Slippery plans for “organic” certification of farmed fish – Action needed by April 8th

Over the past decade, WILD has become widely recognized as the gold standard for quality salmon and other seafoods, and the fishing industry and consumers have benefited when labels are accurate and can be trusted. Occasional packages of imported farmed salmon labeled “organic” in US markets simply indicated the corruption of some foreign certification standards. This would never be allowed by our Department of Agriculture… or so we thought.
The USDA National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is meeting April 29 – May 2, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas, and is considering various petitions that are part of a concerted effort to certify US farmed salmon and other seafoods as organic. Some NOSB members have said that since farmed fish are here already, setting standards will raise the bar on an industry with notoriously dirty practices. Yet, for years since the Livestock Committee recommended farmed
seafoods for certification, instead of assessing species to be reared, whether ocean or coastal cages should be allowed, composition of feed, impacts of pollution and other problems of marine feedlots, at this meeting, they are considering exemptions for usage of chlorine, vaccines, and synthetic feed additives requested by aquaculture operations hoping to secure organic accreditation in the future. They need to be educated before the process picks up any
more momentum on a very slippery slope.
Comments have to be submitted by April 8, 2014 and can be sent via http://www.regulations.gov/ #submitComment;D=AMS_FRDOC_0001-1155. For additional
information, email Michelle Arsenault (Michelle.Arsenault@ams.usda.gov), NOSB Advisory Board Specialist or call 202-720-0081.
This move towards certifying seafoods reared in feedlots would not only confuse consumers, itcould cause serious economic harm to capture fisheries. Fresh farmed organic fish may trump frozen wild fish in the marketplace, even among very savvy consumers. “If the USDA does decide to allow farm-raised fish into the ranks of USDA-certified organic products, this could open the door to a huge increase in profits for the aquaculture industry as well as give them a huge leg up over the commercial fishing industry.” (The Organic Aquaculture Quandary )
The pressure may also be coming from growers of commodity crops looking for new markets to dump their products. Representatives of the American Soy Growers and Illinois Soybean Association attended NOAA meetings in the Pacific Northwest to describe their industry plans to produce feed for the fish farm industry. “Aquaculture Oceans of Opportunity” states “Marine or offshore aquaculture is fast becoming the focus of aquaculture expansion” and the Illinois Soybean Association has “made considerable investments in furthering offshore aquaculture productions systems and in perfecting feed rations”. http://www.ilsoy.org/documents/aquaculture-oceans-opportunity
Since the inception of the National Organic Program, the standards have been trusted to mean that food with the label have been produced in ways that are compatible with organic principles of adhering to practices that “restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony … and balance natural systems.” These principles require protecting biodiversity, minimizing environmental impacts, controlling inputs, and allowing “natural behaviors.” These are not the practices of
industrial aquaculture.
There are many problems that could be described in comments:
* Marine fish farms replicate some of the worst practices of confined animal feedlot operations, known as CAFOs, which could never receive organic certification.
*Impacts are largely under the waterline and out of sight, so the fish farm industry has escaped scrutiny that would have closed down comparably dirty land-based operations. Marine netpens allow excess feed, pathogens, parasites, and voluminous amounts of pollution to flush into the surrounding waters, putting other aquatic species at risk.
*Farmed fish escape, competing with wild species for food and habitat. More than 613,000 non-native Atlantic salmon escaped from netpens into Washington State waters in 4 years; millions of farmed fish escape world-wide.
*The salmon farming industry uses more antibiotics per pound than any other livestock producer and these pesticides, fungicides, algaecides and other chemicals flush from open cages into the surrounding waters.
*Several studies have concluded that usage of antibiotics in fish farming increases antibiotic resistant bacteria in our marine environment and in our food supply. The industrial aquaculture production system medicates to the weakest animal and sick and treated fish and seafood sometimes end up in the marketplace.
*Neil Frazer, professor at the University of Hawaii, states that large-scale farming of finfish “eventually destroys surrounding wild fish stocks … nature has an effectively inexhaustible supply of diseases.”
*Use of fish meal and fish oil from wild forage fish result in overfishing of wild fish to feed carnivorous farmed fish. One-third of the ocean’s harvest is herring, anchovies, mackerel and other small fish, which are made into fish meal and oil for fattening farmed fish and animals.
The aquaculture industry already uses more than half the world’s fishmeal and more than 80 percent of the fish oil. Rearing salmon, halibut, blackcod and many other marine species is unsustainable because of the net loss of protein.
*Standards for organic livestock requires that their feed is 100% organic feed, yet the proposed aquaculture standard would allow farmed fish feed to be 25% wild fish, claiming the forage fish meal and oil will not be “feed” but instead a “feed supplement. Wild salmon and other food fish were previously denied organic certification by the NOSB.
*Farmed fish have documented higher amounts of environmental contaminants since the feed concentrates mercury, lead, and persistent bioaccumlative toxins. A study by the Environmental Working Group showed farmed salmon often are the most PCB-contaminated protein source in the U.S. food supply, with an average of 16 times the level of PCBs as wild fish.
*“The recommendation acknowledges the human health risks, but would only require them be removed if found to have contaminants in amounts higher than regulatory levels in commercially available fish meal and oil. Thus the proposed “organic” standard would allow the same level of contaminants in fish meal as those permitted by general industrial aquaculture. This provision is a microcosm of the recommendation as a whole: rather than setting a higher bar for organics, and risk losing the ability to label salmon and other predatory fish as “organic,” it merely lowers the organic bar to the existing commercial standards.” Center for Food Safety presentation to the NOSB.
*Organic standards require animals to be able to exhibit their “natural behavior.” Wild salmon and other ocean fish swim for their lifetimes, and confining these fish is a direct violation of one of the core organic principles.
Anne Mosness will attend the Spring 2014 NOSB meeting, representing the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Marketing Association (email: eatwildfish@aol.com).
More info:   “Can farmed salmon be organic”, PCC Sound Consumer:
Center for Food Safety:
e_final_34952_38967.pdf
The Organic Aquaculture Qandary:
Anne Mosness
34 Rocky Ridge Dr.
Bellingham, Wa. 98229

