L e g ac y The Journal of Wild Game Fish Conservation Published by volunteers at:
Wild Game Fish Conservation International "People are not afraid of knowledge, they can handle it." (Dr. Alexandra Morton)
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WGFCI – Celebrating our first full year Pulling out all the stops! G Guueesstt CCoolluum mnn:: PACIFIC COAST SALMON — PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE J. Hal Michael Jr. and Robert T. Lackey
Legacy Wild Game Fish Conservation International Wild Game Fish Conservation International (WGFCI): Established in 2011 to advocate for wild game fish, their fragile ecosystems and the cultures and economies that rely on their robust populations. LEGACY – The Journal of Wild Game Fish Conservation: Complimentary, no-nonsense, monthly publication by conservationists for conservationists LEGACY, the WGFCI Facebook page and the WGFCI website are utilized to better equip fellow conservationists, elected officials, business owners and others regarding wild game fish, their contributions to society and the varied and complex issues impacting them and those who rely on their sustainability. LEGACY features wild game fish conservation projects, fishing adventures, accommodations, equipment and more. Your photos and articles featuring wild game fish from around planet earth are welcome for possible inclusion in an upcoming issue of LEGACY. Your “Letters to the Editor” are welcome. Successful wild game fish conservation efforts around planet earth will ensure existence of these precious natural resources and their ecosystems for future generations to enjoy and appreciate. This is our LEGACY.
Wild Game Fish Conservation International founders: Bruce Treichler
Publisher and co-editor “Legacy”
Dedicated to Gall Duchene Wild salmon activist extraordinaire
Video: In Loving Memory of Gael Duchene
Gael Duchene passed away suddenly on September 5 This video is for her, her family, friends and colleagues
Legacy The Journal of Wild Game Fish Conservation By Wild Game Fish Conservation International volunteers Celebrating Twelve Consecutive Months of Wild Game Fish Advocacy Contents Wild Game Fish Conservation International and Legacy celebrating our first year ................................8 Guest Column: PACIFIC COAST SALMON — PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE .......................................9 Planet Earth ..................................................................................................................................................15
A bit of History: Farmed Salmon Decimating Wild Salmon Worldwide .......................................................... 15 Fish oils not the answer for heart health: Study ............................................................................................... 16 Enjoy wild Pacific salmon dinners at these restaurants: ................................................................................. 17 No Virus, No Flu, No Farmed Salmon on my Barbeque! (Jay Peachy) ......................................................... 19 “Pants on Fire” Recognition: Mark Sheppard Department of Fisheries and Oceans ................................... 20 Corn Is Us: 6 Steps to Drought-Proofing Your Diet .......................................................................................... 21 Coal Export Plan Goes Right Through Heart of Pacific Northwest ................................................................. 22
Canada ..........................................................................................................................................................24 Feds walk away from environmental assessments on almost 500 projects in B.C. ..................................... 24 Harper Government Shutting Down Science in Canada .................................................................................. 25 Locations in Canada infected with Infectious Salmon Anemia ....................................................................... 26 First Canadian retailer stops selling farmed salmon! ...................................................................................... 27 Alberta ............................................................................................................................................................................... 29 Meet with People not just Oil Execs ................................................................................................................... 29 Jaw-dropping Shell Filings Undercut Tar Sands Industry Rhetoric ............................................................... 30 British Columbia .............................................................................................................................................................. 32 Monster chinook caught and released on B.C. coast is one for the record books ....................................... 32 Good Hope Cannery Fishing Lodge, Rivers Inlet, British Columbia, Canada ............................................... 34 Wild Pacific salmon sustain Orca whales and hundreds of other species .................................................... 36 Tensions simmer among B.C. halibut fishermen .............................................................................................. 37 Illegal fishing guides in B.C. need to be reeled in, says angling association................................................ 39 Fraser River sturgeon are illegally killed for their eggs (caviar) then left to rot on the riverbank............... 41 Opinion: A wolf lurks at edge of IPP ‘green’ projects ...................................................................................... 42 Seminar: Dr. Alexandra Morton – “Farmed Salmon vs. Wild: the role of government, scientists and citizens .................................................................................................................................................................. 43 Salmon Farming - What's the Issue .................................................................................................................... 44 Current salmon testing puts credibility at risk .................................................................................................. 45 Recalculating the costs and consequences of fish farms in B.C. .................................................................. 46 Story and video: First Nation bid to close fish farms may reach Canadian Supreme Court ....................... 47 WGFCI and social media: .................................................................................................................................... 49 Government testing of salmon a flawed process ............................................................................................. 50 Testing continues for deadly salmon diseases in wild Fraser salmon .......................................................... 51 Reading the Fish – Dr. Alexandra Morton .......................................................................................................... 53 Gates Creek – Pre spawn mortality in wild sockeye salmon – Why? ............................................................. 54 Mainstream Salmon Farm Now Empty ............................................................................................................... 55 'Depopulation' unfortunate key word in some farm sites ................................................................................ 56
Mutant and diseased Atlantic salmon reared in open pen feedlots and sold in BC markets and restaurants – disgusting, inhumane and disastrous for wild Pacific salmon, their ecosystems, cultures and economies! .................................................................................................................................................... 58 Alexandra Morton's Fight for BC's Iconic Salmon ............................................................................................ 59 Salmon shortages leave grizzly bears stressed ............................................................................................... 60 Kitimat oil refinery could blacken province’s reputation, foes say ................................................................ 61 Tankers too risky for B.C. coastal environment: independent engineering report ....................................... 63 Enbridge feels heat from B.C. lawyer over split liability for pipeline spills ................................................... 64 Harper 'disembowelled' budget for science on North Gateway: former DFO officer .................................... 65 First Nations paddle in protest of planned Trans Mountain pipeline expansion........................................... 68 Opposition building to new salmon feedlot near Tofino .................................................................................. 69 New Brunswick ................................................................................................................................................................ 70 Citizens slam secrecy over sea lice records ..................................................................................................... 70 Nova Scotia ...................................................................................................................................................................... 71 Salmon producer's application not hurt by findings, says Fisheries and Aquaculture ............................... 71 Protesters crash fisheries minister's salmon farm tour ................................................................................... 73 Voice of the people............................................................................................................................................... 74 Fishermen oppose Jordan Bay fish farm proposal .......................................................................................... 76
England .........................................................................................................................................................77 Talks on safeguarding River Severn salmon stocks ........................................................................................ 77
Ireland ...........................................................................................................................................................78 The future of fishing ............................................................................................................................................. 78
Japan ............................................................................................................................................................79 Japan, US discuss financial, ecological costs of clearing sea-borne tsunami waste .................................. 79 Fukushima fish carrying 258 times the 'safe' level of radiation ...................................................................... 81
New Zealand .................................................................................................................................................83
Fish fed poultry oil ............................................................................................................................................... 83 Salmon farms reel in conflict .............................................................................................................................. 84 Submitter raises waste fears over salmon expansion ..................................................................................... 86 New Zealand Grants a River the Rights of Personhood ................................................................................... 87
Norway ..........................................................................................................................................................88 Scientists say there is evidence that Norwegian farmed salmon contains a form of roundworm known as nematode. .............................................................................................................................................................. 88
Scotland's Secrets Exposed! .............................................................................................................................. 90 Chemicals to control salmon parasites ............................................................................................................. 91 Health scare: farmed salmon contains various toxins ..................................................................................... 94 Killing Farms ......................................................................................................................................................... 95 Beavers Positively Impact Wild Salmon Numbers ............................................................................................ 97
USA ...............................................................................................................................................................99 KeepAmericaFishing: We asked. They answered. You decide. ...................................................................... 99 Recreational fishing might be on the way out ................................................................................................. 100 Latest assault from House Republican leadership would let big polluters skirt air, water standards ..... 101 B.C. farmed salmon on menu at U.S. Open ..................................................................................................... 102 Alaska.............................................................................................................................................................................. 103 Chef Rick Moonen stands up for wild Alaskan salmon .................................................................................. 103 My turn: Scientific review underscores fishermen's concern with Pebble .................................................. 104 Commerce secretary declares Alaska salmon disaster ................................................................................. 105 Report warns against offshore drilling in Bristol Bay .................................................................................... 106 Shell begins petroleum drilling off Alaska coast ............................................................................................ 107 Maine ............................................................................................................................................................................... 108 Atlantic salmon returns are disappointing ...................................................................................................... 108 Maryland ......................................................................................................................................................................... 109 In Maryland train deaths, more questions than answers ............................................................................... 109 Oregon ............................................................................................................................................................................ 110 Ore. Wave Power Project Gets Federal Permit ................................................................................................ 110 Coal clash: Multnomah County to examine health hazards from coal dust and diesel .............................. 111 South Dakota .................................................................................................................................................................. 113 Lakotas organize to halt new Keystone tarsands route ................................................................................. 113 Texas ............................................................................................................................................................................... 115 Keystone XL Pipeline blockades continue in Texas ....................................................................................... 115
Washington State ........................................................................................................................................................... 116 th Hundreds gather to celebrate Bonneville Dam's 75 ..................................................................................... 116 Wounded warriors go fishing with local anglers ........................................................................................................ 117 Our Views (chronline.com): Governor Needs Basinwide Advice on Flooding ............................................ 118 Wild Game Fish Conservation International published response to previous article ................................ 119 Chehalis-area leaders slam state projects for I-5 flood control .................................................................... 120 Lower Elwha Klallam tribe ceremoniously welcomes salmon back into upstream river ........................... 122 Chinook salmon observed in undammed portion of Elwha River ................................................................ 124 Hydropower vital to Northwest – and so are salmon ..................................................................................... 125 Reader response by Joseph Bogaard to previous article.............................................................................. 126 Are We Getting Railroaded? .............................................................................................................................. 127
Featured Fishing Photo for October 2012 – Late summer coho salmon ..............................................129 Bryan McKenney with an awesome, late summer coho salmon ...........................................................129 Guided by Darren Bisson (Steelhead Heaven – Kitimat, BC, Canada) ..................................................129 Youth Conservation ...................................................................................................................................130 Kids depict life of salmon in art ........................................................................................................................ 130
Community Outreach and Education .......................................................................................................131 Free Seminar – ALIEN INVADERS: Snails, mussels, milfoil and more ......................................................... 131
Featured Fishing Guide Service – Olympic Peninsula Outfitters ..........................................................132 Conservation Video Library – “Why we’re involved” .............................................................................133 Attention Conservation-minded Business Owners ................................................................................134 WGFCI endorsed conservation organizations: .......................................................................................134
Wild Game Fish Conservation International: Global Outreach
4,369 Facebook Friends Since November 2011 https://www.facebook.com/WGFCI http://WGFCI.blogspot.com
The October 2012 issue of Legacy marks the celebration of Wild Game Fish Conservation International’s first year and of twelve consecutive months of our web-based publication Legacy. The objective of publishing Legacy each month is to share current and planned actions that impact the future of wild game fish and their ecosystems around planet earth with our growing audience. Please feel free to share this publication with others. Our hope is that those who read Legacy will come to understand that what is good for sustainable wild game fish is also good for humans. Similarly, what is bad for wild game fish is also really bad for humans! It’s exciting that a growing number of recreational anglers and conservationists around planet earth are passionate about conserving wild game fish and their continued availability for this and future generations to enjoy and appreciate. Just as exciting is that growing numbers of consumers are paying close attention to the impacts each of us have on global resources through our daily choices and purchases. We continue to urge our audience to speak out passionately and to demonstrate peacefully for wild game fish and their ecosystems; ecosystems that we are but one small component of. As recreational fishermen, conservation of wild game fish for future generations is our passion. Publishing “Legacy” each month is our self imposed responsibility to help ensure the future of these precious gifts that have been entrusted to our generation.
