Sunday, 23 October 2016

'Farmed salmon ease pressure on wild stocks?' I don't think so: Farmed Salmon Kill Wild Stocks

Times Colonist Newspaper, Victoria, BC
October 20, 2016 12:27 AM

The letter writer below uses the same old spin that fish farms wrote in Norway four decades ago to go along with their so-called 'Blue Revolution' when they were starting up fish farms. A hundred thousand pages of environmental damage science has come on the web since then (Google: fish farm environmental damage, and you will be reading for weeks) and I am surprised someone would use that old chestnut and not blanche with embarrassment.

Re: “Regulators should tackle fish-farming damage,” letter, Oct. 18.

Recent letters to the editor demonstrate some negative opinions about B.C.’s fish farms. If people want to learn about the real environmental impact of fish farms on wild salmon, I suggest they read the reports of the Pacific Salmon Forum and the Cohen Commission. Both looked at decades of research and both came to the same conclusion that fish farms do not cause significant negative impact to our wild salmon. People are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.
It is clear B.C.’s wild salmon are threatened. If we continue to focus on fish farms that have been demonstrated safe, the real issues will continue to threaten wild salmon.
Finally, it is also clear that eating only wild salmon does not protect wild salmon. Farming salmon is a good way to relieve pressure on wild stocks.

Robert Wager

See in the TC:


Then you might like to read my letter I wrote to the TC answering this issue:

Wild fish decline in the presence of fish farms

Times Colonist
October 23, 2016 12:26 AM

Re: “Farmed salmon ease pressure on wild stocks,” letter, Oct. 20.

Fish farms don’t save wild fish; they kill wild fish. Research in B.C., the U.K., Norway and other places shows that wild salmonids decline 50 per cent in their presence.

Fish farms kill lots of other wild fish, too. The Sea Around Us report says 19 of the top 20 global forage fish stocks — jack mackerel in Chile, for example — have been fished ruinously to make fish feed.

In an industry the size of B.C.’s, 5.76 billion forage fish are killed to bring one crop to harvest. For each farmed salmon, 113 forage fish are killed. B.C. is only 8.5 per cent the size of Norway’s industry, and that is just one of a dozen countries. The reality is that fish farms kill trillions of wild-stock fish.

And the sewage cost of fish farms in B.C. is huge — $10.4 billion in damage that we taxpayers don’t want to pay.

Sorry, the Cohen Commission doesn’t agree with the letter-writer. It said fish farms cause damage, and fish farms are to come out of the Quadra area in 2020, in the absence of more proof, as in the precautionary principle. It also calls for the conflict of interest of supporting fish farms to be taken out of Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

D.C. Reid

Here are a few of the references I used to back up what I said and to show how I calculated some of the stats:

Part Two:

1.      To calculate the 5.76 billion figure:

2.      The 50% salmonid decline article is:

3.      To calculate the sewage figure of $10.4 Billion (This is low because I used 80 fish farms rather than the current 85): 

1.      There are about130 licences with about 80 operating and with an average number of fish of 600,000 in BC. These are conservative figures.
2.      The CRD cost of a new sewage treatment facility is: $783 million for 360,000 people. The first is a conservative figure and the second is high because it includes some Gulf Islands, and Sooke residents that are not on the system, leading to a conservative estimate.
3.      The commonly found figure on Google for the sewage conversion rate is the sewage of 10 fish equals the sewage of 1 human being.
And now the calculation:

The Sewage: 80 farms X 600,000 fish per farm = 48 Million fish/10 = the sewage of 4.8 M people.  BC’s population is 4.6 Million people. Fish farms put more sewage into our pristine waters than all the human waste created in BC. This is conservative, as I have not factored in both nitrogen and phosphorous loading. (See Scotland, below).

The cost of sewage treatment: $783M (Victoria cost)/360K people = $X/4.8 Million fish sewage expressed in human sewage terms = $10.4 Billion. And this is only building the system, not operating it, so the cost is conservative.

(Note to DC: this is from my word.doc, Fish Farm Environmental Cost, in Folder: Salmon 2010. See also, this article on BC hake in BC feed:

TC Email Address:

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

PacAndes - Big Business in Fish Farms - Obfuscating Interbusiness Ownership.

The following quote is a brief part of a much longer piece on the plundering of the world's forage fish, for example, Jack Mackerel off Chile to make fish feed for famed Atlantic salmon.

