fish farm siting criteria & politics

Discussion in 'Conservation, Fishery Politics and Management.' started by agentaqua, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. chris73

    chris73 Well-Known Member

    You know sockeyefry, I find it even funnier that you are commenting on salmon issues because you can't even see the simplest facts in front of your eyes. Oh, sorry - it's actually you do not want to see them. I can't find a real statement that is worth answering - all I see is baby-like repeat: "There is no problem no, no, no, no!" What kind of discussion is that? Kind of useless, isn't it? Many here have disproved the few actual statements you made - you got clear, logical, and meaningful answers. If you can't understand them - I feel bad for you - if you do not want to understand then don't waste our time... We have a war to win.
     
  2. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    sockeyefry, you wrote:
    Yep - it's his opinion, all right (just like yours) - A well informed opinion that is frequently backed-up with references and logic - which is in stark comparison to your arguments so far. Your posts - which seem to concentrate on pointing-out lice are on other species of fish - irrespective of looking at relative amounts, timing or effects.

    So what if Neil is one of those dreaded GEOLOGISTS?

    You know I'm not a fireman, either. But if my house is on fire - I will put it out - if I can. However, firemen are often the best arsonists, though - just like DFO.

    What's your point? Some trained as a geologist can't understand science - or maybe it's just they can't understand you?

    You also write:
    So what? So what if farmed fish get lice from the wild, originally?

    It's the magnification and release of that lice back onto the extremely small outmigrating wild juvenile salmon in the spring that is the problem. Did you not read Nerka's rational and simple explanation (that is backed with reams of peer-reviewed science and data):

    Did you not go through the numbers from my last post - where I tried to apportion-out relative amounts of yearly lice contributions from sources in the Broughton? I spent some time using the available science to do this. Why hasn't DFO done this already?

    In this post - in the spring where the smolts are coming out of their creeks - the farmed amounts would be very nearly 100%.

    I'd also suggest that you read:

    1/ Transmission dynamics of parasitic sea lice from farm to wild salmon. Martin Krkos¡ek, Mark A. Lewis and John P. Volpe. Proc. R. Soc. B (2005) 272, 689–696.
    Marine salmon farming has been correlated with parasitic sea lice infestations and concurrent declines of wild salmonids. Here, we report a quantitative analysis of how a single salmon farm altered the natural transmission dynamics of sea lice to juvenile Pacific salmon. We studied infections of sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis and Caligus clemensi ) on juvenile pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) and chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) as they passed an isolated salmon farm during their seaward migration down two long and narrow corridors. Our calculations suggest the infection pressure imposed by the farm was four orders of magnitude greater than ambient levels, resulting in a maximum infection pressure near the farmthat was 73 times greater than ambient levels and exceeded ambient levels for 30 km along the two wild salmon migration corridors. The farm-produced cohort of lice parasitizing the wild juvenile hosts reached reproductive maturity and produced a second generation of lice that re-infected the juvenile salmon. This raises the infection pressure from the farm by an additional order of magnitude, with a composite infection pressure that exceeds ambient levels for 75 km of the two migration routes. Amplified sea lice infestations due to salmon farms are a potential limiting factor to wild salmonid conservation.

    2/ Epizootics of wild fish induced by farm fish. Martin Krkos¡ek*†, Mark A. Lewis*, Alexandra Morton‡, L. Neil Frazer§, and John P. Volpe
    www.pnas.org_cgi_doi_10.1073_pnas.0603525103
    The continuing decline of ocean fisheries and rise of global fish consumption has driven aquaculture growth by 10% annually over the last decade. The association of fish farms with disease emergence in sympatric wild fish stocks remains one of the most controversial and unresolved threats aquaculture poses to coastal ecosystems and fisheries. We report a comprehensive analysis of the spread and impact of farm-origin parasites on the survival of wild fish populations. We mathematically coupled extensive data sets of native parasitic sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) transmission and pathogenicity on migratory wild juvenile pink (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) and chum (Oncorhynchus keta) salmon. Farm-origin lice induced 9–95% mortality in several sympatric wild juvenile pink and chum salmon populations. The epizootics arise through a mechanism that is new to our understanding of emerging infectious diseases: fish farms undermine a functional role of host migration in protecting juvenile hosts from parasites associated with adult hosts. Although the migratory life cycles of Pacific salmon naturally separate adults from juveniles, fish farms provide L. salmonis novel access to juvenile hosts, in this case raising infection rates for at least the first _2.5 months of the salmon’s marine life (_80 km of the migration route). Spatial segregation between juveniles and adults is common among temperate marine fishes, and as aquaculture continues its rapid growth, this disease mechanism may challenge the sustainability of coastal ecosystems and economies.

