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Aquaculture Ass. Fights Back On New Website - Guess We're Getting Their Attention


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#1 Terran

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 07:54 AM

So the Aquaculture Association of N.S. has created a website in order to "contradict" the negative publicity their industry is garnering. If they use the same kind of propaganda they've used in the past to argue their "sustainability and enviromental awareness", it should be as interesting as reading the National Inquirer.

Found this story in the Business Section of the Chronicle Herald:

N.S. fish farms fight back on new website
March 6, 2013 - 6:57pm By BRUCE ERSKINE Business Reporter

Group targets critics of aquaculture

The Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia is taking aim at critics of the industry.

The association has launched a new website, NSaquaculture.ca (http://nsaquaculture.ca/) , to provide what it calls clear information on the province’s growing aquaculture industry, which has some vocal critics.

“A lot of what’s been covered by media has been sensationalized, misinformed or simply inaccurate,” association executive director Bruce Hancock said in an news release Wednesday.

“Some opposition groups are presenting information very selectively, which can threaten the development of a vital and growing sector of our economy.”

Hancock referred specifically to a recent list issued by the Association for the Preservation of the Eastern Shore, outlining 10 reasons the organization opposes open-pen salmon farming.
“When you look at the details, you find it’s filled with errors and assumptions and is being presented as fact,” Hancock said.

“We have taken the time to go through each point so Nova Scotians can make informed decisions based on solid information.”

Marike Finlay, a member of the Association for the Preservation of the Eastern Shore, said Wednesday she hadn’t seen the aquaculture association website or its response to her group’s reasons for opposing open-pen salmon farms.

“Well, I guess they are hurting,” she said in an email when asked for her reaction to the online initiative.

Finlay said her organization has cited internationally recognized scientific papers in its opposition to open pen aquaculture.

The aquaculture association said the website will be a clearing house of information. The association said it will fact check statements made by opposition groups and make straightforward responses.

“We have farmers being environmentally responsible, building sustainable companies and working with local lobster fishermen and tourism operators to everyone’s benefit,” Hancock said.

Much of the criticism around aquaculture in Nova Scotia is directed toward large-scale open-pen operations that critics say threaten the natural marine environment.

Some open-pen salmon farms in Nova Scotia have been infected with infectious salmon anemia, which is deadly to fish but is not considered a human health risk by the Canada Food Inspection Agency.

Proponents of land-based farms say they are less environmentally harmful than open-pen farms. The province says land-based farms aren’t economically viable.

Hancock said the aquaculture association supports open-net pen and land-based farming.

He couldn’t be reached for further comment Wednesday.

Established in 1977, the association represents shellfish and finfish farmers, processors, hatchery and nursery operators, land-based recirculation operators and industry suppliers.

([email protected])

So, I am just curious, I wonder how much government support this site has been given? You know - our tax dollars at work against us.

You can be assured that most of what they use to argue their point will be the same "bought and paid for" "science" that we have seen in the past from their media guru's.

One thing, that is a bit rewarding, is that there has been enough negative publicity, from truly concerned Nova Scotian's, that they feel it necessary to make the effort to fight back in this fashion.

Hopefully, just hopefully, this project of theirs will totally backfire in their faces. I certainly hope they'll allow "the public" to post comments. :D

I will be checking their site out later. Curiousity - nothing else.

Terran

PS: Just visited their "site" - feel dirty. Although, my colon is refreshed from all the smoke blowing ;) :lol: !
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#2 pmorris

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 08:13 AM

One thing, that is a bit rewarding, is that there has been enough negative publicity, from truly concerned Nova Scotian's, that they feel it necessary to make the effort to fight back in this fashion.


They're definitely feeling the pain. A bit of anecdotal evidence from the Bedford Superstore: they were offering huge discounts on farmed Atlantic salmon to clear it out. The demand has obviously been reduced dramatically.

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#3 salmon are forever!

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 08:19 AM

i dont care what they say this does hurt the enviroment around these fish farms and all the species that come near it i hope they get what they deserve


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what a tourist terms a plague of insects a fly-fisher calls a great hatch!

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#4 Terran

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 08:21 AM

Paul,

That is good to hear. Wish I could get my hands on some "BioHazard" stickers; I'd certainly enjoy spreading some of my own "campaign" contributions! ;)

Cheers,

Terran
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#5 Perry

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 08:21 AM

Same here Paul, I have never seen so much atlantic salmon for sale in all the stores in the Valley. There is no way the demand is meeting supply1
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Just because you fish a lot doen't mean you are great or even good. It just means you fish a lot!!