James E. Wilcox Wild Game Fish Conservation International
Wild Game Fish Conservation International and Legacy celebrating our first year Articles featured in Legacy to help conserve wild game fish: November 2011:
Lethal virus discovered in Pacific salmon
Tribes, Fishers, and Local Residents Oppose Pebble Mine
Keystone XL project aims to expand the TransCanada Corporation Keystone pipeline to the Gulf Coast
Mainstream calls activist's accusations 'unfounded and irresponsible'
Coalition calls for FDA to halt approval of genetically engineered salmon
More than 100 species rely on wild Pacific salmon and their fragile ecosystems
Russia urges Norway to restrict salmon fishery
President Says No to the Plunder of Africa's Waters
Coal: Let’s let this “opportunity” pass
On World Oceans Day, celebrate the little fish, unglamorous but essential
Fish Factor: Buoys measure ocean acidification
First Global Study Reveals Health Risks of Widely Eaten Farm Raised Salmon
Japan, US discuss financial, ecological costs of clearing sea-borne tsunami waste
WGFCI Press Releases: November 2011
Remove floating open Atlantic salmon feedlots from British Columbia’s marine environment
WGFCI recommendations following Cohen ISAv hearings
Oppose Enbridge-owned Northern Gateway pipelines project (Edmonton – Kitimat)
Oppose proposed Chehalis River dam – support moratorium on steep slope logging and on floodplain development (Chehalis River basin, SW Washington state)
Agree with Chehalis River Study findings – proposed dam will negatively impact Chehalis River salmon and trout
Oppose shipments of American coal to China
Reports under review by WGFCI:
Chehalis River flood project options
Grays Harbor Juvenile Fish Use Assessment (2011)
Chehalis River Fish Study
Chehalis River Mainstem and Tributaries Comprehensive Salmonid Habitat Enhancement Plan
Cohen Commission Inquiry – Decline of Fraser River sockeye salmon
WGFCI “Pants on Fire” award recipients: June 2012
Mary Ellen Walling - B.C. Salmon Farmers Association executive director
Laurie Jensen - spokeswoman, Mainstream Canada
Dr. Gary Marty - BC Provincial fish pathologist
Glenn Cooke - CEO of Cooke Aquaculture
Mark Sheppard - Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
Guest Column: PACIFIC COAST SALMON â€” PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE J. Hal Michael Jr. and Robert T. Lackey Hal Michael retired in 2010 from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife where he worked for 34 years in various fishery management, environmental compliance, and research positions. Bob Lackey retired from Environmental Protection Agencyâ€™s Corvallis (Oregon) national research laboratory where he worked for 27 years as a senior scientist and Deputy Director.
Runs of wild salmon in California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho are typically less than 5% of their historic size. Many runs are extinct. ABSTRACT Wild Pacific salmon are an iconic part of the Pacific Rim from China, Korea, and Japan in the west to California Oregon, Washington, and Idaho in the east. Historically, and pre-historically, populations were huge and supported a substantial indigenous population, provided high quality protein to various large predators, and annually supplied sufficient nutrients to sustain freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. On the eastern side of the Pacific Rim, the increasing human population in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and southern British Columbia led to the significant reduction in populations through harvest, water development and diversion, urbanization, logging, mining, and agriculture. Currently, wild salmon are generally rare with fisheries supported by extensive hatchery production. There will be a future of wild salmon in these four states and southern British Columbia, but that future may not be one that sustains many wild salmon. Sustaining significant runs of wild salmon in the future, and the watersheds which depend on them, depends on implementing policy choices that address the increasing human population and major life-style changes in the region. **************
Pacific salmon are the focus of much concern on the Pacific Coast of North America. Historically, the fish provided substantial quantities of high quality food and sought-after recreation from southern California to Alaska. Their preservation and restoration has long been a widely held public policy objective. In spite of the often soothing rhetoric offered by Federal, State, and Tribal organizations, along with feel-good campaigns by various advocacy organizations, there is a gap between the status and needs of salmon and the political will to alter their status. What are the basic and relevant facts surrounding wild salmon? What do we know about them? We would like to discuss some aspects of the salmonâ€™s past, present, and future in the Pacific Coast especially from California through southern British Columbia. Our intent is not to belittle the efforts of any individual or organization, but, rather, bring a strong dose of reality to ongoing discussions about the future of wild salmon. In order to maintain or restore wild salmon populations in this region it will be necessary to make some politically and personally distasteful policy choices if society is truly interested in restoring significant, sustainable runs of wild salmon. First, if society is indeed serious about assuring the future of wild salmon, then there is the need to significantly limit human population and its ever expanding footprint. Second, harvest must be greatly reduced until such time as wild runs reach a point where they are much closer to their historic escapement abundance. If society chooses to perpetuate the current situation, the future is for remnant runs of wild salmon in the Pacific Northwest by 2100, if not significantly sooner. We think that any credible assessment of the current situation and trajectories will come to the same conclusions. How did we come to this simple, but sobering conclusion? Here we will briefly summarize our analysis. First, we are talking about wild, naturally produced salmonids. The five species historically called salmon; Chinook, coho, pink, chum, and sockeye are our focus. The anadromous trouts, steelhead and cutthroat, and the Dolly Varden/bull trout are similarly depressed but with significantly more complex life histories and wonâ€™t be considered here. In the California to southern British Columbia area, fisheries directed at Chinook and coho salmon are primarily supported by hatchery-produced stocks. Fisheries directed at sockeye, pink, and chum salmon continue to be supported primarily by wild fish. Here, sustainable fisheries are those fisheries that occur after the productivity of the ecosystem is maintained. Wild salmon are one of the keystone species in Pacific Northwest watersheds. They provide significant amounts of nutrients to drive the ecosystem and services such as gravel cleaning. Currently, as will be discussed later, most salmon management results in spawner numbers that are about 1-5% of the spawning levels seen in the pre1850s. When coupled with the same management practices on other resources, the result is that the whole ecosystem cycles significantly less energy and nutrients; the result being that animal populations are nearly always reduced. Given that public policy goals focus on naturally produced (wild) salmon, then the role of supplemental stocking from hatcheries must be clarified. Hatchery produced salmon are the technological alternative to naturally produced fish. They are a partial substitute for wild fish. They provide harvestable fish that supply consumerâ€™s desire for fish.
In fact, they provide significantly more harvest because they are incubated and reared in protected environments that result in an individual spawner producing more adults. Hatchery produced fish require a significantly smaller investment in land, water, and habitat protection. A terrestrial example would be Bison. They existed in immense numbers, now significantly reduced. The land is being used for other purposes and the protein is supplied by densely-reared cattle.
Supplemental stocking of salmon from hatcheries currently supports most fishing, but hatchery produced salmon do not fully replace the biological role of wild salmon. (Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) The primary challenge to evaluating the past abundance and distribution of salmon in the region is the fact that the first humans in the area were poor record keepers by contemporary standards. There are no written records and oral records provide only a very general assessment of the status of salmon runs. Regardless, salmon were abundant enough to support indigenous peoples, support nutrient replenishment to watersheds, and support terrestrial and marine predators. Journal and newspaper accounts provided by the next wave of people were much more quantifiable than oral tradition. Then, catch records were kept, from the mid-late 1800s onward. By the mid 1900s there was some effort to collect spawning escapement data. Also in the mid 1900s, and expanding over the years, was the development of fisheries remote from the stream or origin, concentrating on mixed stocks of immature fish. This makes accounting for catch by stock significantly more difficult. The greater the mixed stock harvest, particularly of immature fish, fish with multiple age classes, and different species in the fishery, the less confidence one can have in data on the total size and productivity of the run. This makes the evaluation of and determination of spawner escapement goals more difficult.
The best record we have of historic salmon abundance is contained in lake sediments, tree rings, and other sites that sequester marine derived nutrients. Among these data sets the longest is associated with Karluk Lake, in Alaska. The data show that the present run and particularly spawning escapement, managed on a sustainable basis, is significantly smaller than it was prior to the commencement of industrial fisheries. The take-home message here is that this lake system supported significantly more salmon than it does now, that it also has supported significantly fewer fish than it does now, and that given the opportunity salmon populations can rapidly expand. The reconstruction of salmon runs back to 250BC in Karluk Lake shows that salmon runs was pretty variable on the multiple century time-frames. This long-term data set offers many intriguing areas of study. How did the medieval warming (900 â€“ 1200) affect salmon? We appear to be going into a similar warming period. It would be interesting to compare salmon runs from 900-1200 with the Little Ice Age (1400-1850) to obtain a comparison. That would give us some idea of what the effects on salmon of the current warming might be. Currently, the retreat of glaciers in Glacier Bay, AK, is allowing us to see how newly created streams are colonized by salmon. The present status of salmonid stocks is very mixed on both sides of the North Pacific. In a broadbrush view, wild salmonids are increasingly abundant as one moves north. Generally speaking, as the density of humans in watershed increases the density of wild salmonids decreases. There are exceptions but the general rule, particularly for wild anadromous fish, is that they are most abundant in Alaska, northern BC, and the Russian Far East and then decline to the southern end of the range where most populations are at risk of extinction or have been extirpated. Japan would appear to be an anomaly in that the nation has a dense human population and large runs of salmon. The runs, though, are primarily supported through hatcheries. The current depressed size of wild salmon runs along the West Coast is not a new phenomenon, associated only with that area. Nor is it unique. The decline in wild salmon numbers started with the California gold rush in 1848; the causes included water pollution, habitat loss, over-fishing, dams, irrigation projects, predation on salmon by many species, competition with hatchery-produced salmon and non-native fish species, and many others. Scientists, managers, and policy makers have known this for a long time.
Dams and irrigation structures have greatly altered the freshwater environment for salmon. (Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)
It is also true that the long-term decline is not uniformly downward. There are periods of apparent reversal. For example, the most common measure of salmonid abundance is catch. In the last few years Alaska has had a harvest of 47 million pink salmon, in 2010 the Fraser River sockeye run was the largest since 1913, and the Green and Puyallup river systems in Puget Sound have had pink salmon runs in excess of a million fish, which is significantly higher than any previously recorded run. At the same time, and in the same watersheds, Chinook and steelhead runs number in the multiple hundreds to few thousand and are showing little or no consistent increase. The future of wild salmon in the Pacific Northwest was comprehensively assessed in The Salmon 2100 Project. The Project was publically presented in 2005 at the national meeting of the American Fisheries Society and summarized in a 2006 book. As the Projectâ€™s participants forecast, the situation since then has continued to deteriorate. A series of drivers were identified in Salmon 2100, the primary two being the number of people and their demands on ecosystem services. As David Montgomery pointed out in King of Fish, man has consistently destroyed wild anadromous salmon populations across Europe, eastern North America, and now western North America, China, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan. Since the Salmon 2100 Project completion the situation as regards wild Pacific salmonâ€™s future has gotten even clearer. The unfortunate reality is that as the density of human population increases in a watershed, the density of wild anadromous salmonids declines. The solution is simple, elegant, and politically unacceptable, at least in the past. Keep the human footprint in watersheds to levels commensurate with fully functional salmonid driven ecosystems. Even preserving the watersheds will not be enough to ensure the long term survival and productivity of these salmonid-driven ecosystems. It will be necessary to preserve and restore the marine ecosystems to levels of production that will support the salmonids. Current management paradigms for most aquatic species seek to keep spawner numbers in the neighborhood of 20-30% of what the spawner number would be in the absence of the intense industrial harvest. When this is applied across the board for fish resources from low on the food chain fish such as herring, anchovy, menhaden, and sardine up through the various predator levels one finds that the system is having a significant fraction of its production removed. Less herring means that salmon have fewer to eat. This becomes a cascade where the productivity of the whole ecosystem is reduced. In conclusion, wild salmon in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and southern British Columbia are in serious trouble. Runs of wild fish are generally less than 5 percent of their pre-1850 levels and more than two dozen are listed as threatened or endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Worse, from California to British Columbia, many runs have completely disappeared, and more will follow unless there is a reversal of the long-term downward trajectory. The future of wild Pacific salmon, especially in the Lower 48, is expected to be similar to what exists in France, Spain, England, Germany, China, Taiwan, Korea, and the eastern coast of North America. That is, remnant runs until such time as the water temperatures and flows are incompatible with salmonid life. The future is for significantly reduced populations of wild salmon and the resources that depend on them such as killer whales, grizzly, and Bald Eagles. If the 160 year trend in the North Pacific, and millennia in the North Atlantic, is to be changed, then something must be done about the unrelenting growth in the human population level along the West Coast.