Pac Andes is in bankruptcy in 2016, pretty much all over the world.


This is a 2012 article, but is so good on the issue of fish farms being big businesses and not about 'jobs and revenue' the spin it gives to governments all around the world to manipulate them. These companies make money for shareholders, their only responsibility.

See also my Bad News Bites post and cruise the bold facing for a minute. You'll probably be shocked:


"Inside PacAndes

PacAndes is the proverbial puzzle within an enigma. Its 50,000 gross ton flagship, the Lafayette, is registered to Investment Company Kredo in Moscow and flies a Russian flag. Kredo — via four other subsidiaries — belongs to China Fishery Group in Singapore, which, in turn, is registered in the Cayman Islands.

China Fishery and Pacific Andes Resources Development belong to Pacific Andes International Holdings, based in Hong Kong but under yet another holding company registered in Bermuda.

PacAndes, which is publicly traded on the Hong Kong stock exchange, reports more than 100 subsidiaries under its various branches, but a partly impenetrable global network includes many more affiliates.

One of its major investors is the U.S.-based Carlyle Group, which purchased $150 million in shares in 2010.

China Fishery Group reported a 2011 revenue gain of 27.2 percent to $685.5 million from $538.9 million, 55 percent of PacAndes’ earnings. The company attributed it to stronger operations from the South Pacific fleet and the Peruvian fishmeal operations.

Ng Joo Siang, 52, a jovial Louisiana State University graduate who is hooked on golf, runs PacAndes like the family business it is despite its public listing.

His Malaysian Chinese father moved the family to Hong Kong and started a seafood business in 1986. When the executive board meets in its no-frills conference room overlooking the harbor, his portrait gazes down at his widow, who is chairwoman, his three sons and a daughter.

“My father told me the oceans were limitless,” Ng said in an interview, “but that was a false signal. We don’t want to damage the resources, to be blamed for damage. I don’t think our shareholders would like it. I don’t think our children would like it very much.”

But he ruefully acknowledges that PacAndes faces a serious public relations challenge. In 2002, a company affiliated with PacAndes was accused of illegal fishing in the Antarctic. Ng denies any wrongdoing or connection with the suspect boats, but his critics are harsh.

Back then, New Zealand diplomats told ICIJ, a Russian lawyer working for the company allegedly threatened an Auckland fisheries executive by showing him pictures of his family.

Asked to comment, Ng said that did not happen, and he dismissed it as yet another smear by people who resent PacAndes’ success.

Bent on forging a better image, Ng hired a new corporate social responsibility officer and says he wants to put scientists aboard his ships to help protect fish stocks.

But he snorted when asked about the SPRFMO recommended limit of 520,000 metric tons for jack mackerel. “Based on what, on this?” he replied, thrusting a moistened finger into the air as if checking the wind.

“There is no science,” he said. “The SPRFMO has no science. How much money has Vanuatu or Chile or whoever put in to understand about fisheries?”

Chile, in fact, spent $10.5 million in 2011 on Ifop, its highly regarded scientific institute — one-fourth of its fisheries budget. In the intrigues of fish politics, PacAndes sides with Peru, where it operates 32 vessels and has a share of the anchoveta quota, another species used for fishmeal.

Ng says the Lafayette flies a Russian flag because it perfected an old Soviet idea: a mother ship that stays put, sucking in fish to process from a fleet of catcher vessels.

Industry experts suspect another reason is the opaque manner in which official Russian business is done.

The Lafayette cannot fish, Ng said, but can pair trawl: hold one end of a net attached to another ship, which hauls in the catch. A French inspection in Tahiti in January 2010 found no fishing equipment on board.

This point is at the heart of fresh controversy within the fledgling SPRFMO.

The organization now sets new voluntary quotas based on the 2010 catch. But in that year both Russia and Peru claimed what seem clearly to be the same 40,000 metric tons.

The Russians say the Lafayette was fishing, and it flies their flag. The Peruvians say the trawlers that actually caught the fish were under their colors."

This long quote, something I rarely do, let's you know of what the rest of us consider fraudulent, illegal fishing practices by some of the biggest companies in the world. My Bad News Bites post follows the on-going train-wreck of PacAndes in bankruptcy in 2016.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Pelagia, EWOS Forage Fish Reduction Plants for Fish Farm Food & Livestock

For your reference an example of the high number of reduction plants, for Pelagia, that take fish and reduce them to livestock and fish farm feed.

