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.
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