Alex Morton Launches Petition

stuckonearth

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Mar 10, 2009
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The way that salmon farming is done is not right. There are better ways to do it that will not hurt the environment.

The videos on this web site are worth watching.

http://www.callingfromthecoast.com/

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Ken B

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Alrighty then...I will wade into the subject.

First...I do not work in the industry, or profit from it...no connection.
Nor do I consider myself an expert.
I'm a fairly well read person on the subject (from both sides)...I don't take any one side verbatim.

I believe that Fish Farms are not responsible for the eradication of wild salmon stocks...rather, over-fishing through the decades was and is.
Fish Farming of Atlantic Salmon on the west coast only developed because the demand was greater than the supply.
So this debate, in my opinion, is really about the recovery of wild salmon stocks and whether Fish Farming has a place within it.

canoecat made a statement that "the science is in" on the subject.
Hardly...just ANOTHER science report is in.
One side's report states one thing, the other side counters it.

I read a summary a while back by Brian Harvey that he did for the Pacific Salmon Forum (Feb. 2008), that I fell pretty much sums up how the situation.
http://www.salmonfarmers.org/attachments/03_14_08_Science_and_SeaLice_Final.pdf

I believe that with both sides debating and spending money on science, that eventually it will sort itself out...hopefully sooner than later.
If that means closed containment...fair enough.
I am firmly in the 'Need for more Science' camp.
 

ken_vandeburgt

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I believe that Fish Farms are not responsible for the eradication of wild salmon stocks...rather, over-fishing through the decades was and is.
Amen. The only way to get the wild stocks back up is to stop all humans from fishing for four years. Pigs may fly.

Last time there was a fish fight it was Glen Clarke and his very inflammatory rhetoric. He managed to get the whole fishing industry in an uproar. Tried to get people to close the torpedo range at Nanoose so as to prevent the use by the US Navy by lying to us through innuendo about testing nuclear weapons there. The Seattle ferry ceased calling at Prince Rupert. The US was making noises about Johnstone Strait being an international waterway.

And for those of you who don't believe in the interconnectedness of life the universe and all that, the Marine trail that was billed as connecting Washington to Alaska ceased getting provincial government support. A coincidence I'm sure.

Maybe Ken B has a point. Problem is that there isn't anywhere else to go to discuss the issue of fish farms or other political stuff that does impinge, however marginally, on the water ways we paddle in.

I wonder who they will blame once the fish farms are closed and the wild fish still don't come back...probably those damn kayakers who are well known for scaring the fish and taking excessive amounts whilst kayaking and fishing on the sneak.
 

mick_allen

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I believe that Fish Farms are not responsible for the eradication of wild salmon stocks...rather, over-fishing through the decades was and is.
Amen. The only way to get the wild stocks back up is to stop all humans from fishing for four years. Pigs may fly.
I'm sure in this complex inter-related world that many factors (and not just directly human) are at play here, but if 90% or more of the fry are newly being destroyed before those other factors come into play, maybe there is some logic to having the practice environmentally assessessed by the federal government.

To make this clear - do you both believe that killing large percentages of the fry by this relatively new activity:
- doesn't happen?
- doesn't matter if it does take place?
- shouldn't be looked at by people?

.
 

Ken B

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Campbell River, B.C.
canoecat's post:
The science is in. The feedlot fishery is damaging wild salmon stocks worldwide (Ford and Myers 2008). Fraser sockeye and all southcoast BC salmon and steelhead are now at risk as a result of the Provincial policy of allowing the feedlot fishery to use Canada's most valuable wild salmon habitat .
Canoecat quotes Ford and Myers 2008.
In that study, only B.C. Coho, Chum, and Pink salmon were analyzed...how did Sockeye and Steelhead get included in your statement?
Fact: in the Ford and Myers 2008 study...only Pink Salmon showed any significant declines in connection to aquaculture.

It is these Broad-Brush claims by Morton and her seemingly 'Lemming' followers that get my back up.
Same goes for any outlandish proclamations by the other side.
 

Ken B

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Campbell River, B.C.
mick_allen said:
I believe that Fish Farms are not responsible for the eradication of wild salmon stocks...rather, over-fishing through the decades was and is.
Amen. The only way to get the wild stocks back up is to stop all humans from fishing for four years. Pigs may fly.
I'm sure in this complex inter-related world that many factors (and not just directly human) are at play here, but if 90% or more of the fry are newly being destroyed before those other factors come into play, maybe there is some logic to having the practice environmentally assessessed by the federal government.

To make this clear - do you both believe that killing large percentages of the fry by this relatively new activity:
- doesn't happen?
- doesn't matter if it does take place?
- shouldn't be looked at by people?

