Salmon federation info ‘grossly inaccurate’

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I’m writing to correct the grossly inaccurate information provided to this newspaper by Bill Taylor, president of the Atlantic Salmon Federation.

Among the many unsubstantiated assertions Taylor made about salmon farming, one in particular cannot go unchallenged.

He claimed that 750,000 farmed salmon have escaped from net pens in Newfoundland and Labrador over the past 10 years.

This is simply not true.

In fact, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture report escapes of 21,600 salmon, 88,878 trout and 69,827 char over the past 10 years.

Less than one per cent

The salmon escapes represent less than one per cent of the total number of salmon in the water at any one time.

Taylor did not cite any source for his inaccurate number, yet unfortunately, it was published nonetheless.

I invite the media to contact me if you have questions about our industry in Newfoundland and Labrador.

I am more than happy to provide sourced and accurate information.

Miranda Pryor

Executive director

Newfoundland Aquaculture

Industry Association

Organizations: Salmon federation, Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, PryorExecutive directorNewfoundland AquacultureIndustry Association

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Bill Bryden
    June 08, 2014 - 14:33

    I wonder does MS Pryor's know if the VOLUNTARILY REPORTED BY INDUSTRY numbers include the entire cage of 20,000-30,000 SALMON we have a video of that WERE NEVER REPORTED WHILE WORKERS WERE TOLD TO KEEP THEIR MOUTH'S SHUT????!!!! According to DFO they were not. How does Ms Pryor plan on counting the 100s of 1000s of rotted fish left in net pens all winter that are now polluting our bays? She isn't. So how will she know a) how many escaped, b) what they died of. It's all joke isn't it when no charges were ever laid. Here are the numbers according to DFO as PER VOLUNATRILY REPORTED. https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=BD6C045CA68C823E!3485&authkey=!AKI2SkPpW5q0oU0&v=3&ithint=photo%2c.jpg Some proud eh? They don't even have to report losses under 100 fish! I wonder does Ms Pryor know how many near threatened wild salmon are left in the region of her beloved disease amplification and mutation "biosecure" net pens? Might it be FAR LESS than the 28,000 escapees that were VOLUNTARILY REPORTED in 2013? Please Ms Pryor DO TELL US EXACTLY HOW MANY WENT IN OUR BAYS AND HOW MANY CAME OUT IN 2011, 2012, and 2013? Because your industry (unlike in other countries) refused a Freedom of Info request on these numbers. But 2015 is coming ;-) How many escaped via the giant rips the many tuna made in the paper mache-like netting? And the shark holes? - and how do you know this - voluntarily reported again? WHAT A JOKE.

    • Me Old Trout
      June 09, 2014 - 07:51

      Bill, you have video of 20,000-30,000 escape salmon? just how does that work? your evidence is imaginary...the web link you post as 'evidence' of the number of escapes is your own construction...a chart and statement with no source... you use conjecture, imagination and hysteria to spread rumours and myths. still waiting to hear who it was, you claim was killed by salmon farm debris on the South Coast...and just what are those 'human products' you claim are being produced from morts...but will not name the products...you make things up as you go and you cite your prior statements as evidence. such credibility,

    • I have a question
      June 09, 2014 - 17:17

      'Me old trout', do you have an account of the discrepancy between the number of smolt put into the feedlots and the number of mature fish taken out? Where is industry's audited accounting of their inventory - with video proof of course. Industry self reports escaped fish. The fox is watching the henhouse.

    • paul
      June 10, 2014 - 07:05

      "...question"...why would I have an account of discrepancy between smolt in and production out? and what you seem to miss is the fact that smolt will go in one year and come out 1 1/2 to 2 years later...there is no reconning of smolt in/out on the same year. as for industry accounting of their inventories...ask them. and what video proof can there be? video a count of all the fish? maybe if they videod them counting fish that would be enough for you, since thats all it takes to 'proove' an accusation , video a pile of dead fish and make wild claims about mortality rates... industry self reports escapees because there is no other way...can you think of another way? and be sensible. they count the morts they remove, the fish they put in, the numbers harvested and come up with a loss , how they then report that as morts vs escapees I do not know. if you asked Miranda Prior nicely you might just get the answer you are looking for. if people would ask good questions, rather than fling wild accusations and slurrs at the industry, they might be surprised by the response. if you check out the BC Salmon Growers website you will see alot of information about how the industry works. In general it works the same here as it does there, with some differences between regions adn companies.

  • Paul
    June 08, 2014 - 09:27

    in spite of the many voices claiming that sea cage salmon farming is causing doom and destruction on the environment, the research just does not support them...this paper discussess extensive review of previous research , showing no significant damage resulted from salmon farming. http://www.seafoodsource.com/en/news/aquaculture/25232-noaa-coastal-aquaculture-environmentally-safe

    • I have a question
      June 09, 2014 - 09:58

      Quoting out of context and creating straw man arguments seems to be standard industry practice Paul. Opponents to salmon aquaculture are primarily concerned with disease, sea lice, and genetic pollution of wild Atlantic Salmon populations. The study you reference is specific to U.S. coastal areas outside of the wild salmon's range - where direct interaction is impossible! Where is the science specific to conditions in NL?