    3/ Effects of host migration, diversity and aquaculture on sea lice threats eats to Pacific salmon populations. Martin Krkosek, Allen Gottesfeld, Bart Proctor, Dave Rolston , Charmaine Carr-Harris and Mark A. Lewis.

    Animal migrations can affect disease dynamics. One consequence of migration ration common to marine fish and inverertebrates is migratory allopatry — a period of spatial separation between adult and juvenile hosts, which is caused by host migration ration and which prevents parasite transmission from adult to juvenile hosts. We studied this character characteristic for sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis and Caligus clemensi ) and pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) from one of the Canada’s largest salmon stocks. Migratory allopatry protects juvenile salmon from L. salmonis for two to three months of early mar marine life (2–3% prevalence). In contrast, host dive diversity facilitates access for C. clemensi to juvenile salmon (8–20% prevalence) but infections appear ephemeral. Aquaculture can augment host abundance and dive diversity and increase parasite exposure of wild juvenile fish. An empirically parametrized model shows w high sensitivity of salmon populations to increased L. salmonis exposure, predicting population collapse at one to five motile L. salmonis per juvenile pink salmon. These results character characterize parasite threats of salmon aquaculture to wild salmon populations and show how host migration and diversity are important factor actors affecting parasite transmission in the oceans.


    The science is in, sockeyefry. It is apparently too unflattering for the pro-industry types to read. They'd rather keep selling doubt to the public. It's what the PR firms get hired to do. It so reminds one of the global warming argument - or the tobacco companies responses 2 decades ago.

    Don't forget - It's the industry's responsibility to ensure they are not having an impact, and then to prove it.

    What are you really afraid of, sockeyfry - the truth?
     
  3. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    Pink fry average 33mm and 0.25 grams as they outmigrate from the creeks. By contrast, wild Atlantic smolts have a mean length of 158 mm and a mean weight of 40g. That’s 160 times larger than pink smolts by weight.

    Lice mortality depends upon the weight of the fish. Therefore pink smolts are 160 times more susceptible to lice mortality than Atlantic smolts.

    Therefore, trigger limits for lice treatments on farm fish to protect nearby outmigrating pink smolts should be 160 times less than those set for the larger Atlantic smolts in Europe. Makes sense, eh?

    What are the sea lice trigger limits in Europe?

    With many hundreds times less salmon than BC and hence many hundreds times less potential for wild/cultured salmon interactions than BC (so European limits are not really adequate for us, either) - Norway’s fish farm sea lice trigger limits are 0.5 adult females (which may still be too high of a trigger level) or 4 mobile lice for the 6 month period between December and June, while in Ireland, sea lice must be treated once levels hit 0.3 - 0.5 female lice/fish.

    What are the mandatory trigger limits here in BC on farm fish to protect nearby outmigrating pink smolts?

    The provincial “Action Levels for Management” is 3 motile lice/farm fish during smolt out migration and 6 for remainder of year. Yet strangely, no treatment levels are prescribed specifically for adult female lice which produce eggs.

    In January 2004, the average number of motile lice in the Broughton exceeded this management level as averages rose to 9 motile lice/fish and 5 female lice per fish the month before the pink smolts entered the marine environment. This is 10 times the legal limit for female sea lice in Europe.

    Since pinks smolts are 160 times more susceptible to sea lice mortaility than Atlantic smolts, levels should 160 times less than Europe, or 0.025 mobile lice and 0.003 female lice/fish for the period when the pink smolts outmigrate.

    What was the levels in the Broughton in 2004 when the pinks were outmigrating?