These are the Pelagia plants in Europe. There are many more companies in the process that take billions of killed forage fish to make into farmed salmon.


EWOS has six plants around the world:

On their site, this information:

"EWOS Group is comprised of six operating companies: EWOS Norway, EWOS Chile, EWOS Scotland, EWOS Canada, EWOS Vietnam, and EWOS Innovation.

EWOS central is the administration that links these companies together, forming a group.

We have production facilities and well-established market shares in all four major salmon producing regions. Operations in each region are run as independent companies led by a local managing director. Support services covering areas such as purchasing, production, sales and business development are coordinated centrally."

And they have been looking at GMO plants with genes for Omega 3s. See:

See Page 8:

"Biotech companies and academic institutions that are currently developing genetically modified EPA+DHA oilseed plants include BASF/Cargill, CSIRO/NuSeed (Australia) and Dow/DSM on rapeseed, Dupont on soy and Rothamstead Research Institute (UK) on camelina, with some claiming substantial EPA+DHA levels already in their oil seed plants. Further development is needed and the
registration process can be long and expensive. 
The time to commercialisation is uncertain, but CSIRO/Nuseed intends to conduct field trials starting in 2014 subject to regulatory approvals, with commercial launch of EPA+DHA rapeseed oil around 2018. BASF/Cargill estimate that their product will beavailable in 2020."

Judging  by the problems Aquabounty is having with their GMO farmed salmon, I would bet this won't fly. But for those who are not happy with GMO foods, you will want to avoid farmed salmon.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

All Fish Farm Sites in BC - DFO List

Here is the list of all aquaculture, and fish farm sites in BC:

It gives each one, site location, company, and species raised.

This is a very useful list so remember that it is here, for whenever you wish to know which farms are in which location, also good for not making mistakes when specific sites are needed for articles.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Trudeau Government in Court over Fish Farm Diseases

Things are not going well for Justin Trudeau, Dominic LeBlanc and the Trudeau government, being taken to court by Ecojustice.

"Canada's minister of fisheries and oceans is breaking the law by not testing BC farmed salmon for a virus before allowing them to be transferred into ocean pens alongside wild fish, according to environmental NGO Ecojustice"

Do look back at my post on PRV and GD Marty's disease testing text:

LeBlanc, as DFO minister, is required to ensure that farmed fish are not put in the ocean carrying disease, and that 80% of PRV at fish farms makes it next to impossible to ensure disease that wild salmon can catch is not put in the ocean.

Ecojustice states that Leblanc refuses to test farmed fish for piscine reovirus (PRV) the likely cause of HSMI (heart and skeletal muscle inflammation).

"In my opinion, this course of action is illegal and could lead to irreparable damage to British Columbia’s wild salmon stocks," says Ecojustice, on behalf of Alex Morton. The lawsuit seeks a court order "to force the minister to comply with fishery regulations, and apply the precautionary principle when approving fish transfer licences."

You will recall that this is pretty close to the Coehn recommendation that unless there is clear proof to the contrary, that fish farms in the Discovery Islands should come out of the water by 2020. And in May of 2016, the Trudeau government revealed that HSMI had been found on BC fish farms.


Wild salmon with PRV/HSMI would find it extremely difficult to capture prey, swim upstream and spawn or escape predators. Not to mention Kristi Miller's viral signature work:

Last year, Ecojustice was successful in a case that prevented DFO from delegating transfer of diseased farmed fish to fish farms.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Everyone Against In-Ocean Fish Farms - Except DFO, the CFIA and Fish Farms

If you thought that everyone who has to live with fish farms or has thought about the problems with in-ocean 'farms' is against them, you'd be right.

Governments and fish farms are against on-land fish farms. Everyone else wants them on land.

See the long list of names that wants fish farms on land, as endorsements to the Bill e-463, Fin Donnelly, NDP is moving through Parliament as Bill C-228: 

It is a very long list. Here is the Petition link:

Please sign the petition and pass it on to others.

The only reason fish farms are in the water is to use it as a free, open sewer. My estimate is that we taxpayers pay for $10.4 billion in sewage damage caused by in-ocean fish farms. We don't want to pay. We want the people who work for us, the government, to take them out.

