Tuesday, 16 January 2018

DFO Asleep At The Switches

DFO has published a paper on the probability of escaped Atlantic Salmon invading a local river and spawning, and other interactions in NL.

It is called: Spatial and temporal distribution of farmed Atlantic salmon after experimental release from sea cage sites in Newfoundland. By: Dounia Hamoutene1, Curtis Pennell1, David Cote1, Kimberly Marshall1, Sebastien Donnet1, Shannon Cross1, Lorraine C. Hamilton2, Shayne McDonald3, and Keith D. Clarke1

And what did they do? They let go a bunch of tagged, farmed Atlantic salmon and looked over many months to find them.

And what did they find? "Since migration to the open ocean was rarely observed in any season and animals were not detected beyond a few weeks it was assumed that most individuals experienced natural mortality within the fjord of Fortune Bay. Negative interactions of escaped farmed salmon are therefore likely to be largely contained within the fjord for short temporal durations."

In other words, this is the same old DFO chant of: they can't eat, they can't survive, they can't enter rivers, they can't spawn. In short, they all die really quickly. No impact. Right?

Well, no. They did look for the radio tags by receiver and over five months. That's good. And they found 387 receivers, also good. And they got their fish from local fish farms. Hmm, not so good. It's the old conflict of interest issue.

And as much as 80 km was traveled by a spring releaser. 59 were detected at river mouths. Mature males, at 42%, were the highest number of fish.

And more of what they say:

"Experimentally released adult Atlantic salmon rarely survive for more than a year in the wild as they likely experience high natural mortality (Hansen, 2006; Skilbrei et al., 2015) caused by predation (Whoriskey et al., 2006), inhospitable habitats (Hansen, 2006), and starvation (Olsen and Skilbrei 2010; Abrantes et al., 2011). A small proportion may return (Skilbrei et al., 2015) but most farmed individuals released at the post-smolt stage or later do not home, as they lack imprinting to natal rivers. Instead they move with the prevailing currents and indiscriminately move into nearby freshwaters to spawn once they reach maturity (Hansen, 2006). Many tagging studies observe that the majority of post smolt individuals are not detected beyond the fjords in which they were released"

So they don't survive long, are eaten, can't eat, can't live, don't home, so they don't spawn. But they do split pretty quick from the farm site. But, spawning? Hmm. What is that Hansen study that seems to be disregarded. You know, the spawning part  of it.

Oh, spawning, that's about being up a river and surviving for a time. Did they go up rivers, you ask? Well, that's a good question. So, did DFO look up the rivers? Well, no. But of course, if you follow this blog you will know that there are a half dozen posts in December, 2017, about the work of, get this, former DFO scientist John Volpe, who did indeed swim and snorkel 40 rivers on Vancouver Island, BC and found, in rivers with several species of salmonids, that 97% had farmed Atlantics and their fry. That is shocking.

Did this current paper mention Volpe? Well, no. Well, then they wouldn't know, as we know they didn't go up the rivers to check. Yes, that is true.

Another thing is that they keep saying they probably died from starvation. This does not square with the goPro video from the summer of 2017 in BC, where the shots clearly show herring inside fish farm nets, and fry. They can swim in and out, and if you watch there is some snacking on wild fish inside the net. By the way, it is against the law for fish farms to consume wild fish. That is considered a fishery. 

But DFO in NL doesn't seem to know any of this.

But that didn't stop DFO concluding:
"Despite considerable differences in climate, geography and strain of farmed salmon, the behaviour of farmed salmon on the south coast of Newfoundland shared several qualitative similarities to other regions – including fast dispersal times and season-specific movement responses. However, migration to the open ocean was rarely observed in any season and it was assumed that most individuals experienced natural mortality within Fortune Bay within a few weeks of release. Negative interactions of escaped farmed salmon are therefore likely to be largely contained within Fortune Bay. Interactions within Fortune Bay are occurring and given the vulnerability of some wild populations on the south coast of Newfoundland, measures need to be taken to minimize the consequences including the testing of potential recapture strategies."
Hmm. And they thank the fish farms. But don't mention Volpe. Go back to Dec 2017 and read the papers, that DFO couldn't seem to find, written by that other DFO scientist. See the link below.

It should not happen that DFO does not mention contradictory evidence. I guess it's inconvenient.


I sent the following to those in NL who follow fish farm issues and will want this information:

This NL research does not square with the BC research by John Volpe – and I note they do not list him in the references. He has published a half dozen papers so far, most recently in 2014. You can find his snorkel data in this link to my site: https://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2017/12/atlantic-salmon-in-bc-rivers-bad-news.html. Those who are fishers will find his river-specific observations fascinating and useful for timing fishing.

