Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fish Farms will go Ahead in Sunderland Channel

Despite strong opposition to the two new fish farming facilities, the Strathcona Regional District has allowed Greig Seafood to develop the sites both of which will accomodate 70,000 Atlantic Salmon. The last two decades have seen massive development of commercial fish farming in the Georgia Basin, along with the farms came infestations of sea lice as well as other pathogens and a concurrent decline in wild salmonid populations in the region. While the impact of salmon farming is widely acknowledged among scientists and the public, farming operations continue to expand to provide cheap salmon to consumers worldwide.

The decision to allow the farms to go ahead comes as a huge blow to wild fish advocate groups who cite the regions geography and location as a prime reason not to locate two new farms in the area. Johnstone Strait is the confined outlet to the Georgia Basin making it a migratory bottle neck for many wild smolts leaving the area. Given the susceptability of outmigrant smolts to sea lice it is imperative to keep infestations low, particularly in areas where smolts outmigrate in high densities. The decision to allow to farms to go ahead does not come without stipulations. In what was termed a compromise by the SRD directors, Greig will have to establish zero lice levels prior to the smolt migration, complete harvest prior to the migration and refrain from using underwater lights during the migration. They also have to use fully enclosed pen technology as soon as it becomes commercially available and ''financially viable''. Unfortunately these compromises are inadequate and fail to address the real problem, additionally they give Greig the ability to decide for itself when enclosed pens are commercially viable. See more coverage in the Campbell River Courier Islander here...

Also read a press release from the coastal alliance on aquacultural reform

1 comment:

Sportfisher said...

Why don't you get your facts straight before posting something like this; Grieg Seafood only got one of the two sites approved.
And the BC Pacific Salmon Forum- after spending five million tax dollars to study sea lice on wild salmon in the Broughton- found no lethal levels of sea lice on any pink salmon juveniles in 2007 or 2008