Do Fish Farms Imperil the Wild?

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Editor
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Do Fish Farms Imperil the Wild?

Do fish farms imperil the wild?

10/9/06

Researchers in British Columbia say parasitic sea lice from salmon farms are infecting wild salmon, killing as much as 95 percent of the juvenile population in the areas around the farms.

Salmon farms are widespread along the coast of northern Maine....

http://www.capecodonline.com/cctimes/dofish9.htm

Butch Moore
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Do Fish Farms Imperil the Wild?

I think these two quotes answer the question:

[quote]The authors of the report, whose research was [b]funded by the Pure Salmon Campaign[/b], a branch of the National Environmental Trust, [b]a Washington, D.C.-based environmental activist association[/b], said last week they wanted salmon farmers to install barriers around their fish pens to keep organisms, diseases and farmed fish from escaping into the wild.[/quote]

[quote]The Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans also said that sea lice populations are being controlled by farmers and veterinarians who are monitoring outbreaks and killing off the lice in pens. They say [b]farmed populations actually have lower sea lice populations now than do wild salmon[/b].[/quote]

eagleisland
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Re: Do Fish Farms Imperil the Wild?

[quote="Editor"]Do fish farms imperil the wild?

10/9/06

Researchers in British Columbia say parasitic sea lice from salmon farms are infecting wild salmon, killing as much as 95 percent of the juvenile population in the areas around the farms.

Salmon farms are widespread along the coast of northern Maine....

http://www.capecodonline.com/cctimes/dofish9.htm[/quote]

FWIW, the Cape Cod Standard Times is an extremely liberal newspaper - which, I suppose, is not a surprise down in Kennedy-ville.

The lack of research in the story is summed up in this sentence: "Salmon farms are widespread along the coast of northern Maine"

Really? Bet that's news to a lot of foks along the coast of northern Maine.

Gaffer
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Do Fish Farms Imperil the Wild?

An analogy is that CWD started and continues spread from deer and elk farms. The problems lies in that in order to make money the population must be so great that any disease has fertile ground.

Catherine
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Do Fish Farms Imperil the Wild?

My father recently suggested that farmed salmon from Maine have more mercury than wild salmon. I have tried to research any studies but have found little info out there.

Bob MacGregor
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Do Fish Farms Imperil the Wild?

Actually, Catherine, that report was published and widely reported two weeks ago by a "researcher" from the Blue Hill area, I believe. I had the pleasure of showing the BDN story on it to the director of the Maine Aquaculture Association. Didn't THAT get a rise out of him! (he also had some FACTS to back up his rejection of the study, but I'm not sure he has gotten them into the paper yet).

[url=http://www.meriresearch.org/news/news.php]These are the scientists[/url]

Editor
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Do Fish Farms Imperil the Wild?

Study: Sea lice killing off wild salmon
By JEFF BARNARD, AP Environmental Writer
12/13/07

GRANTS PASS, Ore. - The more salmon that growers pack into farms near rivers and streams, the greater the harm done to wild salmon populations, new research suggests.

The problem is sea lice, natural parasites that normally attach to adult salmon with little ill effect and have little contact with vulnerable juvenile salmon.

That changes when the fish farms move in, according to a study to be published Friday in the journal Science.

[url=http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071214/ap_on_sc/sea_lice_salmon_farms_3;_yl...

Punk
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Do Fish Farms Imperil the Wild?

Shaw's in Augusta is having a special on Chilean farm raised Steelhead for $7.99/lb. Very, very tasty.

Where else could I have gotten such affordable quality Steelhead right now (or ever)?

Chris Coose
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Do Fish Farms Imperil the Wild?

Ever see salmon in a pen?
Concentrate wild stuff like that and lousy usually happens.
I know that isn't science but it is true

1Maine1lostcause
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Do Fish Farms Imperil the Wild?

Actually Chris, I think that [b]does[/b] qualify as science in many quarters.

eagleisland
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Do Fish Farms Imperil the Wild?

[quote="Chris Coose"]Ever see salmon in a pen?
Concentrate wild stuff like that and lousy usually happens.
I know that isn't science but it is true[/quote]

What happens generally isn't lousy.

I once had the privilege of talking with one of the state's marine biologists. I asked him about salmon farming and said "it would seem that the extra nutrients from uneaten food and fish feces would do little more than enhance populations of naturally-occuring marine life near and under the pen."

