fish farm siting criteria & politics

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

  1. OldBlackDog

    OldBlackDog Well-Known Member

    VICTORIA – The Ministry of Agriculture and Lands has issued one new finfish license, one replacement finfish license, and one new shellfish license, and denied another application for a shellfish license. These decisions are based on the biological suitability of the sites, the technical merits of the applications, and consultation with First Nations, communities and other government agencies.

    A replacement finfish license was issued to Creative Salmon Company Ltd. to grow Chinook salmon at a marine water-based facility on the southwest corner of Warne Island at the entrance of Tofino Inlet. The site is a replacement for the Tranquil aquaculture license, which is being relocated due to poor tidal flushing and concerns by First Nations. Surrender of the Tranquil site is a condition of the tenure offer for Warne Island. The proposed site lies solely within the asserted traditional territory of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations, who provided letters of support for the application.

    The second finfish license was issued to Grieg Seafood B.C. Ltd. to grow Atlantic salmon at a marine water-based facility in Nootka Sound on the north shore of Muchalat Inlet, just east of the juncture with Williamson Passage. It is the last of six sites discussed in a settlement agreement by the Province and the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation. Provisions were made in the agreement for siting a total of six marine finfish farms in the settlement area, only four of which were to be operational at any one time to allow for fallowing and better site management. This site is located in an area designated as acceptable for aquaculture by the Nootka Sound Coastal Land Use Plan.

    In another decision, an application by Island Scallops Ltd., to amend their existing license to include 125 hectares of sub-surface longlines for Japanese scallop culture, was approved. The site is located off the east side of Vancouver Island near Bowser. The license requires that all farm structures be a minimum of 1.1 km off-shore, with no surface structures other than buoys required to ensure safe navigation.
    Finally, a submission by Discovery Diving Ltd., for a geoduck clam sub-tidal facility proposed off Wilson Creek on the Sunshine Coast, was denied. Amongst other factors, the site was rejected due to the sensitive habitat designation of the area.

    Numerous parties were consulted on these applications, including the Canadian Coast Guard, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ministry of Forests and Range, Ministry of Environment, Environment Canada, the First Nations groups in the area, non-governmental organizations, the Regional Districts and the public.

    All decisions on aquaculture licences in British Columbia are based on the following principles: fairness; transparency; efficiency; accountability; protection of public health and safety; protection of the environment; and sustainable economic development.
  2. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    Robert Wager is a well-known fish farm pundit of many pro-industry articles printed in various newspapers, including:

    • Sea lice no threat to wild salmon; [Final Edition], Robert Wager. Times - Colonist. Victoria, B.C.: Nov 26, 2007. pg. A.7
    • Suzuki 'Bullies' those who Oppose his Views — The Leader-Post via AgNet, Letter to Editor: May 4, 2005
    • North Island Gazette, To the Editor, 06/25/05, Re:Tourism operators concerned about aquaculture. Once again pseudo-science is presented to try to trump the real science of aquaculture… Clearly the data from the DFO study is far superior to that of the activist.

    And more recently:
    2008/3/24, No Matter How You Sea Lice It, editorial, Westcoast News

    In this article, some of his more controversial claims are:

    “other forms of animal agriculture use far more antibiotics than aquaculture”

    The differences and associated problems with farming aquatic animals in an unenclosed environment, verses a terrestrial one should be obvious - and do not necessarily depend upon the level of antibiotics given to caged fish.

    We do not have wild flocks of cows floating over top of and through fenced cattle (like we do in the open net-cage aquatic environment); yet even still - we do have exclusion zones for cattle production and associated buffer zones to mitigate interactions between wild bison and domesticated cattle – based on migration and rearing areas of the wild bison.

    Not only do we none of this in Canada for the open net-cage fish farm industry, but we base our environmental assessment on the fact that both DFO, BCMAFF, and the fish farm industry assume that wild fish do not swim more than 1.0 km. This is in spite of the fact that the baby salmon leaving the creeks often swim hundreds of km to the ocean, and then swim potentially thousands of km North along the coast to the Alaskan Gyre , and then back again using the same route.

    The assessment and siting criteria are a sham.

    Then there is the associated problems with the open net-cage technology, where diseases and parasites freely pass between the caged and wild fish. Salmon farms stock their pens with Atlantic salmon smolts from FRESHWATER hatcheries. They then get SEA lice. They get sea lice through the mechanism of the open net-pen, which allows the free flow of water that contains the free-swimming forms of sea lice, as well as other disease and parasite vectors. No apparent difficulty in getting the salmon farming industry to understand this one.

