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Nov 10 2010

Salmon Farms have too many sea lice – please – get the farms out!

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It’s been a busy time for me – Tuning for the local Community Music School –  Marching for wild salmon with the wild salmon people – Sending out Vegetated Sand Bed information – A submission to the Cohen Commission – Attending the Vernon water meeting and ditching my fridge!

Meanwhile, I’ve been getting aggressive e-mails from members of the Fish Farm industry – whining and complaining about Dr. Alexandra Morton.

If members of the fish farm industry have nothing better to do than send annoying and aggressive e-mails then really… what credibility do they have?

I asked all the salmon farm writers: Are you willing to clean up your fish farm pollution?

I also received an e-mail from a DFO employee with a quote from Colleen Dane of the BC Salmon Farmers Association dated: October 29, 2010.   I thought the DFO writer was speaking for himself so I made the error in my post and attributed it to him – I ‘ve been corrected now and I apologise –  so here is what MsDane had to say:

In 2002, the fish health management program was established by the provincial government. While records and testing had been done by individual companies before that, this program increased the amount of data that needs to be collected, and had the BC Salmon Farmers Association collect it. That information is then reviewed by the province, who did its own random sampling and testing to audit the results to ensure the data is honest and correct.

Each year, they release a summary report about those results to the public – and it has for years shown that the data is being collected well, that there are no significant fish health concerns and that our farms are abiding by all the regulations applied to them.

This program is a good one because it sees companies produce an extraordinary amount of information (far more than other farmers, for example) so that the public’s questions can be answered, while also making sure that they abide by all competition rules and that the veterinarians who collect much of the information have their client-vet privilege protected.

For those two reasons, we can’t release the raw data without being compelled too. Last week, Justice Bruce Cohen made a ruling asking for five years of raw data for 21 farms, and when the official request was made we released the information.

According to Ms Dane of the fish farm Industry, the BC Government “removed third party oversight” and created a “fish health management program” so that fish farms could collect “their own information to ensure honesty and accuracy”.

Perhaps we should apply that logic to our drunk driving regulations – all BC drivers can own their own breathalysers and collect their own samples. Then to assure honesty and accuracy we’ll create a self reporting scheme where test results are reviewed by the police.

Ms Dane said the Government reported that “data is being collected well” and that “there are no significant fish health concerns” and raw data on fish farm disease can’t be released because of “client- vet privilege”.

What do you think about fish farms that won’t release health records because of “client-vet privilege”? Is there any precedent for keeping client – vet information secret?

Apparently fish farms are required to collect “An extraordinary amount of information” much more than other farmers which means that “farmer’s abide by all competition rules”. Where’s the logic in that?

First of all what kind of data is being collected and who is doing the collecting? Minimum wage employees or fish farm paid scientists?

Secondly, the collection of data does not ensure compliance with rules.

And thirdly How do “competition rules” relate to salmon farm disease? The Canadian Secretariat Review Panel states on their web site that fish farms release drugs, fish faeces, pesticide and antifoullants directly into the water column. Is that how fish farms “abide by all competition rules”?

The court said fish farm regulation was beyond the Province’s jurisdiction – does that mean that the reporting scheme is also beyond the Province’s jurisdiction? What is the legal obligation of fish farms that operate under an illegal scheme? Can we expect a fish farm corporations to collect anything of importance under an illegal scheme?

Corporate data usually furthers the corporation’s economic bottom line so any “honest and accurate” data will likely support the expedient export of farmed fish under international trade agreements. Would they report disease threats or statute violations under an illegal scheme?

According to Ms Dane, the “farms are abiding by all the regulations applied to them”. How does a farm abide by an illegal regulating scheme?

According to Ms Dane, the fish farms “can’t release the raw data without being compelled too”. Can’t or won’t?

Considering the following Internet articles I think the fish farms better get out and take their sea lice, pesticide and disease with them.

http://www.timescolonist.com/technology/Science+starting+prove+Canada+better+fish+farms+land+quickly/3805426/story.html

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/sockeye-inquiry-swamped-by-documents/article1791840/

http://www.salmonaresacred.org/sites/default/files/files/Paddle%20for%20Wild%20Salmon%20October%202010%208×10(2)(1).pdf

http://www2.canada.com/courierislander/story.html?id=6838bf93-9681-40d5-83c9-46b7427d4b10

http://www2.canada.com/courierislander/news/story.html?id=c46b5b86-e731-4af0-97bd-dbff6dd4d2a9

http://thetyee.ca/Blogs/TheHook/Environment/2010/11/09/SeaLice/

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/salmon-farms-a-major-source-of-sea-lice-new-study/article1791840/

http://www.physorg.com/news/2010-11-sea-lice-problem-widespread.html

http://www.raincoast.org/media/in-the-news/salmon-in-the-news/media-release-sea-lice-from-salmon-farms-infect-wild-juvenile-salmon-in-multiple-regions/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nick-joy/gm-salmon-the-future-and-_b_780698.html?ir=Food

http://sustainablefishfarming.blogspot.com/2010/11/cleaner-wrasse-biological-pesticides-to.html

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?gid=122923437739976

http://thechronicleherald.ca/NovaScotia/1210349.html

We want Wild Salmon!

We want them because

BC WATER IS WILD SALMON WATER

and BC land is wild salmon land!

3 comments

  1. admin

    Don’t worry – it’s ok with me if you don’t read my blog but it’s not ok to call fish farmers “crazy” – and as far as I am concerned – I don’t “pick on them”. Fish farmers are consuming our clean water – I have asked them to clean up their pollution. Tons of raw fish faeces dumped into the ocean water. There are places where fish farms have been ordered to catch their pollution – pump it on shore and clean it up for fertilizer – there are possibilities with vegetated sand beds too – I have suggested a fish farmer look into that.

    You can find lots of facts – here and elsewhere. What more do you need to know – in order to balance things? What would help you Mr.”Wright”?

       0 likes

  2. Harry Wright

    Your blog doesn’t provide much balance to subjects you discuss. Your entitled to your opinion for sure, but it really makes your site not worth reading.

    And I’m not one of those ‘crazy’ fish farmers you like to pick on either, just a truck driver. I like fishing and want to find facts, but this isn’t helping.

       0 likes

  3. spruce-one

    write on!

       0 likes

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