Peninsula salmon projects get $4.5 million – PDN

Lots of good projects that are going to give jobs to folks here on the Peninsula, and help restore salmon habitat. The work is far from being completed, but it’s good to see these projects and land purchases get funded. Tying this together with the work described by Earth Economics over the weekend on this site, it’s worth it to note that there is value in these ecosystem renewal projects. Slowing the rivers by putting in log jams, for example, do not just provide scientifically proven habitat for salmon (especially young salmon migrating downstream), but they also aide in flood protection among other benefits. Flood plain protection is a value that lowers the cost to repairing damage from floods over multiple decades.

The state has awarded $4.5 million in grants for new salmon restoration projects on the North Olympic Peninsula. ….

Rob Ollikainen reports.

There’s quite a bit more to the story at:

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20131208/NEWS/312089997/peninsula-salmon-projects-get-45-million

 

Support local journalism, subscribe to the Peninsula Daily News.

NOSC looking for Morse Creek Salmon Volunteers

We have two weeks of Morse Creek left and need lots of help to get it done!  We’ll be surveying these next two upcoming Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.  Below is a list of dates with the greatest volunteer needs on top.  There are some great sections in our project site where the gravel is beautiful and clean from all the redds.  This week the nutrient cycling began and it’s beginning to smell like the pinks! 

Below is more information about the survey and what to bring. 

Please let me know if you can make a day and if you would like to carpool (I’m assuming you will).     
Hope you can join! 

Dates volunteers are needed:

Wednesday, Sept 18th: 9am-4pm
Thursday, Sept 19th:  9am-2pm – Strong need for volunteers
Friday, Sept 20th: 9am-4pm
Wednesday, Sept 25th: 9am-4pm - Strong need for volunteers
Thursday, Sept 26th: 9am-4pm - Strong need for volunteers
Friday, Sept 27th: 9am-4pm

Survey Times:

We will be surveying from 9am to approximately 4pm.  Some days may be longer if we have a good swing going and people are feeling up for it.  Please let us know if you won’t be able to come for the entire time (that is completely understandable!).  We will accommodate your needs. 

