: PNW - Fish Farms
03-02-2002, 07:52 AM
If I ever hear of a Great Lakes fish farm starting I am going to organize or join the protest.
How the PNW state and federal fishery organizations could have allowed this to start as a commercial business is beyond me.
Greed, politics, and conservation mismanagement again !!!
03-02-2002, 04:44 PM
P you got that right! Finally this topic is getting lots of play in the mainstream media. If you want some interesting reading I could send you an extra copy of 'The Steelhead Release' autumn 2001 edition. Basically the newsletter of 'The Steelhead Society of B.C.', this issue has a couple interesting articles on the problems caused by the current Atlantic Salmon farms here in B.C.If you want email me your adress and I will send email@example.com
03-02-2002, 08:50 PM
Thanks, I might have seen that already. No sense reading more depressing information on this subject, hope the policiticians and conservation agency get there heads on straight out there very soon.
Look at what happened in Norway with the diseased rivers, due to the fish farms there when the atlantic salmon escaped into the rivers.
Its all about greed and politics, at the expense of our wild fisheries.
This is not just a PNW issue, it's a global issue. The problem affects both oceans and both hemispheres. Fish farming as it is practiced today is wrong for a number of reasons. There are simply not enough controls on this industry which BTW is growing at a break-neck pace. Strains used for farms worldwide are almost exclusively atlantic brood that has been bred from the wild steed to a docile heiffer over decades of genetic manipulation, and hundreds of thousands if not millions have escaped on both oceans to show up where they don't belong. The chemicals and antibiotics, waste feces issues, sea lice population explosions are all ugly side effects. Where are the regulatory controls on inadequate pen structures and lack of safeguards against escape? Where are the effluent level monitoring and product inspection laws? I agree with what they did in the biggest chunk of the PNW - Alaska, who has outlawed fish farming.
Farmed salmon might taste good lately... but the artifical coloring (xantaxanthan (sp?)) and flavoring (ferol bromides, etc) in the 60% oil pellets kind of ruins the experience for me as well, although the end product is certainly flavorful, popular, and I guess better for you than beef on steroids.
Stewards of wild salmon worldwide are deeply concerned about this problem, not the least of which the people of the PNW who have a lot at risk with their true native steelhead and salmon runs, and people in Europe who are trying hard to retain their legendary indigenous atlantic populations.
Akin to the dumping of PCB's in the Great Lakes systems, it's greed before all else all over again. When you buy a fishing license in upstate NY they give you a PCB warning pamphlet with it, don't eat the belly meat, none for children and pregnant women, etc. You're probably safe from fish farming in the great lakes, but for all the wrong reasons.
I am going to stay focused on the positives - there are still great runs of wild fish to be found, and if we all remain informed and involved the currently missing regulatory controls on this run-amok industry will be voted into law soon.
03-02-2002, 11:55 PM
I don' t think I am going to order Atlantic Salmon any more in restaurants, since it is more than likely it is farmed salmon I am eating. I guess I will have to go with the red snapper and other salt water fish which which I do not think are farmed, are they ?
Let me know if you hear of any in the Great Lakes, yes we have PCB warnings in our fish. I don't kill them or eat them any more, stopped that 15 years ago.
03-03-2002, 08:44 AM
Did a little more net research just to make sure there are no fish farm plans in Great lakes, thank god for our PCBs. Never thought I would say that, but it is now true.
Below are three recent news articles on the PNW salmon farm issue, situation is worse than I thought. BC now has 98 active fish farms, and government just gave go ahead for expansion of up to a possible 90 more !!!!
This is a major issue for all wild fish in PNW. I hope the conservation groups are all over this issue.
Canada appears to be one of the main countries along with Norway and Chile into commercial fish farms. Soon we will have to put Canada on the list of "Evil Fish Empires"
How big are the farms in Washington and Maine ? Doesn't matter the farm fish will stray into US waters as is now happening in Washington.
Not a good situation at all. Thats it I am not eating salmon in restaurants starting as of today. I do like salmon to so it hurts but there are more important issues.
We all act and react the way we feel comfortable to square green tomatoes that ripen in the box during shipment, chicken farms, veal, etc - but for me I don't feel that my personal boycott of farmed salmon will turn the tide. Sure I don't eat veal and haven't bought a drop of exxon product (that I know of) since Valdez) but you'd have to be an organic vegetarian to escape the agricultural nightmare. Life's too short.
Luckily there are still places where wild salmon can be caught and eaten with confidence. For 12 years I lived in the PNW and never bought a salmon, although I ate a lot of it.