#6 salmon are forever!

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 08:25 AM

Paul,

That is good to hear. Wish I could get my hands on some "BioHazard" stickers; I'd certainly enjoy spreading some of my own "campaign" contributions! ;)

Cheers,

Terran


Lol
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what a tourist terms a plague of insects a fly-fisher calls a great hatch!

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#7 Shimanoman

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:48 AM

I am really curious as to what line items in both Premier Dexter and Minister Belliveau's budget support of this falls under. Could this be considered our tax dollars supporting NDP planks in an election campaign?? Isn't there something VERY wrong about that?? Possibly illegal??? Just wondering.

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#8 Exstreamfisherman

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 11:04 AM

http://alexandramort...nfidential.html

Just take a look at what has happened out West and what the government has done to keep the aquaculture sea cages operating and to cover up their mistakes.. at what costs.. the environment is what suffered. It made me think early into this video (which is quite long but worth the watch) that the correlation she makes to the introduction of sea cage sites and the decline of West Coast salmon species could easily be made here on the East coast and the decline of our own natvie salmon.

The only responsible thing to do, to save face, to save the environment, to save their business etc... is to bring these cages on land..
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#9 Exstreamfisherman

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 04:07 PM

I am assuming that the lack of comments on this video are because you are all gobsmacked by what it contains.. I know I was exhausted after I watched it.. complete and utter disbelief..
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#10 dave

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 09:20 PM

Noticed Sobeys blowing out farmed salmon down this way too.... interesting...

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#11 Terran

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 12:21 AM

http://alexandramort...nfidential.html

Just take a look at what has happened out West and what the government has done to keep the aquaculture sea cages operating and to cover up their mistakes.. at what costs.. the environment is what suffered. It made me think early into this video (which is quite long but worth the watch) that the correlation she makes to the introduction of sea cage sites and the decline of West Coast salmon species could easily be made here on the East coast and the decline of our own natvie salmon.

The only responsible thing to do, to save face, to save the environment, to save their business etc... is to bring these cages on land..


Hey Exstream,

Thanks for posting the link. I am a ardent follower of Alexandra's site and strongly suggest that all who have a concern about the Aquaculture fiasco make sure to spend some time reading her posts.

I haven't had time to watch the video, but I'm certain I'll have something to say after I get a chance.

Again, thanks for posting the link. Stay tuned for comments.

Terran
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#12 Terran

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 12:32 AM

Dave,

All that marked down "Salmon" at Sobey's? Makes a person wonder if they haven't gotten themselves some "Fillet of ISAv".

Damn I wish we had somebody on this coast that could do the biology and test this crap for viruses. We need an Alexandra Morton on this coast.

Something else that pisses me off is the use of the term "Fresh" when they market this crap. Fresh Atlantic Salmon - makes it sound like it was just caught wild. Older folks remember the fish trucks that used to sell "FRESH FISH" of the back. To describe Farmed Salmon as "FRESH" should be criminal - false advertising.

Anyway, it would appear that Sobey's may either be offloading some ISA salmon OR the ISA scandal has seriously eroded the farmed salmon market.

They should force feed it to Dexter and Co.

Terran
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#13 Exstreamfisherman

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 07:10 AM

One of the two world credited specialists for the ISA virus is located at UPEI... if someone wants to pay for the test I am sure we can get it shipped there..
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#14 Terran

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 08:31 AM

One of the two world credited specialists for the ISA virus is located at UPEI... if someone wants to pay for the test I am sure we can get it shipped there..


Exstreamfisherman,

You make a very valid point. Dr. Frederick Kibenge, at the University of PEI has been enbroiled with this ISAv fiasco from the start. He is well respected and often referenced by Alexandra Morton. He is also quite disliked by Ottawa; to the point that they have pushed to have his Labs international credentials stripped. (Makes me like the guy even more.)

Check out: Ottawa moves aginst PEI Lab - http://www.theglobea...article5582798/

Of course, as you mention, the cost is the issue. As can be seen from Alexandra Morton's site, fund raising to finance this testing is a big part of her ongoing battle to provide the facts regarding the open pen industry.

To begin the sort of campaign that she has fronted would take some considerable organization and funding. I could see certain local organizations kicking some funding into the pot and perhaps some private donations. The next issue would be the necessity of a figure head with some credibility (ie; a marine biologist, scientist, virologist or biologist) that could present the findings in a credible fashion and have their opinions respected.

That said, it could certainly be a valuable force in the battle to bring light to this rather dark industry.

