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Discussion Starter #1
Over in Juro's "our Enviroment" there is a couple threads on Aquaculture. I was hoping some of our Canadian friends who visit this site could supply some info over in "Our Enviroment".

I keep hearing conflicting information about Alantic Salmon farms in BC. Some are saying that fish farms will be increasing in BC because of the conservative goverment in place and others are saying that the goverment wants all of them shut down. Anyone know the rest of the story?

Also does anyone know if the fish farming industry now spends more money than the commercial Salmon fleet in political campains in BC? Notice I said commercial Salmon fleet and not the entire commercial fishing fleet.

Maybe some of our Alantic Salmon fly fishermen from Europe can fill us in on what's going on in Norway, and the rest of Europe with the Aquaculture industry in thier neck of the woods.
Thanks
OC
 

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I assure you that the current unbelievably anti-environment B.C. government is encouraging increased fish farm development, despite the well-documented risks and long term consequences...

Poul
 

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Oh no not this subject again, there are a number of threads from earlier this year on fish farms world wide and in BC, do a search and they will come up. Yes it is an important topic and another example of who the primary enemy of nature is, and that is US.

PM Out
 

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Thank god we do not have the commercial salmon and steelheqd fishing issue in the GLs. Hurrah for PCBs, we have finally found a benefit from them.:chuckle: :chuckle:

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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I didn't start the thread over there but I sure believe in it.

Mjyp / PM - Farmed salmon and introduced salmon are two entirely different topics; the only part of this discussion I'd be prone to avoid is the comparison of regional fisheries again.

IMHO the topic of aquaculture impact on natural stocks is worth bringing up again and again and again.

It's a worldwide problem that harms our resources and our indigenous species, and it's not properly regulated against abuses against the environment (escape, effluent, etc).

I am in favor of aquaculture if conducted in a way that was not entirely capitalistic and ignorant of the impacts on it's surroundings.

Land-based industries went through this growth phase and we are still suffering from it. It amazes me how society has to learn the same lessons over and over to get the hint.
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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If I am not mistaken, I have read that Lake Ontario had native landlocked atlantic salmon, I wonder if Erie or any of the other "lower" 5 had them?

I always believed that it would be better to recover the indigenous salar into the tribs than to heighten the fish factory mentality, but I am sure I'd be lonely in that camp. Of course if the brood stock was lost, then it would only be a matter of adaptability and post-spawn survival (they don't die). Local businesses would frown on anything but maximizing the number of fish returning I'm sure.

Thanks for providing your perspective just the same. That's what is great about the internet - by making the world smaller, it makes our perspective bigger.
 

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The fish farm industry as it sits in BC, is as Poul says - out of control. The desire by our right wing government to exercise their ideology at the expense of common sense and environmental health is astounding. Ignoring the obvious problems both from the standpoint of the environment and economics ( the price of farmed salmon has dropped dramatically due to a public backlash to antibiotic use and pollution concerns) the BC government has stated that it intends to open 10 new fish farm operations a year over the next 10 years!

The scariest issue is the lack of regulation. In the good old laissez-faire management style of the Industrial Revolution, the BC government believes that the fish farmers themselves will regulate the industry. They will look after environmental concerns, report escapement and disease outbreaks, etc. Hmm, can you say fox guarding the hen-house?

As for the GL guys who do not see the fish farm issue as anything really negative - think again. Entire fisheries in Scotland and Ireland have collapsed from sea-lice infestations directly linked to fish farm operations. Most of the companies operating the fish farms here in BC are Norwegian, the reason they are here is because strict reglations were finally imposed in Norway that essentially restrict fish farm operations to "land-based." operations - that is self-contained tanks on the beach. They much prefer the free-for-all situation on our coast.

Back to sea lice, all of the salmonids deal with this infestation. In the wild the lice are kept in check by the fact that the fish tend to spread out from close quarters and are constantly on the move.

Unfortunately I have to stop right now and get ready to go to work. I will continue this diatribe later - sorry for the interruption - you probably need a break anyway:eyecrazy:
 

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Preach on Brother! Here is a story I dug out of the Seattle times on this issue.

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British Columbia salmon farms off northeastern Vancouver Island should be temporarily shut down next spring to protect wild pink salmon, according to recommendations submitted yesterday to the province's Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries.

