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SCI/TECH: Salmon Farm Escapees Threaten Wild Cousins

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posted on May, 14 2005 @ 02:59 PM
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Increasing numbers of farmed salmon escaping into Norway's open waters are putting wild species under greater risk of disease, breeding difficulties and genetic contamination, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has warned. Stocks of wild Atlantic salmon are already depleted due to the existing threats posed by dams and pollution, according to a WWF report, but higher exposure to farmed species could help to deplete the country's wild salmon population even further.
 



www.guardian.co.uk
A quarter of the salmon caught off Norway are escapees from fish farms and are threatening the survival of their wild cousins, the World Wildlife Fund warns today.

"Around half a million farmed fish, both salmon and trout, escape from fish farms in Norway every year. We suspect this is an issue for every country where salmon are farmed," said Simon Cripps, director of the conservation charity's global marine program.

About half of all wild Atlantic salmon are born in Norway's rivers, with smaller populations from Scotland and the US.

Fugitive farmed fish compete for food with wild fish and can spread parasites. And farmed fish mating with wild fish dilute the genetic pool of up to 400 races of salmon existing in Norway's rivers. In turn, that may make the overall species less resistant to disease, warns WWF's report.



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


New measures suggested by WWF include, increasing security to prevent fish from escaping, individually tagging farmed fish, and locating fish farms away from vulnerable stocks of wild fish species. The WWF is also worried that escapees from other fish farms, such as cod, could also hit depleted cod wild stocks.

This could undermine the long-term survival of wild salmon and I love my Salmon. I am happy this has been detected before it would be too late to correct the problem. If it can happen in Norway it could happen in the rest of the world and that is not a good thing.

One has to keep in mind that it has been suggested that farm raised Salmon and perhaps some other species are said to cause cancer if too much is consumed, also not a good thing. Perhaps the suggestion made by the WWF will be adopted world wide.

This seems to be a good example of why one should not fool with Mother Nature, genetic foods have concerned many for years now and then we get a good example of what can happen if not controlled.


[edit on 5/14/2005 by shots]




posted on May, 14 2005 @ 03:36 PM
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In the "I really didn't want to know" category, what's the rest of the scoop here? After already swearing off all meat and dairy that isn't organic, the only thing left when eating out is fish, and salmon is my favorite. But I have noticed in the past year there is nothing locally but farm raised fish, without going really out of the way for the real deal.

So, let's have the whole story on the farm raised fish. Aside from the fact that it isn't fed naturally, who wants to clue us in on the rest of it? The repercussions to the natural breeds in the article alude to a lot, but why do all of these problems exist in the farm raised variety.

I know I'm gonna regret this.


Edit: UGH!

Here's another story.

www.mercola.com...


Edit again: Now that you got me going....

www.breastcancer.org...


Conclusion: After comparing toxin amounts with EPA health guidelines, the researchers made these recommendations:

People should eat farmed salmon no more than once a month to avoid risk from the cancer-causing toxins they contain.


It is safe to eat as many as eight meals of wild salmon a month.


[edit on 5/14/2005 by Relentless]

[edit on 5/14/2005 by Relentless]



posted on May, 14 2005 @ 10:46 PM
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Another thing you didn't want to know about farmed salmon is that their pink colour comes from dye added to the feed pellets. Wild salmon gain their colour through their diet. It comes from the pigment in the shrimp, crustaceans and other things they eat. Farmed salmon eat ground up dead fish pellets, so they need to add red dyes.

Farmed salmon may already be threatening some Pacific salmon stocks. A big
to my provincial (BC) government for allowing open-net farms in the Broughton Archipelago.



The Broughton Archipelago has received enormous attention since the collapse of its 2002 pink salmon run. From an expected 3,600,000, only 147,000 spawners returned. Though wide fluctuations in pink salmon populations are natural, analyses conducted by both the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and the Pacific Fisheries Resource Conservation Council (PFRCC) showed that the Broughton collapse was not “natural” [9]. Many people, including fisheries biologists, First Nations, other local residents, commercial fishermen, and conservationists believe that the pink salmon “collapse” stemmed from a massive kill of outward migrating juvenile pink salmon in 2001, and that the kill was caused by sea lice originating in local salmon farms. The Broughton Archipelago has British Columbia’s densest concentration of fish farms, with 29 farm tenures, 17 of them active in 2003 [101]. Most of the farms are located directly on salmon migration routes [72]. Evidence suggests that juvenile pinks were infested with sea lice during their outward migration, when the threat from sea lice is normally low, because adult salmon are normally scarce at that time of year. The salmon farms made sea lice available precisely when the pinks were most vulnerable to them [9].


