Escaped Farmed Salmon Find Way Into Newfoundland River - Conservation - Nova Scotia Fishing

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Escaped Farmed Salmon Find Way Into Newfoundland River


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#1 Terran

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 10:50 AM

While DFO promotes open pen aquaculture and downplays incidents, such as this one, it's hard to imagine that wild Atlantic Salmon have a chance.

The threat of disease being spread to wild fish, from escapees, is very real. Not to mention the possibility of interbreeding and the resultant genetically weaker fish.

In this story, from CBC News, once again escaped farmed fish are believed to pose a threat to a wild population. This time in Newfoundland / Labrador.

Please read this story:

Escaped farmed salmon could cause problems, council warns
CBC News Posted: May 16, 2013 3:28 PM NT Last Updated: May 17, 2013 6:43 AM NT

DFO says unlikely the fish had any disease or illness

The Salmonid Council of Newfoundland and Labrador warns a recent escape of farmed salmon could cause problems with the wild Atlantic salmon population.

Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada officials confirmed this week that farmed salmon escaped from an aquaculture site in the Fortune Bay area, and have turned up in the Garnish River.

Council president Don Hutchens said it poses multiple threats to the wild salmon, such as potential interbreeding between wild and farmed salmon, and spreading of the infectious salmon anemia (ISA) virus.

He said the DFO is playing down the issue.

"We told them it was going to happen, they told us that we shouldn't fear about it, but there is no signs to say that we shouldn't fear," Hutchens said.

"In fact, what we do know is everywhere there's been a finfish farm agricultural site, wild Atlantic salmon populations have drastically declined," he added.

Hutchens said part of the problem is that the DFO does not report on escapes that it calls trickle escapes.

"We think that trickle escapes are quite significant — almost to the point that they're almost major escapes when they're done collectively. You could have up to a hundred salmon a day trickling out through the nets and escaping over the sides," Hutchens said.

"You add those up for the year, and you have quite a significant number of farmed salmon escaping into the wild."

No cause for concern, DFO says

Geoff Perry, with the regional aquaculture management of DFO, said there are no indicators to cause concern about spreading infection or disease to the wild population of the fish.

"The animals we sampled last week, we're running them through a full sweep of pathogen screening so we'll have some information on that in the next couple weeks," Perry said.

"But from what we visually looked at, these fish, there's no sea lice on them, and they're not exhibiting any signs of disease or external signs of disease," he added.

He said the fish likely got out during an increase in water levels during the fall or winter season.

"What's probably happened here is these fish got out some time over the winter during a storm, and eventually just poked their nose into a place where the environmental conditions were a little more favourable than the open ocean," Perry said.

However, Perry said there is concern that interbreeding will lead to a weaker generation of salmon in the wild.

"There's concern that if wild and farmed fish interbreed — that the resulting hybrids, farm-wild fish hybrids — will be less fit for the wild environment because farm salmon had been domesticated for traits that make them a very good food fish, but those same traits don't make for good survival in the wild, whereas wild fish have traits that make them very good to survive in the wild," Perry said.

Perry said they did not receive a report from any of the farms in the area, so they do not know which farm the fish escaped from.

Rare occurrence, association says

Cyr Couturier, the executive director of the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association, repeats sentiments that the likelihood of ISA spreading is low.

"These are naturally occurring diseases that come from wild fish that are passed on to salmon in cages," Couturier said. "There's regular inspection and testing for that almost on a continuous basis by the government agencies and [Canadian Food Inspection Agency]."

Couturier also said that concern about interbreeding between wild and farmed salmon is low.

"This is one escape. It's not a huge escape, from what we can tell yet, and we don't think that there's going to be much interbreeding," he said. "We haven't seen it in 30 years in Newfoundland and Labrador."

Couturier said the association is doing an investigation to find out where exactly the fish escaped from.

(CBCNEWS: http://www.cbc.ca/ne...16.html?cmp=rss )


DFO is "playing down" the incident. Now that's is a big surprise. (Not)

By abandoning there mandate to protect our waters and the wild species living in them; DFO has become less of a Department of Fisheries and Oceans and more of a Department of Open Pen Aquaculture and Big Business Promotion.

