Thursday, 12 October 2017

Greens/NDP - On Land Fish Farms

Andrew Weaver and the Greens will get fish farms out of the water, and want to know what happened to the NDP.

Here is their stance:  "The B.C. Green caucus position on fish farms has always been very clear. We need to get fish farms out of the migratory paths of wild salmon. And, at the same time, the provincial government needs to promote the establishment of closed-containment systems on land."

And the NDP, before the election, in Alert Bay, Trevena told aboriginals in no uncertain terms that fish farms were coming out of the water. AW says that was to woo them from voting Greens. And these are the same aboriginals who have occupied Swanson and Wicklow Point fish farms and aren't leaving until they are out of the water.

Before the election she said this: “We will remove fish farms, we are committed to that and we can actually form government to make this happen and make sure that these territories and the North island are clear of fish farms” “It can happen here,” she said of a shift to land-based fish farming. “We will make sure it does.”These are strong words.

Andrew Weaver opined this: Fish farms have long been contentious on the B.C. coast due to concerns about sea lice, disease, escaped non-native species, and the impact these contaminants are having on wild stocks – many of which are already significantly depleted. Tensions between some First Nations and operating farms have escalated in the last few weeks following a salmon spill near the San Juan Islands. While action on this file is long overdue, a responsible and effective move to protect our wild salmon stocks now seems especially urgent."

This is the back and forth between Weaver and Popham in the House. Below it is the news release from the Green Party:

A. Weaver: The 2017 B.C. election platform states this.
We will ensure that the salmon farming industry does not endanger wild salmon by implementing the recommendations of the Cohen Commission, keeping farmed sites out of the important salmon migration routes and supporting research and transparent monitoring to minimize the risk of disease transfer from captive to wild fish.
In addition, the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure promised First Nation leaders, in Alert Bay on April 23 of 2017:
We will remove fish farms, we are committed to that, and we can actually form government to make this happen and make sure that these territories and the north Island are clear of fish farms.
She did so, with respect, as a means or way of convincing First Nation leaders not to vote for the B.C. Green Party.
My question to the Minister of Agriculture is this: what is the government’s plan now to implement the recommendations of the Cohen commission and assist in the transition from ocean-based fish farms to land-based closed-containment systems?
Answer: Hon. L. Popham: Thank you to the member for Oak Bay–Gordon Head for the question. I appreciate it, and I want to assure the member and the people of British Columbia that our government is deeply committed to protecting B.C.’s wild salmon. It’s essential to our economy, it’s essential to our province, and it’s essential to our B.C. First Nations.
The Cohen commission recommendations are something that we did commit to in our platform, and we are absolutely committed to fulfilling those recommendations. There are federal recommendations and there is B.C.’s portion of those recommendations, and we are committing to do that.
Also, I’m sure the member probably knows that, but I did want to point out that in 2010 there was a Hinkson decision which moved the responsibility for fish health and licensing of fish farms to the federal government. The provincial government has the responsibility for tenures. It’s important to know that at this time, as we’re figuring out where we go next, there are no tenures being approved and no renewal of tenures being approved. 

Second Question:
A. Weaver: First off, I do wish to thank the official opposition for their support in the question. I’m sure they thought I was going to offer a softball, but this is a very serious question that we would like to actually get details on.
I’d like to acknowledge that this is a very complex multi-jurisdictional issue, but let me be very clear. The Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure was forthright and clear that her government was going to remove fish farms from the migratory tracks of sockeye salmon — period. She said that to First Nation leaders in the north Island and convinced them not to vote for the B.C. Green Party because of that.
Now, my question, again to the Minister of Agriculture, is this. Does she intend, in her mandate, to end the use of open-net fish farms along the migratory passage of sockeye system, as promised to British Columbians by the now Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure?