Carpooling Option:

NOSC will be leaving from our Port Hadlock office at 7:45am. (201 A West Patison Street, PH – Shold Business Park off Rhody Drive).  If you would like to carpool from Port Hadlock or get picked up along the way (such as the Discovery Bay Train Cars off 101) we’d love to carpool!  Please let us know if you are interested so we can make sure there is a seat available and that we know to wait for you.  The one catch (or perk!) with driving with us is that you will be committed to the entire day.  We will be driving a big white vehicle named Moby Dick!  How much more fun can it get? 

Survey Location:

We will be meeting at 651 Cottonwood Lane.

Morse Creek is located at the beautiful (and dangerous) curve just before you hit the car dealerships as you head into Port Angeles.  The speed goes down to 45 mph and on the left you’ll see a field and the right you’ll see a cabin.  There is a left turn lane to turn Left onto Cottonwood.  You will go over a speed bump and see the creek down to your left hand side.  You will approach a very sharp left hand turn (there is an info board to mark the spot).  Take that left to the end.  You’ll see a space to park on your left hand side and will see Moby Dick, the big white NOSC vehicle. 

http://mapq.st/1aMNYkE

Day of Survey contact: 

In case you get lost, or something comes up…

1st option: Jac (518) 312-2658
2nd option: Sarah (410) 963-3497
3rd option: Jamie (206) 282-3025

What to Expect:

Beautiful sections of stream, Huge engineered log jams, deep pools, fish…we’ll be surveying stretches above the 2010 restoration project, where we did the restoration project and below the restoration (the impact reach), as well as side channels.  All survey protocol will be taught on site. 

We’ll be in the stream or along the shore for the entire day.  Some areas are deep, others are on bedrock which is extremely slippery.  The water is pretty cold.  Some elements of the survey require us to collect pebbles which can be very cold.   Sections along the stream have blackberries, and nettles.  These days can be long and tiring, but extremely rewarding.  We’ll only work within people’s comfort levels. 

What to bring:

-Lunch, LOTS of water and snacks (we typically bring a “second breakfast” or “second lunch”).  
-Chest waders (NOSC will bring yours – just let us know your size!) 
-Multiple warm layers, preferably non-cotton.  People have gotten wet and appreciated a change in clothes. 
-Dry clothes, socks and pants to change in to after the survey in case you get wet. 
-rain coat – many people wear a rain coat when we do the pebble survey so they don’t get completely wet
-sunglasses/hat, sunscreen

I think that is it!  Sorry it was so long-winded.  Please call if you have any questions (360) 379-8051

Looking forward to you joining –
Jac 

clip_image001

Scientists concerned over chill in reporting of salmon virus after lab delisted – Vancouver Sun

The fallout continues:

Scientists fear there could be a reluctance to report a deadly fish virus after the first lab in Canada to say it was detected in British Columbia salmon was stripped of a special reference status by an international agency. Marine researchers say they were stunned to hear that the World Organization for Animal Health, or OIE, recently suspended the reference status from a research laboratory at the Atlantic Veterinary College in Prince Edward Island. Run by Fred Kibenge, who is considered one of the world’s leading authorities on infectious salmon anemia, it was one of only two labs in the world recognized by the group for the testing of the virus. Alison Auld reports.

http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Scientists+concerned+over+chill+reporting+salmon+virus/8626837/story.html

Tests show no signs of ISA virus in Washington’s salmon–WDFW

If these tests are accurate  (BC has consistently manipulated their tests results), then this is good news. However, with the disease found just north of us, it requires ongoing testing and vigilance if we want to protect our wild stocks (and the investments of hundreds of millions of dollars over the decades we have spent as taxpayers). It is good to see that there are two labs involved in the testing, and that the Tribes are also in the loop on the process. The NW Indian Fisheries Commission is certainly a credible independent voice for wild salmon.