His conclusion is that of the 40 Van Isle rivers snorkelled, those having multiple species of salmonids have a 97% rate of Atlantic invasion, including subsequent generations. This is shocking.

Volpe was working for DFO and not so surprisingly, he was yanked from this work, put on other work, and subsequently left to work at universities, among them U Vic. I have volunteered for the DNA study they are going to do. Apparently just taking a test tube of water can have enough DNA for analysis to prove the presence of Atlantics. And the rest of the day I fly fish. My kind of job.

I have fished 50 drainages on Van Isle, which is 500 km long, and about 160 km wide; there are 123 drainages, though some are very small. 


Saturday, 13 January 2018

The Future: On-Land Fish Farms, NL

The on-land industry is getting so large that in-ocean is starting to dwindle away as industry itself, along with consumers who want fish from on-land sources. 

I mentioned Atlantic Sapphire being built on land in Florida as the biggest in the world. But it is by no means alone. My list has 201 on-land fish farms systems, comprising 20,000 around the world: https://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2016/05/152-different-on-land-fish-farm-systems.html. AS is item 176.

Here are some links for you to go and see about Atlantic Sapphire, text by Bill Bryden from NL:

This is what growing an aquaculture industry looks like; please see the video below by Atlantic Sapphire. Starting at the current 10, 000mt in phase one currently under construction, and rapidly expanding through phase 2 at 30,000mt (more than we have ever produced in NL) and then phase 3 at 90,000 mt.

Jan 11 2018 
Now, that will give you an idea of what the  AS plant looks like and you begin to see that the industry is changing. There are more of course, and Bill is trying to get the Premier Dwight Ball to stop for long enough to see that on-land is the way of the future and that the degradation of in-ocean will end. The point is to keep Grieg et al from getting into the water in the first place and keep NL from conflicting itself by giving Grieg $45 million to destroy Placentia Bay.

Here is more, and surprisingly, Aqua Maof is an on land company, while Grieg wants to use it for an on-land hatchery in NL, but still go into the ocean with 11, 2M fish farms. Note that Maof is building a 20,000mt plant in Virgina, right now, as in blowing in-ocean out of the water:
If that is not embarrassing enough perhaps a second site being built by the SAME COMPANY THAT IS BUILDING THE CONTROVERSIAL GRIEG HATCHERY in NL will catch your attention? Isn't this exactly what everyone wants, land based closed containment?
Do you have a subscription to Intrafish? If not, below is that article about Maof from my earlier email. Yes the same Maof that is contracted to build the Grieg hatchery in Placentia.
Re: http://aquamaof.com/newsEventsCanada.asp 

Soo, why are they building a massive 20,000mt totally land based facility in Virginia? Surely if its viable in Virginia it is viable here in NL to take advantage of our infrastructure, distribution channels, exchange rate, cheap labour, free land and freshwater, and access to the lucrative Canadian and New England markets? Why didn't it go here?

I can give you more than 4 BILLION cheap dirty reasons why... https://www.thetelegram.com/opinion/letter-to-the-editor/letter-viking-invasion--the-sad-second-saga-176323/ Now how much of that 4+ billion will go back to the political parties in some way? The government's offer of yet another $45M in investment as shares in the operation is just insurance that they'll get to keep their net pens, be allowed to use insane levels of antibiotics and neurotoxins unlike in Norway and never have to worry about things like sea lice limits and fines/bad press. ($10M by ACOA has also been earmarked)

Anyway, here is the sad and sordid story as just leaked by an interview with Intrafish at a recent conference.

"Yoav Dagan, vice president of Israeli recirculation aquaculture systems (RAS) supplier AquaMaof, has a strong stance on what he believes will be the future of fish farming. According to him, the big money is to be made on land.The company, which Dogan owns together with his brother, reported sales close to $200 million (€166 million) in 2017 -- a massive jump from the $20 million (€16.6 million) it started out with at its very early beginnings.</p> <p>“We’re growing 400 percent in turnover every year; Dagan told during a recent tour through AquaMaof's operations in Israel. Within three to four years, he believes, overall revenue will hit more than $1 billion (€830 million).It's a big target, but an achievable one, he said: the land-based and RAS movement is gaining momentum all over the globe. 

