Cermaq International announced today the creation of a genetically enhanced “supersalmon” that the company predicts will double production at its industrial salmon feedlots worldwide, and not incidentally stanch the company’s haemorrhaging financial losses in recent quarters. Continue reading “Cermaq launches ‘super-salmon’”
Another approval, this one bravely issued the Wednesday before the Thanksgiving long weekend, brings closer the expansion of open net-cage salmon farming in Clayoquot Sound. Read the one-page “Reasons for Decision” — what a non-document! There’s so much wrong with this that i won’t go into it here (refer to Don Staniford’s blog and Alex Morton’s blog to get an earful of how insidious this corporate/government conspiracy really is). Continue reading “Assault on Clayoquot salmon continues”
Mainstream Canada announced today the creation of a genetically enhanced “supersalmon” that the company predicts will double production at its industrial salmon feedlots worldwide, and not incidentally stanch the company’s haemorrhaging financial losses in recent quarters. The announcement was timed to coincide with release of the Cohen Commission Report.
The supersalmon is also expected to address many inconvenient environmental issues that critics point to about salmon farms. For instance, instead of the usual high-protein feed of anchovy and Southern Ocean krill, leading to a huge net loss of food protein, the new supersalmon will be raised largely on a diet of deep-fried food and British lager, both in plentiful supply.
“Under this new diet regime, the fish also tend to be chronically constipated,” said Mainstream scientist Cam Promized. “This has the double benefit of quicker weight gain and reducing the thousands of tonnes of raw fish sewage discharged into the ocean under every open net-cage salmon feedlot.”
In addition, said Mainstream genetic researcher Saul Dowt, the skin has been “custom designed” with mottled brown spots. “This makes it harder to identify sea lice and other routine parasites endemic to salmon feedlots.” Parasite infection of industrial meat products is known to disgust consumers. “It’s sort of a ‘marketing camouflage,'” Dowt laughed.
Mainstream Canada spokesbot Saurie Yessman did acknowledge that the new supersalmon bears an uncanny resemblance to anti-salmon-farm crusader Don Staniford (recently sued, unsuccessfully, by that company, racking up yet another public humiliation for the salmon farming industry).** “But this will make it so much more enjoyable to confine them cruelly in small net pens all their pathetic lives,” Yessman said, gesticulating dangerously with a razor-sharp fish knife, “and then to cut their guts out.”
** UPDATE: Mainstream’s appeal was upheld in July 2013 in a judgement against Staniford, and a sorry subjugation of citizens’ right to free speech. It’s the new corporate way : If they can’t win with spin in the public sphere, they sue. Shame on you, Mainstream Canada!
That was a grim article (Salmon crisis on West Coast), on the slide of our West Coast salmon runs into extinction. For the people who are, on paper, supposed to be dealing with this — various DFO and governmental bureaucrats — it must be something of an embarrasment.
For those of us who live here in Clayoquot and Barkley Sounds, however, it’s a little more personal. Salmon is the phenomenon that has made human life possible on the West Coast for several thousand years, sustaining us along with (directly and indirectly) the whole temperate rainforest and all of its denizens.
That I should be living here at the time when this huge, ocean-spanning “resource” declines precipitously into extinction … well, that makes me feel deeply ashamed.
I have come to expect nothing more than lip service on these matters from my federal and provincial governments, whose aims these days, it seems, are strictly economic, coddling everything job- and profit-creating at the expense of the troublesome natural world.
But it is time, and well past time, for vigorous action on this front. What we’ll get instead, I expect, is arm-waving: “Oh, we don’t know exatly what’s causing the decline.” But if we wait for sciencific “proof” before we act, we might as well just go poison all those salmon streams ourselves right now.
There is a growing body of evidence that fish farming is implicated in the decline of wild salmon. It happened in Norway, where every fjord that harbours fish farms is now devoid of wild salmon. It has been well documented in the Broughton Archipelago by researcher Alexandra Morton, who is now in the courts forcing the federal government to live up to its legal responsibility. And it has been happening here in the West Coast for years — more industrial fish farms, fewer wild salmon — during which little has been done.
It is time to invoke the precautionary principle, which mandates erring on the side of caution when dealing with permanent extinction. At the very least, fallow the Clayoquot Sound fish farms during the period when smolts are running past them to the sea, which should ameliorate the sea-lice infection problem.
In the meantime, we must get onto the science to better understand what is happening. And we must fund hatcheries as a stopgap measure.
This is not like the forest, where if an old-growth area is logged, at least a semblance of what was once there eventually grows back. This is extinction — no salmon in those areas ever again.
I no longer expect my governments to act out of a sense of responsibility anymore, even when it means enforcing their own laws. But it is no longer acceptable to me to stand by while they dither as our wild salmon die. I dearly hope my fellow West Coast residents not only feel the same way, but will call and write their elected representatives to express their concerns.