Only 180,000 escaped fish?

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I’m writing in response to the recent letter by Miranda Pryor of the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association. Pryor challenged information about salmonid aquaculture escape numbers provided by the Atlantic Salmon Federation and, in response, claims that only 180,000 fish have escaped from Newfoundland aquaculture facilities over the past 10 years.

Putting aside doubts about the accuracy of information provided by the industry, one still has to ask: only 180,000 fish?

Are we supposed to believe that the release of an average of 18,000 artificially-raised domesticated animals into the environment every year is not a problem?

If a chicken farm or a pig farm (or any other type of farm) released 18,000 animals into the wild every year, we’d hardly consider it to be a sustainable environmentally friendly industry.

No, in fact we’d consider it to be an environmental disaster and some hard questions would be asked.

But for some reason, when it comes to aquaculture, we’re supposed to accept such on-going escapes as a normal part of doing business and give the industry a big pat on the back for releasing only 180,000 animals over the past 10 years.

Make no mistake, the number of escapes claimed by the industry is more than enough to have a significant ongoing impact on wild trout and salmon stocks.

DFO estimates that the number of wild adult salmon returning to rivers along the entire south coast of Newfoundland has declined to about 22,000.

That gives us, on average, almost one escaped fish for every wild salmon every year for the past 10 years.

Given those numbers, it doesn’t matter that escapes represent only a small percentage of the total number of aquaculture fish in the water.

Pryor invites the media to contact her with questions about the industry.

I suggest the media take her up on that offer, and I’d like to suggest a few questions: how, exactly, does the industry monitor and report escapes, and why should we trust the numbers that they report? What happened to those 180,000 fish? Where did they go and what interactions did they have with wild salmon and trout? What efforts did the industry make to recover them?

Were any of those fish infected with infectious salmon anemia or other diseases that could have been spread to wild fish? What has the industry done to understand and mitigate the impacts of those escapes on wild salmon and trout populations, and on the environment in general?

And why should this industry be considered sustainable and supported by the people of the province when it apparently considers the regular release of such large numbers of animals to be a normal part of doing business?


Dr. Stephen Sutton

Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries

and Aquaculture,

James Cook University, Australia

(currently writing from Mount Pearl)

Organizations: James Cook University

Geographic location: Newfoundland, Australia, Mount Pearl

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Recent comments

  • Conservation Minded Angler
    June 13, 2014 - 11:20

    To Fishlips.....who is it if it's not the anglers who have led the charge to conserve wild Atlantic salmon stocks in this province (and others)....I can tell you it's certainly not the aquaculture industry!

  • fish lips
    June 12, 2014 - 21:10

    your kills are tagged...until you run out of tags...?

    • Salmon Dude
      June 13, 2014 - 10:14

      Here is a desperate attempt to deflect blame and attention to recreational anglers by suggesting that they're all poachers and the ones responsible for the decline of salmon stocks. These kinds of illogical arguments usually appear when the argument is lost and desperation to score a few points has set in. Alas, nobody is going to buy it, fish lips. The pubic is starting to learn the truth about just how unsustainable and damaging the aquaculture industry is. These kinds of comments aimed at the one group in the province who is willing to stand up for sustainability and salmon conservation is not going to help your sorry cause.

    • fishlips
      June 13, 2014 - 13:48

      Dude, just turning it back on the illogical voices (many of whom are avid anglers) shouting hysterically against salmon farming...nothing more. my argument is only lost on deaf ears. other than that, the facts stand for themselves.

  • Little Birdie
    June 12, 2014 - 09:57

    I could be wrong but I suspect 'Fishlips' is actually the Director of DFO's Aquaculture Division in NL responsible for, among other things, promoting aquaculture in this province. If I'm right, is it any wonder he's so pro-aquaculture. Hmmm..... I wonder if his big fat salary was coming from somewhere else would he still be so biased? Then again, perhaps I'm wrong ;) By the way, perhaps 'Fishlips' could provide the comprehensive list of peer reviewed Scientific Studies that DFO's Scientist, Brian Demptson, must have been referencing when he stated that there is no evidence of interactions of aquaculture escapes with wild salmon on the South coast. 'What a farce'....and you expect us to believe that he wasn't pressured by his superiors in the Department to say what he did, and to choose his words so carefully.