As I've stated before, I am curious as to the degree of testing and the information being released by the government. We are all aware of the myriad of diseases associated with this industry. There is a long and disturbing list of very nasty viruses that have been found in most aquaculture sites worldwide. To believe that, somehow, the sites on the coast of Nova Scotia have dodged these diseases or won't be seeing them soon is ridiculous. Independant testing should be being undertaken.

For instance, you probably read the post prior to Alexandra Morton's video post (that you posted). She focuses on another of the very nasty open pen diseases - Piscine Reovirus. (See Morton Post - http://alexandramort...rvest-dont.html)

Everyone should take the time to read up on this lovely virus. If it is as prevalent in fish farms, as she states; it's just a matter of time until we see it on our shores (if it's not here already). And this is but one of a long list that could and probably will appear here.

Testing of our local farmed fish is a necessity if any true headway is to be made in this battle. Organizing this is the uphill trudge.

Our governments (Feds and Provs) have sold our environmental futures to this industry and refuse to back away from their decision. The impetus is for those who are truly concerned to illuminate the dark areas of this fiasco and provide solid science and information to as many as will listen. Educating the general public and perhaps changing their interest in purchasing this disgusting product is key to winning the battle. Dave's photos may very well be indicative of the last media blitz regarding ISAv salmon, from Cooke, being pushed to market. Maybe it grossed some folks out?

I would liken farmed salmon to blood diamonds, in that, if people were made aware of the serious cost of producing this product, they may very well take offense to this disgraceful practice. Certainly their prodigy will be dealing with the aftermath of this industry for generations; should it continue.

My opinion anyway. For what it's worth.

Terran
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#15 Exstreamfisherman

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 09:51 AM

Terran you need to make time to watch this video.. it is an eye opener.. I watched in 5 minute intervals because I couldn't take much more than that at a time..all the information you seek is in this video and in my opinion it is completely applicable to what we are now facing..
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#16 Duckerdan

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 07:00 PM

only got a 1 min 15 sec video....dont know why. I will try it again later.
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#17 Terran

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 08:42 PM

http://vimeo.com/61301410



Here is "Salmon Confidential". Hope you'll take the time to give it a watch.

Thanks again Exstreamfisherman for bringing it to our attention.
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#18 Exstreamfisherman

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 09:04 PM

So what did you think, those of you who have watched it... do you see any correlations to what is going on presently on our coast?
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#19 Terran

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 11:15 PM

Exstream,

I watched the video twice. I find it heartening that the information it contains has been compiled in such a fashion as to allow for a majority of people, who watch it, to be moved, angered and appalled by our Governments complicity and complacency regarding this industry (Aquaculture).

To be absolutely honest, there was nothing presented that I hadnt been aware of already.

For a couple years now, I have been researching this topic in as much of my free time as possible. I have tried to convey the depth and seriousness of the situation in my posts. If you were to go back and re-read my posts and topics on aquaculture and government (if you could get through the many rants), you would find the majority of the material presented in the video already linked or discussed. Piece by piece - most of it's there.

So am I shocked - no.

Having said that, this is the most concise and well documented compilation of information chronicling the West Coast's salmon dilemma. Seeing it laid out in this fashion certainly makes it easier to absorb.

Should people be shocked ? - yes. Should people be angry about the way our tax dollar paid, civil servants, are presenting themselves and the way they are doing their jobs? - HELL YES!!! Should people be afraid? - Definately.

I don't believe that it's any stretch at all to suggest that the situation on the West Coast is simply foreshadowing what the East Coast has to look forward too.

As I've said before: DFO is in direct conflict with their mandate by supporting the open pen aquaculture industry. No matter how they wish to argue the matter. Watching our Governments representatives at the Cohen Inquiry, you might have had the recent mob hearings in Quebec come to mind. Lots of shifty looking characters giving guarded answers while looking totally guilty.

The only hope for the East Coast and the Atlantic Salmon is for people, on a grass roots level, to organize and fight as hard as possible. If feedlot fish farms can do the damage, in the numbers presented, to Pacific Salmon stocks (with their high return numbers), what chance does the already threatened Atlantic Salmon have on our coast?

Thanks again for bringing this video to the site.

Terran
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#20 Terran

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 09:19 AM

As if it isn't bad enough, you start reading the paper and find stories like this: Cooke's First Salmon Harvest - http://thechronicleh...-salmon-harvest

A March 8th story, from the Chronicle Herald, is informing / warning people that Cooke Aquaculture has started their "first harvest" at the St. Mary's Bay site. The caption, "HERE THEY COME", seems to be proclaiming a dire warning.

