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finally proven - salmon farms kill wild fish


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#1 Leslie

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 11:31 PM

"New research confirms that sea lice from fish farms kill wild salmon. Up to 95 per cent of the wild juvenile salmon that migrate past fish farms die as a result of sea lice infestation from the farms. The results of the research have been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of The United States of America."

Read more at http://www.scienceda...61002215235.htm

#2 loftus

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 07:12 AM

This is a very interesting article; which raises the question, how is it possible to sustain growing world populations and consumption of fish without aquaculture. It would seem that the obvious answer with regard to this article would be to work on controlling the sea lice rather than just giving up on aquaculture.

"New research confirms that sea lice from fish farms kill wild salmon. Up to 95 per cent of the wild juvenile salmon that migrate past fish farms die as a result of sea lice infestation from the farms. The results of the research have been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of The United States of America."

Read more at http://www.scienceda...61002215235.htm


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#3 Leslie

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 09:53 AM

This is a very interesting article; which raises the question, how is it possible to sustain growing world populations and consumption of fish without aquaculture. It would seem that the obvious answer with regard to this article would be to work on controlling the sea lice rather than just giving up on aquaculture.


It's not a matter of giving up on aquaculture but one of improving it. Fish & shrimp farms do a lot of damage to the environment on several fronts. The sea beds underneath pens turn into dead zones due to the rapid build-up of waste products & chemicals. Parasites & diseases are introduced into areas or they become much more common. Tens of thousands of atlantic salmon have escaped from their pens & are producing offspring which now compete with the native salmon for food. Non-native fish usually outcompete natives because they're more resistant to the parasites & diseases introduced along with them. Destruction of mangroves in tropical areas to create shrimp farms contributed to the amount of destruction caused by the big tsunami since the mangroves were no longer there.

#4 loftus

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 10:17 AM

Do you think it's an issue of needing more regulation, better science, or both?
Where or who are the agencies involved in this, and how can we pressure them to take notice?
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#5 Leslie

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 01:31 PM

Do you think it's an issue of needing more regulation, better science, or both?
Where or who are the agencies involved in this, and how can we pressure them to take notice?


Both, and don't forget money! Scientists and concerned stakeholders have been pointing out the potential problems for years but they've been dismissed as crackpots or just ignored. Now it seems like every one of their gloomy predictions have come true. The only safe marine aquaculture is growing the animals in tanks on land so there's no chance of escapes or introduction of parasites/commensals/diseases. Unfortunately that's much more expensive than open ocean mesh pens. Profits are already down so farmers don't want to or can't afford to spend any more money. Governments that are more concerned with tax revenue than the environment continue to insist salmon farming is safe.

As for who to contact in government, go to the David Suzuki Foundation web page http://www.davidsuzuki.org It's an excellent source of information on this and other sustainable fishing issues. On a personal level you can choose to not buy seafood produced by methods that damage the environment. For more information on that see the SeaChoice website to learn which fish to avoid. http://www.seachoice.org/

#6 Cerianthus

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 07:59 AM

There's one mayor environmental impact in fish farming that is often overlooked.

Fish food consists often of fish meal, which is made from small fish caught in the wild. Industrial fishing will catch mostly smaller fish from a wide range of species.

A better way would be to check if food can be grown on site, or grow plant eating species such as tilapia
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#7 Paul Kay

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 12:06 AM

Quote: " how is it possible to sustain growing world populations and consumption of fish without aquaculture (mariculture)"

It isn't! Fisheries is clearly in a complete mess (it most certainly is here in the UK where the legality of fishing goes back to the Magna Carta and much regulation is carried out by the archaic, underfunded Sea Fishers Committees who have to both police and promote fishing) and virtually all existing fisheries are over-exploited. Without wanting to be overly pessimistic, unless there is a fundamental shift in the power broker's thinking, then wild caught fish will become uneconomic and will force us into mariculture.

Mariculture in most of its current forms has substantial problems, as have been pointed out here already, and these mostly effect its of long term sustainability. Having dived under Salmon farms I can confirm that even in very exposed sites food gets through the nets and sits on the seabed, and I have invaribaly seen dead fish in the bottom of the nets too.

The only real, sustainable solution requires a highly responsible attitude on the part of governments, and a realisation that they need to sacrifice national requirements for a higher purpose. Viable National and International fishing methods and quotas need to be both determined and set and there needs to be a determination to police whatever regulation is needed. By doing so they could just produce a marine environment which could be sustainably fished and there should be little need for mariculture! The other point is that we cannot sustain ANY food production system with ever-growing world populations - absolutely obvious but often overlooked as it has implications which many find unacceptable.

I suggest lobbying your local politicians about fisheries as this is a good way to start them realising that there is a problem and then they may think that something needs to be done.
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#8 loftus

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 10:13 AM

Unfortunately it is unlikely that world population will stop growing or that countries will stop fishing; therefore I think the only option is to develop fish farming and put most of our effort into minimizing environmental effects. I cannot see any other way to take the pressure off overfishing. This issue of minimizing environmental damage with fish farming is no different to minimizing environmental damage from any other type of farming.
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#9 Paul Kay

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 11:55 PM

You are of course perfectly right loftus. My point is that in dealing with the problems of mariculuture we are dealing with an effect not a cause. Without proper fisheries controls we will find ourselves chasing our tails dealing with this sort of problem.
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#10 shawnh

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 08:54 PM

Or, we could just stop extracting another depleted resource from our planet and just stop eating fish. Do most of us in developed coutnries have to eat fish? Do "you" (read anyone reading this) have to eat fish or starve? Are most poor populations eating farmed fish or is it more developed nations with wealthier people? What are "you" doing to help or contribute to this problem?
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#11 Scubaskeeter

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Posted 19 December 2006 - 06:26 PM

Great discussion here.
We can take personal responsibility for the demand side of the equasion. I eat more chicken and only sustainable seafood, of which farmed mussels are my favorite (favourite)! May I post this link to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch list? Seafood Watch Excellent resource for all of us to monitor our seafood. I print these out and send to my friends and relatives. Most people want to be good environmental stewards, they just don't always know how. :wacko:

Edited by Scubaskeeter, 19 December 2006 - 06:29 PM.


#12 shawnh

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 09:32 PM

I also point a lot of folks to the Monterey guide. Unfortunately more and more fish are moving out of the "good" category. Remember, "good" is only temporary until a couple of thousand factory ships roll through and push them into endangered. Also, not so long ago, the "good" list had Thresher shark on it. Who the heck was sleeping on the job. After some of us took action, i see it has been removed.
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#13 Leslie

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 12:44 PM

Great discussion here.
May I post this link to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch list? Seafood Watch


Sure, just cite Wetpixel.com somewhere in the body of your post.