Océans en santé. Communautés en santé

Salmon Farms: There is no Techno-fix

October 11, 2022
New report concludes there is no ocean-based salmon farming technology that can protect wild salmon

Vancouver/Clayoquot Sound, traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, səlil̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ /hiškwiiʔatḥ, ʔaahuusʔatḥ, and ƛaʔuukwiiʔatḥ First Nations:

Living Oceans today released a report detailing why British C­olumbia’s salmon farms have to come out of the water. “There is no technology in use or development today for farming salmon in the ocean that would protect wild salmon,” said Karen Wristen, the report’s author. The report expands on a video released last week by Clayoquot Action, that explains the failure last year of a “semi-closed” salmon farming system that was trialed in Clayoquot Sound.

The salmon farming industry worldwide has been experimenting with various in-ocean farming systems, with a view to increasing production and reducing farmed stock mortality. None of those systems focuses on eliminating the impacts to wild salmon: pathogens, parasites and pollution are still emitted.

“Cermaq’s semi-closed system pumps the volume of nearly 200 Olympic pools in and out every day, with no filtration,” said Dan Lewis of Clayoquot Action. “Cermaq admits they have the deadly piscine orthoreovirus (PRV) on their farms, so their experimental system is a viral super-spreader like any open-net pen salmon farm.”

The report released today reviews so-called semi-closed, hybrid and offshore salmon farming systems being developed worldwide. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans, in its public consultations on the Transition Plan for BC salmon farms, has put these systems forward as potential solutions that the Plan could adopt.

“All of these systems rely on open netpens to grow out the fish to market size. You don’t achieve “transition from open netpens” by relying on open netpens,” said Wristen. “Our wild salmon don’t have time to wait on ocean-based technologies that might be developed one day that actually address the problems of wild salmon. The farms need to come out of the water now, if wild salmon are to have a fighting chance at survival.”



Karen Wristen, Executive Director, Living Oceans Society 604-788-5634, kwristen [at] livingoceans.org

Dan Lewis, Executive Director, Clayoquot Action - 250.726.8136, dan [at] clayoquotaction.org


Video, photos and report can be accessed at:  https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/15rofGDeUEk7KaFIJ2qqW44G9Twsy_bup