    • fish lips
      June 12, 2014 - 21:02

      you do know that 'attacking the messenger' is very weak...why not talk about what has been said rather than make accusations about who may or may not be saying it....

    • fish lips
      June 12, 2014 - 21:14

      anglers, you care about wild salmon for the sake of the environment and ecology? or for your own use of them...

    • fish lips
      June 12, 2014 - 21:20

      what is your comprehensive peer reviewed list that says that damage has been done to Conne River wild stocks?...never mind 'risk' ...that is different than 'damage done'...for example,...every time you drive on the highway you run a 'risk'....but did you actually crash?

  • fish lips
    June 11, 2014 - 17:59

    I keep hearing that DFO is doing nothing, well here is'd think this would be good news...

    • NS????
      June 12, 2014 - 10:26

      You had to go to NS to reference a pittance of monitoring and research? Sad. We have 15,000,000 fake fish right here. What has been done here? Do they ever have fences on the nearby rivers to prevent fake salmon and trout and char from getting in the rivers? Adequate counting facilities on the rivers? Any disease transfer studies? No?....Its easy to suggest there is no effect when NO WORK TO PROVE OTHERWISE IS BEING DONE and all efforts are being made to cover-up and turn a blind eye. What a joke.

  • fish lips
    June 11, 2014 - 16:01

    Not much more I can say here, those who care to learn about salmon farming , the real risks and mitigations, will do so, the others will continue to throw muck. The claims against salmon farming I have read just do not stand up to scrutiny. BB posts random pictures and graphs he made himself as 'evidence' , another stands by DFO statement that "they recognise 'risk' from salmon farming" as if its evidence of damage done, but ignores when a DFO scientist states that no damage has been done...BB claims that someone died due to salmon farm debris but does not provide details (because it did not happen), he claims morts are turned into some clandestine 'human product' but does not say what it is (because fertilizer is not scarey enough)... you lot make up evidence , exagerate and misrepresent, and ignore things that do not suit your purpose. Do you anglers also have concern for the damage you do to salmon stocks? how many salmon are really taken each year? that is self reported is it not? you don't trust industry but accept your own self reporting? how many salmon die after you've played them out and released them? any number put on that is only a guess. me thinks you rather cast mud at salmon farming than take your own issues seriously. hypocrites. you don't care about salmon but only care about your own use of salmon.

    • Bill Bryden
      June 12, 2014 - 10:14

      Wrong again. I did not make any graphs, many came from peer reviewed scientific journals (are we still to assume you usnderstand this topic?) and I don't fake evidence like dead eagles, killed sharks, holes in net pens, 10s of 1000s of rotted salmon, salmon COVERED in sea live in OUR NL pens, etc etc......BUT I bet the practitioners of this eco-cidal mess would like to think and tell everyone its all lies. Go back and explain away the 117 photos for me will ya? Start with the mutated strains of ISA, and the lice covered fish and attracted predators.

    • Tags
      June 12, 2014 - 10:28

      Our kills are tagged....are yours?

  • Yes Realistic Numbers Please
    June 11, 2014 - 11:28

    Sadly we DON'T have REALISTIC numbers because they simply DON'T report loses of ENTIRE CAGES, and anything else they want to cover proven by the video and evidence submitted by former employees. Moreover, how, exactly, will they count the 100s of 1000s of fish that are now nothing more than a fat caked mess on our miles of once pristine shoreline? They can't. Its a joke with the fox watching the hen house and their co-investor (PC government) allowing them to run wild. The fish are only counted twice and even then a total of a 6% error margin is allowed (3% in and 3% out). What is 6% of 15,000,000 annually..or even 3% or even 1%? Its a joke. We can count hen eggs and can't count salmon? What nonsense. They WILL NEVER RELEASE THE NUMBERS THAT GOT PROCESSED NOR THE NUMBERS THAT WENT INTO THE WATER BY COHORT...WHY? We ALL KNOW WHY DON'T WE ;-) Privacy and competition issues...what nonsense to hide what happened to OUR money when over 14 companies data make up the totals. Typical of this PC scandalous cartel....but 2015 is coming. Good riddance!