The Pacific Fisheries Resources Conservation Council, a government-funded group, says drastic action is justified after "unprecedented declines" in pink salmon in the Broughton Archipelago, a fish-farm industry stronghold off northeastern Vancouver Island.

Only 147,000 pink salmon this year returned to spawn there, compared with 3.6 million two years ago in an area that has the densest concentration of salmon farms on the British Columbia coast.

The council, in a report released yesterday, says the decline may be caused by sea lice passed from the infested farms to vulnerable young salmon. And the council calls for temporary shutdown of the farms this winter to cleanse the area of lice prior to the migration of young salmon smolt from freshwater to saltwater.

"Some may argue that more study be done ... (but) such a strategy may lead to irreparable harm to the Broughton Archipelago pink salmon," the report said.

The shutdown of some 20 farms — even on a temporary basis — would be a blow to the B.C. salmon-farming industry. Farming officials have said they think more factors were involved in the low returns of pink salmon, and are skeptical of the report's findings.

"Any sort of human activity poses some risk to nature," said Mary Ellen Walling, executive director of the B.C. Salmon Farmers Association. "The key is to weigh those risks, reduce them as much as possible and manage them over time."

B.C. government officials said yesterday that they will take a close look at the council report — but did not say whether the province would follow through on its recommendations. The council is chaired by John Fraser, a former B.C. minister of fisheries, and includes a mix of scientists, tribal leaders and other public representatives. In its report, the council wades into a high-stakes and increasingly high-profile debate on the effects of salmon farming on wild salmon.

In the past decade, farmers have overtaken fishermen as the major source of the world's salmon. Washington state hosts a small salmon-farming industry, with about eight farms active in Puget Sound. British Columbia hosts a much bigger industry, with 105 farms that produce about 5 percent of the world's salmon.

Most of the B.C. farms grow Atlantic salmon, and that has raised concerns that escaped fish could populate streams and compete with native Pacific salmon species.

The council's report focuses on sea lice, a risk that has received considerable attention in Northern European farms but less scrutiny in North America.

Sea lice are a natural part of the marine ecosystem, typically attaching themselves to adult salmon without causing big problems. But as the adult salmon return to freshwater streams, spawn and die, the sea lice lose their hosts.

But salmon farms, full of fish all year long, offer a "reservoir" for the sea lice to survive the winter, according to Brian Riddell, science adviser to the council. They can attach themselves to young pink salmon unable to withstand the parasites, Riddell said.

Riddell suspects that young salmon emerging two years ago from streams in the Broughton Archipelago may have been infested with lice and that's why so few fish came back this year. The pink-salmon populations there declined in a year when other B.C. pink-salmon runs were healthy.

If the government opts not to shut down the salmon farms, the council recommends intensive treatment of fish farms to control sea lice and increased monitoring of lice.

Information from The Associated Press is included in this report.
 

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post script:

The provincial and federal govt response to the recommendation to shut down the fish farms in the Broughton Arch. has been to simply ignore the recommendation - business as usual. In fact, I understand some of the fish farms in that area are actually increasing the number of fish being held...

Now you understand why some BC'ers have given up on advocacy in favour of direct action...

Poul
 

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Sea lice continued

Sinktip brings up "Exhibit #1" in the sea lice issue, the Broughten Archipelago. This catastrophe was not unexpected. A group known as Watershed Watch Salmon Society published a report that clearly states the threat presented by sea lice from salmon farms - especially in the Broughten Archipelago - I got this report over a year ago!

As a High School Geography teacher I ordered a full set of these booklets and use it as supplimentary reading for the environmental section of my course - it is excellent.

To read the paper yourself click here

For the industry to ignore the facts is to be expected, for the government to do so is unconscionable!

I guess that just leaves us...
 

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More on Salmon farms

Sea lice is just one issue with salmon farms. Outright pollution is certainly another. The amount of sewage created by an average sized salmon farm is equivalent to that produced by a small town. The seabed under and down current from the pens are virtual dead zones. As well, the pollution from the unrestricted use of antibiotics can't help but have a negative impact on the environment.

The biological pollution that escaped Atlantic Salmon are may be the most insidious problem of all. The industry's mantra has always been that escapement is not an issue because it has been demonstrated that Atlantics cannot successfully spawn in westcoast rivers - what bunk! The "proof" is that early in the 1900's Atlantic Salmon were planted in a couple of Vancouver Island rivers and the plantings failed - therefore Atlantics can't spawn here!

