I would rather go fishing, but spend most weekends reading fish farm science. I do this so I can give you, our readers, better information and informed opinions for you to think about. You, at least, can go fishing on the weekend.

You need to know about Infectious Salmon Anemia. There are two strains in the Atlantic Ocean and used to be zero strains in the Pacific. One Atlantic strain is now in the South Pacific, having been taken there by Norwegian derivative fish farm companies – like Cermaq, Marine Harvest, etc. – through their owned-subsidiary Aquagen. If it arrives in BC, we may watch our native wild salmon go extinct. That is the price we and, in particular, aboriginals may pay.

We would lose a great number of grizzly bears, black bears, bald eagles… some 37 animal species would be affected; roughly 160 plants.

There is more likely damage to fish. Related anadromous salmonids may well follow salmon: winter- and summer-steelhead, cutthroat trout, Dolly Varden Char, searun brown trout, and then any other trout, kokanee, book trout char, in short, any salmonid in freshwater BC that diseased fish come in contact with – and herring, pilchard, etc. If they make it that far. Fraser sockeye are dying in the millions on their way up river from a ‘viral signature’ related disease.

One thing seems clear: pretty much everywhere Norwegian derivative fish farms have gone, ISA has shown up. In Chile, 70% of 800 farms had their Atlantics destroyed, perhaps 560 million fish. Thirteen thousand workers lost their jobs. They had been a largely pre-industrial society, but now, with higher aspirations, are destitute. Sixty three workers are documented as having died. By comparison, I am only aware of one diver dying here in BC, and fish farms being fined here and in Scotland, where about a half dozen workers have died.

Here are the countries where farmed Atlantics arrived and ISA broke out: Norway, Scotland, Ireland, the Faroe Islands, Canada – New Brunswick -, the United States – only Maine – in the rest of the nation the industry is in its infancy.

At the same time, consumers like you and I, food retailers, like, Safeway, Overwaitea and the rest of the western world’s fish farm industry is moving to on-land, closed-container, recirculating systems because of environmental problems – ISA is only one issue.

My list of mostly on-land, closed systems is now up to 22. Increasingly, in-ocean fish raising is being isolated from western farms, markets and consumers. That’s good, but there is one problem: ISA may already be in BC.

There is the mid-nineties email exchange, one provincial ministry refusing to give information to another. There is Kristy Miller DFO research pointing to a ‘viral signature’ in declining Fraser sockeye. Add another 20 suspected sites in Chile – and to make you weep: another 3,000 applications for pristine Patagonia water, much like the Clayoquot United Nations Biosphere Plover Point application.

There is BC data judge Cohen refused public access to recently. Some leaked and several presses reported 35 suspect BC results. The issue of fish farm diseases, and there are dozens of viral and bacterial salmon infections, will be discussed in August. They will try to keep the Chile, and other nation, data from the public.

Have fun fishing. I’ll continue slogging through the articles. There is more to say.

560 Words

dcreid@catchsalmonbc.com
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