    • fish breath
      June 12, 2014 - 08:11

      hmmm...apparently the industry DOES report losses of entire cages of fish...why do you say they do not? more muck raking on your part?

    • Because We Have Proof.
      June 12, 2014 - 10:21

      This entire cage was not reported and we confirmed this with the NL Dir of Aquaculture. Enough evidence? Or is this video, and all the employees that were envolved and told to "keep their mouth's shut " all muck slinging and lies. I KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING you? This industry is sickening and all about spin doctoring evidence and covering up. Greed at its worst. Just build tanks ad stop denying the failures.

    • fishlips
      June 13, 2014 - 13:57

      this video shows a badly damaged net pen. likely it was full of salmon and seems to be now empty, but we have only your word for it that this was never reported, or how many fish were could be the same cage referred to in the article I posted the other could be a different one, reported all the same...or it could even be a net cage that was empty after being harvested out, then damaged...we just do not know from a simple video presented by someone hell bent on making the industry look bad.

  • On the Mark
    June 11, 2014 - 11:22

    Every time I here the Aquaculture Industry Association and their supporters talking about this issue, or the Provincial Government, they remind me of the phrase, "Oh what a wicked web we weave". Collectively they can put all the money they want into their joint PR campaigns but one fact will remain the same, that is, there is only one truth and in the end the truth will come out as it always does. Personally, I think it's high time there was an RCMP Investigation into this Industry and the Provincial Government's involvement with it, especially given the huge tax investments being used to prop it up. While they are at it they might want to have a look at DFO's involvement as well. Perhaps then the real truth will come out. Until then here are a few facts. Contrary to comments by 'Real Numbers Please' ...the so called 'official' number of salmon escapes in the last ten years is 39,000 and if you don't believe me please file a freedom of information request to confirm. However, I should point out this number is only recorded escapes, and does not include escapes that occurred in 2013 (remember they estimated that 20,000-50,000 salmon escaped in one event alone in the fall of 2013), and nor does this figure include any escapes so far in 2014. Neither does this figure include any trickle loses, or any losses due to accounting errors, which will add significantly to these escapes. Even at a 1% loss with 15 Million fish in the water that's another 150,000 fish! Minister Hutchings himself stated in a Telegram Article on May 31, 2014, that 28,000 salmon a year escape today, and if you factor in these other losses you can bet your bottom dollar that the figure he uses is extremely conservative. Here's another fact; the so called 'official' stats from DFO and the Province indicate that since the industry first started 784,672 salmonids have escaped (242,800 Salmon, 472,000 Rainbow trout, 69,872 Char). Again, these figures don't include the stats from 2013 or 2014, and don't include any trickle losses or losses due to accounting errors. So you can imagine how many fish have really been loss! Also, contrary to 'Real Numbers Please'..... all these escaped fish are vectors for transmitting viruses such as ISA, bacterial infections, sea lice, and so forth. They also compete with wild fish for food and space in the marine environment and in rivers, they compete for spawning gravel, and the aquaculture salmon are capable of breeding with wild salmon and by so doing cause genetic dilution of wild fish with catastrophic consequences. As for his assertions that there is no evidence of such interactions on the South Coast...I note he forgot to mention that's only because neither the Industry, the Province, or DFO, have an ongoing monitoring program in place check for such evidence. aren't going to find any evidence if you don't look for it....but that certainly doesn't mean the evidence isn't there, as it is everywhere else in the world where salmoind acquaculture is occurring, and where scientists have looked for it. How naive do they think we are. The only reason the industry and both levels of government here don't have a comprehensive monitoring program in place down there to document such impacts, is that they know to do so would be to create a noose for their own necks. In the last two years alone based on complains from local people on the south coast DFO has confirmed the presence of aquaculture salmon in at least ten different rivers, and and have confirmed that some of these escaped fish were mature fish and capable of breeding, yet they did not remove them. As for the assertion that rainbows and char can't establish populations on the south coast, isn't that what we said about the Brown Trout on the Avalon? And how is it then that DFO has already confirmed the presence of rainbow trout all around the coast and in dozens of rivers around the Island, and that they have already confirmed established populations in some of these rivers? Anyway, that's it for my rant.....but if people want to make a real difference.... stop eating aquaculture fish grown in net pens in the marine environment, or only eat salmon grown in environmentally friend land based operations which are now proven to be economically viable, and which produce a far superior product compared to marine raised net pen salmon.

