There were 2 articles in our local Skagit Valley Herald today on salmon farming. One was about the price of farmed salmon going south because of over production and how the industry is responding to reduced or non-existent profits (which are being blamed on the increased production from Chile) for farmed salmon. It spoke of things like a computer controlled food pellet spreader to "reduce or eliminate" the amount of non-consumed pellets making it to the sea floor, the use of dye to make the salmon flesh pink, the sea lice problem (of course the industry person says there is no proof that sea lice from fish farms have harmed BC's pink salmon runs), the new supposedely "seal proof" net pens, the keeping of a net pen "empty" for a year to
"rest the ocean around it to reduce the effects of fecal pollution and sea lice (Hmmmm.... thought they posed no environmental hazard), etc.
The industry man claimed they would move the fish farms inland in a heart beat if they could do so with out the problems of doing so (he didn't specify what these problems may be' but seemed to suggest that it was how to get rid of the fecal matter and uneaten pellets, along with treating the water before it could be put in a stream.).
Of course this same article spoke about the jobs that fish farming produce that they small coastal towns in BC rely on for employment since the fishing industry has crashed due to low prices. They even had some of the folks who are working for the fish farms or the farming operations processing plants, which of course provide "good paying jobs" that let the folks working for them earn enough so that they can now afford some "luxuries" that working as a bartender or grocery store clerk would not allow.
The other article was about how fish farming has greatly reduced the Pacific Salmon fishing fleet and that those who are left need to provide a "superior product" to get a good price for their fish.
There were other things in both articles like how the price fishermen get now is only a fraction of what they got in the banner years of the 1980's, how fish farming grew because of the "large profits" salmon were rpviding the fish farmers in the 1990's and how corporate interests took over the mom and pop farms, and how most of the companies doing the fish farming are not based in the countries where the farms are located. Seems like the Stolt company of Luxemborg is one of the biggest fish farming players.
Also mentioned were efforts by some groups to educate comsumers about the use of chemicals, antibiotics, and dyes in farmed fish.
It seems to me like the Pacific salmon fishers are trying to get public sympathy for their declining numbers and have the public put pressure on the politicians to shut down or curtail the faiming operations so they can make more money fishing.
What's your take on this.
From what I hear there will be a public relations war in the coming months between the two groups, farming and commercial fishers. The negative press as of late about farmed raised salmon
have the growers concerned. What you will see is public information campain about wild salmon being endangered and that farmed salmon is a healthy alternative.
I believe that the last of the commercials up north and in the Pacific NW will capitalize on the nitch they are now creating. That being wild fish taste better and are more healthy. Their market will be the high end markets and restraunts. If done properly I can live with that but I can not live with Salmon farming as it is today. I could live with inland farming and pollution controls to feed mid westerners who don't know the difference. Fresh wild salmon should be a local food issue and a seasonal one. No different than freshly grown organic veggies. I think the commercials have excepted this concept and will remain active and sucsessful if they stay the course. As for the salmon farmers they may be in big trouble feeding the middle class of N. America. They may be in bigger trouble when Europe and Japan completely stop buying the product because they have been educated on how bad the product really is. The 1st world is going quality over quanity and will continue to do so as long as there is no major economic devastation. As far as feeding the 3rd world even as cheap as farmed salmon is it is far, far too expensive to fill the belly. Corperate fish farming of all kinds will never be cheap enough to do so. Only small local, village farms will work as they always had thoughout history. It is unfortunate that this world industry is destroying local ways, rights and costal breeding grounds for many types of marine life. In South America the shimp farming taking place has lead to many political murders of those who have had the courage to resist loosing their fishing grounds and way of life.
We ain't seen nothin yet..
Klahowya, Been awhile since we covered any of this ongoing tale of habitat and fisheries destruction. In the last several years there has been an attempt on the part of Canadian Farmers to cultivate Black Cod and Halibut, now I hear they are also going to start raising Atlantic and Pacific (True) Cod.
Several of my cohorts attended a three day session on Fish Farming prior to the Comercial Fishing Expos at the Seattle Center they had lots of information to share, some of which was in your report.
The worst news to me was that the farms are now rasing "Black Cod" and in two yeras will be marketing a little over 500,000 pounds of finished product this is from 2 facilitys and there are permits in the works for 20 more of the same. Black Cod is a high value fish very oily and loaded with healthy omega 6 very much in demand in the Oreint and Ballard. This will certainly increase the decline of the few healthy fishing bussiness that are remaining.
