Aquaculture association provided seriously inaccurate escape data

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In her letter to The Telegram published June 7, Miranda Pryor, executive director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Aquaculture Industry Association, accuses Bill Taylor, president of the Atlantic Salmon Federation, of being “grossly inaccurate.”

Bill had cited 750,000 reported fish escaping from the aquaculture industry’s sea cages in Newfoundland in his commentary that appeared earlier in The Telegram.

The number Bill Taylor used was provided at the annual Fisheries and Oceans Canada Salmonid Advisory Workshop that took place in Gander last fall. A joint presentation by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture for Newfoundland and Labrador provided numbers that added up to 784,672 escaped salmonids (Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout and char).

All of these farmed fish threaten wild salmon as they are vectors for spreading infectious salmon anemia, bacterial diseases and sea lice, and they compete with wild salmon for food, space and spawning gravel.

In addition, when escaped farmed salmon and wild salmon interbreed, this contributes to weakening of the wild gene pool over time, which can eventually wipe out the wild run.

I would add that the 784,672 does not include the escape that took place last fall from the Cooke Aquaculture site in Hermitage Bay, reported to be 20,000 farmed salmon, nor does it include any chronic trickle losses, unreported escapes or losses due to accounting errors. So the total number of salmonid escapes is now over 800,000.

Public reporting of escapes and a long-term database of all incidents of farmed escapes, the location of the incident and the number of escapees are needed.

 It would make sense for Fisheries and Oceans Canada, as the department with ultimate responsibility for protecting wild salmon and dealing with the impacts of fish farming, to post this information to a website in a timely manner.

It is a telling statement on the lack of government transparency and accountability when the public and media are forced to submit requests to access to information to get accurate details on escape incidents.   

I note that Pryor invites the media to contact her for accurate information. The media might also want to check with independent sources to end up with as factual information as possible for those who follow the news.

Sue Scott

VP, Communications

Atlantic Salmon Federation

Organizations: Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, CommunicationsAtlantic Salmon Federation

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Gander, Hermitage Bay

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Recent comments

  • Mack
    June 20, 2014 - 15:47

    Aquaculture is a viable industry in NL, but onl as a "land based " operation.Sea cages can only be operated in several NL bays due to the environmental conditions required, land based can be operated in any community, considering all the buildings that sit vacant because of the cod fishery closure,it would be great to see ome of these operating land based aquaculture. Some facts they do not want you to know; They are allowed to feed chemicals to fish that they would not be permitted to spray within 100 m. of water.These are used to control sea lice.These chemicals bio accumulate and are dangerous neuro-inhibitors which will affect all life forms. Land based aquaculture is being used presently and in my opinion the only viable option for NL .The effects of aquaculture is well documented,we do not need to make the same mistakes

  • Petertwo
    June 19, 2014 - 07:57

    "The truth is that the Hook and Release Party is just as destructive to Wild Salmon as the Aquaculture Industry is." Really, Fish lips is hot on facts, where are yours John? In truth live release of trout was practised by some enlightened, knowledgeable anglers in the early 1900's. Interested in increasing their own stocked waters they proved it for themselves. Live release of salmon twenty -four inches and over has been mandatory since 1984, there have been no reports anywhere of salmon deaths attributable to live release, here and now world wide, and for sea angling, as well. Trout and landlocked salmon have had minimum size limits for retain long before that,. There was never a complaint about live release then, and if it was considered that the juvenile fish would survive- obviously or why have the regulation- then mature fish would obviously be in even better condition to survive. That beginning statement is not the truth, that is something stuck in you head that you need to get out, it's not healthy, John, see somebody.

    • John Q Public
      June 19, 2014 - 09:50

      @ Petertwo The fact remains sir that we are babysitting our wild salmon stock because the numbers are low. The fact sir is that it is probably HUMANs that have caused the decline and it is HUMANS that is preventing the rebuilding. You and your fly fishing buddies go to a river, harass salmon big and small all in the name of FUN! You put yourselves on a pedestal and portray yourselves and "environmentally friendly". That sir is absolutely not the case. Anyone who will cause injury or stress to any fish or animal, or even create the potential for that, is lacking a conscience. To do that or risk that, just in the name of fun and recreation and then have the audacity to complain about anyone else that person is clearly being a hypocrite!

  • Credible witness
    June 18, 2014 - 17:51

    If Prior is so open and honest why is it that she tried to cover up and keep quiet about the lobsters that a company had to buy from the local lobster collector. All of these lobsters were contaminated and were purchased by the aquaculture company responsible. Most was trucked out of the harbour but some are still in the water near the old marine centre in crates and the company is hoping that they will be flushed of the contaminates. Why did Prior not expose this to the public for safety reasons. Also when people complain about debris why does Prior deny it and blame it on the local fishers? They don't use pipes and cages. There are have 5 cages abandoned in the mouth of Conne River, they are using a cove in the Belleoram area that is out of site which is full of cages and pieces of cages, and other debris, this is all from Cookes. Engles are inspected and directed to pick up everything around but Cooke's just make a mess and the government and Prior deny it is happening. Prior is becoming as much of a concern on this coast as Cyr Courturier from MUN is becoming. Anything goes as long as the aquaculture funds the university research or lack of it and their wages. I have never seen a company and people like Prior work so hard to upset people as much as they do with the mess they leave with this industry. Let the people of this wonderful coast clean up the mess she is responsible for. Prior should be ashamed to even look the people of this coast in the eye. Mind you she doesn't as all she does is write a paragraph or two to deny all of this mess.

  • Video of CONFIRMED WITH DFO unreported loss OF ENTIRE CAGE OF FISH
    June 18, 2014 - 16:56

    • fish breath
      June 19, 2014 - 07:00

      this is a video showing a damaged cage. I will take your word for it that its from the South Coast, and that there used to be fish in it, but other than that the only evidence shown is that it is a damaged net cage. how many fish escaped? were they reported? there is nothing to see here.

    • fish breath
      June 19, 2014 - 07:06

      in a letter to the Telegram a week or two ago, Bill Bryden stated that someone died from salmon farm debris on the South Coast. I challenged him to give details and he never did. why? because it never happened, it was a lie. if there is debris and garbage around, by all means demand that the companies clean it up but to resort to outrageous lies meant to malign the industry, unjustly, only leaves your credibility way to open to question. in the same letter he claimed that salmon morts were being processed in Burgeo plant for 'human products', I challenged him on this and he never did come out and say what those products were...I accuse him of leaving it hanging in hopes that some readers will assume these morts are coming into the human food chain...why else would he not just say 'its fertilizer'...because that just does not fit his 'fantastic' attacks on the industry. Bill B has a serious credibility gap here. can you address these issued Mr. B?

    • Bill Bryden
      June 20, 2014 - 16:40

      Jack Drew took the video (the diver hired by the company to chech how may fish were lost) and there were MANY witnesses. But nice try.

  • Wild Salmon Industry Man
    June 18, 2014 - 15:13

    @ John Q Public. I find nothing disgusting about trading a resource for $$$ in a sustainable way, and that is exactly what, in your words, "playing a fish until exhausted" is all about. The only difference is that education and practices have come a long way, and most responsible anglers do not play fish to death. The anglers I deal with (and I see more than you ever will) are an educated bunch, and I employ a responsible crew of guides. IF they choose to kill 4 grilse to keep which they are allowed to by law, and IF the river conditions are tough and they accidentally kill one extra fish a day by practicing live release (which would be extremely high, I'm painting a picture here). At this exaggerated level of mortality that could amount to the death of 11 fish, mostly, if not all grilse. In my neck of the woods that angler just dumped about $10,000 into several local economies to do that and provided direct employment for a week to 4 or 5 people. Sounds like a fair resource trade off to me. I can guarantee you that there is no other examples outside of angling where there is such good utilization of a resource. Sea based aquaculture is proven to threaten wild salmon stocks. There is nothing natural about it, and if it is to continue it needs to be legislated that it be land based only.

    • john Q Public
      June 19, 2014 - 07:40

      @ Wild Salmon Industry Man Point number 1. After the 4 grisle are caught the frolicking fly fisherman should get his ass out of the river and stop harassing salmon as they try to get to their spawning grounds. There is no need for the hook and release PARTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Point number 2. Yes the recreational fly fishing industry creates seasonal part time jobs and contributes to the economy. So does the Aquaculture Industry. However, both industries inflict mortality on wild salmon. You point fingers at Aquaculture but you do not accept your contribution to killing wild salmon via your hook and release parties!!!!!!! Both industries need to clean up your acts and for you to just point fingers at Aquaculture is simply being hypocritical!

  • Paul Smith
    June 18, 2014 - 13:04

    I write a column about fishing and hunting in The telegram. Everytime I write about aquaculture I get attacted in writing by aquaculture industry folks who claim I know nothing and that I have all the facts twisted around. I think the aquaculture industry is finally losing ground in this war and people are seeing open cage salmon farming for what it is, an environmental catastrophy. They have been taken to court in NS, convicted of using illegal chemicals. They lied about it. How can you believe anything that comes from the aquaculture industry. Those numbers that Bill quoted were from DFO and DFA themselves. And their own represetative attacts the claims. They are spinning their wheels and sinking in the mud.

    • fish lips
      June 18, 2014 - 19:01

      PSmith...the court action in Nova Scotia, was that the whole industry or one company re: one site? there is a difference...would one poacher caught mean that everyone poaches? as for the numbers Bill T quotes...if he can not provide a reference other than 'claiming' DFO/DFA told him, it is hearsay , no more. would you believe me if I said I heard DFO say there were no escaped fish? would you want at least a reference you could read yourself? it works both ways.

    • Sick of the Shills
      June 19, 2014 - 10:18

      So let me get this straight fish lips; By your logic, numbers shared with the public by government officials in a presentation are hearsay unless the source document is referable. Yet you believe Miranda Pryor's numbers, gathered from estimates by industry managers, who do not have an accurate inventory of fish in their pens at any given time, who are not audited by regulators or any independent third party, are, in your view, unchallengeable. Your logic is corrupt. The onus is not on the public to prove that industry, through their use of a public resource, is not harming the environment. The onus is on industry or their regulators to prove that they are not when such accusations are made. Both industry and government refuse to be accountable or transparent in their operations. That is simply unacceptable in any democracy. You repeatedly claim that the evidence that feed lot salmon production does not harm the environment, but there are no comprehensive and definitive studies supporting your claim. You repeatedly claim that escapees are not as high as the public accuses, yet offer no verifiable evidence that it is not. You repeatedly claim that wild fish on the south coast are declining due to anything other than the industry, yet offer no referable scientific proof supporting your statement. It is obvious to me that your objective is not to determine the truth, it is to deflect, deny, and obfuscate. Ask Miranda Pryor (who has not disputed Taylor's aggregate numbers) to provide a document inventorying escapes and the industry's methodology and share it. I'm sure the public would be very interested. You won't though, will you? That would be contrary to your purpose; Deny. Deflect. Obfuscate. This issue isn't going away, no matter how much you want it to.

    • fish lips
      June 19, 2014 - 12:40

      Sick of Shills (BB?), what we are talking about is numbers "allegedly" presented by government officials at a meeting. when I see it in print 'from government source" I will believe it. The number could have been taken out of context, mis heard, or totally made up. You demand incontrovertible evidence from industry but are happy to cling to 'he said she said' from your own side. as for studies that show salmon farming does not harm the environment, I'll repost this one for your benefit... . as for my evidence that there has been no harm to wild stocks? do you have 'evidence' that harm has been done? never mind acknowledgemnt of risk, even the industry accepts there is 'risk', but evidence that harm has been, is being, done? harm to wild stocks in NL have yet to be proven, there being no evidence to date, which you will claim is because no one is looking for it...DFO is looking at it right now and have been for years. and I hope to see some definitive results (one way or the other) soon...but for now I'll just post two 'reports' from DFO stating they have seen no evidence of harm to wild stocks on the South Coast... and this- as for other sources of potential harm...DFO identifies salmon farming as 'a risk' factor , as it also identifies the French commercial salmon fishery off the south coast as a 'risk' factor. Since opponents to salmon farming like to reference the apparent fact that the only area where wild stocks have not rebounded since the commercial moratorium is the South Coast, being the only area with salmon farming, its only fair to include it is the only area with a commercial salmon fishery a few miles away as well. It is the ignoring of other potential factors that gets my goat. so in the absence of 'evidence' that harm has been done, and knowing that alot of effort is taken to prevent harm, and that salmon farming is not the only potential threat, I conclude that as it is today, salmon farming is not harming the wild stocks or environment. When 'evidence' arises to show otherwise I will change my pov. you demand 'evidence' that no harm is done while not providing 'evidence' that harm is being done...just throwing around alot of muck.

  • Sue Scott
    June 18, 2014 - 12:53

    Ken Collins, regarding your assertion that there is a huge number of fish in the Long Harbour and Grey rivers, fisheries scientists will tell you that rod days vs fish caught is a poor indicator of the health of salmon stocks. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada recently designated all rivers along the south coast of NL as threatened after reviewing the science (mainly DFO Science). According to DFO's scientists who recently prepared the Recovery Potential Assessment, the salmon populations of the south coast rivers are doing poorly. That could be why DFO has a two-fish retention limit on the river now and why the department is considering a reduction.

  • Stick to the issue
    June 18, 2014 - 12:09

    To: John Q Public - so instead of carefully releasing a salmon to give it a chance to live and spawn, sounds like you would prefer to kill those wild salmon my book you belong in bed with the aquaculture industry because that's exactly what they are doing! Why not use this forum to respond to the issue being discussed in the letter above man...which is the impacts of aquaculture ...and fight your other battles somewhere else. Maybe then something might get accomplished.

    • John Q Public
      June 18, 2014 - 14:01

      @ stick to the issue My preference is that there be NO hook, exhaust and release fishery. Pay for your license to catch and retain 2 fish, catch the 2 fish and then get your ass out of the river and STOP harassing wild salmon when they are trying to spawn! The truth is that the Hook and Release PARTY is just as destructive to Wild Salmon as the Aquaculture Industry is. Why don't you and your greedy corporate fly fishing buddies come clean and do the right thing: stop the animal cruelty that is hook and release and then maybe you will have some credibility in your fight against Aquaculture!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Credible witness
    June 18, 2014 - 11:22

    First off I am not involved with the aquacultre industry and I an not a salmon fisherman. But what I can tell everyone for certain is that Miranda Prior is not being truthful when she try to tell us how many salmon have escaped. Several years ago we had a storm that resulted in five cages of salmon being destroyed in Hermitage Bay. A few of the salmon were saved but most escaped. 70,000 per cage and about 50,000 per cage escaped. This was due to the feed barge not being properly moored at the cages and the barge dragged the cages. The workers all witnessed this and was very clear that this disaster was fact. The debris from the cages were all over Hermitage Bay and some is still out in the bay yet. I am from the area also right after this damage witnessed thousands of salmon entering the coves, and brooks and I will add that I caught a lovely fish. None of these fish, approx. 250,000 were reported missing and the workers were instructed by the company to keep their lips sealed or they could affect their employment with the company in a negative way. I went further and talked to some supervisors with the company who confirmed what the workers were telling everyone. Since then in Hermitage Bay another 20,000 fish were reported missing that was not lumped in to Prior's numbers, but actually the numbers escaped were more like nearly 50, 000 according to the workers on site. Now for those who think DFO has some magic way to count the escaped fish, well dream on. DFO are not involved at all. The numbers come from what the boss at the company wants to report. The reason numbers are reported low when it comes to escapes is that when the ISA hits they get re imbursed for what was put in the cages and not what is actually in the cages when the disease hits. It is all economics. For those of you who lean towards believing what Prior says, just send her a message regarding some concerns you have and see what response you get. She does not tell it like it is and is very good at covering her tracks. Prior has no interest in working with the people of this area and will do what ever it takes to put a good spin on this industry. In the end the people of this coast will suffer especially the lobster fishers and other wild fish fisher people. I have nothing to gain or loose from this industry but it is time that the readers realize that the workers do know what is going on, they themselves are concerned, they do not eat the fish, or most of them don't. Some do have a black market going in with salmon they steal as well as gas they steal but they do not care who else eats the stuff. I can tell you that the escapes are out of control. Just yesterday the workers were concerned that if it continues and the black market continues and now they are expecting the ISA in the Gaultois passage, they fear this industry will be short lived, at the most a couple years. In Hr. Breton Bay we are seeing the effects on the contaminated lobsters and this is just a start. Grays are starting again now and wait til they start up their cages and you will see another disaster for the coast. Prior will continue to fabricate the truth until her pay cheque stops. Prior is a disgrace to the people of this coast for he untrue messages she pass on. It will all come out in the near future.

    • fish lips
      June 18, 2014 - 19:04

      C. Witness...its called 'hearsay'... I have heard alot of things 'in the community' that just do not reflect, your say so is not doing it for me.

    • Sick of the Shills
      June 19, 2014 - 10:23

      It might be hearsay, but that doesn't mean it's not accurate. Where are the regulators and results of the investigation into this accusation? Doubtful there was one, the Auditor Genera has already identified insufficient regulation and enforcement as a concern about this industry. Government has yet to address those concerns. Why do you suppose that is?

    • fish lips
      June 19, 2014 - 13:16

      Sick of Shills (BB?), "It might be hearsay, but that doesn't mean it's not accurate." well actually it does mean it can not be taken as demand 'evidence' from industry side but run with rumours as if they are proven fact. why is this issue beaten around in the 'opinion' pages rather then front page? if these concerns were are bad as you claim, get journalists interested in digging into it...but you do not, why? maybe because of this- "I heard it from a friend who, heard it from a friend who, heard it from another you've been messing around..." your claims might not stand up to scrutiny?

  • Sue Scott
    June 18, 2014 - 11:03

    To: fishlips: Information provided by government at a public advisory meeting is not like "hearing it from a friend". The number and breakdown of escapes was provided by DFO employee Geoff Perry and provincial employee Elizabeth Barrow in a joint presentation. I am glad that you agree that government should be providing easily-accessible information on escapes on a website, rather than forcing the public to file access to information requests. ASF gets no money from companies promoting and developing land-based salmon farming systems. Quite the opposite - we provide funding to The Conservation Fund Freshwater Institute to research the feasibility of closed-containment technology as an alternative to open cage culture in the ocean. ASF provides this substantial funding as part of its mandate to protect wild Atlantic salmon and their habitat. Open pen salmon farms can generate and transmit diseases and parasites that infect wild salmon in the area. Farmed salmon also regularly escape their pens, and can weaken the wild populations through inbreeding and competition for food and habitat.

    • fish lips
      June 18, 2014 - 19:25

      S Scott...all I'm saying is you can not report what someone said at a meeting, as fact, in any 'debate' without some sort of hard copy to back it up. if they said it then I'm sure they would say it again or had it written down somewhere. Until you provide a written statement or one of them tells me themselvs, I'll call it hear say. You can say' somone told me this, but can not expect people to take it serious. the other thing , sometimes a statement is taken out of context or misheard...did BT hear what he says he heard? as for closed containment, I find it very disingenous how ASF and associates claim that it is a viable alternative to sea cage farming when it is yet to prove itself commercially viable. the Namgis sold a few 'Ketura' salmon , at a higher price, and they taste case scenario, IMO, if this keeps on working for them and others who might try it, is they fill a niche market of a few people who don't mind PAYING MORE for something they think is helping the environment...that tastes different ...and please be honest when telling people that its the next best thing , also tell them that the sea cage industry in Atlantic Canada will disappear along with the hundreds, thousands of jobs that come with it...the only reason salmon farming is done in NL and NS, because the industry needs the coastal waters to grow salmon. if they no longer need them, but need some land site with fresh water source...they will also go closer to the markets and please at least be honest about that when you tell people on the South Coast of NL that they can move their salmon industry into land farms...because they will be losing their jobs with it. I was on the South Coast today and was amazed at the industry activity going on in the area. I don't know what the employment stats are but I can't imagine anyone who wants a job doesn't have want to end that? then be honest about it.

    • fish lips
      June 18, 2014 - 19:35

      S Scott said "Open pen salmon farms CAN generate and transmit diseases and parasites .... Farmed salmon also regularly escape their pens, and CAN weaken the wild populations ..." I am glad to see you have the sense to measure your words, unlike some who post on the subject. Yes, farmed salmon CAN be very harmfull, but they are NOT...there is RISK of harm to wild stocks in NL, South Coast but NO EVIDENCE of it. as well, this study shows how advances in farming practices have lead to great reduction in disease and need to treat farmed salmon. too many opponents present misinformation based on past practices, abnormal events and fantasy as if it represents the industry as it is today.

    • fish lips
      June 18, 2014 - 20:16

      Sue, ASF has provided funds, in partnership to develop land based technology? what do you get in return beyond the altruism...? I find it disingenous when ASF flogs land based technology 'as proven' when it is still in development. anyone buying into it now is buying into R&D projects...that are yet to be proven viable on commercial scale, in spite of recent small harvest of expensive, different tasting, not-called-salmon, product. I also find it 'interesting' that ASF goes straight to the Land Based option , rather than advocating industry and government take measures to tighten up , clean up, improve, mention of the possibility of using triploid salmon that can not reproduce and so would not threaten to weaken wild I understand it, some in the industry are interested in triploids but more work needs to be done to assess feasibility., and DFO and academics continue to do research on just about everything else the might be a risk..yet you go straight to the option that you have invested in. what do you get in return?

  • Linda
    June 18, 2014 - 09:29

    @ Fish lips, Now your becoming a joke, what next?

    • fish lover
      June 19, 2014 - 08:04

      Linda, Listen to me Linda...

  • John Q Public
    June 18, 2014 - 08:52

    The Atlantic Salmon Federation and the long list of connected and similar such associations thinks it owns Wild Salmon. While the Aquaculture Association might be guilty of spinning the facts surrounding their industry, the degree to which the "owners" of Wild Salmon have mastered the art of spin is second to none! In the name of fun and folic and a corporate profit greed groups like the Atlantic Salmon Federation inflict more damage on Wild Salmon than ANY other industry. A photo snapping fun seeking patron of the recreational salmon fishing industry will cough up the bucks to insure his appetite for catching the "big one" is satisfied. Drive a piece of wire into a salmon that is on its spawning migration, "play" it until it is exhausted, take it out of it natural environment and force it to breath air for one reason ONLY; to snap a photo to be bragged about. Does anyone else find that disgusting? Inflict the same cruelty upon a pet dog and you would be in front of a judge quicker than you can say "VP, Communications"!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Deny, deflect, denigrate
      June 18, 2014 - 11:38

      Whatever their motivation, groups like the ASF and their affiliates make sure that the salmon are protected and survive. There's always room at the table for those willing to pitch in and help in that effort. Why don't you do that instead of denigrating those that are trying to save the fish you are so concerned about? I'd guess it's because your hatred of anglers is greater than your love of salmon. or you're just another industry shill trying to deflect from the issue at hand.

    • John Q Public
      June 18, 2014 - 13:52

      @ Deny, deflect, denigrate I hate to disappoint you but I have never fly fish for salmon simply because I HATE the thought of inflicting pain on any animal just to be able to show someone a picture of me and the exhausted animal and brag about the great time I had. I have never been employed by and I have absolutely no connection to the Aquaculture Industry. My comments are motivated for no other reason than to INCLUDE all of the facts and not just buy the one sided crap we get from the fly fishing corporate lobby groups! I have to ask a question, If you applied the personal comment you made about me to yourself, would it be a more accurate summary of yourself than it is of me?

    • Rick Maddigan
      June 18, 2014 - 15:53

      And you don't think Amanda Prior has an ulterior motive? Get real!!!!!

    • fish lover
      June 19, 2014 - 08:02

      Rick Madigan, I dare say Miranda's motive is to support the aquaculture industry, just as ASF' s motive is to support the angling industry...but if you have a problem with something she is saying, tell us what and why? there is reality and there are myths...there are risks and there are mitigations that reduce or remove those risks ,,,the salmon farming industry believes it operates in a way that risks are mitigated and therefore not a concern for the environment. the ASF believes that everything the industry does is a dire catastophe waiting to happen...either group will spin in its direction.

    • John Q Public
      June 19, 2014 - 08:31

      @ Rick Maddigan Of course she has an ulterior motive. So do you Mr. Maddigan! The difference however is that YOUR buddies and your greedy corporate affiliates are putting yourselves on a "moral" and "environmental" pedestal by pointing fingers at the Aquaculture Industry. The Aquaculture Industry is NOT pointing fingers at the hook, exhaust and release fly fishing industry! You are portraying yourself as clean and pristine ant THAT sir is what I have issue with. Put a little less emphasis on your OWN agenda, clean up your own act and just maybe your complaints about Aquaculture might carry a little more weight with someone like me who is not involved in either Aquaculture or Recreational Fishing

  • Bill Bryden
    June 18, 2014 - 08:52

    Avoiding and deflecting issues doesn't make them go away. The time of the "smash and grab and the planet be damned" business models is LONG gone. Governments and businesses that ignore this fact do so at their peril. ;-) ROLL ON 2015! 1. There are serious issues that are ignored by government and covered up by the industry 2. Open Net Aquaculture is destroying our waters and wildlife on the south coast - and breeding diseases 3. Open Net Pen Feedlot Aquaculture is costing taxpayers millions of dollars every year - the jobs created is not worth the heavy price we pay 4. Close containment is doable and it is where the industry globally is heading - NL lags (again!) 5. There is a compelling need for an in depth investigation and a need to reform the industry. Where is the Leadership??

    • fish lips
      June 18, 2014 - 19:13

      BB. Closed containment for commercial grow out is yet to be proven 'doable'...a few keturra salmon have gone to market,...yet they cost more and taste different. they go to a different market niche than what farmed atlantic salmon currenlty goes in. if it ever really becomes 'doable' it will be done. but not because those developing the technology and angling associations want it. sea cage salmon farming is not destroying the has an impact but is localized and mitigated in time by natural processes. as for costing millions, is that the CFIA payouts? it is regrettable when they have to do that but its done to get sick fish out of the waters, and its not a good business strategy for farmers to let ISA and other serious diseases happen. In fact other than a small number of ISA outbreaks , a few cages sick out of hundreds not sick? there has been little illness period. its not like it was in the old days...

    • fish lips
      June 18, 2014 - 20:21

      BB says- "Close containment is doable and it is where the industry globally is heading - NL lags (again!) " but, tell me if i'm wrong, switching to land based industry will not be done in NL...all the salmon farming jobs and spin offs in NL we see today will disappear if it were to go to land based...they can put their tanks anywhere but here and be closer to markets and airports. be honest about that at least, when you moan that NL is missing the boat on land based technology...

    • fish lips
      June 18, 2014 - 20:34

      BB, what is the true mortality rate of catch and release salmon? would you give up that practice to help the wild salmon stocks?

  • Charles Murphy
    June 18, 2014 - 06:48

    To much talk, concerning toxic waste, please clean up our bays.

    • fishlips
      June 18, 2014 - 06:52

      I'll bet you don't think twice when you flush your toilet, or what you throw down your sink....but you are hung up on the idea that fish farming harms the environment? read this-

    • Bill Bryden
      June 18, 2014 - 09:10

      Poor old fishlips....still deflecting, denying, leaving the issues with his head - buried in the sand. Sounds like the path of the Dodo to me. The credibility of the PR people for this destructive method of fish production is nearing 0 K (Kelvin not Carrying Capacity -as they seem to be struggling with some basic ecological and scientific concepts I thought I'd better explain it).

  • fish lips
    June 18, 2014 - 06:09

    ASF insists their numbers are accurate based on their claims that they were told this at a workshop last year...well in debate world that is no better than saying "I heard it from a friend"...not valid support of an outrageous claim. if their numbers are real they should be able to find them in print somewhere. if they were actually told this number, maybe they misheard the full statement, maybe taking it out of context, or maybe they are simply making it up. they need to provide some more conclusive evidence such as linking to a written report or statement. perhaps they can ask DFO to provide a statement of support? until then , its just a meaningless claim with no support and it is disingenuous to claim anything else.

    • Sick of the Shills
      June 18, 2014 - 08:36

      Why not just have DFO / DFA post the reports publicly as the author suggests?

    • Bill Bryden
      June 18, 2014 - 09:42

      This not the "debate world" but the real world. Sadly, we have to rely on DFO and DFA to be both promoter and reporter of this industry. An impossible task. Nonetheless, it seems that the NAIA PR machine is off the rails. Instead of mis-information, which as the tobacco industry found out, does not work, why not just spend the cash to fix the method. If not, in 2015 you just might see some NEW players jump aboard the land based race in Canada...leaving the ol smash and grabber net pen practitioners without a tax payers trough to wallow in as funds get slipped to NEW PLAYERS.

    • fishlips
      June 19, 2014 - 15:05

      Shill of shills- you may know , salmon farms in the frazer river area have been blamed for poor returns of sockeye in past years . however in 2014 they anticipate historical high sockeye returns...

  • Ken Collis
    June 18, 2014 - 04:38

    Hi Sue, Can you please tell us how many people directly involved with the ASF are also directly employed or are owners of outfitting companies? I'm just trying to figure out why ASF supports the rules as they stand concerning fish retention on very productive rivers. Long Hr. River and Grey River, for instance has a huge number of fish every year, data supported by DFO rod days vs fish catch, but yet, the common Newfoundlander who spends a lot of money to get there are only allowed to retain a measly two fish. Yet, on the larger rivers that have a much poorer catch rate, but a multitude of outfitters, are allowed to retain six fish. It's hard to figure out why.

    • fish lips
      June 18, 2014 - 07:04

      while your at it, ask her how much money ASF gets from companies promoting and developing land based salmon farming systems...ASF is very quick to advocate on their behalf claiming its proven commercially viable to grow salmon to market size and acceptance, when its still only R&D projects looking for investors...

    • Bill Bryden
      June 18, 2014 - 09:54

      Ken, as every seasoned angler knows, catch rates and numbers of fish are two very different things. It's called fishing, not catching. Cool moderate water levels during peak runs make CPU increase far faster than numbers of fish. ;-) Fishlips, nice try at deflection again. Stay on topic. ASF likely received from any land based company 1/100th of the money it got for ocean based research from Cooke. It funds ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH. Its about protecting our environment - remember? It's a NON-PROFIT remember? Pity DFO, DFA, and NAIA don't spear-head better environmental protection and monitoring projects when spending our tax dollars.

    • Sick of the Shills
      June 18, 2014 - 11:47

      Hey Ken, Long Harbour and Grey River are part of the salmon population that the Government of Canada is considering assigning threatened status to. If that happens, there may be zero retention in those rivers, let alone 2 fish. The entire south coast's salmon population is decreasing according to DFO science, while the rest of the province is increasing. Aquaculture is listed as a possible cause - it is the only arer in the province where salmon feed lots are operating. Getting information about the impacts of the industry, let alone studying it, is nearly impossible - hence the reason for this letter.

    • fish breath
      June 19, 2014 - 07:12

      sick of shills, the commercial fishery on the French Islands is also listed as a possible cause...that is a South Coast issue too that will not impact NE coast wild stocks... the other thing is that in other parts of the world wild stocks are down in regions without salmon farming, and up or stable in regions with salmon farming, or up and down in places with and without salmon farming. the point is , its more complicated than 'salmon farming bad'...

    • Sick of the Shills
      June 19, 2014 - 11:55

      Fish Breath, the catch in the French Fishery affects Quebec Rivers primarily, only 1/3 of the 2350 fish harvested originate from any part of NL (e.g. around 780 fish total). That's been proven through genetic sampling of catches, and the study is available to the public . There is also a much larger aboriginal over 5X as large) fishery prosecuted in Labrador that affects fish of NL origin almost exclusively,, yet overall counts are stable or improving in that area according to DFO's data Please share the part of the world where wild stocks are stable or increasing in the presences of aquaculture. Industry claims the same here - yet there has been no genetic testing of the fish being counted to determine if they are wild or domestic stock (ie escapees). It's not complicated as you assert. Industry here refuses to prove their operations are as environmentally safe as they claim, and government allows them to operate without monitoring and study. I suspect they don't want to know because if they did they would be forced to act.

    • fishlips
      June 19, 2014 - 14:38

      Shill of shills-this is the only thing in the paper you referenced regarding genetic origin of fish caught in SP &M, no mention of fish of Quebec origin...its DFO who lists that fishery as a concern along with salmon farming. You want to have your cake and eat it take what you like from DFO and deflect or obfuscate or ignore things you do not like. "3 profiles (or 6%) indicated US origin, while the other 48 profiles (94%) identified indicated Canadian origin. A previous genetic study of 25 fish, carried out in 2004, showed that the salmon sampled at that time were mainly of Canadian origin. " given proximity to South Coast, how can they be taking Quebec salmon? as well, I would like to see a reference for your statement that most fish caught in Labrador fishery are from NL origin. how does that even work? reference please because you are not credible as is.

    • Sick of the Shills
      June 20, 2014 - 10:56

      Fish Lips, your inability to perform basic research makes me question how much you actually know about the issues facing wild salmon. Thus far, you've done little but parrot industry talking notes. contains a summary of the findings of the genetic research performed on both the SPM and Labrador fisheries - the studies or the reports that the information is drawn from is listed at the end, and all are publicly available. You question how catches in the SPM fishery can contain fish from Quebec. Ask the scientists, who determined that; genetics don't lie. The Labrador fishery has been genetically sampled, and tests have proven the origins of the fish. Again, don't argue with me, argue with the scientists. The studies were performed after the DFO RPA (to which you are referring) was published. You wouldn't know that though, it's not in your speaking notes. Some free advice, hyperbole and rhetoric is not going to win you any arguments in informed circles. That's not your target audience though, is it.

    • fishlips
      June 20, 2014 - 12:37

      Shill of shills, I gotta give you B for effort...but you still haven't proven your claims, you claimed that most labrador caught salmon are from Newfoundland origin but did not give a reference. this last reference you gave tells us that labrador caught salmon include 4% from outside labrador, including US, the Maritimes and Newfoundland...good one! as for the St. Pierre fishery consisting of only 1/3 NL salmon, your first link gave no such details, and this one does agree with you but this paper is an Altantic Salmon Federation 'back grounder', not a scientific report nor published by a scientific entity...but an anglers association that does not even cite references for the details is provides, only general references at the end of the 'back grounder'. were it scientific, not 'general information' there would be a reference for each stated 'fact' sneer at information provided by industry proponents, why should anyone accept anglers association information at its word? That said, when DFO states that the French fishery is one of the risk factors affecting South Coast wild salmon, I'll take their word over your attempts to spin it away. go ahead now and attack me, to deflect from what I have have proven nothing in any of your statements other than there is a 'risk' to wild salmon from farmed salmon, and that is acknowledged by everyone including the industry....the key difference is industry and government and most academia believe (with reason) that mitigation and ongoing research, can prevent real harm to wild stocks... you seem to beleive that nothing can be done to prevent harm from farmed salmon, to the point where you will ignore other risk factors affecting wild salmon.