Recent tests of salmon from Washington’s waters show no signs of a fish virus that can be deadly to farm-raised Atlantic salmon, state, tribal and federal resource managers announced today. Infectious Salmon Anemia Virus (ISAV) was not detected in tissue samples taken from more than 900 wild and hatchery-produced Pacific chinook, coho, sockeye, chum and steelhead, as well as farm-raised Atlantic salmon. ISAV is not harmful to people. Specific strains of the virus have caused a deadly disease in farm-raised Atlantic salmon. Outbreaks with significant losses have occurred in farmed Atlantic salmon in Maine, Eastern Canada, Chile and several European countries. ISAV has not been documented in farmed, wild or hatchery salmon in Washington.

http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/may3013a/

The mysterious decline of Puget Sound herring – Crosscut

Another indicator species that is in trouble. As goes the herring, so go the salmon and the Orca, among others. Many agencies, including the Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee, are working on protecting herring habitat. That’s why you see the “no anchor zones” in Port Townsend and Mystery Bay. They are there to help you not anchor in a location that would destroy eel grass, which is a herring habitat.

This excellent article gives a good overview of the problems facing Puget Sound herring. It’s only two pages long but you’ll learn a lot. I know I did.

Pacific herring might be the most popular dish in Puget Sound. The small silvery swimmers are called “forage fish” not because they’re rummaging for food, but because just about everything wants to eat them. They fill the bellies of Puget Sound sea life, from giant sea lions to the iconic chinook salmon to tiny jellyfish, which means that they’re key players in the local marine ecosystem. That makes herring fundamentally important – and it makes their shrinking numbers alarming. Lisa Stiffler reports.

http://crosscut.com/2013/03/27/animals-wildlife/113579/mysterious-decline-Puget-Sound-herring/

Support local journalism. Donate to Crosscut.

Mystery compound found to kill Coho salmon–Kitsap Sun

In the last year there’s been a growing body of evidence that seems to show that runoff from our roads may be a significant and possibly primary cause of loss of salmon in our creeks and rivers. Chris Dunagan reports on efforts to identify this substance in Kitsap County.

http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2013/jan/21/mystery-compound-found-to-kill-coho-salmon/#axzz2Ij8S6P5D

Meanwhile, researchers in Seattle have decided to simply look at rain gardens to filter the poisons out. With great success. The following video shows the problem, and wat may be the ultimate solution. The next question that needs to get asked is, “What happens with the rain garden? Does it become a toxic waste site?

“Drained: Urban Stormwater Pollution”

https://vimeo.com/51603152

Workshop on Net Pen Aquaculture for Planners

Not open to the public. – Editor

Coastal and Shoreline Planners Group: Marine Net Pen Aquaculture        
Date:  Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Time:  10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Location:  Manchester Labs, Port Orchard, WA 98366
 
This event is intended for Coastal and Shoreline Planners representing local governments, the private sector, academia and tribes who are interested in learning more about marine net pen aquaculture. This agenda replicates the January 10th event at the Department of Ecology that was held specifically for State and Federal employees. This event also includes a tour of NOAA’s Manchester Research Facilities relevant to marine aquaculture. Speakers include:
·       Alan Cook, Icicle Seafoods, commercial net pens
·       Bruce Stewart, Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, enhancement net pens
·       Jill Rolland, United States Geological Survey, fish disease
·       Mike Rust, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Office of Aquaculture, feeds
·       Walt Dickhoff, NMFS Northwest Fisheries Science Center, escapes and genetics
·       Lori LeVander, WA Department of Ecology, state and National Pollutant Dischage Elimination System (NPDES) permitting
·       John Kerwin,  WA Department of Fish and Wildlife, WACs and WDFW permitting
·       Jack Rensel,  Rensel Associates Aquatic Science, tools and modeling
Due to limited space, this meeting requires an RSVP. Please respond to Jamie Mooney, mooneyja@uw.edu,             206.616.3368      , to be added to the list of attendees. We can only accept 30 attendees on a first come, first served basis. Please keep in mind that because this event will be held at a federal facility, you will need to have your name on the list to attend.
If there is a high demand and we are not able to accommodate everyone who is interested in attending, we will work to schedule another Coastal and Shoreline Planners session on this topic.  Please do not distribute this announcement beyond the listserv due to limited capacity.