"That's exactly what happens," he said. And he pulled out his laptop and showed me underwater inspections at several salmon farms. They get dived on twice a year for impact assessment. There are rope markers under the pens so the divers know where they are. At the outer edges, everything was at normal background levels - sponges, algae, that sort of thing. The video revealed a gradual increase in population of various species until it was directly under the pen, and then diminishment again as the diver swam to the other edge.

The biggest problem with salmon pens is that colonies of a specific bacteria can grow under them if there's too much waste. He showed me these colonies on another video. Treatment is easy - the pen is emptied and let fallow for a certain period of time, the colony areas are treated, the bacteria goes away, and the pen re-opens.

This "study" mentioned is supported by the same environmental groups that are attacking groundfishing, lobstermen, herring fishermen and so forth. They're going after fisheries all over North America.

Mainelion
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Do Fish Farms Imperil the Wild?

Don't you understand? Anything that can possibly bring economic activity to Maine is BAD, BAD, BAD.

pmh
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Do Fish Farms Imperil the Wild?

Intensive monoculture in any venue brings problems. When the agricultural lands of Aroostook were almost exclusively potatoes, blight & other problems could spread literally like wildfire. Now that there are more rotation crops as well as a greater variety of commodities planted, the problems have abated somewhat. But when you have several scores or hundreds of acres in a single field planted to a single crop, it's still not "natural," and problems will occur simply because of the crowding.

thejohnchapman
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Do Fish Farms Imperil the Wild?

Anybody interested in my interview with a Maine Salmon producer this morning?

He says:

1) The feds and vironazis didn't kill salmon farming, but they changed it hugely. Now the farms exist, but are owned by CANADIANS, who operate under VASTLY more stringent regs, including the mandate to tag every fish individually.

2) The feds have guys at the top of fish ladders killing every healthy fish that shows up, on the assumption that it is not genetically pure.

3) There are hundreds of surplus salmon smolt that could be released to beef up stocks. No dice, per regulators.

4) Net effect -- we are killing every fish that is genetically able to survive in our waters. Goveernment is therefore hastening the demise of salmon population. Contrast wild turkeys, NONE of whom are genetically native to maine, but which thrive here due to selection from the right stock.

I had thought the farms dead. However, just the Maine ownership is dead. The Canucks are (appropriately) laughing quietly to themselves at how the vironazis threw an industry into their laps.

Butch Moore
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Do Fish Farms Imperil the Wild?

Want to know why the salmon program is failing? Among other reasons, consider this:

[quote]Survival from fry to parr ranges from 28-44% (Baum 1997).

Survival from the parr to the smolt stage has previously been estimated to range from 35-55% (Baum 1997). Research in the Narraguagus River, however, demonstrated a 99% probability that survival was less than 30% (Kocik 1998).

The adult return rate (1SW plus 2SW) of hatchery smolts released in the Penobscot River in 2005 was 0.17%, with the 2SW fish return rate 0.12%.
[/quote]

So, if you stock 50,000 fry, the approximate number stocked into the Pleasant River this year, you get this:

50,000 X 28% = 14,000
14,000 X 30% = 4200
4200 X 0.17% = 7.14 adults returning

50,000 X 44% = 22,000
22,000 X 30% = 6600
6600 X 0.17% = 11.22 adults returning

Using the "accepted numbers", stocking at this level will never "restore" the population, and salmon will never go off the endangered list.

In other words, the program is doomed to failure before it starts. But, according to the BDN the government is spending 11 million dollars a year on what some have called a "jobs creation program." Go figure... :roll:

Mainelion
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Do Fish Farms Imperil the Wild?

The biologists are in the same boat as the welfare workers in this regard. If they succeed in their stated goal of restoring the salmon, then they're out of a job. Maybe the biologists don't WANT the salmon to be restored.

Butch Moore
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Do Fish Farms Imperil the Wild?

I agree, except I'd substitute "fisheries managers" in place of "biologists."

Virgil Kane
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Do Fish Farms Imperil the Wild?

A few years ago, a New Brunswick aquaculture company had salmon pens in the St. Croix. Around that time we started netting salt water smelts that were much larger than normal. The theory was that they were eating the extra salmon feed from the pens further downstream, but I don't know if that was ever confirmed.

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