The wholesale production of Atlantic and Pacific Cod that is coming down the tracks is ,I can only speculate , going to make all the other production pale in comparison. White fish is the most often consumed and I have to wonder just how long the Oceans of the world can continue to give up protien to augment the Soy Bean feed that these fish are being fed on. The farmers claim that they have the feed under contol but I remain skeptical of some of there claims. I only wish I could be skeptical about there ability to win goverment approval and support.
It was reported to me that the NMFS has paid for research and has financial aid for American entry into farming for Black Cod and Halibut whoever said "It's all good" got it all wrong!
That was my take on it after reading both of the articles yesterday that I spoke about in my first post that started this thread. Thanks for confirming my take on what was happening and providing some more info on the topic.
It seems like the fish farming corporate entities will switch to species that provide the highest return in the short term, and the environmental impact and the impacts of wild fish be damned.
Posted here over the last year that have to do with the problems related to the fish farming industry. Problems that have plagued this traveling enviromental disaster 3/4 of the way around the world. Problems that the Brits and Scotts and Irish are still seeing reprocussions from since the 70's. Problems that show up south of the equator with people catching escaping populations of non-native species. Non-native species showing up in rivers 100's of miles from the closest farms!
Look, just go into your local warehouse or club food store and watch the hordes buy up this stuff. Watch them buy the smoked products with the deceptive labling that you need to be a Pro Linguist to be able to get that its a farm raised / color added product. By companies, some of which, are not even from these parts.
It's the old "Lets blow in to town and ruin the fisheries while we stuff our pockets with cash, when all the rivers are history, we'll blast off to the next planet and do it again"
DON'T buy the product, then tell your friends, DON'T buy the product. Tell them about the lice, tell them about the escape problem, tell them about the "color added", tell them about the effect it is having on, say, the Jack Mackrel population in the Atlantic that is suffering from over harvest, to put into the pellets, to feed the Farm Salmo's!
I feel for the local population that is locked into working with these people, thiers is a true dichotomy, and because of that, IMHO alot of heads are turned the other way....Worldwide!
I yeild the soap box
It will probably be multiple issues that come about from fish farming world wide that make our oceans crash.
1) Habitat destruction, mostly in tropical areas of the world. Breeding grounds for warm water fish, mangroves and shallow estuaries are being bulldozed in and made into holding ponds at such an alarming rate that less than 10 % will remain. Think about the size of the entire coast of North, South America from Columbia East and then South to 500 miles south of the Amazon river estuary being destroyed. Shrimp farms can only be used for 18 months at best and then abandoned. 80% of shrimp sold world wide may come from farming.
2) The worlds forage fish are being used to feed farm fish. It may be as high as 75% of the worlds forage fish feed farms. That does not leave enough bio mass in the worlds oceans to feed native fish populations. Just look at the Poggy industry of the mid alantic states. There is little being done to curb the entire loss of part of the food chain. As bad as this is, in countries of the 3rd world, 2nd world and some of the 1st world their entire fishing fleets are now just fishing for forage fish.
3) Disease, every fish farm operation creates disease in one form or another. One can not put that much living mass into such a small area and have a healthy situation period. In tropical areas of SE Asia and S. America Native shrimp populations are all but gone.
We are all aware that our oceans are in trouble. Yes we win a battle here and there but we are dealing with a world wide crash. This is not a slow crash as we would expect. Even those of us in our 50's and 60's may live to see it. With the earth getting warmer for what ever reason and the greed of the new world order don't expect much in the way of a good life for our kids by the time they are 50 or 60. If the oceans crash the major population of the earth goes with it.
There are answers to fixing the problem but this long winded enough for now.
From a Scottish point of View
Writer and jounalist Bruce Sandison is fighting Salmon farms in Scotland.
Embargoed until 12 noon Saturday 20th December
“Santa Says No No No to Farmed Salmon”
Ten Reasons to Boycott Farmed Salmon This Christmas
The Salmon Farm Protest Group (SFPG) today (Saturday 20th) takes to the streets of Edinburgh to celebrate wild salmon and to protest about the danger factory farmed salmon poses to wild fish populations.
SFPG supporters will be dressed as Santas and chefs handing out tins of wild Alaskan salmon to Christmas shoppers on Princes St (12-1pm outside M&S) and Rose St (1-2pm outside Sainsbury’s).
At 2pm the SFPG will personally deliver a surprise Christmas present to the First Minister of Scotland’s official residence at Bute House in Charlotte Square.
Bruce Sandison, Chairman of the SFPG, said:
“Consumers should avoid farmed salmon this Christmas. Before buying customers should count to ten and think again. Ten reasons to say no to farmed salmon include: fish farm sea lice infestations killing wild salmon, a possible risk of listeria, artificial colourings and contaminants.