FDA Appears ready to approve genetically engineered salmon – Various sources

The FDA released a report on Friday that seems to point to it’s clearing genetically altered salmon to be sold to the public. The report, at the link below, is usually the final chapter, needed prior to approval. The only hurdle left is for the FDA to get public feedback on the proposal.

http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/DevelopmentApprovalProcess/GeneticEngineering/GeneticallyEngineeredAnimals/ucm280853.htm

This is another distressing move by the Obama administration, all of them, slated to come out just after the election. There is widespread negative feedback from the fishing, environmental and food safety communities to stop this approval. The company in question apparently is not doing well financially. But there doesn’t seem to be much that the Obama administration would do to say no to jobs.

If you feel like acting on this, there are many groups gathering signatures, or you can write the FDA directly. .

 

Salmon grants will help Hood Canal estuaries – Kitsap Sun

More than $550,000 has been set aside to purchase and conserve lands within the estuaries of the Big Quilcene, Dosewallips and Duckabush rivers, all in Hood Canal. The Hood Canal grants were endorsed by the state’s Salmon Recovery Funding Board, which approved $19.2 million for salmon projects throughout the state. Chris Dunagan reports. http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2012/dec/10/salmon-grants-will-help-hood-canal-estuaries/

Downstream or Upstream, It’s Uphill for Salmon: Tribes Work to Protect Habitat–Green Acre Radio

Martha Baskin has been doing a good job of covering environmental issues on her Green Acre Radio podcast. Here is a reminder warning by the NWIF and Stilaguamish, that we are still on a downhill trajectory, and more, much more needs to be done if we are to save our wild stocks.

Wild salmon runs have been in steep decline in the Pacific Northwest for decades. Restoring runs to historic levels involves substantial economic costs, competing societal priorities, and entrenched policy stances. The Stillaguamish Tribe and Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission say there’s no time to wait. If we don’t act there won’t be any more salmon. Martha Baskin reports.

http://greenacreradio.blogspot.com/2012/11/november-15-2012-downstream-or-upstream.html

Commerce secretary declares Alaska salmon disaster–Seattle Times

I know that there are many fishing families here on the Peninsula. Here’s some news from up north, if you aren’t already aware of it.The  causes? Still unknown, which always bodes ill for a solution. Given that the upper runs where the fish breed are pretty much natural if not wild, this points more to an ocean issue, as stated in the story.

King salmon fisheries in major Alaska watersheds have been declared failures by the U.S. Department of Commerce, making commercial fishermen eligible for disaster relief. Acting U.S. Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank announced the disaster declaration Thursday for the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers, which flow into the Bering Sea, and for Cook Inlet region south of Anchorage, which includes the Kenai River.  

Alaskan King Fishery declared a disaster

Dr. Lawrence Dill Net Pen Presentation Now Online

If you are concerned about the latest proposals to bring net pen aquaculture to the Strait of Juan de Fuca (5 miles west of Port Angeles), or are concerned and unclear about the current standoff by the Department of Ecology and the Jefferson County Commissioners over allowing in water net pen aquaculture in Jefferson County (through the Shoreline Master Program updated), then you should take the time to listen to this lecture (it runs over an hour in total). It is, to be sure, one of the most comprehensive overviews of the possible negative impact of net pens I’ve ever heard, and is based on research done just north of us, in BC. While Dr. Dill clearly states that there are variations of environment between there and here, the issues are ones that we may face if they are allowed here. Then again, as pointed out in the Q&A session at the end, by the manager of one of the net pen companies south of Bainbridge Island, some of these issues have not shown up (though that comment was not based on peer review independent scientific research, but on experiential information. It was not independently verified and simply is presented as the point of view of the farm manager).