    This proves that the open net-cage technology is INEFFECTIVE in containing the interactions between wild and cultured stocks - and that sea lice move through the cage. They obviously can and do move both ways through the net - pushed along by the tides and winds. To suggest any other reality is being truly dishonest.

    This reality of this negative interaction has been proven the world over. Open net-cage technology has to go.

    Think about it. If there was a single case – in the world – where the open net-cage industry did not have a serious, negative, population-level effect on the local, adjacent salmon (where they exist, which excludes Chile) – do you not think that the PR firms and industry associations wouldn’t be singing the praises of their industry loud and clear?

    Yet – every jurisdiction in the world reports significant problems with sea lice and other parasites, and diseases transmitted back-and-forth with the wild stocks.

    The fish farming industry has had well over 30 years to do these studies and submit their findings to peer-reviewed science. Ever wonder why it was not done, or maybe not published? All they can do is to try and create doubt in the public's mind about studies that do not put open net-pens in a good light.

    And remember - this is an important point - it is any industry's job to prove that they are not having an impact. They never have done this in over 30 years of operation.

    Wagner also claims:

    "Without a doubt my biggest complaint about those who claim fish farms threaten wild stocks is how they completely refuse to acknowledge every alleged problem with fish farms is multiplied ten to one hundred times just north of the border where the state of Alaska “ranches salmon.” If these critics truly believe fish farming is a threat to wild salmon then it is very difficult to understand their silence on salmon ranching just north of the border. Not only are the feed, disease and PCB issues identical, the intentional release of over one Billion pink salmon after rearing in net pens definitely should concern these groups."

    We discussed this earlier on this thread. The feed, disease and PCB issues are definately *NOT* "identical" between "ranching", and "salmon farming".

    With "ranching" - small, newly-released Pacific salmon fry are placed in those pens, and hold them only long enough to get them a little bigger, and then release them before the spawning adults return.

    There are no multi-year classes of farmed salmon held overwinter in adjacent pens or adjacent sites (like BC does), with the overwhelming potential to infect the small, vunerable outmigrating juvenile salmon the next spring.

    Because of these differences, it's called "ranching", verses salmon-farming; and that's why salmon farming is illegal in Alaska. They know the risk that overwintering multi-year classes of Atlantic salmon pose to their native wild salmon.

    We have discussed most of these points already earlier in these postings.

    I do agree with these statements of Wager’s:

    1. “salmon farming debate should be about reproducible scientific evidence”.
    2. “Unfortunately the debate is pushed by media coverage of negative stories from questionable research and polished PR campaigns”.
    3. “These eNGOs are highly critical of any research funded by corporations, suggesting biases towards financial considerations. This is a fair consideration when viewing any research”.
    4. “…those who resort to personal/professional attacks are doing so because the real science does not support their position”.

    1/ Using Wager’s suggestions – we can then disregard most of the questionable research and polished PR campaigns coming from the multinational open net-cage industry, and include only peer-reviewed research, such as:

    A/ 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.

    B/ Epizootics of wild fish induced by farm fish. Martin Krkos¡ek*†, Mark A. Lewis*, Alexandra Morton‡, L. Neil Frazer§, and John P. Volpe
    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.

    C/ 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.

    D/ 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

    2/ We should be highly critical of biases and conflicts of interests, which includes Robert Wagner’s.

    I find it unfortunately disingenuous that Robert did not declare that:

    A/ The college he works for (Malaspina University-College) gets funding for aquaculture research and is closely associated with the aquaculture industry, and
    B/ he is closely associated with a co-worker named Linda Hiemstra,

    Mz. Hiemstra worked in the aquaculture industry for over 17 years , is associated with BC Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences (BC CAHS), is Past Chair of the Aquaculture Association of Canada (, has been the Conference Coordinator of the Aquaculture Association of Canada (, is the Conference Co-ordinator for Aquaculture Pacific Exchange (, has managed the Aquaculture Extension Program at Malaspina University-College, is connected with the 2007 Women of Resource Communities Conference sponsored by First Dollar Alliance (, has been part of the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance when David Rideout was Executive Director ( – and most importantly has had a close relationship with Yves Bastien, the ex-Commissioner for Aquaculture Development when he was President of the Aquaculture Association of Canada.