Answer: Hon. L. Popham: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you again for your question. I’m not sure if the member knows, but I am waiting for the recommendations coming from a report from the Minister of Agriculture’s advisory council on finfish aquaculture, which has been looking at the issue. I expect that report to be coming forward with recommendations at the end of this year. While I wait for those recommendations, I have already been on the ground, meeting with stakeholders. I’ve met with First Nations, the industry.
I’ve also sat down with the Minister of Fisheries, Minister LeBlanc from the federal government, and invited him to come sit at the table with us, because I think it’s going to take the provincial government, the federal government, First Nations and industry to sit together as we move forward and figure out the recommendations and how to implement them. 

Green Party News Release:

Weaver seeks action from government to end ocean based fish farming

VICTORIA, B.C. – Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green caucus, is seeking leadership from the government to protect B.C.’s wild salmon stocks. Weaver questioned Minister of Agriculture during question period, after having sent a letter to the Minister last week.

“Fish farms have long been contentious on the B.C. coast due to concerns about sea lice, disease, escaped non-native species, and the impact these contaminants are having on wild stocks – many of which are already significantly depleted,” Weaver said.

“In April, NDP North Island MLA Claire Travena, now Minister of Transportation, promised that her party would remove fish farms from coastal waters.

“Last week I sent a letter to Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham seeking clarity on when and how the government intends to keep its commitment on this promise. Today in question period, I asked Minister Popham whether her government still intends to end the use of open net fish farms along the migratory paths of wild salmon during this government’s mandate.”

In her response, Minister Popham referenced plans to work with federal and First Nations governments and an upcoming report.

“While this is no doubt a complex multi-jurisdictional issue, the provincial government must play a leading role. The province needs to actively advocate for British Columbian values. They must push the federal government to adopt policies that will protect the wild salmon that are foundational to our coastal communities and ecosystems. I will continue to work with governments and stakeholders to keep this issue a priority.”

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

110,000 Signatories Against Fish Farms in BC

Andrew Weaver, leader of the Green party in BC had this to say of the heavy bundle of names he was carrying:

"In May, 2015, I was afforded the honour of introducing a petition by 108,848 people who are asking the government to please not issue licences of occupation to salmon farms trying to expand in British Columbia. I also introduced a second petition signed by more than 100 business organizations across the province who supported the individuals who signed the larger petition. The business organizations argued that they are convinced by the published scientific evidence that open net salmon farms are a threat to B.C. wild pacific salmon."

He and Alex Morton, who has donated her life to wild BC salmon, look happy on this day, of for her, the struggle of her life. Let's hope she wins.

Here are some of the stats I have generated over the years as part of a query to a sport fishing magazine on the problems with fish farms:

"How bad are the numbers? Well, sewage is $10.4 B that we taxpayers pay. And our licence fees are so low that we subsidize in-ocean fish farms $1.17- to $1.56-B to use our ocean as a free, open sewer. Jobs: 1,700 multiplier number, 820 actual, while industry claims 6,000, revenue of $1.6B, when it is only $61.9M GDP effect. The lower numbers that I quote are DFOs own numbers that it refuses to use from the BC Stats report - they are too low to support their conflict of interest with fish farms. They include sport jobs at 8,400. And the numbers for the rest of the industry – commercial, processing and sport." 

This is the BC Stats Report table:

BC Greens - On-land Fish Farms Are All Around the Globe

Hi BC Greens/Andrew Weaver

You need to look up from BC and realize that Kuterra, BC is far from the only fish farm in the world on land.

My list now has 194 on-land fish farm systems, comprising almost 20,000 on-land fish farms around the world:

Despite what the Norwegian companies might say, on-land is common. In fact, Norway grew so fed up with their sewage and damage that it stopped auctioning in-ocean licences in 2014. Now it gives out on-land licences for free, a $9- $12-million subsidy based on the previous in-ocean price.

If fish farms don’t want to come out of the water in BC, then they can go back to their own country and set up on-land there. Norway is fed up, just as we are. We need to do the same thing. Note that if their option is to set up on land in Norway, where there is a scarcity of flat land, point out to them that BC has low priced land everywhere, and it would pay them to do so here rather than move back to Norway. It’s a better deal to be on-land in BC.

When a fish farm says something to you, like ‘on land is not our business plan’ don’t think of it as anything more than spin. And tell them that their boss in Norway, Helge Aarskog agrees with you and next you'll talk to him, lice,escapes and disease can be solved on land.

