[NatureNS] re Farmed vs. Wild Salmon (a rant, sorry)

References: <607133CC8FEA4945A40213A036AAC24D@D58WQPH1>
From: "James W. Wolford" <jimwolford@eastlink.ca>
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2012 17:54:40 -0300
To: NatureNS <naturens@chebucto.ns.ca>,
Precedence: bulk
Return-Path: <naturens-mml-owner@chebucto.ns.ca>
Original-Recipient: rfc822;"| (cd /csuite/info/Environment/FNSN/MList; /csuite/lib/arch2html)"

next message in archive
next message in thread
previous message in archive
Index of Subjects

Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Content-Type: text/plain;

Dear all,

I have the impression that the ups and downs of salmon runs in  
various places, e.g., on both east and west coasts of Canada, are  
quite mysterious and probably will continue to be so.  Examples in  
our parts are northeastern N.B. and a few rivers in Maine with big  
runs this year.  Sockeye salmon in the Fraser River in B.C. likewise  
were pretty good in 2002, when Pat & I visited the run in the Adams  
River near Kamloops, but became very low in the next "peak year" of  
2006, but then had an historically huge peak in 2010 (every 4 years  
is a peak year-class, even though they run every year).  That was a  
miraculous but not-understood recovery from previous runs that were  
multiples of millions of fish below the predictions.

This makes any relationship between the open-pen salmon "farming" or  
feedlots and the wild salmon (of which there are 6 or 7 kinds of wild  
salmon on the west coast, depending on how they are counted (include  
Atlantic salmon and steelhead "salmon" (sea-run rainbow trout) plus  
the 5 native species (sockey, chum, chinook, pink, and coho).

Thus the situation on the Pacific side of Canada, complicated by  
separate management by the nw. States and Alaska (the latter  
apparently being the very best, partly thanks to never allowing  
salmon farming there (very enlightened, IMHO).

Cheers from Jim in Wolfville, who has an admitted bias against  
farming or ranching any kind of animal that also exists in a wild and  
especially native way in the same area.

P.S. PAUL's use of "DOF" (typo?) is very confusing to many readers,  
including myself.  DFO is the federal dept. of Fisheries and Oceans,  
while NSDFA would be the provincial Nova Scotia Dept. of Fisheries  
and Aquaculture.

P.S.S. And, to get another thing or two on the record: yes, of  
course, jobs are very important, but not at any cost.  Both the  
federal DFO and the provincial NSDFA are blatant promoters of the  
aquaculture industry in all of its forms, and yet both also have the  
responsibilities of regulating the industry!  And, much worse, in  
Nova Scotia, the same minister has two obviously opposing portfolios,  
namely both Environment and Fisheries and Aquaculture (Sterling  

My next communication may discuss my disenchantment with the  
governing NDP in Nova Scotia, after many years of support for same,  
and my reasons involve not only salmon issues but also forestry  
practices, esp. clearcutting, motorized vehicles (ATVs/OHVs) on  
public rail trails near communities, and other things such as mink  
farms and the probable link to pollution of watersheds.  On the other  
hand, positively, the NDP has done some excellent things lately on  
acquiring and designating protected spaces for future generations.

Begin forwarded message:

> From: David & Alison Webster <dwebster@glinx.com>
> Date: June 12, 2012 4:22:20 PM ADT
> To: naturens@chebucto.ns.ca
> Subject: Re: [NatureNS] Farmed Salmon
> Reply-To: naturens@chebucto.ns.ca
> Hi Paul, Jim & All,                    June 12, 2012
>     If I understand you correctly Paul, the runs on the NB rivers  
> that empty into the Gulf of SL were unusually high last year. Have  
> I got that straight ? If so then that is very good news. How far  
> back do the records go ?
>     Drawing on memory, all of the famous Salmon rivers in NB  
> emptied into the Gulf. For many years, every road end along Fundy  
> beaches had a weir and salmon were caught. As weir owners died  
> these weir rights died with them in most cases (some owners fought  
> and managed to have them passed on I think), as I recall, on the  
> assumption that weir catches were impacting salmon runs.
>     Everything I know about Salmon and aquaculture could be printed  
> on a thumbnail but when I hear people asking to have Salmon farms  
> moved inland to save wild Salmon or the Rockies moved east so  
> Saskatchewan won't be so flat, I have a feeling that my thumbnail  
> counts as an ace.
>     Building Salmon ponds on land near the coast, maintaining  
> adequate O2levels, filtering out the waste and composting this  
> waste would be energy intensive, at a time when energy conservation  
> should be a top priority, resources intensive (for e.g. pond  
> linings, pumps, retaining walls, waste water conduits), the land  
> for this would cost a bundle and those who own expensive costal  
> property might not welcome industrial ponds next door and the  
> additional cost might well put another industry out of business. We  
> need jobs, food and tax revenue so solutions have to be realistic.
> My 2 cents as they say, rounded up to a nickle now.
> Dave Webster, Kentville
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Paul MacDonald
> To: naturens@chebucto.ns.ca
> Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 7:30 AM
> Subject: Re: [NatureNS] Farmed Salmon
> Hi Dave
> Good points you bring out.
> The whole question has brought out people with lots of opinions
> but with very little knowledge. But that never stops the Media  
> types - LOL!
> The wild salmon population in the Gulf of St Lawrence rivers was at  
> an all time
> record as long as records were kept. That was last year.  
> Newfoundland rivers the
> same with some exceptions as were European Rivers.
> A couple of rivers in Maine had large runs but the Bay of Fundy and  
> Atlantic Coast
> rivers were low. All  the while the Natives and DOF play their  
> chess game so its
> hard to know if the population is going up, down or sideways.
> Nova  Scotia Rivers have big problems - the Mersey with dams, the  
> Lahave with chain
> picheral and so on but instead of trying to solve these problems  
> the media want
> to wage war on the Fish Farms - go figure - guess they want  
> something sexy
> where they can find a villian. Sure not going to help the fish.
> Have a nice day
> Paul
> From: David & Alison Webster <dwebster@glinx.com>
> To: naturens@chebucto.ns.ca
> Sent: Monday, June 11, 2012 5:34:16 PM
> Subject: Re: [NatureNS] Farmed Salmon
> Hi Sandy & All,                    June 11, 2012
>   The question that nags is: Would salmon have declined to the same  
> extent (or nearly the same) if there had been no aquaculture ?
>   Public pressure (perhaps misinformed pressure) may force the  
> industry to undergo a modern version of ordeal by water; the  
> original being you are innocent if you sink and drown but if you  
> rise alive to the surface then you are guilty and burned at the  
> stake. So this is not just an academic question.
>   Drawing on memory, e.g. poor salmon runs in some NB rivers as  
> early as 1950 led to a program to control Mergansers way before  
> farmed salmon (I think). Also s