Currently, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and British Columbia are home to 15 million humans. By 2100, the area’s human population will be somewhere between 50 million and 100 million, Similarly, extrapolating population growth rates for California, by 2100 that state alone will be home to over 160 million people. By 2100, from California to British Columbia, there could easily be 200 million to 250 million people. Scientific experts need to tell the public the blunt truth: The options for restoring naturally reproducing wild salmon runs and their ecosystems in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and southern British Columbia to significant, sustainable levels are, and will continue to be, greatly constrained and it is delusional to think otherwise. With so many more people inhabiting the West Coast, consider the demand for houses, schools, stadiums, freeways, planes, trains, automobiles, coffee shops, restaurants, malls, air conditioning, drinking water, pipelines, computer chips, smart phones, ski resorts, golf courses, sewage treatment plants, and well-manicured, green lawns, the options for sustaining large runs of wild salmon are minimal. Lacking significant political will to limit human population and harvest, the future is for remnant runs of wild salmon if we end up with the same number of people, much less if there are 3, 4, or 5 times more people in the PNW by 2100. For those of us who are salmon biologists, it is easy to find comfort in debating the nuances of hatchery genetics, describing the intricacies of the U.S. Endangered Species Act, arguing about the likely consequences of dam breaching, determining the stream flows that maximize spawning success, tweaking fishing regulations to protect the few remaining wild salmon, quantifying the effects of shooting marine mammals, and forecasting the impact of climate change — and all the while unintentionally mislead the public about the realities of the future for wild salmon. As discomforting as it may be to describe the future of wild salmon given society’s apparent values and preferences, we are obligated to convey the blunt reality about society’s choices. Otherwise, we simply squander our professional credibility to become acolytes of delusion. Whether to change salmon policy is up to society, not us, but society is entitled to know the full truth.
Good salmon habitat is pretty obvious, but sustaining such habitat with a rapidly increasing human population is extremely difficult. (Photo: Bob Lackey)
ď ś A bit of History: Farmed Salmon Decimating Wild Salmon Worldwide February 12, 2008 The growing global appetite for cheap farmed salmon is imperiling wild fish populations across the planet, scientists warn. The first worldwide assessment of the impact of cultivated salmon on wild stocks found that where native populations encounter salmon farms, the numbers of wild fish crash, on average, by more than 50 percent.
The farmed fish spread diseases and parasites to wild salmon. Some cultivated escapees also interbreed with the native fish, reducing the ability of their offspring to survive, researchers say. "The overall trend, over and over again around the world, is that salmon farming seems to have a negative impact on wild salmon," said lead researcher Jennifer Ford of Dalhousie University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. "The mortality from farming that we find is really large in many casesâ€”more than 50 percent reductions every year," she added. "That is not sustainable for any populations." A region with an annual farmed salmon harvest of 15,000 tons would suffer an average 73 percent loss in wild populations, the study found. Many salmon farming regions now produce in excess of 20,000 tons a year, the study added. Dramatic Declines The new research used official government data from Canada, Scotland, and Ireland to compare the survival of wild salmon and sea trout in regions with salmon farms to adjacent, farm-free areas. Researchers found a dramatic fall in salmon catches and abundance since the 1980s in areas of the North Atlantic and northeast Pacific where production of farmed salmon has increased over the same period. Sea trout, which like salmon breed in rivers and feed at sea, were particularly hard hit. Sea trout might be expected to experience higher mortalities than salmon, because they spend longer periods in coastal waters where fish farms are sited, the study said.
Fish oils not the answer for heart health: Study September 11, 2012 Jim Wilcox: “… the problem seems to be that Omega-3 fatty acids, found in oily fish such as sardines and salmon Omega 3 fatty acid supplements and once touted as a way of staving off heart disease and stroke, alone are not enough to make up don’t help after all, according to a Greek study. for lifestyles many of us have Based on a review and analysis of previous clinical trials including chosen - lack of exercise, poor more than 68,000 participants, Greek researchers whose report diet, stress, lack of sleep, appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association said smoking - the primary message I the fatty acids have no impact on overall death rates, deaths from take from this study is that fish heart disease, or strokes and heart attacks. oil supplements alone are not the This was true whether they were obtained from supplements such silver bullet they were marketed as pills, or from fish in the diet, said the researchers, led by Mosef as for heart health. The other Elisef at the University Hospital of Ioannina. message is that when more “Overall, omega-3...supplementation was not associated with a people understand this, they will lower risk of all-cause mortality, cardiac death, sudden death, stop buying farm raised salmon myocardial infarction, or stroke based on relative and absolute for health benefits.” measures of association,” Elisef and his team wrote. A decade ago, medical evidence suggested that boosting omega3s, including the acids known as EPA and DHA, with food or Claudette Bethune: supplements had a strong protective effect even though the “Just like previous studies mechanism wasn’t understood. examining a large population, this Scientists cited improvements in levels of triglycerides - a type of fat landmark study indicated NO in the blood - as well as blood pressure levels and heart rhythm heart health benefit from eating disturbances. Omega-3s, so the risks of eating But since then, the picture has grown clouded. Earlier this year, a toxic farmed salmon (cancer, group of Korean researchers found that omega-3 supplements had diabetes) do outweigh any no effect on heart disease or death based on 20,000 participants in benefit!” previous trials. The current study pooled results of 18 clinical trials that assigned participants randomly to take either omega-3 supplements, or not. It also includes two trials in which people got dietary counseling to increase their consumption of omega-3 rich foods. Because the trials in the Greek analysis went as far back as 1989, researchers also considered whether growing use of statins and other medications could explain why later studies failed to support the earlier findings. But Elisef and his team said that wasn’t the case. Because people who eat a lot of fish have been found to have less heart disease, researchers figured that perhaps putting the supposed “active ingredients” in a pill could provide similar benefits, said Alice Lichtenstein, director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at Tufts University in Boston. “What we have learned over the years is you can’t think about individual nutrients in isolation,” she added. People who eat fish often may be replacing things like steak, hamburgers or quiche, making for a healthier diet. Instead of supplements, Lichtenstein recommended eating fish at least twice a week, having a diet rich in whole grains and vegetables, getting lots of physical activity, and not smoking.
ď ś Enjoy wild Pacific salmon dinners at these restaurants:
No Flu, N Noo FFaarrm meedd S Saallm moonn oonn m myy B Baarrbbeeqquuee!! (Jay Peachy)
on Fire” Recognition: Mark Sheppard Department of Fisheries and
Wild game fish conservationists around planet earth believe that some things we hear and read from corporate representatives, natural resources agency professionals and elected officials might not reflect reality. In fact, some associate these “leaders” with those who wear burning pants. The October 2012 recipient of the coveted Wild Game Fish Conservation International “Burning Pants” honor is: Mark Sheppard Department of Fisheries and Oceans. While a British Columbia Provincial Veterinarian, Mr. Sheppard wrote a confidential briefing note in 2007 to the Provincial Minister saying, “there is no importation of live Atlantic salmon or eggs to BC"... in fact there had been tens of millions of live Atlantic eggs imported into BC by that time.
Corn Is Us: 6 Steps to Drought-Proofing Your Diet August 20, 2012 As drought becomes the “new normal,” our diets will have to adapt to become healthier for humans and the planet. ” As with beef, the health benefits of eating fish hinge on what that fish eats. Salmon fed corn oil, a study reveals, is much less good for you than the wild salmon that eats a diet that suits it better: other fish.” If one could live on peaches alone, this would be the summer to do it. Scorching temperatures and persistent drought have been devastating to most farms, sending corn and soybean prices soaring as fields dried out and crops withered. But if anything good has come of this heat, it is that it hastens maturity and boost the levels of fruit's natural sugars, rendering peaches, watermelon, cantaloupes and the like sweeter than ever. "Corn is Us" But as it happens, we don't live on peaches, we live on corn, and as a consequence, are seriously vulnerable to extreme weather-driven crashes in the corn market. Corn is us, as Curt Ellis and Ian Cheney, the "King Corn" documentarians discovered back in 2007. They had their hair analyzed for the film and learned that the high carbon content found in it (over 50 percent) was coming from corn. It really shouldn't surprise us that today two 20-something men could be half corn. As Derek Thompson, Senior editor at The Atlantic graphically reveals, the average American consumes about 42 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup annually. That's almost 11 teaspoons of corn sugar per day, or almost twice what the American Heart Association recommends a woman consume, and about 25 percent more than what a man should take in. “Nearly 10 percent of the calories Americans consume now come from corn sweeteners; the figure is 20 percent for many children,” best-selling author and UC Berkeley professor, Michael Pollan, explains in a New York Times opinion piece. “Add to that all the corn-based animal protein (corn-fed beef, chicken and pork) and the corn qua corn (chips, muffins, sweet corn)” and you have an industry that has turned “us (along with several other equally unwitting species) into an expanding race of corn eaters.” Rates of Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes Tied To Corn-based Diet An expanding race of corn eaters, indeed. Just look at the trend lines. As the cheaper corn sweeteners grew in market share, so have rates of obesity and Type 2 diabetes. The problem with HFCS, researchers are finding, is that it is taken up almost exclusively by the liver where it can be re-packaged as fat and produces harmful by-products in the process. In contrast, the fructose in raw fruit, including this summer's delicious peaches, is encased in a fiberrich flesh that slows and reduces its absorption in the body and its metabolism in the liver, serving as a sort of antidote to the negative effects of HFCS metabolism.
READ ENTIRE CSRWIRE ARTICLE HERE
ď ś Coal Export Plan Goes Right Through Heart of Pacific Northwest September 4, 2012
Let the coal transport wars begin. While most of the national attention over energy shipments across the continental United States in the past year or so has focused on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline from the tar sands of Canada to oil refineries in Houston, Texas, another big energy transport fight looms just off stage. As electric utility companies make the switch from coal to cheaper natural gas--an energy source that generally contributes about half as much long-term atmospheric carbon pollution to climate change as coal--a move that has begun to reduce carbon emissions broadly in the U.S., the major American coal companies have begun to look outside the U.S. for export sales. Yet as these coal companies gear up to mine new sources of coal and ship it abroad for export sales to coal-hungry countries like China and India, a new fight has emerged in one of the most unlikely places, the eco-friendly Pacific Northwest. [Burst of Energy Could Bring Cold Fusion to Front Burner] Perhaps the biggest remaining source of cheap coal lies in the Powder River Basin in Wyoming and Montana. While it isn't widely known, the Obama administration has been quite generous with ultracheap coal leases in the public parts of the Powder River Basin. In short, big coal companies don't pay much for the right to mine coal at Powder River, thanks to the current White House. But in order for that Powder River coal to make it overseas to China and India, it must first make its way out of Wyoming and Montana to ports in Oregon and Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Coal companies have proposed two routes to six export terminals in those two states--and that's where the battle has joined. One route winds south out of Powder River, through Wyoming and Idaho and to coastal and inland ports like Coos Bay and the Port of St. Helens in Oregon and Longview in Washington. A second northern route leaves Powder River and terminates at Grays Harbor and Cherry Point in Washington. In short, Oregon and Washington are poised to become gateways for Powder River coal.
