“The aquaculture industry has a knack for portraying the sector as a victim of too many regulations. Yet, like every other food and livestock industry in Canada, it is subject to the same Health Canada and Canadian Food Inspection Agency regulations designed to protect public health,” writes Inka Milewski. (ADRIEN VECZAN / Staff)
A publicity campaign by the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association (ACFFA) about the success of the region's industrial fish farms in combating sea lice infestations success is not telling the real story, according to some whose job it is to monitor fish and marine habitat health.
The brand new 70 minutes film ‘Salmon Confidential’ (released in February 2013) follows biologist Alexandra Morton as she unravels the mysteries of BC's declining salmon stocks using some of the world's top fish labs. It documents Morton's journey as she attempts to overcome roadblocks thrown up by government agencies and bring critical information to the public. http://salmonconfidential.ca/
Days before the end of 2012, a Canada-wide campaign has been launched by SalmonFeedlotBoycott. The group calls for Canadians to stop purchasing and consuming salmon that has been raised in open-net feedlots.
Sheet Harbour: In late 2012, the Association for the Preservation of the Eastern Shore asked for, and obtained, environmental monitoring data for the Owl's Head salmon farm from the Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture. The Owl's Head lease is owned by a subsidiary of the Scottish company, Loch Duart.
Dr Alexandra Morton, who has spent 20 years studying the impact on wild marine species in British Columbia, has been on a week-long tour of marine communities affected by existing or proposed open net salmon feedlots.
Her concerns with the aquaculture industry include fish waste accumulating beneath the pens, use of toxic chemicals, and spreading diseases.
From the Association for the Preservation of the Eastern Shore (APES)
"The provincial government cannot continue to say that the recently presented aquaculture regulations, as they refer to ocean based salmon/trout feedlots, reflect the implementation of the Doelle-Lahey report", says Wendy Watson Smith, spokesperson for the Association for the Preservation of the Eastern Shore (APES).
Following a recent international workshop on closed containment, Bill Taylor, President of the Atlantic Salmon Federation, comments on the benefits of using land based, closed-containment technology to grow Atlantic salmon.
In the wake of news that ISA-diseased farmed salmon is being processed for human consumption, Eastern Shore residents have launched a bold new billboard campaign designed to educate consumers about the possible health risks associated with eating open pen farmed salmon.
27 February 2013 More than 90% of the residents of Shoal Bay and Spry Harbour have signed petitions banning the imposition of open pen salmon feedlots in their inshore waters. A number of citizens have also erected ban signs along Highway #7 where it passes through the two communities.
Halifax: Seven years after the Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture (NS DFA) issued their first and only report on environmental monitoring at aquaculture sites in the province, an updated report, prepared for the Atlantic Coalition for Aquaculture Reform (ACAR), indicates that open pen finfish farms are having a negative impact on the environment.
Eastern Shore residents plead for an end to open pen fish farming in NS
Marike Finlay, president of the Association for the Preservation of the Eastern Shore, on concerns about fish farming off Nova Scotia's coastline and the metro bus line campaign launched by the association.
APES called and more than 150 citizens from the Eastern Shore travelled nearly two hours from the eastern edge of HRM to march on the Legislature Friday to demand a moratorium on the licensing of open pen salmon feedlots in HRM’s Eastern Shore Bays. They were joined by around 40 more anti-salmon farm protesters from across the province.
The Association for the Preservation of the Eastern Shore has joined more than 116 organizations from across Nova Scotia to ask for an immediate moratorium on new licenses for open pen finfish aquaculture licences in the province.
On Jan 21 2013 in Norway, the Norwegian Climate and Pollution Agency (Klif) announced that Anti-lice agents used in fish farming can cause serious harm to the wider environment, according to a study published by the organization.
At eight active salmon farms run by Loch Duart Limited the average monthly lice count was between January and June 2013 at least twice the industry’s own threshold, in February, March and April even more than three times the industry’s threshold.
One year after salmon were harvested and the lease surrendered, a study has found that the sea bottom under an open net pen fish farm at Sandy Point in Shelburne Harbour is still toxic and marine life still has not recovered. The former fish farm is the site of a multi-year study examining the recovery of the sea bottom.
Inka Milewski, Science Advisor, Conservation Council of New Brunswick
DFO, provincial regulators and the aquaculture industry claim that fallowing (removing fish from a farm) for as little as two months to two year will allow the sediments to recover. Research shows that the return of marine life in the sediments takes much longer.