.
It would appear you did not read my initial post carefully enough...
Did I not say:
"So this debate, in my opinion, is really about the recovery of wild salmon stocks and whether Fish Farming has a place within it." ?
 

mick_allen

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3,255
It would appear you did not read my initial post carefully enough...
Did I not say:
"So this debate, in my opinion, is really about the recovery of wild salmon stocks and whether Fish Farming has a place within it." ?
Not quite, but fair enough point. Combining your comment of 'not responsible' with Ken's of 'only way' may have been an over simplification of your slightly differing stands because:
I think huge fry devastation is a logical factor in the larger eradication issue (but to what degree, I do not know).

I guess the most simplistic issue in this is, is the last one i posed - do you think us (the feds, environmentally) finally assessing the issue is not beneficial?

.
 

Dan_Millsip

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Beautiful BC
Good to see some constructive discussion going on here now.

My feelings on this is that the two Ken's are correct. I certainly can't argue against fish stocks being greatly depleted by past over fishing. I doubt very much that Ms. Morton would argue this either.

I do however, strongly feel that fish farming is also contributing in a major way and science has proven that it is detrimental to the long term well being of the salmon. It just makes logical sense that if the fry cannot survive past that stage of their life because they are infected with lice and disease that it's not helping the situation at all. Don't have to be a scientist to see the logic there.

Ken B, I quite resent being referred to as a "lemming" -- Ms. Morton is far from stupid and has a community of scientists who agree with her. That she won her recent court case against the government also reflects the validity of her claims. So if you would like others to take what you say with careful consideration, how about dropping the rude insults to those who don't share your exact same views?

So, in fact, it's perhaps BOTH of these contributors that have created the dire situation that we're now facing, perhaps not equally, and I would not care to get into an argument about which is the larger factor. BOTH of these factors need to be seriously addressed to correct the problem.

Favouring one viewpoint at the expense of the other, is not the answer.

The bottom line is that we have a responsiblity at this stage of the game to do EVERYTHING that we can to ensure that salmon continue to thrive.

*****
 

ken_vandeburgt

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Nov 13, 2007
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I'm sure in this complex inter-related world that many factors (and not just directly human) are at play here
I would suggest going to the Sooke Museum. They have a video of a fish trap that ran 24/7 off Cabin Point East Sooke Park. The waters used to teem with fish. The only change in numbers from before and after is the insertion of the fish trap so the only factor of relevance is over fishing by humans. The fish trap didn't get removed until it was no longer economically viable.

Fish traps were extensively used in every inlet up and down the coast. Perhaps if they had run 6 days a week instead of 7 there may still be a viable fishery. But instead the salmon stocks are now at the point of collapse.

But if you listen to the fishermen, and the science that they promote, all the fish have mysteriously disappeared because they are now being caught and eaten by sea lice, orcas, seals, and american toursists. :roll:
Call it global warming, changes in salinity, or whatever, but overfishing? Not if it means someone has to stop fishing, by God, for his livelihood.

It may very well be that the fish farms have an adverse effect on fry. I haven't yet seen anything on the subject of fish farms that satisfies my sense of what is objective and thorough. But the paucity of fish is due to overfishing. Taking out the fish farms won't by itself solve that problem.
 

nootka

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May 26, 2007
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Campbell River
Does anyone here think that cigarettes don't cause cancer? Because that is what the tobacco companies used to tell us. I didn't believe them then and I don't believe anything a big company tells me now.

As far as the science goes, newsflash ... there are dishonest scientists. If a scientific study is paid for by a big company, I immediately assume that the study is dishonest in one way or another. One example: if the study results are not in the company's best interest, they can easily suppress the study results.

The vast majority of big companies are only interested in profits. Why would a Norwegian aquaculture company want the wild salmon to survive ... the company is at best indifferent, at worst they would prefer that the wild salmon not compete for the consumer dollar.

So while we may not have 100% conclusive proof that fish farms will cause the extinction of our wild salmon, it is very short-sighted to believe that the scientific studies are inconclusive. If you get a leech on you, do you wait until you faint before you pull it off??

How much money would I have to pay you to play russian roulette? You have to weigh the odds against the consequences.
Here is a summary of 4 possible scenarios:
(1) fish farms are forced to go to a closed containment system and the wild salmon survive
(2) fish farms are forced to go to a closed containment system and the wild salmon go extinct
(3) fish farms continue as they are and the wild salmon survive
(4) fish farms continue as they are and the wild salmon go extinct
And here is a weighing of the consequences:
#1 is a small loss / big win
#2 is a small loss / big loss
#3 is a small win / big win
#4 is a small win / big loss
Obviously #4 is much worse than #1, while #2 is only a little bit worse than #4.

Ken & Ken, this is one of those subjects where we agree to disagree. Your opinions may be correct, and I may be wrong. But I consider all big companies (except google) to be motivated by greed & stupidity. Why would any of us risk the ecosystem by assuming that a big foreign company has our best interests at heart?