    Recently, Mz. Hiemstra has become part of the Canadian Aquaculture Portal Society – Société du portail canadien de l’aquaculture (CAPS-SPCA) - a registered not-for-profit corporation, formed to enable knowledge mobilization in Canadian aquaculture, along with other people, such as:

    Yves Bastien, Retired, Aquaculture Expert
    During his 24 year career in aquaculture, Mr. Bastien was a member of several steering committees and boards. He received the Herb Dhaliwal Sustainable Aquaculture Award in 2004 and has extensive expertise in all aspects of public management and support. He brings with him a wealth of experience with the aquaculture industry policies and protocols and expertise in developing corporations from start-up to success.

    Cyr Couturier, Chair, Masters Science Aquaculture Program, Memorial University
    Mr. Couturier is the Chair of the Masters in Science Aquaculture Program of the Marine Institute of Memorial University, St. John’s Newfoundland. He has worked for 27 years in aquaculture applied research, project development and management, teaching, and extension services and not for profit association development and management. He has strong relationships with government and industry people in eastern and Atlantic Canada.

    Linda Sams CEO, BC Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences
    Ms. Sams is the CEO for the BC Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences, Campbell River BC and has over 20 years of business and management experience in the private sector. She has served on the boards of the BC Salmon Farmers Association, the Campbell River Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Governors for North Island College. Ms Sams brings a wide network of west coast aquaculture industry, government, research (national and international) and First Nations contacts.

    Gavin Last, Assistant Director, Aquaculture Development, BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands
    Gavin Last has lived in BC for most of his life. He began his career in aquaculture in 1988 at Capilano College where he completed the Aquaculture Technician’s Certificate program. He worked briefly in the salmon farming industry before completing degrees in English (1993) and Law (1999). He has worked at the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands (formerly Agriculture Food & Fisheries) in Victoria since 2000. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Aquaculture Development Branch.

    Roddy Morrison, IT Director, Marine Harvest Canada
    Roddy Morrison is currently the IT Director for Marine Harvest Canada, a position he has had for over 5 years. Previously he worked for over 4 years with Stolt Seafarms in Scotland. He is responsible for IT and communications for all Marine Harvest Canada locations. He has a degree in computer science and brings extensive experience in development of applications and technical solutions for the aquaculture industry.

    Jack Taylor, Retired Aquaculture and Policy Expert
    Jack Taylor has been involved with the aquaculture industry since 1998 as a policy analyst with Fisheries and Oceans Canada. He served as Executive Director in the Office of the Commissioner for Aquaculture Development from 1999 to 2004. He moved to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency as Director of the new Aquatic Animal Health Division in 2005. Mr Taylor retired from the federal government in 2006.

    Céline Audet, Institut des sciences de la mer de Rimouski, Université du Québec à Rimouski
    Céline Audet has worked for 20 years in aquaculture applied research. During this period, she was actively involved in all provincial initiatives that aimed to build effective links among governments, industry and research including Société de recherche et développement en aquaculture continentale (SORDAC), Société de développement de l’industrie maricole (SODIM), Centre de transfert et de sélection des salmonidés (CTSS). She is chair of the Réseau Aquaculture Québec (RAQ) and was an active member of AquaNet. Her own research is oriented towards salmonids and marine fish (flounder and cod), but she also collaborated on projects on crustaceans and trained around 40 M.Sc. and Ph. D. students.

    Sam Nakai, Business Development Consultant
    Mr. Nakai is a consultant currently working with a private venture consulting company and a Crown agency leading innovation and commercialization in the province of British Columbia. He has eleven years experience in operations in private company and public service organizations related to manufacturing, high technology, internet and general research, innovation and commercialization. He was most recently Director of Programs for the BC Innovation Council, an early supporter of AquaPort.

    Adolfo Alvial, Technical Director, Marine Harvest Chile
    Since 2000, Mr. Alvial has initiated and managed several innovative businesses and associations in the aquaculture, ecotourism and environmental sectors, including being the general manager of the Technological Institute of Salmon (INTESAL) - the technological arm of SalmonChile, the Chilean salmon farming industry association. Currently he is the Technical Director for Marine Harvest Chile and has extensive business development and global communication expertise.

    Officers of the Board of Directors were appointed in December 2007 augmenting the working organizational structure initiated with the permanent Board of Directors. The officers were chosen to ensure ongoing assessment and strategizing capability within the organization.
    President: Tim DeJager, CO3 Consulting
    Vice-president: Yves Bastien
    Secretary: Linda Hiemstra, Mel Mor Science
    Treasurer: Jack Taylor


    Tim DeJager, co3 Consulting
    Dr. DeJager has been the lead proponent and manager of the AquaPort project since inception. In this role, he managed the survey to determine industry requirements, collection of core content, development of technology requirements, and worked with industry and other stakeholders to build support and pursue funding opportunities. He has over 10 years experience in the aquaculture industry as a business owner, teacher, publisher of research information, and manager of research and consulting projects.