    • paul
      June 09, 2014 - 13:15

      you are the one quoting out of context, etc. what are you talking about, outside wild salmon range...show me how this paper irrelevant? and its does not have to reference NL specific to dispel the myths against salmon farming... most accusations thrown at Salmon farming in NL are based on the same mythology used to attack salmon farming everywhere else. site specific accusations need to be backed up with more than random pictures, homemade graphs and 'he said-she said' accusations.

    • paul
      June 09, 2014 - 13:27

      on the concern of sea lice from salmon farms ...read this report showing that there is no relationship between sea lice on salmon farms and wild salmon (pinks) returns which is variable from one year to the next...http://www.salmonfarmers.org/sites/default/files/marty_et_al_sea_lice.pdf in sober reflection, people would realize that this is just as likely to be true in NL...but sober reflection is unlikely in the anti-crowd around here.

  • Paul
    June 08, 2014 - 09:24

    "I have a question',- that is an interesting paper and would be interesting to see if such can be done in NL since there have been salmon cages in Bay d'Espoir for over 20 years...if introgression has occurred it might be detectable. that said the paper also concludes the impact was not as significant as expected, and since farmed salmon do not compete well with wild salmon, the level of impact of escaped farmed salmon on any river would be dependant on the number of escapees and the number of wild salmon on that river. The vocal opponents of salmon farming would have us believe that the waters are teeming with escaped farmed salmon but the numbers just aren't that high, as Ms. Prior points out...alot of effort goes in to preventing escapes, because every escapee is $$ swimming away...then escapees are killed by predators or starve since they by and large are not good hunters (raised on pellets delivered to them...), so by the time breeding season comes around, there are even fewer escapees available to go up a river...how many escapees will it take? I don't know but I doubt we've seen enough go up the rivers yet to do any real damage...

    • I have a question
      June 09, 2014 - 08:55

      Paul, you echo the industry's self serving viewpoint of aquaculture operations being the stakeholder that requires appeasement. Ms. Pryor downplays the number of reported escapes as being small relative to the number of farmed salmon in the water at any given time. You state that 'the numbers just aren't that high'. Assuming the self reported data from the industry is correct, there have been more farmed fish escape in a small portion of the South Coast than the entire wild salmon population of the entire South Coast! The extent of effort to reduce escapes is irrelevant - the measures taken are simply ineffective. The remainder of your post is supposition and rhetoric that appears to be nothing less than downplaying concerns about the operations. Industry should fund the study - period. Every fish at the 4 counting facilities in the range should be sampled and tested. Cost is not a barrier - less than 3000 fish being inventoried. Doing so would provide important baseline data that could be used to improve management decisions. Why doesn't government require industry to validate their position that their operations are having zero or minimal impact? My best guess is that knowing the answers would force them to act.

    • paul
      June 09, 2014 - 13:07

      I have no problem with industry and or government doing a study like this, and if I seem to be downplaying the numbers, call that attempts to balance the anti-s who play up the numbers and throw out huge imaginary numbers while screaming about it...the message you miss in the report you post is that numbers count relative to wild vs escapes...and my point is that the escapes are not as high as claimed...and most of the escapes don't even make it to the rivers...how many escapees have been counted in the rivers, vs #escaped? in the years that salmon farms were in Bay d'Espoir, how much damage has been done to Conne River? in 2013 they had a banner year did they not? the factors that threaten wild salmon are many and complex, and do include farmed salmon, as well as anglers themselves...based on the anti-s you would think that there were no other threats than farms..

    • I have a question
      June 09, 2014 - 17:12

      A banner year? Of what exactly? Wild fish? Farmed fish? Nobody knows because the fish that are counted are not tested for genetic origin. The fish counts at Conne River and the south coast have been in steady decline since aquaculture operations were established nearby. Every other population in the province has shown significant increases in the same time period. It's a correlation that's impossible to ignore, yet DFA and DFO continue to refuse to study the reasons why. As for your assertion that farmed fish don't survive well in the wild, somebody forgot to tell the steelhead. They were first introduced to NL over 100 years ago, and up until recently, had stayed within a very small range. Once they were farmed commercially (on the south coast), their range has increase 10 fold. So much for low survival. If I were managing the resource, I'd mandate that aquaculture fund a program that intercepts and tests all fish entering a river and remove the non-native ones. Let the polluter pay for the cost of cleaning up their mess. Don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen. industry's mantra is 'socialize costs, privatize profits, and government is giving them free rein to do so