They certainly have abandoned any effort to truly protect or enhance the Wild Atlantic Salmon. They have also proven, from past events, that they have no knowledge or control over the damage and disease open pen aquaculture presents. Or they simply do not care.

"We told them it was going to happen, they told us that we shouldn't fear about it, but there is no signs to say that we shouldn't fear," Hutchens said.

Typical "Don't worry...Be Happy" story that DFO lays on anyone who questions the open feedlot threats.

Yet, this next quote would be arguably the most important statement made about open pen aquaculture:

"In fact, what we do know is everywhere there's been a finfish farm agricultural site, wild Atlantic salmon populations have drastically declined,"

DFO doesn't seem to see this correlation. Or they are totally ignoring it. (?)

The scientific evidence from Canada and Global studies seems quite clear. Yet it is being ignored in favour of promoting and protecting this ill-conceived business.

And then there is the Industry spin:

Cyr Couturier, the executive director of the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association, repeats sentiments that the likelihood of ISA spreading is low.

"These are naturally occurring diseases that come from wild fish that are passed on to salmon in cages," Couturier said. "There's regular inspection and testing for that almost on a continuous basis by the government agencies and [Canadian Food Inspection Agency]."

What else would you expect from the "spin doctors"?

"Naturally occurring diseases"? Most testing has proven that the ISA Virus, found in fish farms, is of the Norwegian strain found in open cage feedlots from Norway. Origination point of this disgusting problem.

Disease that occurs in nature is eradicated quite quickly by "survival of the fittest" scenario. The sick fall behind and get eaten. It's only when penned fish are contaminated that entire schools can be contaminated and the Virus allowed to slough off and spred to fish that swim through the "contaminated cloud" of concentrated viral water.

CFIA does almost continuous testing?

As with all Government departments, these folks are seriously undermanned and under-funded. They can't keep up with Ecoli outbreaks in the meat industry and other regular duties.

Who is doing all the PCR testing? Where? Who is paying for it? Why aren't the findings publicly posted? (To ask but a few questions)

Not to mention, why would the CFIA test for a Virus that they have already deemed "not harmful to humans" and allowed to be released onto the market for human consumption? Hmmmm?


The wild Atlantic Salmon has been, all but, abandoned and in it's place DFO has been promoting and protecting the very Industry that will probably be the end of the wild fish.

Thankfully, there are organizations and private citizens that step up and continue to fight for our wild Atlantic Salmon. Despite the uphill battle. Trying to do the job that a certain Government and Department should be doing.

Terran
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"In these sad and ominous days of mad fortune chasing, every patriotic, thoughtful citizen, whether he fishes or not, should lament that we have not among our countrymen more fishermen."  Grover Cleveland
 


#2 Terran

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 08:01 PM

So DFO confirms that farmed salmon were removed from the Garnish River in Newfoundland.

DFO confirms farmed salmon found in Garnish River - http://www.southerng...Garnish-River/1

Geoff Perry, with regional aquaculture management of DFO, acknowledged reports of large salmon in the waterway recently came into the Conservation and Protection Detachment in Marystown.

DFO located and captured 25 large salmon in the 8 - 10 lb range. They were able to coax the salmon to the surface with feed.

Although there have been no "reported" escapes,

Mr. Perry said the department is not sure where the farmed salmon originated from and noted an investigation with the aquaculture industry turned up no significant escape incidents.

He explained that likely means the fish came from one or more farms due to “incidental or trickle losses,” which he said can happen as a part of normal handling practices, or for example, during a winter storm if there is damage to cages or netting.

“Usually the numbers are so low that the industry doesn’t have the ability to detect that they’ve lost fish.”

He acknowledged interbreeding is the most serious of the three primary concerns – ecological changes and pathogen transfer are the other two – that can occur between wild and farmed fish when they interact.


Nice to know that farmed salmon can "trickle" out of these sites; carrying God knows what disease with them.

DFO seems okay with this? Why not?

Terran
  • 1

"In these sad and ominous days of mad fortune chasing, every patriotic, thoughtful citizen, whether he fishes or not, should lament that we have not among our countrymen more fishermen."  Grover Cleveland
 





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