Group Calls for “Fundamental Rethinking” of Government’s Salmon Farming Policy [Ireland]

West Cork Times
October 12, 2014

Salmon Watch Ireland this weekend called for a “fundamental rethinking” of the Government’s salmon farming policy, warning that large-scale marine operations are having “catastrophic” effects on the sector.

“It is time that Ireland embraced the on-land , closed-containment farming of salmon,” the group said in a report issued at its Annual Geranal Meeting (AGM) in Galway on Saturday.

Adopting such a policy “could put Ireland in a position to be a scientifc and technical leader in this sector,” said Niall Green, Chairman of Samon Watch Ireland.

“Closed-containment salmon farming is operating successfully in Canada, the United States and Denmark and has gone well beyound the experimental stage,”  Green said.

“In a controlled growing environment, the fish grow faster, risks such as storms and predators are eliminated and damage to wild fish and the wider environment are eliminated,” Green said.

Read the full article in West Cork Times.

Posted October 12th, 2014

Fury as EU ends probe into sea lice [Ireland]

Irish Examiner
October 10, 2014

A prominent environmental group has criticised the EU’s decision to close two longstanding investigations into Irish salmon farming. 

The EU pilot investigation, which was closed at the end of last month, was examining the potential impact of sea lice on wild salmon stocks in Ireland.

The investigation was launched on foot of complaints raised by Friends of the Irish Environment and Salmon Watch Ireland, who are opposed to Bord Iascaigh Mhara’s (BIM) plans to develop a 500-hectare, deep-sea salmon farm 6km off Inis Oírr in the Aran Islands.

Director of aquaculture services at BIM, Donal Maguire, welcomed the decision, stating that it proved there was “no evidence to support the suggestion that salmon in Irish rivers are being adversely affected by sea lice from salmon farms.”

Mr Maguire said the decision was a clear demonstration that the EU accepted that sea lice have only a very minor influence on wild salmon survival.

However, Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE) said the decision to close the investigation highlighted “the limitations of EU environmental law”.

Its spokesperson, Tony Lowes, said the EU Commission had accepted in a letter to the FIE in July that sea lice infestation levels in salmon farms have an effect on migrating wild Atlantic salmon in terms of their overall survival rate and that the “scientific debate is not closed.”

“However, it points out that there is no provision under EU law for a general ban on salmon farming. They are, in fact, limited in their powers to examining only salmon in rivers specifically listed for their protection.”

Read the full article in the Irish Examiner.

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Posted October 10th, 2014

Canada study to chart what happens when salmon escape [Newfoundland]

Undercurrent News
October 10, 2014

What happens when salmon escape from aquaculture cages is the focus of a new study by Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans, reports The Advertiser.

“If we can understand what escaped fish will do when they get out of cages it will help us understand the potential impact they could have on wild salmonids,” Geoff Perry, director of aquaculture for Newfoundland with the DFO, told the newspaper.

DFO aims to determine how far salmon disperse from their cages after an escape; what direction do they go in; what are the environmental conditions that drive them; do they lead the shore as wild salmon tend to do in their movements and what role does wind and water temperature play in their movement.

“It will also help us to develop measures to prevent those interactions with wild salmon populations. We may have a fishery for them or, if we know where they are going, we can direct companies that own them to go get them. We could also have an angling fishery for them, similar to the program now in use in the Bay d’Espoir area.”

Read the full article in Undercurrent News.

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Posted October 10th, 2014

Wanted: A 'closed system' to protect fish stocks [Singapore]

The Straits Times
October 7, 2014

Fish farmers in Singapore hurt by massive die-offs in recent years could soon get help to prevent them from happening again.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) has asked firms for proposals to design and develop a "closed containment aquaculture system" to help the 116 coastal fish farms here.

Most of the local food fish supply is produced by farms using open net cage systems, made up of net cages submerged in the sea to house the fish.

"The fish stocks are exposed to environmental changes which the farmers have no control over," the AVA said, adding that massive algae blooms and spills from maritime activities could harm or kill the fish.

Read the full article in The Straits Times.

Posted October 7th, 2014

Government Provides C$34.2 Million to Renew Salmonid Enhancement Programme Infrastructure

The Fish Site
October 7, 2014

The Government of Canada is providing C$34.2 million over five years to upgrade and renew salmon hatcheries and spawning channels operated by the federal government under the Salmonid Enhancement Program (SEP).

This funding includes C$13.8 million to refurbish crucial water supply and delivery systems at all 16 major salmon hatcheries and many spawning channels and $20.4 million to modernize and refurbish aging infrastructure at Bella Coola's Snootli Creek Hatchery, which serves the B.C. Central Coast.

The investments will renew infrastructure that is, in many cases, 30 years old. It will also improve efficiency of the facilities, their operational reliability and flexibility, and reduce maintenance costs. A reliable supply of high-quality water is a critical element to the successful production of salmon at hatcheries and spawning channels.

This investment is part of ongoing efforts by the Government of Canada to reinvest in the 36-year-old Salmonid Enhancement Program. A $14 million renovation of the Quinsam River Hatchery in Campbell River was completed in 2014 and other hatcheries will be upgraded according to priority.

Read the full article on The Fish Site.

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Posted October 7th, 2014