Update on BC Salmon Farms & Sea Lice
On tuesday a meeting was held at Port Mcneill by Goverment and the fish farming industry to roll out their "Action Plan" to protect young pink salmon this spring.
The meeting was astonishing and if nothing further is done , the area 12 pink salmon will take a signifigant, if not final step towards extintion in the next few weeks.
"We do not have an action plan, at some point we will have an action plan" (Savard)
The Province said:
"Number one is more dialouge" (Al Martin)
The fish farmers said:
They would check for sea lice once a month and treat when there were 5 mobile lice per farm salmon.
This falls signigantly short of international protocols established by Nasco since 1997 and Stolt would not be allowed to conduct this lax husbandry in there home country-Norway. If you wanted sea lice to spawn before killing them, you would follow this protocol, it is actually a sea lice conservation measure and certain death for the pinks.
The fish farmers offered to fallow only the sites they have stopped farming because they were too poor to rear salmon. These sites have not been used in over a year.
First Nation represenatives walked out and slammed the door when they learned DFO and the Province had no "Action Plan" despite telling all the meeting was called to present an "Action Plan".
When the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform backed down from asking all farms to be fallowed, instead asking for an independent scientist, (who was present) to assess the hydrology and biology to pinpoint which farms were most likely to harm the pink salmon so that only key sites had to be fallowed, (DFO agreed this would be a good way to go) but industry said "Absolutely not".
Industry has refused to grant the pink salmon safe passage. They are trying to promote the myth that they can protect the pink salmon by treating for lice, however, this has never worked anywhere , it certainly wont work allowing 5 mobile lice per fish(in Norway it's 2 lice per fish with a move to 0) and especially won't work because the salmon farms here have 3x'smore fish per site than in Norway, which increases the total lice out put per farm. In fact if only half the lice are female by the time they treat, each farm of 1.5 million fish could have produced two shots of over 9 billion larvae each. In addition new research shows that treated lice release their eggs and the larvae still hatch. So treatment can do nothing for wild salmon near salmon farms.
Young pink salmon are designed to to encounter 0 lice in the inshore waters so 9 billion is a little over the top.
As it stands the industry has until 5PM today to agree that "Safe Passage" for the pinks means all farms are fallow on the pinks major migration route. Tribune Channel is a tube, if even one farm prodeuces 9 billion lice every 3 weeks , these lice will slosh back and forth and fill the tube to lethal levels. There can not be one lice breeding ground on the migration route for the pink salmon to survive.
If industry refuses, many are making other plans. The instream temperatures are one degree higher this year so the pinks and chums will be out earlier than last year, the fallow must start in two weeks for the six week flush period required to get rid of the lice larvae.
The sad thing is-the pinks don't have to go extinct it is entirely avoidable. There are only two farms right now on the migration route with fish rearing. All others are standing empty, though gearing up to receive fish any day. As the Sierra Club made clear on tuesday- the wild salmon are not the only ones on the edge of extinction here, the salmon farming industry sits in the balance too. If they restock and wipe out the wild salmon, the backlash will destroy salmon farming in British Coloumbia.
Boy this sounds like its down to the wire!!!