    • What no scathing counter by Industry?
      June 12, 2014 - 14:55

      The lack of answers available and proper independent monitoring BEGS an RCMP investigation. If the stories I'm hearing from the employees (with video and photos) are only 1/10 accurate - this simply can not be ignored forever. As the public becomes more aware this method will simple destroy itself and soner or later more than the auditor general will get involved. We'll see to that ;-) Roll on 2015!

    • fishlips
      June 13, 2014 - 13:52

      what no... why don't you call the cops, instead of lurking around the editorial seek to sway public opinion with wild claims of gross wrong doing ...if its as bad as you say, should be easy to get media exposure to blow it out of the water...unless everyone is in on it?

  • Dianne
    June 11, 2014 - 06:58

    That almost like saying bring in foreign workers, isn't causing any harm to our people. who jobs are being replace by outsiders.

  • realistic numbers please.
    June 11, 2014 - 05:24

    Dr, Sutton's math is fine up to a point. However, his figure of 180,000 escaped fish over 10 years includes 21,600 salmon, 88,878 rainbow trout, and 69,827 char. on closer look that is ave 2,160 salmon per year, 8,887 trout per year and 6,983 char per year. which is very different when you consider that most of these salmon will not survive to reach a river, the trout do not reproduce on the south coast and are caught by anglers and other predators and have not been shown to harm wild salmon stocks (and there are not native RB trout here for them to interfere with and they will not set up populations here), and char are also not likely to establish here because its outside their range (for a reason), its too far south for egg development. if there is evidence to the contrary let us look at it. however all the screaming lately is about the danger of farmed salmon interacting with wild, so let us cut 180,000 escaped fish down to 2160 escaped salmon per year....does that feel different when you read it? it should and I believe the good doctor should know the difference. with this in mind, there is still no evidence of harm done to wild salmon stocks by salmon farms in the area...just lots of hysteria and misinformation thrown around.

    • Salmon Dude
      June 11, 2014 - 10:42

      Some pretty slippery arguments here, realistic. First, every one of those escaped fish has the potential to do damage to the environment through predation on native fish or fish spawn or through interference with native fish spawning - it doesn't matter if they're salmon or trout or char, they have no business being released into the environment. And second, 2160 salmon per year is still way too many. That's equal to the entire adult population that returned to Conne River last year. So that's one escaped salmon for every wild salmon in that river. So no, it doesn't feel different when I read your numbers, it feels just as scary as ever. Let's stop arguing over numbers because it doesn't really matter: we shouldn't accept ANY escapes. If the industry can't do their business without letting their fish escape, then they shouldn't have a license to operate in the ocean.

    • Good try....
      June 11, 2014 - 11:35

      Why not just own the issue instead of attempt child like deflections. Fake fish (char, trout or salmon) eat young wild fish, their food, cross breed with them, and reduce spawning habitat. Why doesn't government and their co-conspirators do some decent and trustworthy monitoring of the affects instead of the pittance they do now and have samples conveniently rot when needbe. LOL This cartel and its ills will be put in the light during 2014 and EVERY year after...good luck hiding the facts.

