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West Coast Aquaculture

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I thought I would post this response to some of my concerns over aquaculture practices. If any of you caught the David Suzuki special several months ago, you know why I am concerned. It is a good response, but it is funny to see how the attitude is that "we should just trust the government". I don't know about you, but I trusted them with the Gun Registry, Justice and Adscam. Kind of all "trusted out".


Sounds as though, they are taking the concerns seriously, but there is still the thought that they will just keep pumping money into the industry instead of improving habitat of natural resources. You be the judge.


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Gosh, the letter was similar to several I have received from the Gov't on other environmental issues. Perhaps they have a large form letter that just needs tweaking for each response? <_>

I also noted that AdScam was for alot more money than they are putting into the research required to maintain a healthy environment for the entire population of salmon on the west coast as well as the thousands of people who rely on them to make a living, sports and commercial fishermen alike. <_>

Okay this is third hand info, but not all of the salmon that escape do poorly. There are some that are healthy and there has been several cases of possible spawning with other Atlantics, thank goodness they do not cross pollinate.

While the head of the Salmon Farmers Association was telling everyone that Atlantics were not showing up in the coastal rivers, they were. This person is not a government emloyee but spoke like one. :ph34r:

I grew up on Coastal B.C. where the salmon farms are in remote areas, well out of the public eye. I have a friend who is a fisheries biologist and used to act as an advisor to a large salmon farm that contracted a disease and died enmasse. I have another who used to dive for the salmon farms on the coast. Perhaps his stories of escapement and net repairs were the scariest. The odds are that with continued losses that are in the millions of fish via escapement, what are the odds that some will eventually "take."

Disease by naturally occurring organisms is a nice phrase, sounds like, "Well all fish are subsceptible to the local organisms, we are not introducing anything new." But they are holding huge populations of fish in a fairly static environment. Hmmmm sort of a breeding ground if you ask me. Creating a great place for a bacterial organism to grow, the host can't leave. :devil:

To trust that research being done, will be done in a timely manner is well.....is rediculous to harsh a word? When has the Government done anything in a timely manner? The Canadian Gov't can waffle with the best of them and the Campbell Gov't is following along because business has him in their back pockets and hey! He can blame the Feds for just about anything that happens.

I didn't see anything about antibiotic use in the letter? This is one of the more current issues I was reading about. There have been several articles written on just if and how much farmed salmon one should eat, because of the antibiotics fed to them and then the residue sits on the bottom in andamongst the waste from the fish.....Hmmmmmm antibiotic resistant disease? We can have the same problem over time once the stuff gets into the food chain.

I am not dead set against salmon farming. I think their are several issues to deal with though. One is NO FISH that is not native to this or any other coast, where farming would take place.

At least one of the other issues, is to get them out of the "open" ocean and put them in landlocked ponds. Regulate the circulation and disposal of the effluent (most of the regs are there for this already and just need some adjustment for the situation).

A board made up of both gov't and civilian reps should be created to police these operations.

I think sometimes environmentalists can be a tad radical in their actions, but ya know, sometimes it takes that kind of action to get people to stop and look for a second. I'm not talking about tree spiking etc. I am talking about making ALOT of noise to make up for the rest of us who are not.

I think if everyone who read this reply that John posted on this site, was to reply to it in whatever manner or capacity they saw fit, it would let them know that alot more eyes are watching.

Thanks for sharing John...... :fishing:

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Please, by all means, contact the e-mail address listed and give them your thoughts. This is the second response I received on the same issue. At a minimum, they are responsive, and definately, the more attention this receives, the better.


The thing that scares me along with the problems with our environment is the quality of the food we ingest. They make it seem like there is no problem...when a disease erupts amongst the unnatural population of "farm fish" (or any other type of agriculture. Game farms for example) we just have to add more chemicals and hormones and biotics to "control the problem". The real problem is that all this stuff ends up in us!!!! And lets not forget that other issue of genetic engineering. When all the other chemicals don't work, we'll just add some tomato genes to the fish to make them look more red!!! What is happening to our food supply is really really scary you guys...the more I read, the more concerned I am for my kids kids.


Did you know that CWD and Mad Cow Disease are directly a result of what the animals have eaten?(each other in those cases) It was science and technology and government that came up with the idea to add animal protien to the diets of ungulates and then tell everyone it was ok...that turned out alright didn't it. They didn't even learn their lesson from Great Britain years earlier!?!?


The studies that are reffered to in the letter is a bunch of crap. For every study conducted that says "everything is fine", there is another one that says it isn't. I don't know about you, but I am not willing to trust the health of my family to some beaurocrat or recent grad of some technical institute that the government hired to conduct "a study".


Sorry for ranting...I am starting to sound like my Grandfather who used to insist that the NHL Hockey games were rigged.LOL

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I agree, the largest threat posed by these farms is the biohazard! Both directly and indirectly. Our governments however only think four years ahead, they SAY they think further than that, but it is only to the next election. I suppose rather than convenient science, they also rely on hiring good "spin doctors." to do damage control.

The very best thing that I can think of is for everyone who is concerned with this problem, to write to the address on your reply and to promote NOT eating farmed salmon. Make a point of telling your grocer or a restaurant that you won't buy or consume farmed salmon.

These days, you are right, we seem to be besieged by potential biological disaster, especially with food and water. Feeding sheep to cows was not a good idea, look at the long term, as yet undiscovered effects on people.

This is a huge issue, one that cannot be solved in the short term, but we certainly can start on it!

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JS and Inconnu,


Read the book A Stain Upon the Sea. It's a collection of 8 essays on West Coast Aquaculture. It's brutally explicit and addresses the conflict of interest inherent in DFO (i.e., protecting our fisheries yet promoting salmon farming). It's great ammo for any further correspondence.


Send me an email if you want to borrow my copy.




PS - That is a well written letter, but a little thick on the BS. rmm.

PPS - http://forum.nlft.org/index.php?showtopic=995

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Thanks Robin...I notice that the preface is written by Suzuki. He had a pretty interesting documentary a while back on this issue. I responded to Yves that while I appreciate his enthusiasm for his job, I have absolutely no faith in individual practioners and the government to protect our food chain from antibiotics, hormones and genetic engineering. I also suggested he read the aforementioned publication and included its link. I suggested that perhaps all this money was better spent on enhancing natural habitat and wild stocks. I am entirely confident that all my suggestions fell on deaf ears. No harm in voicing an opinion however. I hope others will do the same.



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JS and Inconnu,


Yes, the preface to A Stain Upon the Sea is penned by DS. He introduces the concepts of oceanic ecosystem conservation and fisheries sustainability before introducing the essays. One of his many talents lies in being able to capture and illustrate complex ecological systems to the masses; to adequately address systems and relationships without 'dummbing' them down.


Here are some additional reports to browse for future written ammunition:


Closing in on environmentally sound aquaculture: A fresh look at the economics of closed-containment systems



Sustainable Shellfish recommendations for responsible aquaculture



New Report on Sea Lice in the Broughton Archipelago




I highly recommend checking out http://www.davidsuzuki.org as it is devoted to some pretty interesting conservation science. I am in the process of ordering some reports from the DSF, I can order some additional copies if people are interested.



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