Groups like the National Wildlife Federation, a group that represents the "hook and bullet" crowd of hunters and fishermen as well as conservation and wildlife enthusiasts in places like the Pacific Northwest, have begun to pay closer attention. "In addition to building or enlarging ports in sensitive aquatic habitat, the export plan includes a massive build-up of rail traffic, ferrying tens of millions of tons of coal annually from Wyoming and Montana, through Idaho to ports along the Columbia River and in Puget Sound," the group wrote in a new national report on the looming fight. "Mile-and-a-half long freight trains, known in the railroad world as 'black snakes,' would leave a trail of coal dust, toxic pollution, health problems and disrupted communities from Wyoming's Powder River Basin to the Pacific Ocean," said the report, which was released jointly with the Association of Northwest Steelheaders. The new National Wildflife Federation report doesn't pull any punches, elaborating on everything from diesel emissions and coal dust from long lines of rail cars that drop toxic elements like mercury into waterways to port construction and barge traffic that harm fisheries habitat. "Sending more coal to Asia carries almost no benefits for the U.S., but we pay the price," says Felice Stadler, the conservation group's energy campaign director. "Degraded fisheries, damaged communities, medical costs, harms to wildlife, and a continued burning of high-carbon fuel will cost us dearly for decades." [Unlimited Data Sharing, Storage a Flash of Light Away] So far, U.S. coal companies have tried to keep a lid on issues with the Powder River Basin plans while launching a $120 million ad campaign this year to extol the virtues and economics of cheap coal. "The clock is ticking, America," the coal campaign concludes in one of its many national television ads. The coal industry has also sided with GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, presumably more of an ally in the battle should he reach the Oval Office. One of the Republican's recent photo ops occurred in front of a backdrop of coal miners in Ohio. But while the national presidential campaign and control of Congress may top the coal companies' national political agenda, the fight over transport routes through the Pacific Northwest affects their bottom line and may, in the end, be a much more difficult route to navigate. "In an irony lost on no one," the National Wildlife Federation report said, "the cheapest and fastest route from the western coal fields of the Powder River Basin goes straight through the Pacific Northwest--a region that is probably the most environmentally conscious in the country." And if the coal companies can't send cheap export coal from Powder River by rail or barge through the Pacific Northwest, then what? That, as they say, is the proverbial (multi)million-dollar question, and the reason why a new front in the coal wars has just emerged.
Canada Feds walk away from environmental assessments on almost 500 projects in B.C. August 22, 2012
Gravel extraction at Little Big Bar, on the lower Fraser River just downstream of the AgassizRosedale Bridge. A private company owned by Cheam band chief Lincoln Douglas is handling the province-approved extraction amidst environmental concerns for sturgeon habitat. Stephen Harper’s Conservative government has washed its hands of environmental assessments of nearly 500 projects in B.C. as a result of a revised Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. The 492 wide-ranging projects include gravel extraction on the lower Fraser River, run-of-river hydro projects and wind farms, bridge construction as well as demolition of the old Port Mann Bridge, shellfish aquaculture operations, hazardous-waste facilities and liquid-waste disposal. Ottawa is also walking away from conducting assessments on various agricultural and municipal drainage works, log-handling facilities, small-craft harbour and marina development and expansion, the sinking of ex-warships as artificial reefs, the disposal of dredged material, and a 73-hectare mixed-use development on Tsawwassen First Nation lands. Under the new legislation, BC Hydro also no longer requires a federal assessment for replacement of its John Hart Generating Station near Campbell River on Vancouver Island because the project won’t increase the generating capacity by more than 50 per cent or 200 megawatts. No provincial assessment applies, either. The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency provided details on changes to its environmental assessments at The Vancouver Sun’s request. Agency spokeswoman Isabelle Perrault said “numerous small, routine projects that posed little or no risk to the environment” — something that critics vehemently challenge — had previously been subject to federal environmental assessments.
READ ENTIRE VANCOUVER SUN ARTICLE HERE
Harper Government Shutting Down Science in Canada The following map shows locations of research projects, facilities, and institutes affected by government funding cuts to basic scientific research in Canada. The Major Resource Support (MRS) Program at NSERC has been cancelled. The Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) program suspended. This blow represents approximately 20% of NSERC’s core Discovery funding envelope--a huge blow to basic research. Funding commitments will be honored but no new projects will be taken on. The loss of future opportunities is immeasurable--some of the MRS's most important past investments are included here, giving a sense of what research will no longer be funded in Canada. Locations are approximate. Large trans-Canada networks of scientists are represented by only one marker, usually the main researcher’s location.
READ ENTIRE ARTICLE AND ACCESS INTERACTVE GOOGLE MAP HERE
Locations in Canada infected with Infectious Salmon Anemia
Canadian Food Inspection Agency www.inspection.gc.ca
Locations infected with infectious salmon anaemia in 2012 Infectious salmon anaemia is a federally reportable disease. This means that anyone who owns or works with aquatic animals has the legal obligation to notify the CFIA when they suspect or detect an aquatic animal disease that is of concern to Canada.
Current as of : 2012-07-31
Animal type infected
* non-pathogenic causing strain Date Modified: 2012-08-10
Don Staniford: “ISA cases in 2012 in Canada - including Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland (no "official" reports of ISA in BC)”
First Canadian retailer stops selling farmed salmon! June 28, 2012 Three years after Greenpeace’s first ranking of Canada’s eight largest supermarket chains on seafood sustainability, Overwaitea Food Group has become the first chain to attain a “green” rating, in part due to its complete removal of open net-pen farmed salmon from its stores.
Sarah King, Greenpeace Ocean Campaign Coordinator: “It’s time the federal government and the salmon farming industry start getting the message that this product doesn’t fit in with the Canadian retail market’s growing sustainable seafood movement.”
2012 Supermarket Ranking Overwaitea Food Group (OFG) is the first of Canada’s eight largest food retailers, and the third in North America, to stop selling the highly controversial product. The move by the company comes at a time when reports of viral outbreaks on salmon farms on the east and west coast of North America are prevalent and public outcry directed at the industry is mounting. “We commend this latest step by OFG to source seafood products that are more compatible with healthy oceans,” said Sarah King, Greenpeace Ocean Campaign Coordinator. “It’s time the federal government and the salmon farming industry start getting the message that this product doesn’t fit in with the Canadian retail market’s growing sustainable seafood movement.” In 2010, OFG introduced a more sustainable alternative to open net-pen farmed salmon, known as closed containment, and began to phase out product from conventional farms. Loblaw and Safeway support and are seeking closed-system alternatives; however, these more sustainable options are not currently found in those stores. Click here to see 2012 Supermarket Ranking The removal or replacement of Redlist seafood – harmfully fished or farmed products from sale remains a key indicator of progress towards greener seafood procurement tracked by Greenpeace. This year’s ranking found that most chains continue to identify species of concern and seek better options; however, the high volume sales of farmed salmon remains a key road block. “Some supermarkets are clearer about their plans to address these big sellers with big problems, and that is reflected in the scores,” said King. “Canadian retailers continue to take positive steps forward with seven out of eight receiving a passing grade this year, but expectations remain high as they approach their policy implementation goals.” Loblaw came in second place this year approaching a green rating with a score of 68 per cent. Safeway followed holding its third position at 63 per cent. Metro (4th), Walmart (5th), Sobeys (tied for 6th) and Federated Co-operative Ltd. (tied for 6th) all scored in the 50 per cent range, with Costco (7th) falling short of a passing grade with 43 per cent.
As companies seek better alternatives to problematic products, Greenpeace is urging them not to confuse their customers by marketing products as a “green” choice that are not actually sustainable. A number of existing and pending farmed salmon stamps of approval fail Greenpeace’s assessment because key issues are not addressed. Greenpeace does not endorse certifications and eco-labels for salmon including Seafood Trust, WiseSource Salmon, the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), Global G.A.P., Friend of the Sea (FOS), GAA Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification standards, the Canadian Organic Aquaculture Standard for salmon, other “organic” certifications, and other eco-stamps. Open net-pen farmed salmon is red-graded by Greenpeace because of the documented negative impacts on coastal ecosystems around the world. Disease and parasite transmission, toxic contamination, escaped farmed fish, and the use of wild fish in feed are among the key threats to marine life posed by the industry. Greenpeace urges supermarkets to move away from selling this product and to invest in more sustainable aquaculture operations that do not threaten the health of marine ecosystems. Click here to see 2012 Supermarket Ranking
Open net-pen farmed salmon near Puerto Chacauco, Chile. Greenpeace is putting pressure on major Canadian supermarkets to stop selling products using open net-pen farmed salmon because of its negative impacts on the environment. 02/03/2004 © Greenpeace / Daniel Beltrá
Meet with People not just Oil Execs Petitioning Premier Alison Redford
After 3-major oil spills hit Alberta in just over a month a network of landowner, health, labour and environmental groups called for an independent review of pipeline safety in the province. The network, which now represents over 60-groups, was worried about the impact oil spills have on communities, on public health, and on a fragile environment. Given the 3 major spills and the over 600 pipeline incidents that hit Alberta’s aging pipeline network every year the groups thought an independent review was a good way to get answers to Alberta’s pipeline problems. After tremendous public pressure the Alberta government finally announced a review but they are shutting the public groups out of the process. Even though the Alberta government has found the time to meet with oil and gas companies about the review they have yet to meet with any of the 60-groups that called for it. Don’t you think the Alberta government should meet with public groups not just oil company executives? Sign petition here
Jaw-dropping Shell Filings Undercut Tar Sands Industry Rhetoric September 12, 2012 There is no shortage of messaging from Big Oil trumpeting efforts to green “the Patch,” which is the euphemistic term applied to Alberta’s tar sands mine and melt sites. They underplay the carbon impacts of what has been termed “the dirtiest oil on the planet” and trot out fancy technologies and plans that have yet to be put into action at industrial scale. And while there is a rosy picture painted for us stateside, the business pages in Canada tend to lay bare the galling details of tar sands infrastructure pretty openly. There’s a great example of this today from the Globe & Mail’s excellent reporter Nathan VanderKlippe.
Even as tar sands boosters in the US downplay the impacts of tar sands, the truth is getting harder and harder to ignore. Lakes rendered incapable of supporting life and extirpated critters undercut the industry’s rhetoric.
“Alberta has just put new pollution caps in place and despite all the nice talk of cleaning up the tar sands, industry is bucking up against them. Here’s the assessment that comes out of Shell’s filings for their proposed new Jackpine mine in which they basically say, “our mine isn’t so bad, but if things continue in tar sands land at the current rate, it may get ugly!” A few choice tidbits from the G&M: “Now, however, the Shell report projects that if the industry continues on its current course, it will run past annual limits on sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide in the area studied. Those substances contribute to acid rain, and the projection suggests Alberta will be forced to confront whether it is willing to act in the name of the environment, or move the yardsticks to preserve its bedrock industry.” The Shell document suggests the impact of the emissions will be tangible, identifying 23 lakes that will exceed their “critical load” for acidity. High acidity can deaden a lake over time. With proper monitoring, impacts can be seen inside of a decade, and “as acidification progresses, eventually all fishes and mollusks are eliminated and biodiversity can be reduced considerably,” said David Schindler, a University of Alberta professor who is a leading expert on water in the province. Though the impact of the Jackpine expansion itself is relatively small against the broad landscape, Shell says between its mine and other projects, some 90 per cent of wetlands and forests in the region will be lost or altered. Animals will also be affected. The Shell document catalogues an expected habitat decline of 34 per cent for barred owls, 13 per cent for beavers, 11 per cent for black bears, 19 per cent for Canada lynx, 49 per cent for Canada warblers, 18 per cent for wolverines and, most strikingly, the potential clearing of woodland caribou, a threatened species, from the area. “Woodland caribou populations appear to be declining to extirpation,” the document says.
