Federal government turning a blind eye to wild fish kills on salmon farms, report says

Posted by Anna Kemp on

Vancouver – A report released today by Watershed Watch Salmon Society raises concern about wild fish caught in industrial, open-net salmon farms throughout British Columbia. The report summarizes data self-reported by industry and finds inadequate DFO oversight of incidental wild fish bycatch on salmon farms.

The report highlights a growing trend in wild fish killed by the salmon farming industry.

“According to federal aquaculture licence conditions, salmon farms must design and use their gear in a way that reduces the risk of incidental catch,” says Stan Proboszcz, the report’s author. “Unfortunately, the data suggests the opposite may be occuring. Nine times as many wild fish were killed in 2017 compared to 2011.”

The report estimates approximately 13.2 million wild fish may be held within 65 B.C. salmon farms at any one time and an additional 663 tonnes of wild fish may be attracted to the vicinity of the farms throughout the province.

“Wild fish in or around open-net salmon farms face serious risks to their health and survival,” says Proboszcz. “When wild fish come into contact with salmon farms they may be subject to infection by pathogens and parasites, contamination from pesticides and medications, predation by farm fish or may simply be killed by farm operations.”

“According to the data, industrial salmon farms are killing more of B.C.’s wild fish every year and the federal government does not appear to be doing much about it. Wild fish capture by salmon farms is yet another example of industry oversight failure by of our federal government.”

View the Report: Wild Fish Trapped: Incidental Catch in the Salmon Farming Industry https://bit.ly/2MDL24a     

Contact: 

Stan Proboszcz, Science Advisor, Watershed Watch Salmon Society, 604-314-2713, proboszcz@watershedwatch.ca