-land fish farms - the solution:  ", closed-containment facilities are popping up around the world. There are three in Canada, four in the US, two in Denmark, two in China, one in France, one in Poland, one in Scotland and one in Ireland. Others are in the works, including a large facility in, of all places, Florida..

Well, there are actually far more than this. My link to the 151 systems, and 20,000 actual, on-land farms I have found is:

Finally, how did the Alta conference sum things up? Like this: ASF’s Jon Carr and everyone else... point out: "Atlantic-salmon aquaculture in Norway is a catastrophe spreading around the globe like infectious salmon anemia... .   an ecological train wreck."

Hmm. An  ecological train wreck. I think that says it all.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Petition e-463 - Take Fish Farms out of the Ocean, and Put them on Land

Fin Donnelly, federal BC, NDP MP, has started a petition - Petition e-463 - to get fish farms out of the BC ocean where the federal DFO, CFIA and now, sadly, the Liberals, Justin Trudeau and Dominic Leblanc are now trying to put more farms in the ocean, and trying to change the results of science finding PRV in farmed salmon in BC.

Please sign:

DFO and CFIA trying to change the science is truly something that should lose many people their jobs. It is Ottawa  not understanding BC, and BC has to stand up.

I will have more to say on the issue. See:

Now, back to the topic: We had hoped that Justin Trudeau, Dominic Leblanc and the Liberals would be a welcome change from the Harper era and the environmental damage they caused. I guess we were wrong. Enbridge is down, and BC residents are not keen on Kinder Morgan.

If you look at Petition e-270, started by a NS, LIBERAL, Bernadette Jordon of South Shores you will find that BC resident signees tower over all other provinces in overwhelmingly rejecting in-ocean fish farms. We are 1300% higher than the next province, that's how much BC wants fish farms out of the ocean.

The Liberals are not listening, and they are losing support in BC, the most environmentally conscious province in Canada. When I was in Ottawa receiving the national, Roderick Haig-Brown Award for my environmental writing, largely on the damage caused by fish farms in the ocean, I was told that 80% of Canadians are in support of taking fish farms out of the ocean.

In my acceptance speech, I told them that jobs and revenue were low and environment, jobs and revenue from the fishing sector are far too great to allow Norwegian fish farms to stay in the ocean, particularly when their own government, in Norway, are so fed up with their damage, they are granting free, on-land licences, a $9- to $12-million subsidy compared with the in-ocean auction price. See:

We subsidize fish farms to the tune of $1.17- to $1.56-billion to use our ocean as a free, open sewer. The sewage damage is worth $10.4 Billion and we taxpayers absorb the cost. This makes no sense, and we don't want to pay.

The Index to this site gives access to all the research I have done to come up with figures:

Please sign the petition:

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Roderick Haig-Brown Award, 2016, Updated Aug 6, 2016 - DC Reid

I arrived back in Victoria last Sunday having spent as much time over the weekend in airports and airplanes as being in Ottawa receiving the above, national award. I was very pleased to receive it, as it came out of the blue for work I do simply to stand for wild Pacific salmon. 

Excuse me while I blush, but here is part of the write up about the award:

“D.C. Reid is one of Canada’s leading writers on sport fishing and fisheries policy. He has published articles in more than 50 newspapers, magazines and websites and is the author of 12 books, including novels, non-fiction and collections of poetry inspired by his outdoor experiences. Among them are titles such as Fishing for Dreams, a memoir of his angling experiences on the west coast of B.C., and Vancouver Island Fishing Guide, the go-to reference for sport fishers. Reid, who was born in Calgary and now lives in Victoria, has written extensively on ending the environmentally damaging practice of open-water fish farming.  For his leadership and dedication, D.C. Reid is being presented CWF’s Roderick Haig-Brown Award for the conservation and wise use of recreational fisheries in Canada.”

I should add that my poetry has been published in another 50 magazines around the world and translated into Hindi, Spanish and Chinese. My next fishing-related book is: A Man and His River, a memoir, that will, I hope, appear in 2017. Also, I am working toward a book on cutting-edge brain science and creativity. I have widely divergent, deep interests.

On the fish farm side, you may know my site,, on the damage caused by in-ocean fish farms around the world. It has become a mainstream place to find info and links to global problems, and I receive questions from around the world, Canada to Tasmania.

The site summarizes 20,000 pages of fish farm science and gives the reader links to follow up what I am saying. The bottom line is that fish farms need to be on land or go back to Norway where their own government is so fed up with their damage, it is giving out free licences to set up on land, a $9- to $12-million subsidy based on the in-ocean auction price for a licence.

By comparison, in BC, with a measly $5,000 per licence, our effective subsidy for fish farms to use our ocean as a free, open sewer is: $1.17- to $1.56-billion. In economics speak, releasing untreated sewage is an externality, for which the industry does not pay – we taxpayers pay for it. The most common example of an externality is that we all drive cars but we don’t pay for their pollution. It is absorbed by society.

Where I don’t find published figures for numbers, I figure them out. I had the great good fortune to have worked as an analyst in Treasury Board Staff, Ministry of Finance, where it was standard stuff to be presented with an issue that by the end of the day a 1-page briefing note needed to be written with the best stats deduced in the day, that had better be better than a room full of IBM Deep Blues. This gave me a method to analyse almost anything.

On sewage cost, I estimate, conservatively, that fish farms have released $10.4 billion worth into our ocean, an amount equal to the sewage of the entire human population of BC. I did a whole lot of work to get to what I think is a reliable figure.

I looked at sewage treatment in Victoria (ha, ha), in the CRD, Vancouver, GVRD, Calgary, Ottawa, Halifax, and fish farm sewage in Scotland, Chile and Norway; in the latter, it far exceeds the human population of 8 million. Then I read a number of riveting (not really) scientific papers on sewage treatment, for example the one from Nova Scotia is excellent. I also talked with the engineers of the Calgary, Bonnybrook Wastewater Plant that serves a million people.

Add to this: the number of operating fish farms in BC, average number of fish, fish/human sewage relationship, the cost of a municipal system and number of people served, and it is pretty straightforward to calculate the sewage cost that we taxpayers absorb – $10.4 Billion. This conservative figure could be three times as high at the high end, and is further made conservative because DFO has granted some more licences since I made the calculation (an additional $924 million sewage that we eat, er, pay for).

In Ottawa I had the great good fortune to talk with Elizabeth Day, Green Party leader, who also won an award, as well as Mel Arnold, PC fisheries critic, and connect with Fin Donnelly of the NDP, also a fisheries critic for his party. I will be helping them with stats, info and policy.

I came to the conclusion that in-ocean fish farms are not justifiable on environmental and economic grounds. For a Pacific Salmon Foundation editorial, I looked at the stats for fishing related revenue (commercial, processing, fishing in salt- and fresh-water – all species) and found that the estimate we normally use of $1 billion is actually low. 

When I recalculated it, it came to $2.52 billion, vastly more than the $469 million from fish farms. Here is how I figured it out: BC Stats goes on to say that the GPP figure for all of aquaculture is a small $61.9 million while the rest of the sector’s economic contribution is more than $600 million, i.e., ten times larger. See the BC Stats table:

Finally, Ken Ashley, Director of Rivers Institute, did an op-ed in the TC a week ago - June 2016. He pointed out that sewage is a revenue stream and needs to be kept and used, not thrown away. Much engineering work these days is in those applications. In addition, sewage that reaches the sea doesn’t disappear. Instead, it gets bio-accumulated up the food chain to apex predators like salmon and killer whales. We don’t want that. See:

Thank you to all the people who sent congrats. I am happy.

Next week: back to fishing.