Anyway, a massive boycott movement would have an impact, better yet government-backed regulatory controls on pen designs, effluent control, use of antibiotics and pesticides, and other rules to ensure that the damage being done today is held in check.
Furthermore we should make each escapee event fatal to the business entity. You spill, you're out of business. That would fast-forward pen designs to the point where they should have been at the inception of this booming business.
Statistics on raw (it's always raw) effluent release from a typical Maine salmon farm equals 40,000 humans (treated sewage). We need tight government controls that span states and are negotiated across the border. It's an international issue. This is one situation where free enterprise and lack of big government involvement is backfiring on both oceans and both hemispheres. It's important enough for a world summit - but it's highly unlikely that the people of the world will be nearly as concerned about the problem as you seem to be, Hal.
Sad state of affairs. Like you said, we talk up the problem already - any suggestions on what we do about it?
03-03-2002, 10:42 AM
Agree, need to keep it as a visible issue in the forumn.
I for one did not understand how bad the situation was.
Now have to blow some snow, received 10 inches yesterday and it is in the teens. By wednesday it will be 40-50 degrees and the runs will be really on out here.
Have read that as much as 27% of the worlds forage fish are now being harvested by the commercial fishing industry to feed the growing number of fish farms world wide. It's funny how the commercial fishermen are screaming about fish farms yet they convert from fishing for the top of the food chain to lower areas of the food chain thus destroying thier fight against fish farming and taking out a large portion of the chain and endangering the fish at the top. One does not need to target the top of the chain to destroy it. Also 80% of the shrimp now sold are farmed raised and this could be the most devastating of all fish farming!
03-04-2002, 03:49 PM
Before I learned of all its problems I used to think fish farming was a great idea by reducing commercial demand on the wild fish. Are there ways to farm in an environmentally and conservationally (is that a word?) sound manner?
Yeah there are ways to keep the ecological impact low but I doubt we will see them for a while.
Having all land based fish farms would be great as opposed to ocean rearing pens. This way the escapement problem is taking care of and you can disenfect the water being used before it gets into rivers, oceans, etc.
However this is much more expensive to set up that just throwing a bunch of smolts in an ocean pen and throwing in food pellets every once in a while.
Unless there are worlwide regs mandating land based fish farms the worl fisheries could be in trouble down the road.
03-04-2002, 07:00 PM
Agree definitely a larger risk than I had thought to our wild fisheries. Now I know better.
03-04-2002, 10:38 PM
OC, You are correct in the statement that much of the worlds fish production is going into pellets for fish farms. A whole lot of other thing are going in there too, besides "forage fish". North sea draggers harvest everything they are allowed, just to feed the processing plants for Norways farms fish pellets.
The offal from plants in north america that are processing fish is some times added to make Pellets that go into domestic farms, mostly from Kodiak.
The production in Chile is rising so fast I can't imagine where there getting the volume of food they need. Talk about an economy of scale the Chilean Farmers can deliver a 6lb. Coho salmon to Japan with the shipping included for $.90 US per pound. This was nearly $3.00 just a few years ago.
By the way when you lump all comercial fisherman together as one large group screaming about fish farms and then running of to deplete the worlds forage fish you sound about as prejuidiced as me when I see people fishing with styrofoam floats on there Spey Rods.
Seriously an awful lot of blame for overharvest should be layed at the feet of Fisheries Managers for they are the ones who allow the various fisheries to proceed.
Didn't mean to lump all commercials togehter as one. Most of the commercials I know are fine people and believe in conservation. As I've said many times before it's the middle man who creates the dangers in the fish industry and lets not even go to the Marine fisheries.
I come from a family of commercials, I grew up at the dinner table in New England listening to fishing, politics and the Red Soxs. As I washed dishes after a good meal of baked stuffed hadick and as I listen to the conversation about how the Russians, E germans and the Japs were destroying our fishing grounds I could actually see the lights of the factory ships 12 miles out through the kitchen window. Now when we got the 200 mile limit my family was happy and when we got low interest loans from Uncle Sam to modernize our fleet we were really happy. Guess what we did? The same damn thing the Russians did, over fish. Sorry Moonlight commercial fishing is just too good in this day and age as we fish now it's a killer only second to what the new age of fish farming is going to be.
03-12-2002, 11:28 AM
This is a great resource for information on Fish Farms in general and a whole lot of specific and important studies to keep you busy for weeks if you really have to know.
03-12-2002, 08:28 PM
Excellent new white paper on Alaska salmon farming risks. I found it on the site however the URL below will get everyone directly to it.
Never realized they had been doing the AS farming in PNW for such a long time. Definitely a clear threat to wild salmon and steelhead in PNW.
Very well written paper. Will have to give it a good read this weekend.