Disclosure: I have no beneficial affiliation with aquaculture or anti-aquaculture. I once worked for a big company based in Houston, so I saw first hand the emphasis on short-term profit. And lastly, I have a BSc in Chemistry and have a good understanding of the difference between science and bullshit.
 

canoecat

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Sointula
One clarification here on my original post. I am quoting almost completely from two letters authored by Alexandra Morton, via cut and paste. These are not my comments, although I agree with her.
 

Ken B

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Campbell River, B.C.
Ken B, I quite resent being referred to as a "lemming"
Dan,
Why...do you make blind Broad-Brush claims?

I guess I should have been more specific...
I call people who twist the facts, or stand behind twisted facts Lemmings.
(see my comment on canoecat's quote about the Ford and Myers 2008 study)
In fairness...anyone who blindly backs the pro-Fish Farm stance is also a Lemming!

As far as the science goes, newsflash ... there are dishonest scientists. If a scientific study is paid for by a big company, I immediately assume that the study is dishonest in one way or another.
nootka,
So...your telling me you TOTALLY trust any scientific study funded by special interest groups?
I am in agreement...somewhat...but with differences. I am LEARY of any scientific study funded by one side or the other. To say I would assume ANY study is dishonest right out of the shoot is saying I'm not open-minded.
But I consider all big companies (except google) to be motivated by greed & stupidity.
Newsflash...our very existence is about profit. Tell me a business that isn't in business to make money?...Profit is not a dirty word.
Heck you and your wife are about profit...make enough money to house, cloth, feed yourselves, and have enough left over to travel and participate in recreational activities...and save some for retirement.
Special Interest Groups use the Corporate Greed card where ever they can...it is a PR ploy...you haven't figured that out yet?
Special Interest Groups are mostly funded by corporate money...or by individuals who profited by business.
If you get a leech on you, do you wait until you faint before you pull it off??
How would one find out about the positive use of leeches unless you stick it out a while...?
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sciencenow/0305/01.html
 

Astoriadave

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Astoria, Oregon, USA
Nootka wrote: And lastly, I have a BSc in Chemistry and have a good understanding of the difference between science and bullshit.

Nootka, you got me laughing very hard on that one! Here is a hierarchy which might help everyone appreciate how this goes:

BS = everyone knows what that is ... :wink:

MS = More of the Same

PHD = Piled Higher and Deeper
:oops: [I are one.]

If you were overseen in Houston by some of the piled higher and deeper sorts, you might agree with this hierarchy.
--------------

More seriously, it could be that some of the information needed to have an intelligent discussion is:

1. To what extent, and how, do in-water salmon farms hurt indigenous salmon runs, whether truly wild or hatchery-enhanced?

2. To what extent, and how, do in-water salmon farms as presently operated harm other organisms and/or flora in the water column?

--------------

The situation seems analogous, in some ways, to the interaction between domestic range animals (cows, sheep) and indigenous hooved herbivores (deer, elk, rocky mountain sheep, bison, etc.). There have been range wars over which of the domestic stock would have claim to "public" grazing lands; and, there are concerns today about passage of bacterial or viral pathogens from wild grazers to domestic grazers. In fact, ranchers near Yellowstone park claim bison mixing with their cattle transmit brucellosis.

Does anybody have hard data, or perhaps a link to hard data, documenting similar transmission of pathogens from farmed salmon to wild salmon. Or, hard data documenting degeneration of water quality in the water column adjacent to (or, downstream from) in-water salmon farms? My gut feeling tells me there have to be effects, and that assessing these effects should be a necessary part of any legal fight over the unsuitability of in-water salmon farms.

Disclosures:

I am:

male

old

a long-time chemist/teacher

living in a fishing community at the mouth of the Columbia River

a long-time observer of the tensions and disagreements over salmon in the Columbia

not affiliated with any group which advocates the loss of salmon farms, or their promotion

an eater of salmon (preference for the flavor of wild fish, but known to eat farmed)
 

Dan_Millsip

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Ken B said:
Ken B, I quite resent being referred to as a "lemming"
Dan,
Why...do you make blind Broad-Brush claims?
I don't. I took offense to the name calling and am one of those who considers and believes what Ms. Morton has to say. As I said, if you want people to take what you say with careful consideration then refrain from the name calling (I really don't care who you're referring to or how you justify the reasoning). Referring to someone as a lemming is quite derogatory in your context, is completely unnecessary, as well as rude. This is the sort of thing that starts the flame wars that you so eloquently alluded to on the previous page. There are more considerate ways to get your point across -- perhaps with different tactics, you might even persuade your point of view on those who seem to offend you so much.

Let's move on.