    9 motile lice/fish and 5 female lice per fish, or 360 and 1600 times higher than it should be to protect the smaller pink smolts.

    If we cannot keep the lice levels on the farm fish below that which is required to protect the wild pink smolts – then why are we allowing open net cages to be placed in the water at all?
     
  4. sockeyefry

    sockeyefry Guest

    Nerka,

    Lice are found here because that is where they are looking.

    Agent,

    You better start reading your posts:

    "Here, we report a quantitative analysis"

    "Afflicted areas include Norway (22), Scotland (23), Ireland (24), and Canada (25). The infestations are concurrent with declines in affected populations, but the causal linkages are obfuscated by the myriad factors affecting wild fish populations, such as density dependence, climate, fishing, and habitat degradation."

    "to estimate the impact of farms on the survival of wild juvenile pink (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) and chum (Oncorhynchus keta) salmon..."

    These are a few examples of how the science is NOT in.
    Quantitative analysis is nothing more than a math exercise to produce the illusion of a connection between events which are either not connected, or to exagerate a connection to further an agenda.

    And don't forget how we wouldn't want an "obfuscation" to deter a scientist from determining exactly what he wants his target audience to believe.

    Estimates are also not science. Estimates cannot be accurately repeated.

    Yes Chris, I guess I just don't understand all this science stuff as well as you guys.

    My question is Why can't you people admit that the science on both sides is a bunch of circumstantial estimates, and that further study is neede to find out concretely what is happening?
     
  5. Nerka

    Nerka Member

    "Lice are found here because that is where they are looking"- sockeye fry

    You are just plain wrong. Again if you had actually read any of the research that has gone on with respect to sea lice in the north pacific you would know that people have looked in Rivers inlet, Bella Bella, Prince Rupert, Chatam sound and SE Alaska. I suggest you do your homework before posting again...

    nerka
     
  6. gimp

    gimp Guest

  7. sockeyefry

    sockeyefry Guest

    Nerka,

    The few token surveys outside the Broughton have not been with the same intensity. You have to apply the same methodologies and efforts in order to be able to compare.

    In reference to reading the research, you nor I have that much time, it is for this reason that we tend to read papers which contain information with which we agree. Have a read through my post, and tell me if you think the science is in with statements like those? I am not saying that the farms are innocent, what I am saying if anyone would care to listen is that the research is not complete.
     
  8. Nimo

    Nimo Member

  9. Nimo

    Nimo Member

    The trouble is we can't wait for the research to be complete. Our Wild Pacific Salmon cannot wait while their very existence is at risk.

    I haven't heard anyone dispute that there is ongoing research around these issues. What I have heard reverberating throughout this discussion is that it is in fact up to the FFFFs to establish the facts beyond reasonable doubt; the burden of proof is on the fish farmers.

    All we hear so far is how this person isn't a biologist and that person doesn't have a doctorate...These people didn't wake up in the morning and decide to write a paper. They are providing informed discussion formulated through their own scientific research and educated discussion with their peers. They are providing valuable comment on the issue of the threats of the Fish Farm's and they make a lot of sense.

    Sockeye Fry: We did care to listen. Your posts, including your next one, have not swayed opinion around the continued existence of the open pen fish farms. They have to go. There is no innocent until proven guilty when it comes to our Wild Salmon, the salmon do not get a second chance.
     
  10. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    sockeyefry, you write:
    If that's the best you can do - it's pretty lame. You do understand all the last quotes I gave you were the abstracts from the peer-reviewed science? It's reporting on a scientific modelling process with the appropriate stats to estimate the potential for wonkiness.

    you also write:
    I guess not. thanks for being honest. Maybe you could start with admitting that you have not read-up on this stuff?
     
  11. sockeyefry

    sockeyefry Guest

    Nimo, Agent

    No you are not reading your own posts.

    Agent did you read your peer reviewed science with an open mind, or did you read my last post which indicated the level of uncertainty surrounding your peer reviewed science?