[Now, please excuse that the next section has all the html stuff from the web:]

AquaMaof began with the Dagan brothers producing equipment for their pond fish farm at the Kibbutz Ma'agan Michael in Binyamina, Israel, that produces tilapia, carp, mullet and red drum, starting more than 17 years ago. </p> <p>&quot;It was a spin-off,&quot; Dagan said. &quot;We've been developing the technology for ourselves because we were struggling with what was available.&quot;</p> <h2 data-element-type="subhead">Investment spree</h2> <p>Around five years ago the company changed its strategy, moving on from being a sole equipment supplier to investing in projects it builds for its clients -- and consequently became part owners in a number of them. </p> <p>In addition, it the company is initiating new projects &quot;in interesting markets,&quot; Dagan said. That way, AquaMaof works on about five to seven new projects each year. </p> <p>Today it has ownership in a Slovakian fish farm -- the Rybia Farm -- which produces 1,000 metric tons of catfish annually and started operating in 2015. </p> <p>The project is part of an agricultural complex combined by fish processing plant and vegetables greenhouses. </p> <p>Another investment is in a 500-metric tons RAS farm in Russia, which operates under F Trout and is already building a second one. </p> <p>AquaMaof recently also started operating a 2,000 metric tons capacity sea bream farm, located in the Israeli Negev desert two years ago. </p> <p>&quot;We built it because we wanted to prove that we can farm fish anywhere,&quot; Dagan said of the project. </p> <p>AquaMaof's best-known project is Polish firm Global Fish, which <a contenteditabe="true" href="http://www.intrafish.com/news/638893/land-based-farmer-targets-eu-tilapia-market" target="_blank">originally reared tilapia in the RAS farm</a>. Dagan and his brother <a contenteditabe="true" href="http://www.intrafish.com/news/646898/polish-land-based-producer-calls-it-quits-on-tilapia" target="_blank">bought the company out two years ago</a> as the previous owners faced issues with marketing the fish. 
Israeli group nabs deal for $57 million Grieg salmon facility

The facility is now used as an R&D site for Atlantic salmon farming, Dagan said. We will sell the fish at some point but the main goal is research. This is also in preparation for a massive 20,000 metric tons capacity land-based salmon farm it is planning to construct in Virginia, the United States. Land and licenses have already been acquired but it is still waiting for the permits to get construction started, Dagan said. Another project is a grouper farm in Indonesia, which is currently under construction with a local partner and set to start operating this year.</p> <p>&quot;Our philosophy is to produce away from the sea and close to the markets,&quot; he explained the strategy. The European Union, the United States and southeast Asia are the obvious ones but Dagan said he &quot;really believes in undeveloped countries&quot; such as Nigeria as well as East African countries. </p> <h2 data-element-type="subhead">Banking big on R&amp;D</h2> <p>Dagan foresees a great future for two species in land-based fish farming: Atlantic salmon and grouper. Cafish, which is &quot;very rigid and easy to farm,&quot; as well as brramundi and trout are also on the list of targeted species by AquaMaof.</p> <p>The company is currently also conducting research into land-based shrimp farming and is planning to launch a pilot project with 150 metric tons of high-density production in Israel. </p> <p>The company also researched bluefin tuna for the last seven years with Virginia Tech and other researchers in Israel and Dagan said the team is on the right track. </p> <p>&quot;We will be there, soon hopefully,&quot; he said. </p> <p>He was adamant to stress that AquaMaof was &quot;built on strong people,&quot; who have the freedom for trial and error, for innovation and showing initiative.</p> <p>The company is run by CEO David Hazut, who served in the Israeli army with Dagan. Neder Snir is the chief technology officer (CTO) and Gary Myers oversees operations as US director and senior CTO. </p> <p>&quot;Our philosophy is not about just building at farm, it's about making a project successful after it's been established,&quot; Dagan said. &quot;And there's a lot of people behind carrying the company."

PS note they also have an operations in Russia ((500mt as F-trout) that is undergoing a doubling of production and Poland (550mt) http://www.globalfish.pl/en/fresh-salmon.html  Neither of which I had heard of before. Every time I turn around I find more significant land based salmon and trout operations hiding around the planet. China (x3), Switzerland, Denmark (x11), USA (x3), BC, NS, France, Scotland, Norway, Poland (x2), etc Some are massive and rapidly expanding...
Fresh Salmon – Raised in Poland. - Globalfish

Premier...PLEASE get better advisers. These people you have around you have sunk every aspect of their reputation and careers into making the lead balloon that is open net pen aquaculture fly. Get rid of them before they take YOU, US, and our once pristine bays and wild fish stocks down with them. They now have to admit they backed an ecocidal idea that was the "wrong horse" - something they will never do.