This belief has been unequivocably blown out of the water by scientific research. University of Alberta research scientists have located and documented multiple age class fry and smolts in the Tsitka River, north of Campbell River on Vancouver Island. Scale samples prove the fry were born in the wild and the multiple year age-classes prove it is not a fluke.

Furthermore, the research documents that the biology of Atlantics vs the Pacific salmons (including steelhead) give significant competative advantage to the foreigner. This is based on the shorter gestation period of the Atlantics which means that by the time the dominant Pacific salmonids - steelhead - show up the older bigger stronger Atlantics have taken the prime feeding stations. Then, as the rest of the Pacifics attempt to line up according to their natural rank, they find themselves pushed down a level and the lowliest find that they have been relegated to habitat that cannot support them. The interloper has eliminated one of its competitors!

However, the industry and Government continue to insist that escaped Atlantic Salmon propose no real threat...

To read John Vople's research paper on the Competative Advantage of Atlantics click here
 

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Kush,

Thanks for some excellent information on the fish farming industry in B.C. It has never ceased to amaze me how the government ignores the researchers and allows business as usual because some industry provides some jobs. In the meantime, that same industry creates polution and environmental problems while the industry takies as much profit as it can in as short a time as possible.

I believe that it is well past time that the governments of the world begin to take seriously their responsibility to protect resources for the common good.
 

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Re: Sea lice continued

kush said:

For the industry to ignore the facts is to be expected, for the government to do so is unconscionable!
I certainly wish we could get back to spey stuff. Having said as much, tho', I can't let this pass. The implications in this statement are just too, well, political to let pass unchallenged.

Statements like this are made by cynics who look to Government bureaucrats as somehow having higher ethics than those in private industry. Such assertions are, at minimum, unprovable and to some, offensive.

Stick to fishing.

Michael
 

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juro said:
I am in favor of aquaculture if conducted in a way that was not entirely capitalistic and ignorant of the impacts on it's (sic) surroundings.
I don't understand the sentiment here. If not completely capitalistic then what? A little bit marxist, perhaps?

Implied in your statement, Juro, is the notion that capitalism is inimical with conservation? This belies a lack of understanding of free markets from both a historical, political, and theoretical perspectives.

I do not want to engage in these discussions. I want to learn about spey casting/fishing. Nevertheless, I don't see why anyone should get away with offhandedly throwing these political screeds into the text of notes.

Let's get back to spey...

Michael
 

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flytyer said:
I believe that it is well past time that the governments of the world begin to take seriously their responsibility to protect resources for the common good.
Oh, gimme a break. You don't even make sense. You excoriate government for getting rolled by industry and then advance a theory that "governments of the world" are the best way to protect the common good.

Whose common good, by the way? What, do you suppose, is the common good applicable to the people whose children are starving in Eritrea. How about low-cost, nutritionally rich fish. You think they might like a bit of fish once a month or so?????

You know who I think objects to aquaculture? People like you and I who can afford to spend thousands of dollars in spey equipment and travel to catch 5 or 10 fish a year - only to to let 'em go. Also, commercial fisherman who depend on government licensing regulations that have the effect of (1) limiting harvests so that (2) the cost of fish can be held artificially high.

Oh hell, let's do away with industry all together. Marx, Lenin, Mao, Fidel, et al had it right. These countries have environmental policies to die for.

Michael
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Luv2Spey,

With what you believe in why bother to learn spey fishing at all? What are you going to fish for?

We fish the same rivers, looking forward to running into you one of these days. We can fish together for nothing, nothing at all.
Is that your 10,000 square foot wood home 5 feet from the river with the large retaining wall in front. You know the one, built right on the river because we don't need strict regulations on developers and better regulations to save our water shed.

If I had your address I'd leave a farm raised salmon on your door step for your Christmas dinner.

Have a good fishing holiday.
JWB Luv(s)2Spey?
 

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Luv2Spey

Wow! Talk about a cynic. I can tell you make all your casts over the right shoulder!

Governments should have higher ethics, after all they represent the best interests of all parts of society - not just the ones that contribute to their election coffers. As well, elected officials not only have an obligation to we who elect them, but also to those future generations that their decisions will effect.