If those impacts aren’t enough for Albertans to think twice about the current direction, the rule of law might be. I think Simon Dyer at Pembina sums it up nicely in the article when he notes: Regulators “will need to start turning down projects to stay under the limits, or they’re seriously going to have to ratchet back on the performance of all the existing operators to try to get those pollutants down to levels to enable the industry to grow.” Even as tar sands boosters in the US downplay the impacts of tar sands, the truth is getting harder and harder to ignore. Lakes rendered incapable of supporting life and extirpated critters undercut the industry’s rhetoric.
ď ś Monster
chinook caught and released on B.C. coast is one for the record
books August 23, 2012
Tourist Deborah Whitman-Perry of Newmarket, Ont., hooked a chinook salmon weighing 83 pounds three ounces last Sunday on the B.C. coast. Guide Tyler Mills helped reel it in after an hour's battle at Rivers Inlet.
One of the biggest sport-caught chinook salmon on record has been landed on B.C.’s central coast — then tossed back into the ocean. Tourist Deborah Whitman-Perry of Newmarket, Ont., caught the giant weighing 83 pounds, three ounces (38 kg) — the equivalent of an 11-year-old boy — with assistance from guide Tyler Mills during a trip with Good Hope Cannery last Sunday at Rivers Inlet. The fish battled for about an hour on a 30-pound (14-kg) test fishing line. Good Hope vice-president George Cuthbert said Thursday the seven-year-old chinook was likely a male destined for spawning on the Wannock River, which is renowned for big chinook and is a special management zone at the head of Rivers Inlet. Good Hope supports catch-and-release fishing but does not make it mandatory for guests; the chinook was returned to the water after the two had their photo taken with it. “It’s quite the story,” he said. “I’d say it has a 100-per-cent chance of survival and making it up for spawning.” Cuthbert estimated close to 50 per cent of guests fishing for the big chinooks off the Wannock River choose to release them. About 7,000 to 8,000 chinook return each year, he said. “We support anglers who choose to catch and release,” he said. “We don’t want to make people do it. We want people to come to that conclusion on their own.” The Sport Fishing Advisory Board has lobbied the federal fisheries department to restrict the annual catch of such chinook to two per person in a year, Cuthbert said, noting one can retain up to 30 chinook per year in the area under a public fishing licence. “These fish are special, so let’s limit them only to a few,” he said. The fisheries department does impose restrictions on gear types and fishing areas near the Wannock River, he noted. Good Hope is located in a refurbished historic fish cannery and charges $3,800 to $5,000 for a fourto-five-day fishing adventure. According to records kept by the Florida-based International Game Fish Association, the Rivers Inlet chinook is the largest caught by rod and reel in a quarter century and the third largest ever. A chinook weighing 97 pounds, four ounces, (44 kg) was caught in Alaska’s Kenai River on May 17, 1985, and a chinook 85 pounds, eight ounces, (39 kg) on Aug. 4, 1987, off Odlum Point Lighthouse near Hakai Passage in B.C. It is always possible that someone caught a similar-sized chinook but never had it officially recorded. Jack Vitek, the association’s world record coordinator, said people keep saying that all the big fish are gone, but cases like this one prove them wrong. “You hear a lot of that,” he said. “But every year there are fish caught that beat long-standing records.”
ď ś Good Hope Cannery Fishing Lodge, Rivers Inlet, British Columbia, Canada
Wild Game Fish Conservation International appreciates and happily promotes recreational fishing businesses like Good Hope Fishing Lodge that provide quality fishing adventures while conserving the natural resources for future generations to enjoy and appreciate.
Good Hope offers the finest sport fishing experience on the coast of British Columbia. Rivers Inlet has long been known as the destination for exceptionally large Chinook/King salmon and each year topping 70 pounds! There are only a few select places in North America holding salmon of this calibre and for so many reasons, we're the best choice for success. Add upon this the abundance of Coho/Silver salmon to top off the day's fishing and you've experienced a truly rare opportunity. Each season, only a limited amount of anglers are able to experience such a marvel and we're there to help along the way. Stay at the finest facility in Rivers Inlet, Fish from the safest and best appointed sport fishing fleet possible and Experience very best guest service and attention to detail only Good Hope Cannery can provide.
Fishing Operations: Good Hope is fortunate to have the most experience guides within Rivers Inlet and the Central Coast of British Columbia. Our guides are safety certified by Transport Canada and have intimate knowledge of the area and fish behavior. Your guides experience and attention to detail will ensure you have the very best chance of success - all while catering to your particular skill level. Self-Guided guests are free to travel the inlet and waterways virtually Dawn till Dusk on their own and knowing they have the best equipment and support possible. Our dedicated Sport Fishing team is eager to assist where necessary and will ensure you have a safe and productive experience. And, some of our largest fish are taken by those who are self guided.... we hope you share your secrets! Your Boats: The Good Hope fleet is the best in British Columbia. Fish self guided from 20ft and fully guided from 25ft 'fishing machines'. The entire fleet consists of full walk around vessels and are fast to the fish. More importantly, these are proven to be some of our industries safest vessels. Safety is top priority and all boats are equipped with the most sophisticated GPS and electronic equipment to ensure you are fishing the hottest spots within Rivers Inlet. There is no other British Columbia fishing lodge which compares to Good Hope. Our service standards, amenities and spectacular setting are unique and unmatched. If you're searching for the absolute best British Columbia fishing trip, in the most spectacular setting, with the highest degree of service - your search has ended.
Wild Pacific salmon sustain Orca whales and hundreds of other species
Christina Cook: August 31 “This shot was cool, did not notice the sockeye the orcas flipped above between shots. Cool that I got to capture it.”
Tensions simmer among B.C. halibut fishermen September 8, 2012
A 17-pound halibutis seen at the Steveston Fisherman's Wharf in Richmond, B.C., in August. Tensions are simmering between commercial and recreational fishermen over Pacific halibut. The recreational halibut fishing season closes Sunday and the sector — which represents anglers, resorts and lodges — wants more time and a greater share of the fishery, arguing it’s too valuable to small coastal communities. But the commercial sector, with 435 licence holders that will likely be able to fish into November, wants a stable allocation, arguing it practises an environmentally responsible fishery that's strictly monitored, provides food, and generates significant economic impact. One of those commercial fishermen has launched a federal court action, asking a judge to overturn a government decision that gave more fish to the recreational sector this year. "I think it's a difficult relationship," said Vicky Husband, a member of the Watershed Watch Salmon Society who has observed the fishery and the relationship between the two sectors. "I wish it were more respectful because I think there are real solutions." 50% decline Pacific halibut are the largest flatfish in the world and live along the north Pacific's continental shelf. They weigh as much as 300 kilograms and reach 2.7 metres in length, according to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
During the past decade, according to the departmentâ€™s website, "commercially harvestable" halibut populations have declined by about 50 per cent. But there are a high number of young halibut currently in the water, meaning the total biomass is believed to be "near an all-time high." Harvest levels are determined every February by the Canada-U.S. International Pacific Halibut Commission, said Dan Bate, a fisheries' department spokesman. After First Nations' food and ceremonial needs are determined, the department splits the fishery between the commercial and recreational sectors, he said. In February, Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield awarded 85 per cent of the catch to the commercial sector and 15 per cent to the recreational sector. It was a hike of three per cent for the recreational sector. Bate said the recreational season, which opened March 1, closes Sunday "as catch estimates indicate the recreational fishery allocation will be achieved by early September." Longer season Martin Paish, a general manager at a resort owned by the Oak Bay Marine Group, said he would have liked to see the season run until late October because the highly prized fish draws tourists to rural communities. When the season ends, he added, fewer tourists visit, and that has a big impact on communities like Ucluelet, B.C., located on the west coast of Vancouver Island. In Ucluelet, he said, one resort provides as many as 150 jobs, employing about 10 per cent of the community. Paish said communities like Ucluelet never see a commercial halibut boat, and the commercial sector exports as much as 85 to 95 per cent of its catch. "DFO has decided that providing halibut to 400 or so quota holders in the commercial fishery, most of whom don't fish, is more important than providing it to the recreational fishery and supporting all the jobs in small coastal communities where we operate," he said. 'Livelihoods on the line' Last February, B.C.'s Sport Fishing Institute argued on its website the fishery is no longer treated as the common property resource of Canadians but as a private business because of who owns the fish. Up the coast in Tahsis, B.C., Jon Falavolito, owner and operator of the Westview Marina and Lodge, said he'd like to see as much as 25 per cent of the fishery go to the recreational sector. "It's just not a bunch of people saying, 'I want to catch more fish."' He said small fishing resorts like his help keep local gas stations and coffee shops going. "In the small villages up and down the west of Vancouver Island ... there's people's livelihoods on the line." But Chris Sporer, manager of the Pacific Halibut Management Association, which represents about half of the 435 commercial licences in B.C., doesn't want to see his sector lose more fish and argues for a stable allocation.
READ ENTIRE CBCNEWS REPORT HERE
ď ś Illegal fishing guides in B.C. need to be reeled in, says angling association August 20, 2012 Editorial Comment: Wild Game Fish Conservation International and our associates around planet Earth urge fellow recreational fishermen to make sure we follow fishing regulations in our local waters as well as in our travels. Recreational fishing is a privilege, not a right, that should be permanently revoked when found guilty of violating fish and wildlife regulations. The regulations are in place to help ensure sustainable populations of wild game fish for this and future generations to admire and respect.
A different kind of fishing tale is being told all over British Columbia, and the biggest lies don't involve the size of a rainbow trout. Illegal fishing guides are operating in the province with great frequency and conservation officers and legal guides alike say often the offenders come from the U.S. and Europe. "There's a whole bunch of it," said Jezz Crosby of the Pioneer Fishing Lodge, who is also the chairman of the Skeena Angling Guides Association. "We get Europeans coming over here . . . guiding and saying they're not a guide, but if they look like a guide and smell like a guide â€” they're a guide." Conservation Officer Gareth Scrivner said he gets about 20 reports of suspected or illegal guiding each year in his jurisdiction on the North Coast around Terrace, and those are just the reported cases. Guides who know the rivers where they operate not only need to buy a license, they also undergo an examination and vetting before becoming official.
Certain rivers have rod days — specific days in which a guide can take customers on a stretch of river — that could cost thousands for rights plus royalties to the B.C. government. The guides get their license to operate inland, such as in rivers and lakes, from the province, while ocean or salmon fishing in rivers is regulated by the federal government. Scrivner said the popularity and high cost of fishing in the region supplies a healthy customer base for rogue guides who undercut fees charged by legal guides. "It's a global destination for steelhead fishing, it's pretty much one of the places to come if you're a big fly fisherman or steelhead fisherman," said Scrivner. "But with that comes a lot of people who really would like to fish this resource, but perhaps don't have enough money to do it all legally." He said a lot of clients are people who used a legal guide on their first trip to B.C. and crossed paths with someone doing it illegally. On their return trip, they take the cheaper option. Crosby said he's heard people from outside of Canada round up clients from their own countries and fly over with them. If anyone asks questions, they're told the group is friends or family on a fishing trip. The cheating angers legal guides who pay more than $10,000 per year each for their licenses, mandatory liability insurance and operational costs, Crosby said. "Everybody knows it's happening. You know, what do you do?" said Crosby, who said the amount of unfamiliar guides adds an element of danger to the problem. It's hard to catch the offenders because of the standby fib they are a group of friends or family fishing, he said. Scrivner said the only reliable way to catch illegal guides is through clients who notify authorities. People should make sure their guides are legally registered before going out with them and report them if they are not, he added. In April, a man caught guiding illegally on the Copper River, near Smithers, pleaded guilty for guiding illegally and was fined $1,000 and ordered to make a $9,000 donation to a local conservation fund. Earlier this month near Fernie, a man from Utah was caught and charged for guiding without a license. Authorities accuse him of guiding 12 clients in the area. Joe Caravetta, an East Kootenay conservation officer, also said detecting the unlicensed guides is an issue of concern in his region. "We suspect it's happening but it's difficult to ascertain and get a handle on completely," said Caravetta. "We have other complaints of a similar nature from other guides who suspect illegal activities on the river." Back up on the North Coast, Crosby said he knows conservation officers do their best to curb the rod-wielding rogues digging into his business. But, to his dismay he doesn't think they have the manpower to effectively deal with the problem — and said damage reaches beyond his own pay cheque. "At the end of the day, it's not only the guide industry that is losing out — it's the province," he said.