  • fishlips
    June 10, 2014 - 14:55

    "sick of the shills' you cite DFO blanket statement identifying farmed salmon as a 'risk' as evidence that damage has been done (its not), but disregard a key DFO scientist when he says that no damage has been done in Conne River stocks due to farmed salmon...a statement of 'risk' is not a statement of damage done, and is, IMHO, trumped by statement from DFO that no damage has been done (while not denying the risk)... it may be too complicated for you.

  • Don't net me in.
    June 10, 2014 - 13:58

    The purple salmon of wisdom evolved to escape into the flow, so, farming must evolve, Darwin got grants, but evolution didn't, so, let salmon markets, and the experts maintain a small number of farms, and prove them economically, and sustaining. As for escapees, hahaha, you may as well lockup the sons of anarchy, or the daughters of poetry. You knows they will get out. The disease control is not worth it. Salmon Slums! You can get a decent trout pond for a nickel?

  • Charles Murphy
    June 10, 2014 - 11:00

    @ Fish Lips, No disrespect, Sad thing is. I did read many report concerning salmon farming, Its not something that going to turn up on my table. When its come to choice of my family health and the dollar, there no COMPETITION. I'm not going to get in a war words with anyone on this matter, everyone has a choice to choose what they are going to eat. But its the taxpayers who has to pay in the end, for bad healthy eating.

    • fishlips
      June 10, 2014 - 12:25

      there are many reports out there, but beware the source...there are many reports that show salmon farming is not the environmental bad guy its made out to be...then there is the health issue...suit yourself but read the following please...there is a growing number of such articles these days as people wake up an realise the science does not support most of the accusations against farmed salmon... farmed salmon is good, and good for you.

    • Joanne Eriksson
      June 11, 2014 - 12:07

      So good for you that 'Recommendations for most farmed salmon are

    • felicityhope
      June 11, 2014 - 12:20

      What happened to the industry's initial claim of NO POSSIBILITY OF ESCAPES because the fish were worth too much to allow them to escape?

  • fish lips
    June 10, 2014 - 07:57

    as of 2013, DFO biologists have found no evidence of harm done by farm salmon, to wild salmon stocks on Conne River, in the heart of salmon farming country for over 20 years. the good Dr. Sutton should be aware of the fact that domesticated salmon do not survive well in the wild so what ever number find their freedom from cages, that will be significantly reduced by the time they get to a river... what are the numbers in our rivers? ask DFO, they are studying it, and Conne River was monitoring it for years. so far no harm . is it a concern? certainly it is. is it pending doom? no. not based on the evidence available. should it be studied? for sure. as well, public should be made more aware of how the industry works and what it does to prevent escapes...every fish swimming away is $$ lost...they don't want that anymore than anyone else does.

    • Sick of the shills
      June 10, 2014 - 09:17

      How disingenuous. There is 'no evidence of harm done by farm salmon' because there has been zero effort to study it! Likewise, DFO has no idea if the fish entering Conne River are wild or farmed - they just tally how many adult fish pass through the fishway. The Conne River Band recently tested several fish they had harvested for ceremonial purposes (from the Conne River) only to discover that what they thought were wild fish were in fact domesticated stock. As for your closing statement, there are diminishing returns (pun intended) associated with ensuring their feed lots remain secure. Losing fish is a lower cost of doing business than ensuring 100% containment. If feedlot managers were so concerned about the cost of losing fish, they'd move their entire operations to land based pens. They won't - because the profit margins are not as high as using the public's resource (i.e. our bays and coastal waters). You can spin all you want, but your manipulative statements only serve to cast further doubts about the viability of salmon aquaculture operations. The sad part is that NL's entire aquaculture industry's reputation is suffering because of the south coast operations.

    • fish lips
      June 10, 2014 - 11:13

      sick of the shills, state the source of your own 'evidence' that DFO has given zero effort to study interaction in Conne RIver? when a key salmon researcher says there is no evidence, I take his word over yours until something else surfaces to contradict him. you can only cast doubt and fling mud...where is your evidence that DFO is mismanageing salmon stocks?