    Obviously not. Here are the exerpts again:

    "Here, we report a quantitative analysis"

    "Afflicted areas include Norway (22), Scotland (23), Ireland (24), and Canada (25). The infestations are concurrent with declines in affected populations, but the causal linkages are obfuscated by the myriad factors affecting wild fish populations, such as density dependence, climate, fishing, and habitat degradation."

    "to estimate the impact of farms on the survival of wild juvenile pink (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) and chum (Oncorhynchus keta) salmon..."

    Do you understand what the second quote is saying? Please explain it to me. I read it as saying that they would like to blame the population declines on fish farms, but this neat conclusion is ruined by a bunch of factors which also affect fish populations. So they still make the claim, gain the headline and this little detail is conveniently forgotten. Do you not see this or are you unwilling to see it? Does any one else on this forum see this or am I the only one?
     
  12. Nerka

    Nerka Member

    "The few token surveys outside the Broughton have not been with the same intensity. You have to apply the same methodologies and efforts in order to be able to compare." -sockeyefry

    Again you are wrong, yes methodology is important depending on the question you are asking but effort has little to do with it. The methodology employed to make these comparisons are all comparable so dismissing the research is unfounded.

    "Have a read through my post, and tell me if you think the science is in with statements like those? I am not saying that the farms are innocent, what I am saying if anyone would care to listen is that the research is not complete." -sockeyefry

    I never said the "science" is in, but the weight of evidence (and it is considerable) is in and it does not support your claims. A classic tactic (as already pointed out on this thread) is to claim that we need more research and that things are not conclusive. The tobacco industry relied on this for quite a while as did the asbestos industry. Do you really want your industry to be associated with them?

    nerka
     
  13. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    sockeyefry, you ask:
    I actually have the article, and actually have read it along with many, many others (thought we were going to keep an eye on the slander...).

    Let me instead try to cut and paste some of the text, again. I'll just do the abstract for now (it's publically available and free to read). I wouldn't want to inadvertently screw-up any copyright laws by reposting someone's work on a publically-available webpage like this one.

    I actually tried this before (cutting and pasting the abstract from an 2-columned adobe document into a single-column web browser) - and I see I instead pasted part of the intro, rather than the abstract. My apologies.

    The abstract actually reads: "The continuing decline of ocean fisheries and rise of global fish consumption has driven aquaculture growth by 10% annually over the last decade. The association of fish farms with disease emergence in sympatric wild fish stocks remains one of the most controversial and unresolved threats aquaculture poses to coastal ecosystems and fisheries. We report a comprehensive analysis of the spread and impact of farm-origin parasites on the survival of wild fish populations. We mathematically coupled extensive data sets of native parasitic sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) transmission and pathogenicity on migratory wild juvenile pink (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) and chum (Oncorhynchus keta) salmon. Farm-origin lice induced 9–95% mortality in several sympatric wild juvenile pink and chum salmon populations. The epizootics arise through a mechanism that is new to our understanding of emerging infectious diseases: fish farms undermine a functional role of host migration in protecting juvenile hosts from parasites associated with adult hosts. Although the migratory life cycles of Pacific salmon naturally separate adults from juveniles, fish farms provide L. salmonis novel access to juvenile hosts, in this case raising infection rates for at least the first _2.5 months of the salmon’s marine life (_80 km of the migration route). Spatial segregation between juveniles and adults is common among temperate marine fishes, and as aquaculture continues its rapid growth, this disease mechanism may challenge the sustainability of coastal ecosystems and economies."

    read that and we'll wait for your comments.

    PS - another good one is:
    A Global Assessment of Salmon Aquaculture Impacts on Wild Salmonids
    Jennifer S. Ford*, Ransom A. Myers_
    Department of Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Since the late 1980s, wild salmon catch and abundance have declined dramatically in the North Atlantic and in much of the northeastern Pacific south of Alaska. In these areas, there has been a concomitant increase in the production of farmed salmon. Previous studies have shown negative impacts on wild salmonids, but these results have been difficult to translate into predictions of change in wild population survival and abundance. We compared marine survival of salmonids in areas with salmon farming to adjacent areas without farms in Scotland, Ireland, Atlantic Canada, and Pacific Canada to estimate changes in marine survival concurrent with the growth of salmon aquaculture. Through a meta-analysis of existing data, we show a reduction in survival or abundance of Atlantic salmon; sea trout; and pink, chum, and coho salmon in association with increased production of farmed salmon. In many cases, these reductions in survival or abundance are greater than 50%. Meta-analytic estimates of the mean effect are significant and negative, suggesting that salmon farming has reduced survival of wild salmon and trout in many populations and countries.
    Citation: Ford JS, Myers RA (2008) A global assessment of salmon aquaculture impacts on wild salmonids. PLoS Biol 6(2): e33. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060033
     