As a side note, most of the fish farms in this particular area are owned by Stolt Sea Farms, based out of.....Norway. And Norway's laws are much stricter than those being enforced here.

These photo's were taken by Alexandra Morton in the Broughton Archipelago, showing how the lice infestation affects juvenile salmon. Ms. Morton came to the area to do a study of killer whales, but expanded to this when she saw what was happening in the area.



The current belief is that 2 sea lice will be fatal for salmon of this size. In this area, the average is 10 sea lice per juvenile. Some links about the collapse of the run:

DavidSuzuki.org
Watershed Watch Salmon Society
First Nations Summit



posted on May, 15 2005 @ 12:02 AM
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Ok, I'm a moron when it comes to this subject, but I just have to ask. How exactly do farm raised salmon "escape"?? When I think of fish raised on farms, I think of giant tanks. How are they getting into the rivers and whatnot?

Thank goodness the only seafood that I eat is canned tuna! (Please don't post any horror stories about canned tuna) lol



posted on May, 15 2005 @ 12:15 AM
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A horrible tradegedy for the ecology, economy and biodiversity of the area. I rarely eat fish, but when I do I make sure it's "free range" so to speak. Good thing I got a conciensious store close to me.



posted on May, 15 2005 @ 12:17 AM
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Rasputin
Don't eat solid white albacore, it's very polluted with Mercury.
Stick to the cheap stuff.

That bit about the colouring added, that was news to me. That's a real shame, just like the ham and turkey that are ballooned up with water to make them plump and delicious. They aren't plump and delicious, they're starved and diseased. We're being tricked damnit!

Fresh salmon is delicious, but farm raised always seems so bland. It's no wonder why. I've never really been able to tell the difference in smoked samples, so maybe that's the way to go, incidentally. If you've gotta eat crappy salmon, make it less crappy by smoking it.

Oh, and BTW, farm raised salmon have been tested for PCBS, and they often contain many times the quantity of this industrial waste product, compared to wild salmon.

I'd stick with the wild, when it's available.



posted on May, 15 2005 @ 12:18 AM
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Most farms are not tanks, but large nets in the ocean. Nets can be damaged, and then the farmed salmon can escape.

The closed containment systems, which are tanks, are much more expensive for the companies to run, but are the only method of farming that can prevent escapes. It is far cheaper to use open net, so this is what most companies want to use.

The health concerns still remain, as the fish are still fed the same mixture of chemicals and dye, in open or closed systems.

Edited to add:

Another by-product of the open net system is that whatever feed that is not eaten by the fish settles to the bottom, and is left to decay and pollute the area.


[edit on 15-5-2005 by Duzey]



posted on May, 15 2005 @ 06:48 PM
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I'm going to go out on a limb here, but I think the real problem at the bottom of all of this is plain old overpopulation. I do not think that natural salmon fisheries can support both the human demand on them and also supply other species that depend upon salmon (namely marine mammals and bears). Though even if other species were out of the picture, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't make much of a difference--we still eat more fish than natural fisheries can sustain. So despite all the ills of farmed fishes, I'm sure there is much of an alternative if we insist upon being able to eat salmon (and we ought to be able to eat it given its health benefits, especially relative to other protein sources....). We've destroyed the salmon fisheries not just through over-fishing, but damning rivers, polluting rivers, farming run-off into rivers, etc. The escape of farmed fish into wild fisheries is just the final blow--but I don't think these fisheries are largely sustainable based upon current consumption of salmon and with the current rate of salmon habitat destruction.

We can help natural salmon fisheries, but then that requires less hydroelectric power at a time when we ought to be looking for renewable resources. We can curtail farming and the associated farm runoff into watersheds, but this at a time when we're already rapidly losing good agricultural land that is much needed to feed an ever growing population. So given that we're unlikely to forgo hydro power, unlikely to stop polluting rivers, wild salmon will continue to be at a premium, and we're just going to have to get smarter about farming salmon. It seems possible that we could shift to more sustainable fish farming--say combining shrimp and salmon farming (feeding salmon with some fraction of the farmed shrimp), and dredging up waste which is killing benthic sea life and perhaps convert it to fertilizers or biofuel or something like that. But if we're going to maintain current population densities, we're going to have to accept heavily farmed and human managed oceans.



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