    • fishlips
      June 10, 2014 - 11:35

      as for land based salmon farming, if you take note you will see that the only ones pushing it are the companies 'developing' it and anglers who are freaked out by misinformation, and whose association, the ASF is getting funding from land based tech developers... its just not commercially feasible yet (if ever) and does have its own problems even though its cast as a flawless technology..just this winter a land based system lost its entire stock when they had a power failure...they also require huge amounts of freshwater and somewhere to dump their outflow...tell me there will be zero flak fro that? what you and others propose is switching one set of (managable) problems for another, different set of problems, in someone else's backyard...which will also take the grow out jobs from coastal NL and put them somewhere on the mainland closer to markets, and your reasons for wanting this are based on overhyped fears promoted by misinformation from disingenous people.

    • Sick of the Shills
      June 10, 2014 - 12:13

      Fish Lips - glad you trust DFO. Here's their input into the discussions on declaring south coast salmon threatened: ''the presence of salmon aquaculture in a small section of this area brings some risk of negative effects from interbreeding or adverse ecological interactions with escaped domestic salmon''. Scientific data are not currently available to assess the potential magnitude of these effects on wild salmon from this DU but escaped farmed salmonids have been reported in Conne River. Salmon from this and other Bay d’Espoir rivers migrate through an area where aquaculture occurs. '' and ''Even small numbers of escaped farmed salmon have the potential to negatively affect resident populations, either through demographic or genetic changes in stock characteristics. There have been many reviews and studies showing that the presence of farmed salmon results in reduced survival and fitness of wild Atlantic salmon, through competition, interbreeding and disease. '' source

    • Sick of the Shills
      June 10, 2014 - 12:39

      Fish Lips - try and sell your fallacies to the Namgis band running the Kuterra project. They don't discharge waste like the feedlot operators who use the ocean as their sewer - they remove it, use it for fertilizer and recirculate the water. This is the way of the future. NL can either get on board or watch their aquaculture investment get stranded when the consumer market turns its back on destructive ocean feed lot salmon. |If the government subsidy for their diseased fish wasn't there, the major producers would already be embracing it; there is zero chance of ocean based pathogens wiping out contained pens on land. Seeing that you're concerned about employment. there is more money to be made in the economy through the construction and servicing on land based projects than ocean pens. Instead of wasting public money on the short term make work project of ocean pens, government would be wiser to invest in sustainable land based operations. The only ones profiting from the current practices in NL are the owners, and those profits are at the expense of a public resource.

    • fishlips
      June 10, 2014 - 13:01

      SOS, this or another DFO report also identifies other factors that are potential threats to wild salmon...including poaching , commercial fishery off shore (St. Pierre) and I think- angling... which brings me to this- just how many wild salmon are taken annually by licenced anglers? how many are taken beyond what the licence allows? how many die after being mauled in the 'hook and release' fishery... let us be honest when we discuss threats to wild is a part of this equation and it is disingenous and self serving to shout about and fling mud at salmon farms yet not even a whisper about angling pressures.

    • fishlips
      June 10, 2014 - 13:17

      SOS, land based grow out is highly unlikely to occur in NL. the onyl reason the salmon industry has grown here is because it needs access to clean ocean coastline for grow out sites...its because of the demand for sea cage sites that they can eat the transportation bring feed and equipment to NL, and salmon to markets on the mainland , the USA and EU (?)...but they can get land based sites elsewhere alot closer to their markets and airports...why woudl they take on the transportation cost to grow salmon in tank farms in NL when they can do it outside New York or Toronto...or in France (which is supposedly where one of the development projects is going?)... if you don't care about the jobs, that's fine but do not pretend the sea cage jobs will be replaced with land based jobs . they will not, and many others may care about that.

    • Sick of the Shills
      June 10, 2014 - 13:48

      Fshlips, you are grasping at straws now. The factors you cite are present in other regions of NL where the salmon population has been steadily increasing since the moratorium on commercial fishing. Not so on the South Coast - where the feed lots are located (source information is readily available by searching the COSEWIC reports on salmon populations assuming you can use google). River production is doing just fine. The studied and documented difference between DU4 (South coast) and the other zones is the area's much higher marine mortality. There are no anglers in the ocean, and the SPM fishery has been stable. The only DU with feed lot pens is the south coast - where the population is steadily declining - which is the opposite direction of everywhere else.

