Increasing number of wild fish dying at BC fish farms

A new report released by the Watershed Salmon Watch Society says the number of wild fish dying at BC open-net salmon farms is increasing at an alarming number.

Science Advisor, Stan Proboszcz reviewed the numbers which come from the fish farming industry itself, and those numbers show about 100-thousand fish died due to fish farming  in 2017, compared to 2011. That's a 9-fold increase.

His report concludes 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.

" So I think on of the big things is that DFO is turning a blind eye to this problem. We don't really understand it very well. There's very little data that's reported so far. And we really need DFO to get on board with examining this issue more closely. I think that's the big takeaway from this report."  

Proboszcs says many species are attracted to fish farms, likely due to the bright lights used, the fish food, and the shelter provided.

When wild fish are attracted to the operations they are exposed to infection by pathogens and parasites, contamination from pesticides and medications, predation by farm fish, or they could simply be killed by farm operations.

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.

The wild species dying include salmon, herring, hake, sable fish, cod, and rock fish.

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