ď ś Fraser River sturgeon are illegally killed for their eggs (caviar) then left to rot on the riverbank
These unique fish deserve much better than this senseless, inhumane, criminal death.
Opinion: A wolf lurks at edge of IPP ‘green’ projects September 17, 2012 When I was growing up my mother used to warn me to look out for a wolf in sheep’s clothing. What she meant was to be cautious about people and situations that are not what they seem. This idiom aptly applies to the issue of independent power projects (IPPs) in British Columbia. At first blush IPPs, notably river diversion projects, seem like a visionary and green solution to producing low carbon energy. Indeed, this is what the Wilderness Committee, a BC-based environmental organization, first thought when we were introduced to the concept a decade ago, and it is what the IPP industry vigorously advocates, as evidenced in Paul Kariya’s commentary to The Vancouver Sun on September 3rd. Unfortunately, the reality is far different. History shows that IPPs took root in BC when the provincial government introduced an energy policy in 2002 which forbade BC Hydro from producing new sources of hydroelectricity. This led to over 800 creeks, rivers and even lakes being “staked” by private power companies who were eager to capitalize on the rich electricity contracts BC Hydro was forced to issue. The move to stimulate IPPs in BC had nothing to do with tackling climate change, as the BC government at that time actively opposed the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol. Instead, it had to do with electricity privatization and deregulation – twin concepts sweeping North America at the time. Today, because of a horribly misguided energy policy, BC Hydro is now on the hook for over $50 billion – yes, billion – in sweetheart energy purchase agreements to IPPs. It is important to remember that IPP electricity produced here was never meant for BC. It was slated for California, except California doesn’t consider riverdiversion projects to be green and it won’t pay a premium for the power. So here we sit, with a publicly-owned utility saddled with an enormous debt for power we don’t need. BC Hydro, once the envy of North America for providing our province with reliable low-carbon electricity, now hovers on the edge of bankruptcy unless it can pass on its considerable debt to ratepayers. Why is an environmental organization like the Wilderness Committee concerned about BC Hydro? Simply put, a healthy, viable BC Hydro is one of our best tools against climate change – and anything that damages our ability to successfully tackle climate change must be remedied. Unfortunately, our concerns don’t end here. Kariya’s assertion that river diversion projects protect rivers, streams and the fish and salmon in them is so misleading it is almost fictional. Government documents have shown that there is “considerable non-compliance with managing flows for fish on operating projects,” that “projects are increasingly situated in sensitive fish habitats,” that industry best practices are “inadequate and inappropriately applied,” and government oversight of the industry is deficient. Indeed, a story broken by The Vancouver Sun in March of this year revealed that “water-flow fluctuations caused by run-of-river hydro projects are killing fish — and the problem is not isolated.” The public shouldn’t be confused that IPPs represent green energy. Real green energy focuses first and foremost on conservation, involves long-term planning, high environmental standards, strong democratic processes, and is supported by local communities and First Nations. It is also important to remember that BC Hydro already provides us with low-carbon electricity, transparency and the long-term energy security that we need. At the end of the day lifting the green cloak that camouflages IPPs is essential, because it enables people to understand the huge financial and significant environmental risks that accompany these projects. Recognizing a wolf in sheep’s clothing is the first step toward making prudent choices and wise decisions.
Dr. Alexandra Morton – “Farmed Salmon vs. Wild: the role of government, scientists and citizens
ď ś Salmon Farming - What's the Issue Open net-cage salmon farms are a serious threat to the balance of life on the coast, and to wild salmon in particular. Editorial Comment: Wild Game Fish Conservation International supports ongoing efforts to remove open pen salmon feedlots from marine environments. Land based, closed containment salmon feedlots appears to be an exciting alternative that will yield healthier marine ecosystems while producing safe products for human consumption. We continue to be concerned regarding the sustainability of the salmon feedlot industry (open pen and closed containment) given its reliance on wild forage fish utilized for fish meal.
Most salmon farms hold more than one-half million fish penned in open net-cages, mostly Atlantic salmon. There are over 100 open net-cage farms growing farmed salmon in sheltered bays along the British Columbia coast. Waste, chemicals, disease, and parasites from the farms pass through the mesh and pollute the surrounding water and seabed. Especially harmful are the sea lice who attach to wild juvenile salmon on their migration out to sea. Too many sea lice can kill the young wild salmon. Storms, accidents and predators can tear the nets allowing the farmed fish to escape. Predators like seals and sea lions are often shot. Many marine mammals get entangled in the nets and drown.
New farms in Clayoquot Sound
The solution: Grow salmon in closed containment. An impermeable barrier between farmed salmon and the ocean helps to protect the ecosystem and wild salmon from the problems caused by industrial salmon farming.
ď ś Current salmon testing puts credibility at risk Alexandra Morton Echo Bay, The Daily News August 31, 2012 I try to avoid the back and forth of too many letters, but the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) letter calling my words "untrue" requires clarity. The issue is who is testing farm salmon for European diseases. When the CFIA announced their surveillance plan for the salmon flu - Infectious Salmon Anemia virus (ISAv) - they did not include farm salmon. This virus is known to occur in the Atlantic. The positive test results I have received suggest that European ISA virus has reached B.C. and it is well documented that it did spread to Chile in Atlantic farm salmon eggs. Since most of the farm salmon in B.C. are Atlantic salmon, they must be tested. However, the CFIA is not going to do that. When I pointed this out the CFIA called my words "untrue" because the province of B.C. is monitoring farm salmon for this virus. That may well be, but ISA virus is a federally reportable disease and thus it falls under the jurisdiction of the federal CFIA, not the province. The provincial fish farm veterinarian, Dr. Gary Marty, noted the classic lesions associated with ISA virus over 1000 times in his disease records submitted to the Cohen Commission. This is what prompted me to test for the virus. Dr. Marty's records included private reports to the individual salmon farming companies: Marine Harvest, Grieg and Mainstream. It appears Dr. Marty does work for the province, but also for the companies and both sets of records include numerous references to the ISA virus and other EU viruses. It appears these reports were invoiced directly to the companies. Is this a conflict of interest? CFIA, Dr. Kim Klotins testified that if ISA virus is confirmed in B.C. it could shut down trade of B.C. salmon. B.C. Minister of Agriculture, Don McRae said the U.S. and Asian legislators were pushing to close their borders when the ISA reports became public. This is an international situation, with Canada's credibility as a trade partner and the health of wild salmon at stake. To regain public trust, testing for this virus should be completely independent from the industry and vets who may work for the industry.
Dr. Alexandra Morton Eddie Gardner to Dr. Morton : â€œBoth the province and the Harper government are protectors and promoters of the Norwegian Aquaculture industry. Maybe that is why CFIA gives up its responsibility for testing Atlantic salmon grown in open net pens on the BC coast. Dr. Gary Marty has chosen to ignore his own science that shows evidence of diseases in Atlantic salmon and therefore cannot be relied upon. This leaves a huge lack of responsibility at both levels of government and I am very happy that you and Anissa are stepping up to take on this responsibility. It is a sorry state of affairs that the CFIA has abdicated their responsibility and mandate to do what is right. On second thought though, CFIA and DFO are promoters of the Aquaculture industry as well as ocean protection and trade concerns respectively.â€?
Why would the CFIA give up jurisdiction over ISA virus to the provincial veterinarian?
Recalculating the costs and consequences of fish farms in B.C. August 14, 2012 Publicly funded scientists have to be allowed to work to protect wild fish, not the fish farming industry I used to be keenly interested in fish farming. I toured fish farms, processing plants and hatcheries. I once spoke at the national meeting of the Canadian aquaculture industry in Ottawa to say that opposition to fish farms was overblown and misguided. I earned that trip through a series of columns in BIV defending the industry from ridiculous claims such as fears that escaped Atlantic salmon would outmuscle the native Pacific salmon and take over local streams. Today, I’m not so sure about the industry. I’ve followed anti-fish farm crusader Alexandra Morton’s campaigns with interest, believing that “crusading scientist” is an oxymoron (notwithstanding Morton’s honorary degree from SFU) and refusing to believe that all the problems of B.C.’s wild salmon fisheries could be pinned on lice, disease or antibiotics from fish farms. I’ve listened to my friends in the aquaculture industry insist that “90% of what she’s saying is not true.” According to one, who wouldn’t speak for attribution, “They have never found a disease in [farmed] Atlantic salmon that is not already present in [wild] Pacific salmon.” Then I accepted an invitation to hear Morton speak July 16 at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club. About 200 people were there on short notice to help her raise funds for disease testing at the Salmon Coast Field Station (www.salmoncoast.org, www.deptwildsalmon.org) and for her advocacy group, the Pacific Coast Wild Salmon Society. There was money in the room. Introduced by SFU professor of statistics Rick Routledge as one of the most competent scientists he had ever worked with, Morton launched into an impassioned and highly persuasive diatribe against an industry-government cover-up of the spread of harmful European viruses from farmed salmon to B.C.’s beleaguered wild salmon stocks. “Salmon farms amplify disease to levels wild salmon are not equipped to survive,” she concluded. Morton has taken it upon herself to finance tests of wild salmon to confirm her data showing that B.C. farm salmon are testing positive for European farm salmon diseases, among them the lethal infectious salmon anemia (ISA) virus that has devastated fish farms in other countries. Morton says the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has been hiding ISA-positive results from Fraser River sockeye stock and in salmon farms in Clayoquot Sound. DFO scientist Kristi Miller, otherwise forbidden to speak to the media, told the Cohen commission she was prohibited from testing further for ISA, even though she had found it in two Clayoquot Sound salmon farms. “No ISA virus has ever been found on farmed fish in B.C.,” declared Mary Ellen Walling, executive director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA). She says 7,000 fish have been tested by several government labs. “We would be very concerned if we found it on farmed fish.” With good reason. B.C. Agriculture Minister Don McRae said in March that Asian and U.S. markets were threatening to close their borders if the ISA virus was confirmed here. That threatens an industry that is B.C.’s biggest agriculture exporter, provides some 6,000 direct and indirect jobs and contributes $800 million annually to the provincial economy, according to the BCSFA. With all that at stake, it’s not surprising that government would bend and sway to protect the industry. But it’s inexcusable. That’s a view shared by John Fraser, former MP and fisheries minister, as he used the SOB epithet three times in his fiery closing remarks at the dinner, concluding, “if we don’t solve this [fish farm disease] problem, we’re not going to have any fish.” For that to happen, publicly funded scientists have to be allowed to work to protect wild fish, not the fish farming industry.
and video: First Nation bid to close fish farms may reach Canadian Supreme Court August 8, 2012 Elly Edwards: “Norwegian owned fish farms have no business profiting off the demise of wild salmon. Fish farms go against nature and wild salmon completely. Until they are out of the ocean, wild salmon are under threat.”
A B.C. First Nation revealed on Tuesday morning at a press conference that it seeks to re-launch a class-action lawsuit against the B.C. and federal governments to ultimately force the closure of commercial open net-pen fish farms in Broughton Archipelago.
