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Old 08-27-2017, 10:47 PM   #21
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People do not realize just how big a deal the release of these salmon into non native waters is.

A non native fish does not have the natural predators in place to keep its popuation in check like a native species does. Nature has a great way of making sure one species does not dominate an ecosystem, and introducing a non native species like these atlantic salmon side steps that process and can devistate the native species.

That is one of the reasons why farming fish is illegal in Alaska. We have some of the largest salmon runs in the world. Allot of people from commercial, to charters, to hotels, to gosh lots of people depend on our salmon for their livelyhood.

Introducing these non native fish puts all that at risk.

Here is a specific example of a non native species decimating a native fish population.

I live on a lake in the Matanuska Susitna Valley of Alaska. Rainbow trout are native to my lake. When I moved here 20+ years ago you could go the inflow streams and see the 24" plus rainbow trout spawning in the sprng. They were the native dominant species of fish.

Some years ago someone introduced non native Northern Pike to a watershed that happens to connect to our lake. Nobody knows if it was intentional or by accident but it happened.

Now, the native rainbow trout are all but gone, replaced by Northern Pike. What my lake, my home, was is no more, never to return.

So I agree that whomever allowed or caused these Atlantic Salmon to be released into the waters of Washington State should be charged, and go to prison for what they have done. I know it was an accident, but I see it as negligent. We have a responsibility to protect our waters, and the native fish that reside there, and there is no excuse for failure to do that.

We will not know for many years the result of this indoctrination of the Atlantic Salmon to to the waters of Washington state. Maybe decades. I just hope and pray that all the introduced salmon die before they are able to reproduce, because once they do, there is no turning back.
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Old 08-27-2017, 11:28 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Edelweiss View Post
I wished I would have saved the newspaper article from Wa. Dept of Fisheries. Can't find it now, but basically it answered some of these questions. I found another that paraphrased their comments:

In the 1980's WDFW and BC fisheries attempted numerous times to introduce wild Atlantic Salmon (Salmo) into some of the rivers in BC and Washington. But none of the attempts to establish an Atlantic Salmon population succeeded as the smolts never returned after they were release. (Article didn't say why?)

The WDFW said Atlantic salmon is a “favored species” to farm in cold marine waters because it grows quickly and consistently, is resistant to disease, and is something people like to eat. Farmed Atlantic salmon are more docile, less aggressive and more resistant to disease than wild Pacific salmon. Atlantic salmon also have been bred to more “efficiently turn feed into flesh,”

Atlantic salmon are actually more closely related to brown trout than Pacific salmon. That’s why they don’t breed with Pacific salmon — even when researchers have tried to force it in the lab, Rush said.
ps. (This is why the UK is concerned about the farmed fish, as they're the same genetic species as European Atlantic Salmon and could mess up their wild fish genetic pool.)

According to NOAA, escaped farmed salmon that carry diseases have a relatively low risk of spreading them to wild fish. Mainly because those pathogens are already present in the water, escapees likely won’t be a threat to a healthy wild populations. Farmed fish are domesticated to eat pelleted feed and would be unable to compete in the wild. They disappear quickly in the wild, most often eaten by predators.

Opponents say their greatest concerns are that the permanently moored fish pens may bring with them area pollution, virus and parasite amplification, harm Pacific salmon and our Puget Sound waters.

That pretty well addresses what my concerns would be. My biggest concern is the last one. Any concentrated biomass can create issues due to high levels of waste and depletion of O2.
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Old 08-28-2017, 12:48 AM   #23
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That pretty well addresses what my concerns would be. My biggest concern is the last one. Any concentrated biomass can create issues due to high levels of waste and depletion of O2.
Problem is, the source for that information is someone remembering what they read who knows how long ago, and paraphrased (cherry-picked) by someone else...and the article was written by the party responsible for allowing fish farms in Washington State in the first place.

Hardly a balanced view...
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Old 08-28-2017, 01:07 AM   #24
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Problem is, the source for that information is someone remembering what they read who knows how long ago, and the article was written by the party

responsible for allowing fish farms in Washington State in the first place.


Oh, I'm aware of that. Not saying I necessarily believe it all but only that it addressed the concerns I had.
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Old 08-28-2017, 01:14 AM   #25
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I was under the impression that farm raised fish were sterile so that if they escaped they could not reproduce. Is that not the case? There is still the impact of whatever salmon feed on will now take a huge hit, and there will not be enough natural food to feed the existing Pacific Salmon population.
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Old 08-28-2017, 01:18 AM   #26
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I was under the impression that farm raised fish were sterile so that if they escaped they could not reproduce. Is that not the case? There is still the impact of whatever salmon feed on will now take a huge hit, and there will not be enough natural food to feed the existing Pacific Salmon population.


My guess is that it will be more of a boon to the seals and sea lions than than a loss of bait fish that the native salmon would eat.
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Old 08-28-2017, 01:28 AM   #27
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Tasmania, the island state south of the eastern mainland, has large salmon farming facilities. Their main problem is inquisitive hungry seals, though there has been recent reports that the bay is essentially dead due to excessive fish poo, etc. Doesn`t seem to worry the seals.
Years ago I caught an Atlantic salmon in inland waters here, possibly Wyangla dam. Fisheries Authorities release farmed fingerlings into inland waterways,multiple varieties it seems, trout are common. Most of our inland waterways, originally the preserve of the Murray cod, have been ruined by European Carp(best use ground up and used for agricultural fertilizer), which dig for food, muddying the waters.
Wait and see how the escape turns out. A combination of keen fishermen and hungry seals might work.
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Old 08-28-2017, 06:04 AM   #28
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My guess is that it will be more of a boon to the seals and sea lions than than a loss of bait fish that the native salmon would eat.
Or the seals, seavlions and bearscmay become obese.