    Linda Hiemstra, Mel Mor Science
    Ms Hiemstra has worked in the aquaculture industry for over 17 years as a shellfish culture researcher, instructor, and project manager, for research, development and information projects such as conferences, publications, workshops and training events and has extensive contacts throughout the sector in BC and nationally. She has worked with the Aquaport project since January 2007 providing management and assistance to specific development activities.
    Contributors and Collaborators

    Many agencies and groups have realized the value of AquaPort to the Canadian aquaculture industry and to the Canadian economy and have contributed and collaborated to ensure the success of this project.
    • AquaNet, the Network of Centres of Excellence for Aquaculture
    • BC innovation Council, BC Aquaculture Research and Development Council
    • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)
    • British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture and Lands
    • Malaspina University-College, (Faculty of Management, Faculty of Science and Technology and Institute for Coastal Research)
    • Societé de développement de l‘industrie maricole
    • Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance
    • Réseau Aquaculture Québec
    • Aquaculture Association of Canada
    Collaborating Associations and Organizations
    • Aquaculture Centre, University of Guelph
    • BC Salmon Farmers Association
    • BC Shellfish Growers Association
    • Regroupement des mariculteurs du Québec
    • Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association
    • New Brunswick Salmon Growers Association
    • Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia
    • Prince Edward Island Aquaculture Alliance
    • Northern Ontario Aquaculture Association
    • Alberta Fish Farmers Association
    • Professional Shellfish Growers Association of New Brunswick
    • Carrefour national de l’aquaculture et des pêches de Grande-Rivière
    • Interprovincial Partnership for Sustainable Freshwater Aquaculture Development
  3. sockeyefry

    sockeyefry Guest


    What is your connection to the anti fish farm lobby? You seem to be able to come up with appropriate propaganda as well as the farm people. You also seem to agree with me as well, as in past posts, I suggested the very same that you:

    "I do agree with these statements of Wager’s:

    1. “salmon farming debate should be about reproducible scientific evidence”.
    2. “Unfortunately the debate is pushed by media coverage of negative stories from questionable research and polished PR campaigns”.
    3. “These eNGOs are highly critical of any research funded by corporations, suggesting biases towards financial considerations. This is a fair consideration when viewing any research”.
    4. “…those who resort to personal/professional attacks are doing so because the real science does not support their position”. "

    You also conveniently do not list all the peer reviewed science, just those which support your claims.
  4. scott craven

    scott craven Well-Known Member

    My eyes just glazed over...
    kinda like reading text books for excitement.:(
  5. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    Sockeyefry, you ask:

    ”What is your connection to the anti fish farm lobby?”

    Implicit within that question – is an assumption that I have a connection to what is termed by the pro-fish farm lobby, as the ”anti fish farm lobby”.

    Why wouldn’t you instead ask what is my connection to the pro- fish farm lobby (like finaddict)?

    Quid pro quo, sockeyefry - What then is your connection to the pro-fish farm lobby,? Or should I instead ask:” what is your connection to the anti-wild salmon lobby, sockeyefry”?

    If it makes you feel better, sockeyefry – I am not a card-carrying member of any eNGO. Nor am I receiving any remuneration in making these posts. Like many of the sport fishermen and other people on this forum – I simply care enough not to standby and watch a tragedy happen.

    From what I see, anyone not parroting industry rhetoric; anyone who dares to question the open net-cage technology – is immediately thrown into the “anti” bunch. You know the “anti” stereotype – the rabid, DSF card-carrying member, cappuccino-slurping enviro-freaks.

    I guess it’s easier for the pro-farm lobby to try to demean and belittle people’s legitimate concerns, rather than addressing them. Again, we see examples of trying to shift the focus away from the issues.

    You then state: “You also conveniently do not list all the peer reviewed science, just those which support your claims”.

    Believe me – it is not "convenient" to list all the peer-reviewed science that is either anti- or precautionary against the open net-cage technology effects. Although it's darn easy to point out the few articles (mostly by Brooks) that try to pick-apart other's work.

    It's like Al Gores "Convenient Truth". Probably over 90% of the science is against or precautionary over the open net-cage technology. I will get a list together, soon – but it will take a bit.

    Also, it may cause r.s craven’s eyes to glaze over (sorry about that craven).
  6. sockeyefry

    sockeyefry Guest


    Don't strain yourself, Dr Harvey for the PSF has already done it.