Here is the story:

Cooke’s first salmon harvest
March 8, 2013 - 7:31pm By BRIAN MEDEL Yarmouth Bureau METEGHAN

Hundreds of thousands plucked from St. Marys Bay pens

HERE THEY COME.

Hundreds of thousands of Atlantic salmon are being sucked from their pens in the first ever harvest of fish from a Cooke Aquaculture site in St. Marys Bay.

The controversial site welcomed 700,000 little salmon, each about the size of a ballpoint pen, in July 2011.

Today, they weigh an average of 10 pounds and are about 30 inches long.

“This process is probably going to take about two months, working every day,” Jeff Nickerson, Cooke’s saltwater production manager for Nova Scotia, said Friday, referring to the harvesting.

He then opened a box to reveal a silver-sided salmon on ice, the first fish harvested and now ready to be displayed this weekend at the Boston Seafood Show.

“We want to showcase our premium products,” Nickerson said.

The company’s main markets include Upper Canada and the United States.

Crews harvested a few fish Thursday but could not continue Friday because of the wind.

“We have two farms in St. Marys Bay and each farm has eight cages,” Nickerson explained. “We’re harvesting just one site right now.”

Both farms received 700,000 fish.

It’s the first harvest from the pens near Long Island, at the tip of Digby Neck. A site off Freeport will be ready for harvest this fall.

The 700,000 fish translates to about seven-million pounds of salmon to be harvested. With fresh salmon fillets selling for between $5 and $8 per pound in Canada, the fish are worth a staggering amount of money.

“Our harvest boat comes and pumps the fish into the boat,”

Nickerson explained. “They go through pneumatic stunners, which euthanize the fish.”

Gills are then cut to drain blood from the tissue and then the fish and drained blood go into the boat’s hold, where they are added to a slurry of ice to super chill the fish, he said.

During harvest everything is contained. No blood or mucus is permitted to enter the environment.

Fish then go to a processing plant, now located in New Brunswick.

Some go to market, others are prepared as steaks or fillets.

“Probably 35 to 40 per cent of the fish is sold dressed, head on,” said Nickerson. “We harvest them before they’re sexually mature. … Ten pounds is the optimum size.”

Some area residents have said the introduction of salmon farming to St. Marys Bay was bad for the aquatic environment and could damage the lucrative lobster fishery.

Waste and chemical residue effects remain a serious concern for coalitions opposed to allowing fish farms to occupy sensitive ecosystems.

Nickerson said there have been no problems and there’s never been an outbreak of infectious salmon anemia in St. Marys Bay.

The disease is not harmful to humans, but fish with the disease are euthanized.

“We have veterinarians that come in once a month to do various tests,” Nickerson said. “The fish in St. Marys Bay have been very healthy.”

The St. Marys Bay site area was checked prior to the establishment of the two farms, with respect to the state of the sea bed.

“Since then, the site has been checked three times by consultants and the bottom is exactly the same as the background,” Nickerson said referring to the term used for pre-fish farm conditions.

“So there’s really good flushing.”

Another reason the fish are healthy is the fact that the local people “we’ve hired have fishing backgrounds,” he said.

“They understand the water. They understand fish … (and) we’ve been able to give them an intensive 20-month training program to teach them about aquaculture.”

Of the 23 staff, 19 are from the Meteghan area, with four coming from the Digby Neck area, he said.

And more employees may be needed.

“We launched a pretty ambitious expansion plan in Nova Scotia,” Nickerson said.

“One thing we have to do is get our production to a level that will sustain a production facility.”

More sites are planned for Jordan Bay and a new saltwater hatchery and a feed plant expansion are being planned for Nova Scotia.

“Once all that takes place, the processing plant comes in,” he said.

“We’re looking toward the end of 2015 for that, in eastern Shelburne County.”

([email protected])


So, you watch the video, "Salmon Confidential". You see the "writing on the wall", laid out in a fashion that should alarm anyone.

Now you read that the "evil empire" are about to start sucking their "filthy fishy's" from our local waters and you start to speculate on just what their "harvest" has cost our local ecology.(?) What damage has this "business" created during this first growing period?

You have a knot in the pit of your stomach yet?

Did you note the comment,

During harvest everything is contained. No blood or mucus is permitted to enter the environment.


That certainly sounds like the criteria for handling healthy food products. :blink:

I'm sure the spin doctors and media gurus at Cooke are just blushing with pride at this wonderful (uh, what can I call it?) "news" story. The Aquaculture Ass. is probably working frantically to get this hype up on their website.

Man, I need a drink.

Terran
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