ď ś WGFCI and social media: We at Wild Game Fish Conservation International strive to keep current with local, national and international issues that could impact wild game fish, their ecosystems and the cultures and economies that rely on them. We utilize Facebook to learn about and post conservation issues that are important to our colleagues at home and around planet earth. The following from Dr. Alexandra Morton is a recent example of effective use of social media in our efforts to protect and restore wild game fish. Alexandra Morton â€œHello Facebook tribe: It has been a while since I brought this up, but I still think it is a good idea. Please consider signing the petition to stop sale of diseased salmon in supermarkets. We are finding viruses dangerous to salmon in these fish, which means they could be leaking into watersheds wherever sold. We see some pretty deformed fish in the markets like this emaciated Atlantic salmon. How did this fish get to be SO long and so thin? The markets have the power but they need a reason to care and that means us. http://www.change.org/petitions/costco-safeway-loblaws-please-stop-selling-diseased-farmsalmon.â€?
ď ś Government testing of salmon a flawed process By Alexandra Morton August 21, 2012 Re: 'CFIA committed to disease control process' (Your Letters, Aug. 16) While I appreciate the concept that the CFIA is committed to the health of wild salmon, I cannot understand how they can fulfill this role if they refuse to examine Atlantic salmon. When Dr. Ian Alexander, executive director of the Animal Health Directorate Canadian Food Inspection Agency, says he is working to "determine the status of three diseases in B.C. - infectious haematopoietic necrosis, infectious pancreatic necrosis and infectious salmon anaemia" he fails to say CFIA will not be testing the millions of farm salmon being raised among the wild salmon. The status of these viruses in salmon farms will be left to the industry to report. Influenza viruses in farm animals are well-known, that is why wild birds, deer and Bison are strictly kept out of contact with feedlot chickens, pigs, cattle, etc. Infectious salmon anemia virus is one of these farm animal influenzas and it has spread everywhere large numbers of Atlantic salmon are raised in ocean pens. Viruses are not at all contained in salmon farms, government scientists report 650 billion viral particles can flow out of an infected salmon farm per hour. This virus is internationally reportable and the Inquiry into the decline of the Fraser sockeye reopened last winter when my colleagues and I found it in B.C., despite assurances from government and industry that is not here. Dr. Kim Klotins of the CFIA testified that if ISA virus is confirmed in B.C., some countries might refuse to buy B.C. farm salmon. B.C.'s Minister of Agriculture, Don McRae told the Legislature that following the positive tests for this virus, U.S. and Asian lawmakers were pushing to close their borders to B.C. farm salmon. Also during the inquiry we learned DFO found 100% of the Cultus Lake sockeye (the most endangered Fraser sockeye stock) had tested positive for this virus and they never revealed this information to the inquiry nor the StĂł: l Nation. The international response to salmon influenza is to kill the infected fish. If the CFIA is going to test wild salmon, they must also test farmed salmon otherwise we could find ourselves in a situation where the wild salmon are being culled to protect the farm salmon. In fact there is a DFO website suggesting this: "Under some circumstances, under the Health of Animals Act, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency may need to treat wild fish populations to control fish pathogens that may have been introduced into Canadian waters." There is no "treatment," other than culling. There is something wrong when the virus is easily found in farmed salmon in supermarkets, but there is no government followup to track it to source, nor any testing of the Norwegian industry fish at all, and the only government admission that fish pathogens may have been introduced to B.C. is culling wild salmon. Alexandra Morton Echo Bay
ď ś Testing continues for deadly salmon diseases in wild Fraser salmon
Our hats are off to Salmon Warriors, Dr. Alexandra Morton and Anissa Reed â€“ truth seekers Your financial support of this important work is essential and truly appreciated:
Salmon Are Sacred
Elly Edwards: â€œFishermen on Cheam Beach mean business when it comes to protecting their wild salmon from deadly Norwegian fish farms!â€?
Reading the Fish – Dr. Alexandra Morton August 31, 2012 As we examine salmon coast-wide and deep into the interior of BC, I can see each fish has a story. The marks on its body, the size of its spleen, the condition of its heart, the colours in its eyes. I don't know what these signs mean yet, but as test results come back we will start piecing things together. We went back to Boston Bar where Roy Campbell and his daughter Tamara very kindly let us come with them again to their fishing spot. We trained Tamara, who was very quickly helping us remember all the data to be taken from each fish. Tamara wants to continue this work, keeping a close eye on the salmon in her region of the Fraser River.
Boston Bar is located after a number of very strong rapids, including the famous Hells Gate. I am interested to know if the salmon heart virus, piscine reovirus, which we have found in nearly 100% of some groups of Atlantic farm salmon we have tested, is in fish before and after Hells Gate. The labs report that the sequence data they are getting from our samples suggests this is a Norwegian virus. Norwegians that I have spoken with suspect a fish with this virus cannot swim up a river. Interestingly, the hearts of salmon right after Hells Gate are soft - a possible sign of this virus, but the fish much further up the river have firm hearts.
READ DR. MORTON’S ENTIRE BLOG POST HERE
Gates Creek – Pre spawn mortality in wild sockeye salmon – Why? Anissa Reed: “Alexandra Morton looks over the Pre Spawn Mortality in the Gates Creek Sockeye. Way too many fish died here and washed against the counting fence full of eggs and milt. We could safely say that there were more than 75% non spawners here today.”
“This is cultural genocide no less than the killing of the buffalo...colonizing buttheads in Ottawa are to blame...Harper the biggest butthead of them all.”
“A crying shame - it will be so very important to finally discover what is causing this pre spawn mortality and whether there will be the will to do something effective about it!”
ď ś Mainstream Salmon Farm Now Empty August 21, 2012
Editorial Comment: â€œMainstream Canada is one of the largest salmon farming companies in British Columbia.â€? As such, Mainstream Canada (parent company: Norwegian-owned Cermaq) is directly responsible for spreading deadly salmon diseases and parasites to wild Pacific salmon while negatively impacting ecosystems, cultures and economies due to their irresponsible open pen salmon feedlot practices in British Columbia, Canada. CANADA - Following an outbreak of Infectious Haematopoietic Necrosis (IHN) virus at one of Mainstream Canada's Tofino-area smolt farms on 27 July, Mainstream has now confirmed that the farm is now empty. The last of the fish from Millar Channel farm have been removed and the site is now empty. The fish were taken to a rendering facility. Mainstream Canada is now focused on developing a plan for cleaning and disinfecting the farm site, as per the requirements of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. "This is an unfortunate incident, but we are pleased with how smoothly the depopulation procedure went considering the situation," said Fernando Villarroel, Mainstream Canada's managing director. "We are pleased with how the CFIA acted quickly to confirm the virus. Early detection of infectious diseases and swift and decisive actions help the long term sustainability of our business as responsible farmers." Mainstream Canada is one of the largest salmon farming companies in British Columbia with 27 farm sites, four land-based hatcheries, one processing plant and over 260+ employees.
'Depopulation' unfortunate key word in some farm sites August 22, 2012
Addie Hollingsworth: ”"Bawden was not positive for IHN," said Mainstream's Laurie Jensen. "As the fish are now harvest size, a scheduled harvest continued as planned but not because of any tests." ya sure it was...you just don't want the public to know that diseased farm fish are heading to the stores....again! :(“ The IHN virus continues to play havoc with BC Fish Farms, making 'depopulation' a key word in 2012 aquaculture industry reports. Last week Mainstream Canada announced it was killing all the fish at its Millar Channel farm, northwest of Tofino, following a positive infectious haematopoetic necrosis virus test. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) ordered Mainstream to depopulate roughly 400 tons of fish at the site. The fish had been in the water about six months. On Thursday, Mainstream announced the last of the fish had been killed and taken to a rendering facility. The company said it was focusing on developing a plan for cleaning and disinfecting the farm site as required by CFIA. "This is an unfortunate incident, but we are pleased with how smoothly the depopulation procedure went considering the situation," said Fernando Villarroel, Mainstream Canada's managing director. "We are pleased with how the CFIA acted quickly to confirm the virus. Early detection of infectious diseases and swift and decisive actions help the long term sustainability of our business as responsible farmers." For Mainstream, this marks the second depopulation of a farm this year due to the IHN virus. Mainstream killed off roughly 570,000 Atlantic salmon, about 1.2 million pounds of fish, at its Dixon Bay farm after an IHN outbreak in May. Mainstream Canada is one of the largest salmon farming companies in BC, with 27 farm sites, four land-based hatcheries, one processing plant and over 260 employees. Meanwhile Grieg Seafood BC confirmed last week it had completed depopulation of its Culloden Point fish farm in Jervis Inlet on the Sunshine Coast, following a positive IHN test result. "There were 316,000 fish on the farm with an average weight of about 500 grams," Grieg's managing director Stewart Hawthorn told the Courier-Islander. "That made a total biomass of approximately 150MT (metric tonnes). By way of comparison, we harvest approximately 75 to 100MT of fish every day."
Hawthorn said the fish had spent just over a year in a freshwater nursery and had been at the sea farm for eight months. "This IHN challenge was the first time that Grieg Seafoods BC Ltd. has ever been affected by any virus health issue at any of our farms in more than 12 years of growing fish here in BC," Hawthorn said. "It was very disappointing and the whole team was saddened by what we needed to do." He said the company acted quickly and in a responsible manner "The positive result was confirmed on August 7 - all of the fish were removed by August 9. Such early and swift detection and action is evidence of the effectiveness of our fish health monitoring system and our responsible approach to fish farm management. These health challenges are an infrequent but normal part of farming natural food. "While almost all of the fish at this farm were in good health we know that fish at farms with any confirmed incidence of IHN virus have a poor prognosis. The right and responsible response was to quickly and humanely remove the fish before their health might be compromised and, of course, to prevent the virus from spreading to other farms." Earlier news reports stated Mainstream had harvested its Bawden Point farm fish after a weak positive IHN test, but the company said fish were not harvested as a result of the test results, because additional testing found no IHN. "Bawden was not positive for IHN," said Mainstream's Laurie Jensen. "As the fish are now harvest size, a scheduled harvest continued as planned but not because of any tests."
Anissa Reed This head is from a badly deformed and diseased Atlantic salmon raised in a BC open pen salmon feedlot. This fish and several others similar to it were purchased recently in SuperStores and Costco stores located in British Columbia â€“ These exotic salmon and their deadly diseases are negatively impacting wild Pacific salmon and their fragile ecosystems.
Mutant and diseased Atlantic salmon reared in open pen feedlots and sold in BC markets and restaurants – disgusting, inhumane and disastrous for wild Pacific salmon, their ecosystems, cultures and economies! Anissa Reed:
“Farmed Salmon Feedlot Mutant. Sold in your local SuperStore and Costco.”
Anissa Reed: “Farm Salmon Feedlot Mutant. Not only deformed but possibly a carrier of Piscine Reovirus or ISAv, two of the viruses we have found in farmed Atlantic Salmon. You can buy one of these guys at Superstore or the flesh from it anyway at Costco!”
“If farm salmon could really talk and tell us all the diseases they suffer and spread .. and not just look like they are talking because they are grossly deformed but still somehow make it to the grocery stores anyway....”
ď ś Alexandra Morton's Fight for BC's Iconic Salmon August 31, 2012 Her crusade is 'fueled by love.' Second in a series on People's Order of BC winners voted by Tyee readers.
â€œWe don't realize that we as individual human beings on this planet have the power." (Alexandra Morton)
Every year of her youth in Lakeville, Connecticut, Dr. Alexandra Morton watched The Wizard of Oz with her four siblings. Every time, she was terrified, watching as Dorothy went through so many struggles. But at the end, there was always relief. Dorothy realized she had possessed the power to fix her problem every step of the way; all she had to do was click those slippers... Now, as a biologist living in Echo Bay, British Columbia, Alex sees The Wizard of Oz as a keen parallel to our current situation with local salmon farming practices, which appear to be depleting sockeye in the Fraser River and serving as a breeding ground for lice, viruses and bacteria in our waters. "The Wizard of Oz is really poignant because, although we've been going down a destructive path, biologists have enormous knowledge of how our planet works and can provide alternatives to farming," she says. "We have the power to put those alternatives into effect." For example, getting fish farms out of the ocean and introducing hydroponic alternatives that don't interfere with wildlife and make better use of the ocean protein that feeds farm salmon. "Wild salmon have proven to be resilient," says Alex. "We should find ways of working within their natural habits to figure out how we can bring them back to abundance, while safely farming fish without altering the wild salmon. The sooner we start working with these natural systems, the better."