    I'm not anti wild salmon, just anti witch hunt.
  7. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    sockeyefry, you state:
    For the record, Brian's report is his "opinion", only (as you like to state), and not peer-reviewed.

    He does make it easy to reference some selected reports (the list is by no means complete), and provides his own interpretation of what he think the report means.

    You may or may not agree with either his conclusions, or his assumptions and gaps in that analysis.

    Those gaps in his understanding or his interpretations may indicate that either he does not fully understand the issue (he is not a sea lice researcher), and/or there has been pressure from the PSF to not be overtly critical of the open net-cage industry. Dave H already posted the link that critiques his analysis:

    In addition to those critiques listed on that webpage, more examples of either his limited understanding or limited willingness to be critical of the open net-cage industry include:

    1/ Brian references and analyses the article in "Aquaculture" by Beamish, R.J., Neville, C.M., Sweeting, R.M., Jones, S.R.M., Ambers, N., Gordon, E.K., Hunter, K.L., and McDonald, T.E. 2007. A proposed life history strategy for the salmon louse, Lepeophtheirus salmonis in the subarctic Pacific. Aquaculture 264(1-4): 428-440.

    It that summary he deliberately does not compare sizes of the trawl-caught smolts by Beamish et al. (which are large, older smolts that have made it that far offshore) to those smolts from Krkosek et al (from any of Krkosek's work). He would have had those numbers in front of him.

    I believe that is because he did not want to focus on the key problem with the open net-cage technology - that the smallest, recently outmigrating salmon smolts are the ones at greatest risk from mortality and morbidity from increases in lice loading from the adjacent net pens.

    The offshore ones are much bigger, and acknowledging the size and location of these smolts would open the door to a discussion of "survivor bias" - a common effect in any introductory ecology textbook - where the smaller, infected fish may have died before they reached the trawlers chartered by DFO were sampling far offshore from the small, vulnerable smolts near the fish farms.

    2/ Brian also talks about: Jones, S.R.M., Kim, E., and Dawe, S. 2006a. Experimental infections with Lepeophitheirus salmonis (Krøyer) on threespine sticklebacks, Gasterosteus aculeatus L. and juvenile Pacific salmon, Oncorhynchus spp. Journal of Fish Diseases 29:489-495.

    His summary of that article states: “In nature, stickleback may be temporary hosts for early louse development, and may transfer lice to juvenile salmon.”. Yet, very strangely – he does not mention what the percentage of gravid (or egg-bearing) female lice were on those sticklebacks – and what that means.

    Again, he would have had those numbers in front of him. Why didn’t he goe into this (see our previous postings on the stickleback question)? I believe it would have been then embarrasing to suggest that sticklebacks are a potential main overwintering host for infecting outmigrating salmon the next spring.

    I believe that these glaring inconsistencies are why the PSF and Harvey did not submit their report to peer-review - which they should have.

    Co-incidently, Brian Harvey works for the World Fisheries Trust
    Along with other co-workers involved with CIDA aquaculture projects. The Board of Directors the World Fisheries Trust also includes the Hon. John A. Fraser (Chair), also the same Hon. John A. Fraser - chair the BC Pacific Salmon Forum.

    You then state:
    Demanding openness, transparency and honesty in the management of our public resources is not a witch hunt, sockeyefry. It's the basis of democracy and good governance.

    You still never reciprocated in our mutual(?) admissions of bias from the last posting.
  8. gimp

    gimp Guest

    I must say I have been trying to stay away from the issue to chill my blood pressure.

    PLEASE understand that the fish farms in BC are not Canadian owned and the bottom line is to make money. If the Norwegian fish farms could have kept adding the fish farms in Norway don't you think they would have? Ask yourself why are they here in BC? Do they care about Canadians, BC or BCs wild Salmon? How long have they known that sea lice harm Juvenal Salmon? Salmon Farming is a business. The profit money made by (taking fish for food from Chile possessing it into fish food and feeding it to Atlantic Salmon Raised in the Pacific Ocean in BC waters and then sold to Americans) is not STAYING IN CANADA. So my question to you is this. What do you think the shareholders are more interested in? Money or making sure BC doesn’t loose its wild salmon populations? Now with money the investors are happy. If the wild salmon populations are decimated in BC what will happen to the farmed salmon market? Anyone here ever been a CEO for a corporation? Can you tell us what the share holders want and don’t want.