I receive almost 30 global press fish farm/seafood industry newsletters each week. I am that up on global issues. My blog has more than 370,0000 page views from around the world. See the 2,200 problems in the global press that have come across my desk in the past couple of years:

Feel free to run something by me to take the fish farm spin out of it for you. For example, while they will tell you on-land is more expensive, point them to my 194 on-land farm post because I have also put in dozens of studies to start the post that deal with the economics of on-land versus in-water.

Also point out to them that they need to be on land because the new Atlantic Sapphire 150,000 tons on-land plant in Florida is going to put them out of business - it is sustainable, and cheaper to USA markets. You might even tell them they may want to follow their own Marine Harvest executives that have jumped ship to Atlantic Sapphire because they can see the writing on the wall for in-ocean farms. That includes in BC. (AS is item 176 in the 194 post).

Oh, and one more thing, did you know Marine Harvest has committed $100 Million into on-land, closed containment systems. Tell them to spend some of it here rather than in Norway. Do tell them that as the Krone has been allowed to rise in Norway’s monetary policy, that means they’ll be worth more when brought to BC to defray set up costs. What a deal!

Please make sure AW sees the link above.

DC (Dennis) Reid

Saturday, 7 October 2017

DFO White Knights or KKK?

As a person who worked for the BC government in the past, I almost threw up when reading the bible-length tome of DFO whitewash regarding what they do on the public's behalf.

You have to scroll through this one to get the throat gagging effect it has, but don't read it all, as you may be nauseated for a very long time.


A few snippets? Oh, okay, but only because you asked.

On second thought, here is the Table of Contents. Remember, don't read too much:

Table of contents

Here is one example:


"3. Integrity

Integrity is the cornerstone of good governance and democracy. By upholding the highest ethical standards, public servants conserve and enhance public confidence in the honesty, fairness and impartiality of the federal public sector.

Public servants shall serve the public interest by:
  1. Acting at all times with integrity, and in a manner that will bear the closest public scrutiny, an obligation that may not be fully satisfied by simply acting within the law.
  2. Never using their official roles to inappropriately obtain an advantage for themselves or to advantage or disadvantage others.
  3. Taking all possible steps to prevent and resolve any real, apparent or potential conflicts of interest between their official responsibilities and their private affairs in favour of the public interest.
  4. Acting in such a way as to maintain their employer’s trust.
At Fisheries and Oceans Canada Integrity also means:
  1. How we achieve results is as important as the achievements themselves.
  2. We prevent and correct situations where there is, or appears to be, favouritism or nepotism.
  3. We accept responsibility for our actions and report inappropriate conduct to management in order to build and maintain trust and accountability.
  4. We live up to our commitments within the workplace and with stakeholders."
 As we all know, managing one's career is the most important thing in the federal civil service. That is not about integrity.

You can scan the rest.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Phony Fish Farm Stats - CHEK TV Duped by Fish Farms

Just like all the other media out there, CHEK, our local TV station, just uses fish farm/DFO figures as though they are accurate, and does not work to ground proof what they are told.

This is the note I sent to CHEK on a recent story of theirs. The point is that they have to check these things. Note that the actual GDP effect is 3.9% of what fish farms claim it is.


You [CHEK] quoted fish farms saying that the industry is worth $1.6B to the economy and has 6,610 jobs.

The real stats are: $61.9M to GDP from all aquaculture, and job numbers are 1,700 multiplier jobs, and only 820 actual jobs.

See the BC stats figures here: I put a table at the end of the article, and searched out the actual number of jobs.

By comparison, there are 140,000 jobs in logging, putting fish farm actual employment at .5% of logging. That is how small they are.

When fish farms or DFO quote you figures, you should also point out that their stats can be far in excess of the real stats.

For example, the real multiplier number is only 25.7% of the fish farm claim of multiplier jobs. And actual jobs are only 12.4% of their claim.

As for GDP effect, it is only 3.9% of what they claim. That is how small they are.

DC Reid