Dr.Dill is one of the foremost researchers on sea lice, and has a lot to say about the “possible” negative impacts of net pen aquaculture based on years of scientific, peer reviewed, published work. He was brought to lecture in Port Angeles last week, by a consortium of environmental groups concerned about the proposals for net pen aquaculture in Jefferson and Clallam counties lately. The event was sponsored by the Coastal Watershed Institute, Wild Salmon Center, Sierra Club Activist Network, and Olympic Peninsula Chapter Surfrider Foundation.

His talk was titled:
Evolutionary & Behavioral Ecology and Earth2Ocean Research Groups of Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada presented:
POTENTIAL NEGATIVE ECOLOGICAL CONSEQUENCES OF OPEN NET PEN SALMON AQUACULTURE: LESSONS FROM BRITISH COLUMBIA

The discussion included:
• The impacts that salmon farms can have on wild salmon stocks
• Recent research on sea lice and other pathogens.
• How the iconic Fraser River sockeye salmon have been put at risk by salmon aquaculture.
• Degradation of the bottom communities below the farms.
• Pollution, by-catch of other fish species, escapes, and inadvertent or intentional reduction of marine mammal populations.
• New potential open pen aquaculture projects near Port Angeles.

The introduction by Anne did not have a microphone so it’s a bit noisy. Dr. Dill did have a microphone on, so it sounds better when you get to him speaking. The video was published in two parts. A shorter 10+ minutes to allow you to get the gist of the presentation, and the rest of the presentation in Part 2. The audio podcast is presented in it’s entirety.

You can view Part 1 of the lecture online at https://vimeo.com/47903851.

Part 2 is located at
https://vimeo.com/47906547

Or you can listen to it online at:

http://soundcloud.com/mountainstone/dr-lawrence-dill-netpens

I am adding the links above to the “Educational” links on the left hand side of the front page. You can always find it there if you need to refer to it later. Thanks to Dr. Dill for allowing the sponsoring groups to videotape the presentation, and offer it to those who were unable to make it to the discussion.

Dr. Larry Dill on Net Pens

Return of the kings! Chinook salmon observed in undammed portion of Elwha River – Park & PDN

As the old saying goes, “nature abhors a vacuum”. The Olympic National Park have announced (and reported and commented on by The Peninsula Daily News) that chinook (King) salmon have been spotted above the site of the lower of the two dams that have been removed. This is the first time in almost a century that they have been able to reach this location. In addition to the Kings, Steelhead have also been seen in above the first dam.

The power of restoration again shows that once a place has been restored, nature tries and fill it, if the species still are alive.

The news bulletin from the park
http://www.nps.gov/olym/parknews/return-of-the-kings.htm

Additional information on the story at the PDN.

http://peninsuladailynews.com/article/20120821/NEWS/308219989/return-of-the-kings-chinook-salmon-observed-in-undammed-portion-of

Discovery of deadly salmon virus in freshwater fish puts pressure on B.C. to conduct wider study–Times Colonist

Just north of us, over the Strait, we are now seeing the spread of the Piscine reovirus (PRV) that has been affecting farmed salmon show up in fresh water trout. Our county commissioners are continuing their standoff with the State on the issue of allowing salmon farms here in our county. 

Discovery of Salmon Virus in Trout

Sockeye salmon numbers continue to fall–CBC

Canada has been quite smug over the last years about how their salmon numbers seem better than the those in the US. Many have recognized that this was only because of the lack of development in BC as compared to the US Northwest. Watching the suburbs explode into salmon spawning areas east of Vancouver it was easy to see that there was no protection of the habitat over the last decade. It’s only been a matter of time, rather than stewardship.

Now research delves into the productivity of sockeye, who’s numbers have been crashing. The research shows this decline is across an entire coast. While local issues can affect the runs, the problem may be much larger than expected.