    P.S. I never use to be anti-fish farm. I still have hope for the industry. I truily think there is still a way to do it safely. But untill then I will never support open net fish farming. I am not part of any engo. I do consider myself a member of WSA. I am a Title Insurance Company Vice President(profession) and a sports fisherman.
  9. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    North American Journal of Fisheries Management

    Article: pp. 523–532 | Abstract | PDF (204K)
    Sea Louse Infestation in Wild Juvenile Salmon and Pacific Herring Associated with Fish Farms off the East-Central Coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia

    Alexandra Mortona, Rick Routledgeb, and Martin Krkošekc

    a Raincoast Research Society, Simoom Sound, British Columbia V0P 1S0, Canada
    b Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6, Canada
    c Centre for Mathematical Biology, Department of Biological Sciences, 632 Central Academic Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2G1, Canada

    Abstract.—Reports of infestations of sea lice Lepeophtheirus salmonis and Caligus clemensi in juvenile salmonids in Pacific Canada have been restricted to pink salmon Oncorhynchus gorbuscha and chum salmon O. keta from one salmon-farming region, the Broughton Archipelago of British Columbia. Here, we report on 2 years of sea louse field surveys of wild juvenile pink and chum salmon, as well as wild sockeye salmon O. nerka and larval Pacific herring Clupea pallasii, in another salmon farming region, the Discovery Islands region of British Columbia. For pink and chum salmon we tested for the dependency of sea louse abundance on temperature, salinity, sampling period, host species, and farm exposure category. For both louse species, farm exposure was the only consistently significant predictor of sea lice abundance. Fish exposed to salmon farms were infected with more sea lice than those in the peripheral category. Sea louse abundance on sockeye salmon and Pacific herring followed the same trends, but sample sizes were too low to support formal statistical analysis. The Pacific herring were translucent and lacked scales, and they were primarily parasitized by C. clemensi. These results suggest that the association of salmon farms with sea lice infestations of wild juvenile fish in Pacific Canada now extends beyond juvenile pink and chum salmon in the Broughton Archipelago. Canada's most abundant and economically valuable salmon populations, as well as British Columbia's most valuable Pacific herring stock, migrate through the Discovery Islands; hence, parasite transmission from farm to wild fish in this region may have important economic and ecological implications.

    Received: March 5, 2007; Accepted: August 13, 2007; Published Online: March 31, 2008

    DOI: 10.1577/M07-042.1
    North American Journal of Fisheries Management 2008;28:523–532
  10. sockeyefry

    sockeyefry Guest

    I have already told you as much as you have told me.

    By the way, Morton (Whales), Krkosek(Mathematics), Suzuki (geneticist), Frazer (Geologist) are not lice researchers either, but you seem to think they should be listened to.

    In an inlet, the general flow of water is to the sea, out of the inlet. In the Broughton, it is about 1.7 km per day on average. Eggs shed by lice on a farmed salmon will drift about 10 miles seaward away from the farm before they hatch, and will drift another 5 miles before they can infect a fish.

    This means that a lice on a farmed salmon infects fish 15 miles to Seaward, not the fish at the farm site. The source of lice infection of any fish within 10 miles of a salmon farm is not the farm, but some upstream source, probably wild in origin.

    The whole basis of the lice argument has been created by Morton finding lice on salmon she dipped from the water near salmon farms. This she declared proved the connection of lice on wild and the farms. One small point, which any one with knowledge of lice biology would have known is that the fish she dipped so close to the farms could not have been infected by the farms, but would have been infected by an upstream source. Problem is she did not know this, and besides it is far more convincing to the general public if you find the lice right close by anyways, cause they don't know about lice biology either.

    Doesn't this put a bit of skepticism on any of her findings? That maybe it is purely agenda driven?
  11. tubber

    tubber Well-Known Member

    sf: "Eggs shed by lice on a farmed salmon will drift about 10 miles seaward away from the farm before they hatch, and will drift another 5 miles before they can infect a fish."

    I call BS on this one. You make it sound as if the farms are located in rivers, not the sea.

    How do the fish-farmers train the lice to only shed eggs when the tide is running out? Truly amazing! When I fish up there, my boat drifts with the tide in both directions in equal proportions. Unless I get in a particular back eddy in which case I and the lice below me drift even farther in the opposite direction of seaward.
  12. sockeyefry

    sockeyefry Guest


    I did not say that the tide always moved out. The sum of the flows however is with water leaving the inlets. Otherwise the inlets would flood. Ever notice how a piece of drift wood large enough to be unaffected by the wind, always drifts out of an inlet?
  13. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    I noticed you ignored the points about smolt sizes, survivor bias, and the lack of gravid female lice on sticklebacks from my last posting, sockeyefry.