    • fishlips
      June 10, 2014 - 14:30

      SOS, yet the returns in Conne have begun to you dismiss that as escaped farmed salmon that DFO does not know how to differentiate? conveniently disregarding inconvenient information... BTW, I have no problem with demanding more research or holding industry to account, but based on hysterical misinformation from too many in the anti-salmon farming lobby I have reason to be skeptical about claims made against salmon farming, including level of risk to wild stocks. This, btw, is the only area that I might be inclined to agree that there is something to be concerned about...the rest of it (sea lice, pesticide, disease, environmental damage, bad for you) is total bullshit in a properly run industry, which it is by and large. However, I fall back to the position that there is no evidence that wild stocks have been harmed and take Dr. Dempsen at his word, over you. Yet you disregard Dr. Dempsen's DFO) statement (in an earlier referenced link) that there is no evidence of harm to the wild stock , but take simple blanket statements from 'DFO" that there is 'risk' , as evidence that wild stocks are in decline because of salmon farming. you disregard inconvenient statements from DFO in favour of 'convenient' statements from DFO...what gives?

    • Any evidence?
      June 11, 2014 - 11:40

      Any evidence by DFO for these statements? No? Can you show me the peer reviewed study by an independent researcher? No? Why not? This is required by proper management, Nes Pas?

    • Time to lift the Lid on the Cartel
      June 11, 2014 - 11:43

      Hopefully the auditor general will bring to light some more intresting facts. The last few times he reported on this 3 entity cartel it was SCATHING.

  • Charles Murphy
    June 10, 2014 - 05:29

    Time to remove this toxic waste from our costal bays, before its to late. Its no good to have a few jobs, but at the same time bring more harm to our environment, long and short of its, were going to pay dearly for this mistake.

    • fish lips
      June 10, 2014 - 08:00

      Charles, read this report ...where have you been getting your information?

    • fish lips
      June 10, 2014 - 08:11

      Dr, Sutton's math is fine up to a point. However, his figure of 180,000 escaped fish over 10 years includes 21,600 salmon, 88,878 rainbow trout, and 69,827 char. on closer look that is ave 2,160 salmon per year, 8,887 trout per year and 6,983 char per year. which is very different when you consider that most of these salmon will not survive to reach a river, the trout do not reproduce on the south coast and are caught by anglers and other predators and have not been shown to harm wild salmon stocks (and there are not native RB trout here for them to interfere with and they will not set up populations here), and char are also not likely to establish here because its outside their range (for a reason), its too far south for egg development. if there is evidence to the contrary let us look at it. however all the screaming lately is about the danger of farmed salmon interacting with wild, so let us cut 180,000 escaped fish down to 2160 escaped salmon per year....does that feel different when you read it? it should and I believe the good doctor should know the difference. with this in mind, there is still no evidence of harm done to wild salmon stocks by salmon farms in the area...just lots of hysteria and misinformation thrown around.

    • Sick of the shills
      June 10, 2014 - 09:23

      The report you reference is limited to U.S. operations only - hardly applicable in NL, which is within the wild Atlantic Salmon's range. All the fish that you detail are carnivorous. The South Coast has the highest at sea mortality rates for salmon of all areas studied in NL - by a wide margin. It is also the only area that wild salmon have to run a gauntlet of escaped fish and feed lot pens. DFO refuses to study the reasons why. Given that the aquaculture industry is also in their area of responsibility, I'd guess it's because they don't want to know why. If they did, the would be forced to act.

    • fish lips
      June 10, 2014 - 11:09

      sick of the shills, what are you talking about, US only? it refers to reviewing 400 research papers, no reference of geography, and finding no evidence of environmental harm. Salmon farming is done here the same as elsewhere and if there are local violations , if its actually happening, it would be due to poor practice of a local operator, not salmon farming in general ,and not the whole industry in NL. state the source of your own 'evidence'.