    • paul
      June 10, 2014 - 06:54

      "...question"...my statement on the Conne was based on interview given on CBC by Chief Joe, who made no mention of farmed salmon being among them, nor does this ASF statement for the same year...in my experience Conne has always , at least used to, culled out what the identified as farmed salmon based on physical appearance or scale shapes, at the counting fence...had done for years. "Conne River – 2,136 salmon had been counted as of June 30, vs. 1,874 in 2012. This is certainly an improvement, especially with the very low numbers experienced in 2011 and 2010." - See more at: http://atlanticsalmonfederation.org/rivernotes/?p=1369#sthash.WvJnh5tK.dpuf your assessment of steelhead is intersting but what range are you speaking of...and what evidence do you have. Rainbow trout were introduced to eastern Newfoundland over 100 years ago , and attempted introductions throughout the island at the same time that did not take, this was done by anglers who wanted more to fish. the only place they took residence and thrived was parts of the avalon penn where conditions were right for them to breed. its my understanding of the biology that the fresh water in most of the island has too low pH to allow them to breed, including south coast. where is there range increasing and is it the 'now native' rainbows on the east coast that are spreading or escaped farm fish? is it to do with climate change? is it even happening? or is it escapees from Nova Scotia? where are you speaking of? and what do you support your assertion on? and why are you the only one making it?

    • paul
      June 10, 2014 - 07:14

      according to DFO salmon bioligist, there is no evidence that salmon farms have harmed wild salmon on Conne River...and before you call them industry stooges remember that DFO is responsible to manage wild fish stocks, not farmed fish...they are responsible to ensure healthy wild salmon stocks , not protect the fish farming industry... http://www.thetelegram.com/News/Local/2013-08-08/article-3342450/Good-and-bad-news-for-Conne-River/1

  • I have a question
    June 07, 2014 - 22:17

    When the industry is going to fund a study like this one (which conclusively documents interbreeding of wild and farmed salmon: http://www.imr.no/nyhetsarkiv/2013/september/romt_oppdrettslaks_forandrer_villaksen/en

  • Sick of the shills
    June 07, 2014 - 11:58

    I can't help but wonder why the industry's mouthpiece refers to DFA's numbers in challenging ASF's claim.. DFA doesn't monitor escapes - they simply trust and report what the industry tells them. Pryor's claim is about as credible as the RNC quoting self-reported traffic violations as an indicator of compliance.. Don't believe me? Google 'salmon escape Newfoundland' and start adding up the numbers. Somebody is quoting false numbers all tight. Oh, and Ms. Pryor, you can brag all you want that the self-reported numbers you quote represent less than 1% of farmed salmon in the water. What's important to the public is that the the number of the escapees, even reported by industry, is far greater than the entire population of wild salmon on the entire south coast - not just the areas where salmon feed lots are established. Keep your garbage fish, I'll boycott farmed salmon until the industry cleans up their act.

    • Me Old Trout
      June 09, 2014 - 07:41

      you disregard Prior's numbers but claim validity in ASF numbers that have no source? I googled like you asked and found no verfifiable source of numbers of escapes , the 750,000 number seems to come out of thin are on one cbc story...no source cited.

  • Tinfoil and CedarPlank Hat
    June 07, 2014 - 11:57

    Yes, and GMC will tell us where the BAILOUT money went. Miranda, you are not John C. Crosbie. When you are, you can bullshit and hide and pigeonhole us all behind your personal predjudice. As it is, you have to get ANOTHER career maybe, when you finish destroying your credibility in this one. Wait until you are 75 to become your own disgustingly unabashed cheerleader! So, he was all wrong, but you will correct only one point; one point that is 10 years of obfuscation. Seems Obama has less control of the Mexican border than you have, in your head. Mink farming is a good place for you, they will need numbers pulled of a hat soon. They be some happy when you show up with your fascinator on!!

    • Me Old Trout
      June 09, 2014 - 07:56

      tinfoil, when you 'attack the messenger' and ignore the message, you really show that you have nothing to add to the 'debate' and are simply trying to deflect away from the information provided...which spells out the lack of information that the anti-salmon farming lobby uses... do you have a credible source of information on number of escapees? one that is referenced to a realistic source? industry reports are more reliable than imaginary numbers that activists post online with no sources sited... just pick a number, that will be just as credible as what Bill Taylor presented.

  • Paul
    June 07, 2014 - 09:04

    unfortunately , many of the loudest voices raised against salmon farming are inaccurate...claiming that salmon farming is harmful to the environment and unsustainable to promote some agenda or othere...I have two articles I have found very informative, the first asserting that the Alaskan wild salmon processing lobby is behind alot of the misinformation, paying millions to 'Environmentalists' in Canada to produce reports that make farmed salmon look bad, for the sole purpose of improving wild salmon's market value. the other article explains how and extensive of review of research available shows that salmon farming has not harmed the environment in any significant way...both are attached here... http://www.farmfreshsalmon.org/sites/default/files/Follow%20the%20money%20feature.pdf and this http://www.seafoodsource.com/en/news/aquaculture/25232-noaa-coastal-aquaculture-environmentally-safe now I anticipate posters attacking me rather than addressing the issues i raise...