*****
 

nootka

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Campbell River
nootka,
So...your telling me you TOTALLY trust any scientific study funded by special interest groups?
Ken, this assertion is based on faulty logic. Would you call A. Morton a special interest group?

To say I would assume ANY study is dishonest right out of the chute is saying I'm not open-minded.
My degree of open-mindedness is based on my observations & experiences. I am very biased against studies that claim to be scientific but are not.

Newsflash...our very existence is about profit. Tell me a business that isn't in business to make money?...Profit is not a dirty word.
Sustainable long-term profit is good. Short term profit based on greed & stupidity is very bad.

Heck you and your wife are about profit...make enough money to house, cloth, feed yourselves, and have enough left over to travel and participate in recreational activities...and save some for retirement.
Chris & I try to manage our lives in a fiscally responsibly manner ... unlike our government or the auto industry.

Special Interest Groups use the Corporate Greed card where ever they can...it is a PR ploy...you haven't figured that out yet?
Here we disagree.

Special Interest Groups are mostly funded by corporate money...or by individuals who profited by business.
I would think that would depend on the special interest group. The Alpine Club of Canada (Calgary section) is very much a special interest group ... but it is funded by membership fees and donations from members.

How would one find out about the positive use of leeches unless you stick it out a while...?
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sciencenow/0305/01.html
Please answer my question (about the leech) yes or no!
While leeches may be occasionally beneficial under medical supervision, the vast majority of the humans on the planet do not want leeches sucking their blood.

As I stated earlier ... you might be right and I might be wrong. But the consequences are extremely un-balanced. I noticed that you did not state any flaws with my weighting of the 4 scenarios.

Ken, I do not expect you to change your mind. I'm fine with shelving this discussion until we can do it over a beer.

To all: Please note that ADave has asked the scientific questions that our governments should be asking & answering. These questions could be answered in a couple of years if our governments really wanted to find the answers.
 

ken_vandeburgt

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Joined
Nov 13, 2007
Messages
1,155
2. To what extent, and how, do in-water salmon farms as presently operated harm other organisms and/or flora in the water column?
This is a good question. My observation is that there is often a lot of green algae yucking up the beaches located close to fish farms.

It could be the green algae is also yucking up other beaches but that is not my observation.

I really dislike stepping into it because I can't see what I'm stepping on.
 

Islandboy

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Joined
Feb 8, 2007
Messages
101
Location
Victoria, BC
Astoriadave said:
Politics is one of the ways humans resolve differences...
It is invasive. Better than beating each other into submission with paddles.

A few of the forums I have been on have separate areas for "political discussions". Some even have the caveat that entering the arena can cause hard feelings. A simple solution for those who find the art of discussion challenging.

As for the validity of science I am in the cautious camp (BS, MS & PHD considered) with the view that the "Truth" is beyond our grasp. Our perspective on it is always influenced by what is presented to us, our personal belief system, interactions with others of similar/dissimilar mind, and our own openness of mind. The challenge is to discover how close we can get to it by embracing/examining all that we are lucky enough to be exposed to.

On this thread I am firmly against farmed salmon in open pens. Farmed beef as well, based on the my understanding their wild counterparts are, like salmon, more efficient at gaining weight in the wild. i.e. no middleman gathering, transporting, and handling their food prior to consumption.
 

Ken B

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Mar 27, 2008
Messages
558
Location
Campbell River, B.C.
I noticed that you did not state any flaws with my weighting of the 4 scenarios.
OK nootka.
If you look at the BIG picture, the variables get endless.
Rural Land development, Urban sprawl, Logging-Mining-Pulp&Paper activity, changing weather patterns, how about raw sewage being pumped into the ocean every day (see Victoria), et al...could these have an impact on salmon stocks?
I'm sure if I seek them, I could find a mountain of opinion and one-sided 'Science' that states they do.
The question is...how bad is the damage?
Do we stop all activity on the above?

I do believe that open-net Fish Farming does/will have an effect...but how bad?...bad enough to eliminate an entire industry?
With scientific progress, can open-net fish farming co-exist with wild salmon recovery?
I like what Ken V has stated...
I haven't yet seen anything on the subject of fish farms that satisfies my sense of what is objective and thorough.
I agree with this statement.

I believe that if one views any debate from one end of the spectrum...it will be hard to be objective.
I also believe that too many people on either side of this debate do not do the required 'Objective' reading from the other side.
I am firmly in the middle...I read most everything from both sides...if I don't understand something, I seek clarity from other sources.

For the record...I have nothing against people who are firmly in one camp or the other...that is they're prerogative...as long as it based on FACT.
I will call out anyone who twists the truth from either side.

This Thread started with canoecat providing statements that WERE NOT TRUE.
Just so people know I am in the middle...
I have a neighbor who is management in a Fish Farm company...he has decided not to bring up the subject around me, because I have openly questioned the validity of some his claims/statements.
 
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