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Looks like the Norwegians are finally waking up to the environmental disaster that is the net pen salmon feedlot industry. Now the Norwegian Govt. is stating they think that the feedlots should be placed on land where their polluting, disease spreading ways can be better managed (read both articles).
How long will it take for our Govt. in Canada to finally realize the same? All the more reason we the people must continue to make this an issue, especially in a federal election year when the Conservatives are dying to win more seats in BC.

Farmed Steelhead Threaten Norwegian Wild Salmon

On January 10th a hurricane hit the southern end of Norway, near Bergen. It was forecast in the days leading up to the storm and the salmon farming industry claimed they were ready, that the chains anchoring their pens full of fish could withstand the winds, that there would be no escapes. This was important, because Norway had just informed the industry there would be zero tolerance for escapes.
The science on escaped Atlantic salmon in Norway, reports that farmed salmon will breed with wild salmon and create offspring, but that these hybrids will fail to return home. Therefore, wild eggs fertilized by farmed salmon means those eggs are lost. Genetic pollution, as it is called, is one of the leading reasons given for the decline of wild salmon in Norway. Farmed salmon are in most rivers, there are only 500,000 wild salmon left, approximately 1/2 the number of fish found in a single fish farm.
The first sport fishermen to venture out on the fjords near Bergen after the storm were sickened by what they saw. The water was boiling with escaped farmed rainbow trout! Technically, because they were in sea water, these would be called steelhead, but they did not look like the magnificent steelhead so beloved to thousands of British Columbians. These were "flabby", blotchy fish with misshapen bodies. They are not native to Norway, these fish came from North America originally.


Worst of all they were mature, ready to spawn and the fishermen knew what that meant. While escaped rainbow trout, have not established in Norway, they do dig in the rivers and thus destroy nests of wild salmon eggs. The precious wild Atlantic salmon eggs were in danger of being dug up by the repulsive invaders and so the fishermen took it on themselves to catch every last one before the damage could be done.








Farmed imported rainbow trout spawning in Norwegian river previous to this escape. (filmed by Uni Research Environment v / Tore Wiers).
Facebook lit up with pictures of the farm rainbow trout and I understood for the first time how the Norwegians feel when they see how salmon farming in BC has disfigured their beautiful wild salmon. Steelhead are close to sacred in BC, but in Norway, they are monsters.

The Askøy Hunter & Fisherman's Association decided to get some of these fish tested for disease, because they looked so sick. They were hemorrhaging blood in their muscle tissue.
Seven farmed trout were sent to Dr. Are Nylund of the nearby University of Bergen. Nylund is a leading salmon disease specialist publishing ground-breaking work on new diseases in farmed salmon. When his team reported that the ISA virus had traveled to Chile in farmed Atlantic salmon eggs, he was hit with accusations of scientific misconduct. He spent year fighting these accusations and was finally cleared, but at great personal cost. However, he survived uncowed and he took the fish from the fishermen.
“All of the fish that I have analyzed were very sick,” Nylund reported to the Norwegian newspaper BA
One was infected with the salmon alphavirus, which causes pancreas disease (PD), which is killing so many farmed fish it is eating into company profits and viability. This was the worst news possible to the fishermen because the escaped rainbow trout were pouring towards the rivers.

Disgusted Norwegian sportfishermen remove escaped farmed rainbow trout from the water, trying to protect the nests of extremely fragile wild Atlantic salmon populations.
The Norwegian government did not see the fishermen's independent testing as helpful. Pancreas Disease is reportable in Norway and there did not seem to be any record of these fish being infected. The government recommended that people only use "official" labs. “It takes an expert to confirm and make such a diagnosis.” A government spokesperson pointed out that just because evidence of PD was found, did not mean the fish was sick. Of course, this is what the Canadian government said when ISA virus was detected by government labs in BC, where the virus officially does not exist. However, the Norwegian fishermen didn't care if the farmed salmon had the disease or not, they were racing to prevent farmed fish carrying the virus from entering the rivers and making the wild salmon sick.


They are catching 60-80 fish each per day. They are angry that the fish farmers did not come to help.
The Director of Fisheries, Liv Holmefjord, made a statement; "I am sure we can prevent similar incidents in the future." But the salmon farmers don't seem to be on a learning curve. They claimed this was not their fault because the chains they purchased had been certified to withstand 70 tons of load and broke at 30 tons.



- See more at: http://alexandramorton.typepad.com/a....MvOJ7XUM.dpuf
 
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