  14. Summer Steel

    Summer Steel Member


    Exactly, the research is NOT complete. Therefore, do we, as stewards of the public resource that is our wild salmon, not have an obligation to err on the side of caution & put the best interests of the wild salmon first??

    I think everyone can agree, there is some strong circumstantial evidence that fish farms are contributing to declines in certain salmonid populations. I'm not saying that they are the root cause of all evil, but they are definitely not wearing halos either. Point is, until we find out for sure, shouldn't we be leaning towards the precautions of not expanding the industry further and at least fallowing all the farms in the Broughton during the smolt migration? Remember, precautions always benefit the wild fish. If there is nothing there, then there is no potential for harm. If it is business as usual, then there is always the potential for things to go wrong.

    Now I understand that this may mean financial hardship for some, BUT, that is considered the cost of doing business. ALL industries have safety regulations and protocols for behaviour that they have to follow. Imagine if there were no rules for logging companies or mining consortiums. Unscrupulous elements within these companies would rape and pillage the resources of this province at will. You only have to look to our past to see that this has happened already. Industry standards are constantly evolving and upgrading to protect the resources of this province for future generations. I don't see why fish farming should be any different. The industry should be regulated with the needs for wild salmon being placed first and foremost. If that means there are those in the industry that no longer find it financially feasible to raise farmed salmon, then perhaps it is time to move on to other things. It is no different than all the sawmill workers that have lost their jobs in the last year due to changing market conditions. Many of the big forestry companies have simply said they can no longer justify continuing to operate their mills at a loss and have unfortunately told their workers it is time to move on. Times change, and people have to change with them. Until we know for certain the amount of harm fish farms can, are or will cause, we should ALWAYS proceed cautiously, with the best interests of the wild salmon coming first above all else.
     
  15. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    Summer Steel, well done on your last posting:
    You said everything I wanted to - but more eloquently.

    The only thing I would add, would be when I said "the science is in" - I meant the science necessary to make a decision on the open net-cage technology vis-à-vis potential impacts on our wild stocks is in (re-read the posting on the precautionary approach).

    Others, such as the Special Committee on Sustainable Aquaculture, agree. Open net-cage technology has to go.

    Obviously, science is always a work in progress – like dishes – there’s always more to be done. Especially in such a noisy environment as the ocean. This reality and acceptance does not release us from our responsibilities to “act responsibility” and protect our wild salmon with the information we have available, in a timely fashion.

    Denial of the problem is a stalling tactic by higher-ups in the industry, and accommodated by certain key individuals in DFO – the department that gets money for research from the industry. It’s at the very least – a huge conflict of interest by DFO – and maybe much more (see previous postings on this with more details). As pointed-out earlier, cigarette companies and more recently, oil companies - have used this stalling tactic.

    It’s truly unfortunate (and maybe even criminal) that the corporate culture has been allowed to invade our public service, and infect the decision-making process that’s supposed to protect our public resource.

    It’s too bad (and maybe even criminal) that upper-level bureaucrats in DFO have seen fit to promote a user-pay consulting-style cost recovery that forces conflicts of interest within fisheries and the associated industrial management in Canada.

    We should have adequate financial resources within fisheries science in Canada, in order to assess and manage impacts to our fisheries. This is what used to happen – through the work and mandate of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada – before DFO was constructed and subsequently became compromised.

    I am still in awe of some of the world-class work the Fisheries Research Board of Canada used to do – up until its mandate and structure was erased through the development of DFO in the early 1970’s. Look it up.