    As far as your last posting goes sockeyefry, you have really swallowed Ken Brook's rebuttal to Krkosek's work in the Broughton - hook, line and sinker.

    You write:
    Okay - everyone agrees that the lateral flow of the surface waters caused by tidal action alone - is approximately 5km back-and-forth. This is dependent upon the tide height, and local conditions. There has been some dye studies around Port Alberni (as an example) that examined pulp mill effluent, where the 5km comes from.

    One has to ask then - where the 1km siting radius comes from? Why is that the acceptable siting criteria?

    Then, there is the effect of freshwater run-off from large rivers in some areas, while some areas do not have either constrained flow or large rivers. That effect of large volumes of freshwater run-off is commonly found in fjords with large rivers. Those areas would be expected to include Knight, Kingcome, & Smith Inlets (among others).

    The depth of that surface runoff, as well as the edges of that low salinity/high turbidity plume depend upon the amount of runoff, and the cross-sectional area of the fjord. There is no set-in-stone distance of this effect (as it changes daily), but something like 30km from the mouth of large rivers, and more like 2-3 km from small rivers.

    Your inference that every net-cage site has 1.7 km per day on average of surface flow towards the ocean is extremely misinformed or disingenuous.

    Every site is different, as every fjord is different (mostly fjord-type large estuaries in BC), distances to large rivers vary - and then there is the effect of prevailing winds on the surface flow.

    In addition, high saline water is entrained along the bottom of the fjord (to replace the freshwater volume discharged), and somewhere nearer the surface - is the halocline.

    The halocline is analogous to a thermocline in a lake, but is based on salinity, not temperature. The depth of that halocline will be something like 8m near a big river, but more like 1-2m farther away from the river, and maybe only 30cm near the edge of the plume. At the halocline, is where there is an accumulation of zooplankton.

    This is an important fact. This is where you would expect to find sea lice.

    At the halocline, there is turbulence, but no net flow towards the sea. Above the halocline, surface freshwater runs towards the sea, below the halocline - there is high saline seawater inwelling (along the bottom) towards the head of the inlet.

    An easy to understand description of estuaries (incl. fjords), can be found at:

    A good, relevant online study on West Coast oceanography with pictures, titled "PHYSICAL AND BIOLOGICAL OCEANOGRAPHY OF THE PUGET SOUND" that explains things in much more detailcan be found at:

    A peer-reviewed study of the oceanography of an Alaskan fjord can be found at:

    Then there is the question of where (vertically, at what depth) to find sea lice:

    Copepodids, the infective free-swimming stage of the salmon louse (Lepeophtheirus salmonis), display a distinct diel vertical migration pattern (Heuch et al. 1994); gathering near the surface by day (~2m depth), and spreading-out into deeper layers by night (~4m depth). Since host salmon normally rise to shallower depths at dusk and return at dawn to deeper depths, this may be a host-finding mechanism that optimizes encounter rates.

    In contrast, nauplii, the non-infective free-swimming stage, show only minor differences between day (7.5±1.0m) and nighttime (9.4±1.0m) depth preferences (Heuch et al. 1994). Naupilus stages will therefore be found in highest densities at approx. 8.5m depth (Heuch et al. 1994), although with potential upwelling and turbulence, nauplii could be found through most depths, including surface. Most likely the sea lice are to be found near the halocline, where it exists.

    So, the whole assumption by Ken Brooks, that "lice on a farmed salmon infects fish 15 miles to Seaward, not the fish at the farm site", and the associated assumption that: "The source of lice infection of any fish within 10 miles of a salmon farm is not the farm, but some upstream source, probably wild in origin" - is a big pile of dogpoo.

    Anyone who parrots this nonsense obviously has never studied fjords. Shame on those who have and still lie (that'd be DFO).

    I expected better from you, sockeyefry. Thought you were big on using science in these postings.
  14. sockeyefry

    sockeyefry Guest


    So what you are saying is the water in a fiord never moves? The 1.7km is from DFO current studies in the Broughton.

    The halocline also depends on the time of year (freshwater discharges).

    Please explain why the daily migration patyterns of sea lice larvae have anything to do with a flow of water which takes them out of the fiord? Are you suggesting that because the roller coaster goes up and down means it does not go around the track?

    You certainly love to toss around big words. Trying to impress someone, or simply to show off?
  15. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    sockeyefry, you are loosing it now (both scientifically, and socially). You write:
    No - re-read my last posting. I said it moves lots - but with many effects to consider, dependent upon depth of concern, amount of discharge, cross-sectional area of a fjord, wind, and other factors. It's complicated, and there is no set 1.7 km surface flow along all the net-cage sites.