My estimate is that to bring one harvest in in an industry the size of BC's kills 5.76 billion forage fish.


Sunday, 9 October 2016

Omega-3 Oil in Fish and Plants - No Need for O-3s - Nor POPs, PCBs, Dioxins, Fluoroquinolones...

Fish farms like to claim that Omega 3 and 6es are good for people, making farmed fish a good thing to eat because they are full of Omega 3 oil.

Well, the Mayo Clinic has a long list of contraindications of eating too much O-3s. The list is much too long to summarize, but bleeding risk (3 grams of O-3s per day), and pregnancy and baby problems are on the list:

Fish farm fish get their O-3s from fish meal and fish oil in farmed fishmeal. But because they have over fished the top 19 of 20 forage fish stocks (some are poorly managed) around the world, O-3s are half the level than they used to be, because fish farms have had to substitute more vegetable protein and energy. (This would include more O-6s, found in plants).

So it may be a good thing to have less O-3, but this is the result of over fishing for reduction industries, ie, fish meal, oil and silage.

The down side here is that farmed fish have as much as ten times the carcinogenic, persistent organic pollutants (commonly called POPs), PCBs, dioxins and so on as any other meat product, again from the pollution from fish feed. Not to mention fluoroquinolones from the chicken feathers they put in feeds.

Look at this graph:

It turns out that it may be wrong that O-3s do any good, because a study on Inuit people showed that they have a gene that regulates O-3s, which Europeans and most people on the globe don't have, so O-3s don't do much good, meaning don't eat farmed fish.

A New York Times article on the research said this:

"In the 1970s, Danish researchers studying Inuit metabolism proposed that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish were protective. Those conclusions eventually led to the recommendation that Westerners eat more fish to help prevent heart disease and sent tens of millions scrambling for fish oil pills.

Today, at least 10 percent of Americans regularly take fish oil supplements. But recent trials have failed to confirm that the pills prevent heart attacks or stroke." In other words, we don't need O-3s as we don't have the gene the Inuit, who have a fatty meat/fish diet, have.

The NYT, 2015 reference is:

And this next article on the amount of the various chemicals, including brominated flame retardants showed that much of the worst chemicals gets taken out of the fish eaten and ends up in the body, rather than being passed through. (Note that bromine has been associated with cancers. A common example is the bromine in hot-tubs). See:

Read the abstract:

"Carry-over of dietary organochlorine pesticides, PCDD/Fs, PCBs, and brominated flame retardants to Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) fillets.


Information on carry-over of contaminants from feed to animal food products is essential for appropriate human risk assessment of feed contaminants. The carry-over of potentially hazardous persistent organic pollutants (POPs) from feed to fillet was assessed in consumption sized Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Relative carry-over (defined as the fraction of a certain dietary POP retained in the fillet) was assessed in a controlled feeding trial, which provided fillet retention of dietary organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), dioxins (PCDD/Fs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and brominated flame retardants (BFRs). Highest retention was found for OCPs, BFRs and PCBs (31-58%), and the lowest retentions were observed for PCDD/Fs congeners (10-34%). National monitoring data on commercial fish feed and farmed Atlantic salmon on the Norwegian market were used to provide commercially relevant feed-to-fillet transfer factors (calculated as fillet POP level divided by feed POP level), which ranged from 0.4 to 0.5, which is a factor 5-10 times higher than reported for terrestrial meat products. For the OCP with one of the highest relative carry-over, toxaphene, uptake and elimination kinetics were established. Model simulations that are based on the uptake and elimination kinetics gave predicted levels that were in agreement with the measured values. Application of the model to the current EU upper limit for toxaphene in feed (50 μg kg(-1)) gave maximum fillet levels of 22 μg kg(-1), which exceeds the estimated permissible level (21 μg kg(-1)) for toxaphene in fish food samples in Norway."

And those words add up that farmed fish should not be eaten by people. Much like the Hites article from Science Jan 9, 2004 that raised this spectre more than a decade ago in Socttish farmed salmon. It resulted in the industry neutralizing Hites, and where I came into this debate as I could no longer trust anything that a fish farm said in its spin.

The original article that explained the cloak and dagger approach by fish farms was the David Miller one on, almost one of the first posts I put on this site: