We have noted before that farmed Atlantic salmon growing in pens in western waters in not necessarily the best idea, but it is a huge business in Norway, Chile and British Columbia. It is slightly smaller in BC today, after strong ocean currents moved a net near Campbell River, BC. The company says "One of the anchor lines ... apparently slipped to a low spot on the ocean floor and in so doing pulled down the corner of the cage so much the fish were able to swim out, which is really unusual." But it could be disastrous for the already threatened wild Pacific salmon stocks.
"You get juvenile Atlantics, they're not indigenous to the coast and they start competing with the wild salmon and they start putting the wild salmon at risk. Everything has to be done to stop having those Atlantic salmon in the ocean," says Jennifer Lash of the Living Ocean Society in the Globe and Mail. "Any time you bring in an invasive species or a non-indigenous species ... it poses a threat to the existing biological diversity."
We noted in an earlier post:
-while Alaska bans farmed fishing, Canada's 80 farms produce a raw sewage equivalent to a city of 500,000 people.
-for every pound of farmed salmon, four pounds of wild fish are need for food pellets.
-sea lice, algae blooms and other parasites threaten all kinds of wildlife.
-compared to wild fish, there are far more toxins, antibiotics and chemicals in farmed fish. PBDE's (flame retardants) were found in quantities 10 to 65 as much as wild fish.
In Chile, Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) is ravaging the fish farms, and according to the Patagonia Times, "in their pursuit of rapid profits, salmon companies — allowed for the most part to regulate themselves — have run roughshod on workers' rights and on the environment. Highly concentrated fish farms create tremendous amounts of organic pollution (feces and excess feed) that create "dead zones" in the surrounding waters. Lack of regulation has also allowed salmon companies to pump their fish with antibiotics at levels unheard of in other salmon producing countries. Those and other environmental consequences take a major toll on native fish species, on which local, small-scale fishermen rely for survival."
Salmon used to be expensive; now it is a cheap, everyday food. But at what price? ::Globe and Mail
More on Fish Farming
Deep Impacts: salmon farms threaten marine life and human health
Coastal Fish Farms Endager Wild Fish?
How to: Choose your Fish Wisely
Want Good Fish ? Think Salmon.
How to Green Your Meals