Before buying these products in supermarkets, consumers would be well-advised to ask staff if it is wild or farmed salmon, and what chemicals it contains. Better safe than sorry. Have a happy, healthy Christmas.”
For a full list of the “Ten Reasons to Boycott Fresh Farmed Salmon This Christmas” see The Salmon Farm Monitor: http://www.salmonfarmmonitor.org
Thanks! We NEED the Global perspective on this problem!
This holiday season, DON'T buy any farmed salmon products, and urge your friends and relatives to do the same.
More from Scotland,
The Salmon Farm Protest Group Limited
An ruda bhios na do bhrôin, cha bhi e na do thimhnadh
That which you have wasted will not be there for future generations
Immediate Release, Thursday 8th January
SCOTTISH FARMED SALMON MOST CONTAMINATED IN THE WORLD
“consumption advice is that no more than one meal every four months should be consumed in order to avoid an increased risk of cancer”
A landmark international study – ‘Global Assessment of Organic Contaminants in Farmed Salmon’  - published tomorrow in the world’s foremost scientific journal, Science, presents d**ning new evidence that Scottish farmed salmon is the most contaminated salmon on sale in Europe and North America. The Science study reveals that Scottish farmed salmon is so contaminated with PCBs, dioxins, dieldrin and toxaphene that no more than three meals of Scottish farmed salmon PER YEAR are recommended. Wild salmon on the other hand could be safely consumed at levels as high as eight meals per month or twice per week.
From the data presented in the Science study, farmed salmon from Scotland are estimated to be four times more contaminated than salmon farmed in Chile and up to 30 times more contaminated than some wild Alaskan salmon. Scotland has the worst “average contaminant rank” (Figure 2) for PCBs, dioxins, toxaphene and dieldrin when compared with farmed salmon from the Faroe Islands, Norway, East Canada, Maine and Chile.
According to the Institute for Health and the Environment: “The study concluded that concentrations of these cancer-causing substances in most farmed salmon tested that was available to European consumers are high enough to trigger consumption recommendations of just one farmed salmon meal (eight-ounce portion or approaximately 227g) every month according to methods for calculating fish consumption advisories used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In the worst cases, characteristic of farmed salmon obtained from Scotland and the Faroe Islands and salmon fillets purchased in Frankfurt, the .
Over 700 salmon samples (2 metric tons) were purchased from wholesalers and retailers in each of the world’s eight major farmed-salmon producing regions and from retailer in London, Edinburgh, Paris, Frankfurt, Oslo, New York, Washington DC, Seattle, Chicago, New Orleans, Denver, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Toronto and Vancouver. “Farmed salmon fillets purchased from supermarkets in Frankfurt, Edinburgh, Paris, London and Oslo was generally the most contaminated” states Science. “Most of the salmon sold in European stores comes from European farms, which produce the more contaminated salmon”.
According to the Science study, farmed salmon had significantly higher levels of 14 contaminants including PCBs, DDT, dioxins, dieldrin, hexachlorobenzene, lindane and toxaphene than wild salmon: “Farmed salmon have significantly higher contaminant burdens than wild salmon and that farmed salmon from Europe are significantly more contaminated than farmed salmon from South and North America”.
Applying a cancer risk analysis developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the scientists from the University of Michigan, the University of Indiana, Cornell University and the State University of New York state that “consumption of farmed Atlantic salmon may pose risks that detract from the beneficial effects of fish consumption”.
“The most restrictive advice (less than one-half meal of salmon per month), which reflects the highest health risks, was generated for farmed salmon fillets purchased from stores in Frankfurt, Germany, and for farmed salmon from Scotland and the Faroe Islands”.
The Science study concludes that “consumption of farmed salmon may result in exposure to a variety of persistent bioaccummulative contaminants with the potential for an elevation in attendant health risks”.
Commenting on the Science study, MD of the Salmon Farm Protest Group, Don Staniford, said:
“The Science study clearly indicates that Scottish farmed salmon is the most contaminated farmed salmon on sale anywhere in the world. Scottish farmed salmon is now so contaminated that consumers who eat more than three meals of Scottish farmed salmon per year exceed the U.S. EPA’s consumption advice.
No wonder supermarkets are reluctant to advertise the fact that 99% of fresh salmon sold in the UK is farmed not wild, let alone label the alarming fact, according to Science, that Scottish farmed salmon contains significantly higher levels of PCBs, dioxins, dieldrin and toxaphene than wild salmon.