If you can read the research and listen to what the biologists say about fish farms and look at the effects of the farms in the British Isles and still say that it doesn't matter, then maybe you should get into govenment!

If being willing to stand up and demand that the resource I love and the environment that supports it makes me a leftwing, tree hugging, pinko-commie then so be it! I say move over Marx,Lenin, Mao, Fidel and make room for Patrick Watson, David Suzuki and me.
 

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You know who I think objects to aquaculture? People like you and I who can afford to spend thousands of dollars in spey equipment and travel to catch 5 or 10 fish a year - only to to let 'em go. Also, commercial fisherman who depend on government licensing regulations that have the effect of (1) limiting harvests so that (2) the cost of fish can be held artificially high.
Well I object. I am not a well off retired white guy who fishes 4-5 days a weeks. Hell now that I have learned I have a baby coming into the world in 7 months I will be lucky to ever fish again. Much less afford expensive fishing gear. However I still think this is an important issue that we as sportsman need to voice our concerns over. We are the stewards of the resource whether you like it or not.

Just the fact the something like only 250,00 out of the expected 3.5 million pink salmon in BC returned this year should have us all throwing down our spey rods and pressing the government for answers. That is appalling and if it is the fish farms do you not think steelhead are being affected? Steelhead and salmon from Washington migrate through those same areas.

As for comparing someone who wonders why we cannot have capitalism with a conscience to the brothers marx,stalin, and mao is B.S.

Oh and the notion that starving kids in Ethiopia are getting these farmed fish is a laugh. Those countries have no money to pay for the fish. A capitalist society does not give things away for free, you know that. These fish are going nowhere but to the well fed with money.

The truth is this is a highly unregulated industry and it is affecting the local environments at an almost unprecedented rate. My friend owns land up in the Sunshine coast about a mile away from a fish farm and he has seen his fishing opportunities crash in under 10 years. Something is wrong with this industry.

I do not have any answers to the question but I hope we get some soon. In the meantime a healthy discussion on the issue isn't hurting anything.

Or we can take your stance and not do anything. If that is the case why even keep practicing that single spey. 100' casts will not be needed when there are no fish.

respectfully,

-sean
 

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Bravo Luv2Spey!!!

It is about time that someone stepped up and pointed out all of these self-serving conservationists that inhabit this board. I mean come on, the arrogance of these whiners to attack aquaculture. After all it has made available cheap bland tasting protein to the masses. Let's never mind that it is responsible for wiping out entire runs of anadromous fish. Also lets not focus on the the other enviromental and ecological impacts.

After all, if things keep going like they are we can always spey cast for crappie in the local farmer's pond. You are dead on L2S, rape of the resourse is the only answer. And besides, industry would never allow real harm to the enviroment. Those super fund sites are all a hoax by the whimpy whiney pinko liberals like those that inhabit this board. Love Canal was actually just habitat restoration right?

Ok, time to put the sarcasm aside. Figure I should identify the above as sarcasm lest it be taken at face value just as it appears the claims of industrial benevolence have been. P.T. Barnum was right I guess.

I do not want to engage in these discussions. I want to learn about spey casting/fishing.
I think OC got it right. What are you planning to cast/fish for? As I told you earlier on another board. There is much more to being a flyfisher than fishing with a flyrod. Might I suggest less focus on becoming a novice spey instructor and more on protecting what we fish for.
 

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OC, Kush, Sean, et al

Evidently, of the three of you, none had read my responses to the posts very carefully and/or thoughtfully before replying.

First, I never claimed I was pro-aquaculture. And nothing I wrote could lead one to a conclude that I am anti-environment.
What I did claim in my post was that I don't buy into your solutions, i.e., bigger government, more regulation, higher costs, more litigation, and less freedom. Such solutions have never worked in the past and they will never work in the future. It is a peculiar pathology of the left that leads them to conclude that one must be an anti-environmentalist or pro-aquaculture simply because s/he doesn't buy into their opinion as to how to deal with questions raised by these issues.

Second, I am objecting to the sneaky way many of you guys politicize this forum. Not infrequently you toss off these political asides embedded within the text of an otherwise interesting note - A political aside that has nothing whatsoever to do with fishing, much less spey casting, and then take umbrage when you are challenged.

I pride myself on being able to fish both sides of the river. The problem with your reaction to my criticism of your ideas suggests to me that you can fish only the left.

Cheers,

Michael
 
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