    You then write:
    I just did. re-read the posting. Sea lice move up-and-down, and likely don't stay in the surface flow - but nearer the halocline. I even looked it up in scientific journals - just for you.

    And lastly, you write:
    I'll ignore the slander and childish comment (even though we agreed to not go there). I'm being accurate and precise, using the appropriate terminology. Can you not understand what I am saying, or just don't want to?
  16. OldBlackDog

    OldBlackDog Well-Known Member

    Sea lice spread to British Columbia’s most lucrative fish stocks

    Campbell River Salmon and Herring worth nearly $80 million to province last year

    Echo Bay, British Columbia, March 31, 2008 - The latest scientific paper on sea lice reports that infestations have spread to juvenile pink, chum, and sockeye salmon as well as juvenile herring near Campbell River fish farms. The study was published online by the North American Journal of Fisheries Management.

    The Campbell River area is known as the Salmon Capital of the World, and accounts for a large portion of the $233 million a year in sport fishing tourism that the British Columbian government collects.

    Alexandra Morton R.P.Bio. (Salmon Coast Field Station), Dr. Richard Routledge (Simon Fraser University) and Dr. Martin Krkosek (University of Alberta) looked at 4,700 young wild salmon near and distant to fish farms in 2005 and 2006 throughout the Discovery Islands.

    “We found four times as many wild juvenile salmon were infected with sea lice near fish farms than distant from the farms,” says Alexandra Morton. “Then in 2006 when most of the farms were empty, the sea lice declined”.

    “This is the same pattern we see in the Broughton Archipelago,” added Dr. Routledge, “Where there are farm fish the young wild salmon are infested with lice. Remove the farm fish and the sea lice problem disappears.”

    The study looked at other variables, including salinity and temperature, but found that farm fish were the only significant factor contributing to the infestations.

    The study was made possible through the dedication of several commercial fishermen who did the sampling.

    Pink and chum salmon were the primary study focus, but juvenile herring were also examined and found infested with lice. The herring were tiny and still lacking scales suggesting high vulnerability. This is the first report of sea lice on herring this young.

    In addition, juvenile sockeye were discovered to be infested near the farms. Last summer, commercial salmon fishing was closed on the south coast because so many of the Fraser River sockeye failed to come home. Some of the sockeye that went “missing” last year were likely infested with sea lice in 2005 when they migrated to sea.

    “We did not test the DNA of the sockeye we examined,” explains Dr. Martin Krkosek. “However, we know that many Fraser River sockeye migrate through our study area.”

    The report concludes there is urgent need to implement policy that protects wild salmon from farm fish.

    Currently Minister Pat Bell has called for more drug use to control lice. But Morton disagrees, saying that using drugs creates concerns for environmental and human health. The drug (Slice) has not been approved for use by Health Canada and may impact important stocks of crab, shrimp, and prawns.

    Morton concluded: “The only measure that is going to work is separating the farm and wild salmon. This can only be achieved by completely closed containment technology or moving the farms. If nothing is done now, I worry that Canadian salmon stocks will suffer the same fate as European salmon stocks that have declined dramatically in fish farming regions.

    *To review the scientific paper, visit

    For more information, or to arrange an interview, contact:

    Alexandra Morton 250-949-1664
    Richard Routledge (in the field) and Skype at rick.routledge
  17. boatman38

    boatman38 Guest

    I live on saltspring island and there is a fishfarm located in a bayabout300ft or so from a tiny creek that produces a very small wild run of coho and searun cutthroat as well as posibly a few other species.There is almost nothing in the way of currents in this area as it is not near an open channel,but a dead end harbour.It would be sad to see the few stocks from this creek that was rehabilitated be ruined.The creek is called Cusheon creek.
  18. Nimo

    Nimo Member

    Wouldn't then the inlets all be empty? So all the sea lice eggs drift permanently out of the inlets and away from the farms before maturing enough to attach themselves to the fry? This may be the lamest yet, but I'd have to go back and do a recount.

    It seems that the further we get from the truth of the FFFFs, the more infected we become.
  19. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    Nimo, you wrote:
    Here's another lie to add to your big book of lies from the FFFFs: sea lice eggs are negatively buoyant. Forgot to add this tidbit of info on the last posting.
  20. gimp

    gimp Guest

    I have a question. I am looking for information on the hatching times for sealice. I know they are in egg sacks attached to the mother but do they really release and free float or do they hatch right from the egg sack

Share This Page