While I dislike upsetting any ecosystem....

I am interested in the actual facts of what will be the impacts, for how long, is the trend to more permanance or a steady decline.

My guess is at the opposite end of the spectrum from a radioactive release or the issues from the farm itself. Maybe the release of the fish is actually less harmful than the farm at capacity.
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Old 08-28-2017, 07:46 AM   #29
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I guess now they can call them "wild caught"??!!!!
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Old 08-28-2017, 09:42 AM   #30
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While I dislike upsetting any ecosystem....
As you probably know, the Alewife fish invaded the Great Lakes via the Saint Lawrence Seaway back in the 50's. There were huge berms of dead fish along the shores by the 60's. Then the DNR organizations in the various States introduced Salmon....King, Coho, Chinook to eat the alewives. Worked reasonably well until recent years when the Salmon began to overwhelm the Alewife population. Now salmon numbers are declining, supposedly due to lack of food supply. But the fact is fishermen are crushing the population. Every weekend during the spawning season fishing tournaments are held in towns near rivers where the salmon spawn. Hundreds of boats gather offshore and troll with multiple outriggers in every boat....the first wave of human attack. The second assault comes all along the river where anglers first hook, then snag the fish on their journey up river. If the fish make it past the typical cascade system up river, there are more fishermen to kill them above the weir. Of course by now the fish are near their spawning area and are half dead, but the intrepid anglers murder them anyway.


The following year the DNR experts are alarmed that the population is still declining, so they plant hundreds of thousands of fry in the Spring. And on and on it goes.


The next man made disaster is the Asian Carp, which have now been reported beyond the electrified locks in the Chicago sewage canal. Past efforts by conservationists to close those locks were foiled by Chicago, the Obama Administration, and cruiser groups like AGLCA.
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Old 08-28-2017, 09:52 AM   #31
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I was under the impression that farm raised fish were sterile so that if they escaped they could not reproduce. Is that not the case? There is still the impact of whatever salmon feed on will now take a huge hit, and there will not be enough natural food to feed the existing Pacific Salmon population.
Benthic: Talked to a Native American fisherman selling fresh caught Atlantic Salmon last night at the marina. Apparently the Indian fishermen are in Secret Harbor (that's where the pen is located) gillnetting very successfully. Lot's of fish are laying in the harbor. The inner bay is to small to have more than 9 or 10 nets at a time, so they're taking turns. He had three sets yesterday and over 300 fish, average 10 -15lbs. Fish buyers are paying $1.25 lb and he was selling them at $2.00 lb to the public. So he had a pretty good pay day in a year where the native fish runs are very diminished.

(No, I didn't buy any.)

The fish were gutted already and he said the egg sacks were mostly empty, some had feed pellets in their gut. He thought the absence of eggs was probably a result of the way they're raised, feed and captivity, in a pen and maybe the fish were staying in the bay because there are two other operating fish pens still feeding fish. They can eat the stray pellets that fall through the pen.

At least some of the fish have scattered and there are reports of them being caught by commercial fishermen in small numbers throughout Puget Sound.
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Old 08-28-2017, 11:52 AM   #32
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Salmon Farm Falls Apart

I'm under way just south of Lund so I will be brief. I'd like to clear up a few misconceptions. For the record, I'm a former fisheries biologist, now retired. First, to my knowledge, while there were attempts at introducing wild Atlantic salmon on this coast in the early 1900's, probably with eyed eggs or fry, or smolts those attempts were not successful. To my knowledge, there were no attempts in the 1980's. That information, to my knowledge is not correct.

While there have been several escapes of Atlantic salmon from fish farms in the past, there have been no reports that these resulted in any kind of successful spawning in local rivers. There was a real large escape from a Puget Sound farm about 20 years ago. I managed the test fisheries for the Pacific Salmon Commission and one of our gillnetters in Juan de Fuca Strait caught over 350 one evening several days after the event. However, I do not recall any being subsequently caught in the Fraser River, or observed spawning in any local rivers. Further, there is little risk of these fish hybridizing with any local populations of salmon. It's also unlikely there would be any competition for food with local salmon. They are habituated to being fed with pellets and just could not compete with the locals.

All that said, there is some risk of them being vectors for disease and parasites. That's a complex and contentious issue. In my opinion, the "burden of proof" should be on the fish farms to demonstrate, scientifically that there is NOT a problem rather than the other way around.

And finally, I have never purchased farmed Atlantic salmon. And on the table, it does not compare with wild chinook, coho or sockeye salmon!

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Old 08-28-2017, 09:48 PM   #33
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Jim,

Thanks. It is always nice when a TF member with expertise in a field weighs in.

I agree that it should be up to the fish farms to prove they are safe, but it is hard to prove a negative. Interesting that we expect that type of proof only in our pet areas. Coal trains are cruising up the shore of Puget Sound. Many scoff at proving they are safe. The same is true for the oil trains on the same tracks. Boaters lost the fight against a NDZ in Puget Sound. They simply couldn't prove the absence of harm and the proponents weren't required to prove harm.

So with fish farms, do we make them prove they can't be harmful (pretty hard to do) or do we make the opponents prove they are harmful? Of course the stakes are high. The proof of harm may come too late.

But then how do you prove the rash of hundreds and thousand year weather events in recent years is related to human caused climate change?
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