Given the cocktail of chemicals, artificial colourings and contaminants, Scottish farmed salmon should surely carry a Government health warning rather than being sold as a safe, healthy and nutritious foodstuff.
Supermarkets have a duty of care to their customers and should list what chemicals, contaminants and artificial colourings farmed salmon contains. The Salmon Farm Protest Group urge consumers to ‘count to ten and think again’ and list ‘Ten Reasons to Boycott Fresh Farmed Salmon’ .”
The Science study gives even greater urgency to the European Commission’s Health and Consumer Protection Directorate who are in the process of compiling an international inventory of dioxin and PCB contamination in food (not due to be published until late 2004).
It also raises questions over the corporate responsibility of the European salmon farming industry: for more than 25 years the industry has been aware of the problem of fish oil and fish meal contamination (a scientific study published in 1979 showed high levels of contaminants in fish feed).
The Science study reports that fish feed purchased in Scotland, for example, is much more contaminated than in Canada and Chile and “this may reflect higher contaminant concentrations in forage fish from the industrialized waters of Europe’s North Atlantic as compared to forage fish from the waters off North and South America”. This backs up research by the European Commission’s Scientific Committees on Food and Animal Nutrition published in 2000 which showed that fish of European origin were eight times more contaminated than fish in the Southern hemisphere .
For further information please contact Don Staniford on 00 34 952 49 49 16 or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Hysbackie, Tongue, by Lairg, Sutherland 1V27 4XJ, Scotland
Tel: 01847 611274; Fax: 01847 611262; email email@example.com
A company registered in Scotland, No.240223
Notes to Editors
 “Global Assessment of Organic Contaminants in Farmed Salmon,” by R.A. Hites at Indiana U. in Bloomington, IN; J.A. Foran at U. of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI; D.O. Carpenter at U. at Albany in Rensselaer, NY; M.C. Hamilton at AXYS Analytical Services in Sidney, BC, Canada; B.A. Knuth and S.J. Schwager at Cornell U. in Ithaca, NY. To be published in the journal Science on 9th January 2004: http://www.sciencemag.org/sciencexpress/recent.shtml
 “Study Reveals Health Risks of European Farm-Raised Salmon – Study in the journal Science suggests sharp restrictions in consumption” (Institute of Health and the Environment, University at Albany, State University of New York: press release embargoed until 7pm GMT January 8th 2004)
 “Ten Reasons to Boycott Fresh Farmed Salmon”: http://www.salmonfarmmonitor.org/pr201203notes.shtml
 Opinion on Dioxins in Food (European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Animal Nutrition, November 2000): http://europa.eu.int/comm/food/fs/sc/scan/out55_en.pdf
Opinion on the Risk Assessment of Dioxins and Dioxin-like PCBs in Food (European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Food, November 2000): http://europa.eu.int/comm/food/fs/sc/scf/out78_en.pdf
Includes: “Fish meal and fish oil are the most heavily contaminated feed materials with products of European fish stocks more heavily contaminated than those from South Pacific stock by a factor of ca. eight”
More on PCBs and dioxin contamination can be found in “The Five Fundamental Flaws of Sea Cage Fish Farming” (Paper presented by Don Staniford in the European Parliament in October 2002: download by http://www.salmonfarmmonitor.org - click on ‘Media and Document Archive’ and then on ‘Independent reports’)
Or another news story
I just read this from a news release by the CBC. It may be the same science that WillieG is referring to.
Farmed salmon not safe, says study
VANCOUVER (CBC) - Conservationists opposed to fish farming say a new study proves that some people who eat farmed salmon may be putting their health at risk.
The study, published in the U.S. journal Science found that farmed fish bought in North America and Europe contained elevated levels of contaminants.
Scientists examined two metric tons of wild and farmed salmon from wholesalers, markets and supermarkets in 16 cities – including Vancouver and Toronto.
"What they found was that the PCBs, dioxins, and a couple of other contaminants were consistently and significantly more concentrated in the farm salmon than in the wild salmon," says Jennifer Lash of the Coastal Alliance of Aquaculture Reform.
Lash says according to guidelines laid out by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, eating too much of the farmed salmon could be unsafe.
With the fish tested from Vancouver stores, the scientists recommend eating no more than two farmed salmon meals per month
"This research is very comprehensive. It is very defensible, and it proves that there is a potential health risk from eating farmed salmon, and consumers need to be very very careful," says Lash.
The salmon farming industry disagrees. It maintains it ensures the safest food is available to consumers.
Salmon farmers have accused environmentalists in the past of skewing data.
But Lash says the size and scope of this study will make it very difficult for salmon farmers to discount, or ignore it.
© the CBC, 2003
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