Remember back in the mid 90s when we were seeing large #s of Atlantics being caught by anglers in the Elwah, Skagit, Skykomish, and other Washington rivers? And we were told, "Don't worry, they're sterile and can't survive in the wild" by the Aquaculturists?
Well, I just read an Associate Press article printed in the Downrigger (monthly bulletin of the Edmonds Salmon chapter of Trout Unlimited) entitled "Farmed Salmon found spawning in BC streams".
It confirmed the approximately 43,000 salmon escape BC pens each year and that in the first nine months of 2000 between 32,000 and 86,000 escaped their pens. That both scientists and aquaculturists admit that "Atlantic Salmon are present in a number of BC salmon-spawning streams at all life history stages" and ~are~ spawning successfully.
Of course, Don Noakes (head of aquaculture at the Federal Fisheries Dept) counters that "all the information we've had and all the studies we've seen (indicate) there is low environmental risk to the salmon in BC".
This is truly deplorable. There should be a risk of total financial ruin for farming operations who allow escapement. We put men on the moon, but we can't keep a fish in a net. The reality is that we simply won't, because it costs more money to make the nets reliable.
I've been working on a farmed fish article...
did you know:
[#]farmed salmon is colored with xantaxanthan (sp?) a pigment derived from crustaceans and flavored with ferol bromide to make it more 'savory' - thus can be considered artificially colored and flavored[#]the effluent created by an average salmon farm equals that of 40,000 humans[#]triploid claims have been found to be untrue as indicated in Brian's report[#]evidence has been found that hybridization is possible at a university in Vancouver[#]nearly a million tons of sand eels are harvested for use primarily in fish farms from the north sea alone per year? This has caused the collapse of groundfish, seabirds, and even impacted the whale population in the region[#]it's one of the fastest growing industries[#]they are farmed all over the world and are showing up in rivers on both oceans[#]Alaska has outlawed aquaculture[#]regulations are abysmally loose[#]even atlantic salmon populations are at risk from these domesticated clones[#]the reason people use this strain is that they have been mutated genetically over 30 years from the original Norwegian strain and if wild salmon were raised in existing salmon farms they would never survive[#]one of the highest risks stems from an explosion of sea lice populations attributable to fish farming itself as the cause...
I could go on and on but I just gave away the article! }>
Do you know where I could get a copy of this article? Thanks!!!
Slowly farmed salmon are pushing commercial fishers such as seiners, gillnetters, trollers etc. out of the business. The price of commercial caught salmon drops every year. This summer it was not economically smart to fish the Bristol Bay sockeye run. I guess, what I am trying to say (ask), what is the lesser evil?...salmon aquaculture or commercial salmon fisheries?
The amount of waste produced by salmon farms is astronomical, these along with other problems are lesser fears then hybridization or natural reproduction of Atlantic's in our waters. We were told not to worry about reproduction in our river systems because so many past experiments had failed and failed miserably (most notablly the project on the Cowichan River many years back). If the article that Brian mentions is based totally upon fact, it just goes and shows how LITTLE we know.
It is not a question of which is the lesser evil. Both commercial fishing and farming are threats. Salmon farms are poised to be a huge threat to native stocks. Steelhead could be specifically hit hard. In rivers where steelhead are already in decline the added competition for spawning grounds and food sources could be the “straw that breaks the camel’s back”. Atlantic salmon are more aggressive as adults and the smolt mature faster. These two characteristics alone could spell doom for native steelhead and salmon.
You are correct that salmon farms have hurt the commercial fishing industry. The commercials led the fight to ban farming in Alaska and they may lead the fight down here to regulate Aquaculture. The farms were not stopped up north for ecological reasons or to protect native fish. They were banned to protect commercial fishing.