    DFO hired consultants to tell them what they wanted to hear (e.g. Peter Pearse et al.), which was to give our resources to big business, and remove local input – using a theory called “Tragedy of the Commons” – as an excuse. Look it up.

    We are dealing with the ramifications today. Those effects are indeed “tragic” – the real “Tragedy of the Common People and the Common Resources”. The only way back is to regain our local authority over the resources through the development of bodies such as Local Area Management (LAM) regimes. They do this in Ireland, and elsewhere the world over, and yes – there are seats at the table for industries, such as aquaculture.

    I have nothing but compassion and understanding for the field-level DFO fish biologist, and the hands-on farm worker. They, like us, have to function within the screwed-up system we currently have functioning – and make a living, somehow.

    Again, this does not relieve us of our responsibility to try to change the system. I believe that stopping the denial, and educating everyone is the first step. That’s why I (and others) have spent so much time on this forum discussing these issues.

    I thank everyone for their caring and input.
     
  16. Dave H

    Dave H Well-Known Member

    And for those of you who have read Science and Sea Lice, by Brian Harvey of the PSF, here's an analysis and critique from someone who has the credentials to do so. The Pacific Salmon Forum is on very sketchy ground regarding their integrity on the subject, given their antics of late.

    Take care.

    http://www.watershed-watch.org/WWSS-Critique-PSFreport.pdf
     
  17. Nerka

    Nerka Member

  18. Dave H

    Dave H Well-Known Member

  19. OldBlackDog

    OldBlackDog Well-Known Member

  20. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2005-2009/2008AL0011-000421.htm#






    NEWS RELEASE

    For Immediate Release

    2008AL0011-000421

    March 27, 2008


    Ministry of Agriculture and Lands



    FINFISH AQUACULTURE SUSPENDED IN THE NORTH COAST AREA



    VICTORIA – The Province is suspending the issuance of licenses and tenures for finfish aquaculture in North Coast tidal waters north of Aristazabal Island while it examines the feasibility of adopting a new approach to aquaculture management in collaboration with First Nations, Agriculture and Lands Minister Pat Bell announced today.



    “Currently, there are no operating finfish farms on the North Coast and the government is implementing this suspension to allow time to explore new management options for aquaculture practices,” said Bell. “We have huge potential if we work together with the First Nations Leadership Council in dealing with finfish aquaculture. These discussions will allow us to work collaboratively to create a comprehensive and forward-reaching provincial aquaculture plan that protects the health of wild salmon.”



    The collaborative approach has worked well, allowing the Province to move forward with historic land-use agreements on the Central and North Coasts, where ecosystem-based management frameworks are now in place to ensure the ecological integrity of the land base and improve human well-being in these communities.



    “This announcement is a positive step towards the sustainability and survival of our coastal ecosystems,” said Elmer Derrick of the First Nations Leadership Council Aquaculture Working Group. “However, we must ensure that the government-to-government solutions to aquaculture ensure that First Nations communities seeking economic opportunities, through aquaculture, are adequately accommodated and supported to establish other economic ventures and strong coastal communities.”



    The order to suspend licensing and tenures falls under the Environment and Land Use Act, and will be effective immediately. The suspension does not affect opportunities for shellfish farming, which is of significant interest to First Nations on the North Coast. The order to suspend the issuance of licenses and tenures applies to finfish aquaculture in tidal waters, not shellfish farms or finfish farms such as trout farms in freshwater.



    The suspension begins near the top end of Aristazabal Island which is 150 km south of the mouth of the Skeena River. Currently there are three applications for finfish aquaculture licenses in this area. Crown land tenures for these sites were previously issued and two aquaculture licenses were approved, but have since lapsed. The sites are not active at this time. A map detailing the area is available at: www.al.gov.bc.ca/fisheries/cabinet/OIC_central_northcoast_map.pdf

    -30-



    Media

    contact:


    Caroline McAndrews

    Public Affairs Officer

    Ministry of Agriculture and Lands

    250 387-1693

    250 208-3254 (cell)







    For more information on government services or to subscribe to the Province’s news feeds using RSS, visit the Province’s website at www.gov.bc.ca.
     

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