Sockeye salmon adult populations in widespread decline http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/07/03/sockeye-salmon-productivity.html

Next Tribal struggle for saving fish– Land Use

.If you want to know the next phase of the struggle to restore Salmon, then this article clearly lays it out. The Tribes are pushing to have the Feds, State and Local governments do a better job of protecting salmon habitat. That means more restrictive use of shorelines and watersheds. We’ve had a free pass over the last 100 years to develop just about any piece of ground for a price. That, I predict, is about to end. We will have to set aside with zero development (or reverse development) a lot of ground. Why? Read on..

W. Wash. tribes say tribal fishing rights at risk http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/W-Wash-tribes-say-tribal-fishing-rights-at-risk-3677013.php

Decline in king salmon is rooted in the sea, Alaska state biologists–Bellingham Herald

The loss of King salmon continues. This is a very good article that looks at a lot of the issues. Worth the read if you care about salmon and how to reverse the downward trends. 

Something in the ocean has been death to Alaska’s king salmon. The state’s iconic fish, treasured for food, sport and cash, should now be swimming in droves up rivers from the Southeast rain forests to the populated Railbelt and the Western Alaska tundra. But they’re not.

and this

"The drift fishery in front of the Kenai and Kasilof is a pretty clean sockeye fishery," Gease said. "Last year, they caught 3.2 million sockeyes and about 500 kings. That’s a phenomenal low rate of bycatch."

http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2012/06/26/2578852/decline-in-king-salmon-is-rooted.html

Ties break down between B.C. salmon-farming firm, environmental coalition

As the spread of INH virus keeps moving through BC salmon farms, the relationships that were put in place to work towards avoiding this very situation start to fray.

———————————————–

A unique relationship meant to reduce conflict between environmental groups and British Columbia’s largest salmon farming company has fallen apart. The Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform and Marine Harvest Canada confirmed Saturday that the project, known as the Framework for Dialogue, is officially over.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/ties-break-down-between-bc-salmon-farming-firm-environmental-coalition/article2444558/

Deadly virus appears in Washington state salmon farm – Pacific Fishing

Pacific Fishing, 25th May 2012

A virus has infected a Bainbridge Island salmon farm, forcing the owners to begin culling and destroying infected fish.

It’s the same disease – infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus, or IHNV – that caused a British Columbia salmon farm to destroy 560,000 fish last week. The fish ended up in a composting facility.

Another British Columbia salmon farm announced this week that it
had voluntarily quarantined itself because the disease was found in its stock.

Alan Cook is vice president for aquaculture at Icicle Seafoods,
which owns American Gold Seafoods, the operator of the Bainbridge Island salmon farm at Orchard Rocks.

“There is no human health implication,” he said. “The virus is
endemic. Wild fish have it. The disease came from wild fish to our fish, not the other way around.”

Cook said the path of the disease can be proved by DNA analysis.
Hugh Mitchell, a Seattle area veterinarian who specializes in fish, agrees. The disease “is endemic. It’s common. It’s part of the natural ecosystem.”

At the Orchard Rocks farm, diseased fish are being culled. Fish
large enough for the market are being butchered and sold, Cook said. Smaller fish are destroyed.

He declined to say how many fish were in the farm.Once the stocks are gone, the farm will be fallow for three months.
Nets will be removed and disinfected, Cook said.

The largest financial hit for Icicle will come from lost production.

“More than anything else, it’s the cost of the loss of livestock,” Cook said.

There has been a salmon farm for 30 years at that Bainbridge Island location. Never before has it been hit by IHNV, Cook said.

However, the disease was reported in salmon farms in British
Columbia about 10 years ago, Mitchell said.

The disease is part of the natural ecosystem in the North Pacific. Wild salmon species here have built some resistance to the virus. Healthy wild fish can withstand the infection.

However, Atlantic salmon used in farming have no resistance to
the disease, Mitchell said. They are made even more susceptible to disease because they live in close confinement.

“Farmed fish are way more susceptible to wild diseases,” Mitchell said.

And why did the disease made another appearance this year and
not others?

“No one knows,” Mitchell said.

http://pacificfishing.com/news/pf_20120525_virusII.pdf

Read more stories via Pacific Fishing: http://www.pacificfishing.com/

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