READ ENTIRE THE TYEE ARTICLE HERE
ď ś Salmon shortages leave grizzly bears stressed August 10, 2012
Angela Koch: â€œWhen European strain fish farm diseases devastate our wild salmon this becomes one of the ripple effects....â€?
Not bearing up well (Image: Ian Mcallister/All Canada Photos/Getty) SALMON shortages on Canada's west coast may leave grizzlies there more stressed than the average bear. Heather Bryan at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, working with the Raincoast Conservation Foundation in British Columbia, collected hair from grizzly and black bears across a 5000-square-kilometre area of British Columbia between 2009 and 2011. She looked for correlations between diet and hormone levels through DNA analysis, stable isotope analysis, and by quantifying hormone levels in the hair. Male grizzly bears that depend on having salmon in their diet had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol when they ate less fish. Studies in other mammals suggest that chronically high cortisol levels may suppress the immune system, leaving animals vulnerable to disease. Coastal grizzlies also had higher levels of testosterone than their non-salmon-eating relatives in the interior. "That might be related to social interaction," says Bryan. "Since there are more bears on the coast, they have a higher population density and potentially more competition over limited resources like salmon." Further monitoring should help predict how the coastal grizzlies will respond to environmental change, since many acquire 80 to 90 per cent of their dietary protein from salmon. Bryan presented her results at the Ecological Society of America meeting in Portland, Oregon, this week.
Kitimat oil refinery could blacken province’s reputation, foes say Facility’s carbon footprint might negate B.C.’s ‘green targets’ August 17, 2012
An aerial view of Kitimat, at the head of the Douglas Channel, on B.C.'s north-central coast. This is the proposed terminus for a Northern Gateway pipeline, as well as the site that newspaper tycoon David Black is proposing for a $13-billion oil refinery. Editorial Comment: View video of operations at Alberta, Canada’s tar sands fields – giant project, giant equipment – Bitumen from the tar sands will be transported via pipelines to the proposed refinery at Kitimat or to refineries in Asian markets via Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) class super tankers. The tar sands project, its pipelines, the proposed refinery at Kitimat and the foreign oil tankers all pose significant, irreversible environmental threats.
If the proposed oil refinery in Kitimat is built, it could end up forcing the province to jettison its longterm environmental goals, opponents say. “Building the refinery would have very large implications for B.C.’s green commitment,” said Jennifer Grant, director of the oilsands program at Alberta’s Pembina Institute. “B.C. could potentially have to give up its green targets because [constructing the facility is] an intensive project with huge carbon footprints.” Grant’s statement was in response to Victoria-based community newspaper tycoon David Black’s suggestion Friday that a $13-billion oil refinery be constructed in B.C. to process Alberta oilsands bitumen flowing in via Enbridge’s controversial Northern Gateway pipeline. What do you think of the refinery proposal? Complete our poll here Grant called Black’s remark an “oversimplification of potential risks,” but declined to comment in greater detail on the implications of a refined fuel spill versus crude oil because Pembina had not yet performed enough analysis on the issue. But she said the proposal to build the refinery fails to address environmental risks posed by Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline or the health and ecological concerns of first nations. “You can certainly expect some localized water pollution,” said Karen Wristen, executive director of Living Oceans Society, a B.C. marine conservation group. “But it’s the air pollution and [unintended emission leaks] that cause the most problems — like fugitive vapours, vapours that are acute poisonous, and carcinogens like benzene.” A 2004 environmental impact study on the petroleum refining industry by U.S. non-profit National Center for Manufacturing Science, identified several ecological issues stemming from oil refineries. The report cited air pollutants like volatile hydrocarbons, sulphuric acid, lead, and phenol as byproducts of the refining process. Waste water from desalting and distilling crude oil were also mentioned as environmental concerns, along with solid waste products in the form of desalter sludge and spent catalysts. Wristen also expressed concern about a statement Black made that shipping refined petroleum has comparatively fewer risks in the event of a spill compared with crude. “It’s just not true,” she said. “Refined fuel evaporates, but it doesn’t disappear completely.” Two-thirds of processed light diesel oils will evaporate, Wristen explained, but the remaining third lingers on and often ends up washing ashore. The contamination can last for generations and wreak havoc on wild species, she said. Oil spills in areas that affect intertidal zones — which are the shore sections visible at low tide and covered at high tide — pose a danger to plants and animals. “It will cause the collapse of the bottom of the food chain,” Wristen said. “This will in turn cause a cascading effect on the rest of the chain from the bottom up.” An oil spill risk assessment report put together by Applied Science Associates for the Washington state government in 2009 found that light oils had greater impact on shellfish and plankton than equal volume spills of heavy fuels and gasoline, while thicker oils had greater impacts on mammals and birds.
Tankers too risky for B.C. coastal environment: independent engineering report August 31, 2012
A worker uses a small boat to move logs on the Douglas Channel at dusk in Kitimat, B.C.
The Enbridge Northern Gateway proposal to ship oilsands bitumen from Kitimat along the B.C. coast carries an unacceptable risk of a significant spill, according to an independent analysis by three professional engineers. The engineers, who include two emeritus professors from the University of B.C., find that the risks of an eventual spill are too high through the expected 50-year lifetime of the project, “and the unrefined bitumen too toxic and hard to clean up to be acceptable for a pristine coastline.” The independent analysis generally agrees with Enbridge’s estimate that a spill of a volume greater than 5,000 cubic metres will occur, on average, every 200 years. But the analysis notes this does not equate with a spill every 200 years (the so-called return period), only an average time between spills of 200 years.
READ ENTIRE VANCOUVER SUN ARTICLE HERE
Enbridge feels heat from B.C. lawyer over split liability for pipeline spills September 7, 2012
“Critics and some First Nations leaders say that given the delicate ecosystem and Enbridge's safety track record the project is not worth the risk.” An aerial view of Kitimat, at the head of the Douglas Channel, on B.C.'s north-central coast. This is the proposed terminus for a Northern Gateway pipeline that would ship tar sands crude oil overseas.
EDMONTON - A B.C. government lawyer hammered away at the president of the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline Friday, saying that while the parent company, Enbridge, is promising to clean up oil spills, it has created a corporate structure to limit how much it would have to pay. "From the perspective of British Columbians, this doesn't look good," Elisabeth Graff told John Carruthers at federal hearings on the $6-billion line that would ship Alberta crude to B.C.'s coast. Graf questioned Carruthers over the decision by Calgary-based Enbridge (TSX:ENB) to hive off the Northern Gateway project as a limited partnership, with Enbridge having a 50 per cent stake and private investors covering off the rest. That, noted Graf, means Enbridge would only be liable for an equivalent amount of liability in the case of a major catastrophe, such as the $800-million oil spill on an Enbridge pipeline in southern Michigan in 2010. "Are you willing to acknowledge this is a complex organizational structure that limits the liability of a corporate giant that definitely would have sufficient funds?" she asked. "What we're left with is an entity which you tell us has the financial resources necessary to cover any type of spill, but we're still doubting whether that is possible." "No, I just fundamentally can't accept that," replied Carruthers, adding Northern Gateway and its investors would not invest in such a megaproject only to see it sunk by a environmental catastrophe. "Because of the investment, everyone would want to make sure there's proper funding available in case of a spill," he said.
READ ENTIRE VANCOUVER SUN ARTICLE HERE
'disembowelled' budget for science on North Gateway: former DFO
officer August 19, 2012
Prime Minister Stephen Harper says science — not politics — will ultimately determine whether the Northern Gateway pipeline proceeds, and he is refusing to get into an argument with British Columbia about how to share “hypothetical revenues” from the project.
VANCOUVER - While Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the fate of Enbridge's proposed pipeline from the Alberta oilsands to tankers on the British Columbia coast will be based on science and not politics, documents show some of that science isn't forthcoming. And critics say there is no time for the science to be completed before a federal deadline for the environmental assessment currently underway. Documents filed with the National Energy Board show the environmental review panel studying the Northern Gateway project asked Fisheries and Oceans Canada for risk assessments for the bodies of water the proposed pipeline will cross. The pipeline is to traverse nearly 1,000 streams and rivers in the upper Fraser, Skeena and Kitimat watersheds. The department didn't have them. "As DFO has not conducted a complete review of all proposed crossings, we are unable to submit a comprehensive list as requested; however, this work will continue and, should the project be approved, our review will continue into the regulatory permitting phase," DFO wrote in a five-page letter dated June 6, 2012. The response went on to say there "may be differences of opinion" between the company and the department on the risk posed by the pipeline at some crossings. It provided two examples of crossings of tributaries to the Kitimat River where Enbridge rated the risk as low but Fisheries rated it medium to high.
DFO said the federal ministry will continue to work with the company to determine the risk level and level of mitigation required. "DFO is of the view that the risk posed by the project to fish and fish habitat can be managed through appropriate mitigation and compensation measures," said the department's response. "Under the current regulatory regime, DFO will ensure that prior to any regulatory approvals, the appropriate mitigation measures to protect fish and fish habitat will be based on the final risk assessment rating that will be determined by DFO." Earlier this month, Harper told reporters in Vancouver that "decisions on these kinds of projects are made through an independent evaluation conducted by scientists into the economic costs and risks that are associated with the project, and that's how we conduct our business." He went on to say "the only way that government can handle controversial projects of this manner is to ensure that things are evaluated on an independent basis, scientifically, and not simply on political criteria.'' But the federal government recently sent letters to 92 habitat staff members within Fisheries and Oceans in B.C., telling them that their positions will be cut. Thirty-two of them will be laid off outright. The cuts will mean the department in B.C. has half the habitat staff it had a decade ago. All but five of the province's fisheries field offices will be cut as part of a $79 million â€” 5.8 per cent â€” cut to the department's operational budget, including the offices in Prince George and Smithers that would have had the lead in monitoring pipeline effects. The marine contaminant group that would have been involved in a spill in B.C. has been disbanded and the fisheries and environmental legislation gutted, said Otto Langer, a retired fisheries department scientist. "He (Harper) says the science will make the decision. Well he's basically disembowelled the science," said Langer. "It's a cruel hoax that they're pulling over on the public." Former federal Liberal fisheries minister David Anderson agrees. Given the Dec. 31, 2013, deadline set by the federal government, Anderson said scientists in the Fisheries Department simply don't have time to complete any substantial scientific study of the project. "You can't do these studies on the spur of the moment. It takes time to do them," Anderson said. "And the federal Fisheries have just been subjected to the most remarkable cuts, so you're in the throes of reorganization and reassessment and re-assigning people, and on top of it you throw them a major, major request for resources and work. "It can't be done." The department has three major projects in B.C. currently undergoing federal environmental assessment: Northern Gateway, a massive hydroelectric project called the Site C dam, and a goldcopper mine near Williams Lake, B.C., that was previously rejected following a federal environmental review.
Dr. Steve Hrudey, who was chairman of the Royal Society of Canada's expert panel on the environmental impact of the oil sands two years ago, said it is normal for the company asking for environmental approval â€” in this case Enbridge â€” to provide the information in question in the review process. "They have to foot the bill," said Hrudey, who was also involved in more than two dozen reviews over 17 years as a member and then chairman of the Alberta Environmental Appeals board. The project proponent pays consultants to prepare studies and reports required by the review board, the relevent federal departments look at those reports, respond with questions and comments of their own, and the panel then goes back to the proponent with those questions and requests for further information. There may be several cycles of this back-and-forth. "In the end DFO will say 'No, it's what we think it is and therefore you have to take measures we feel are appropriate for that rating,'" Hrudey said. But if the department's ability to do the studies itself is questionable, some scientists fear the process will unfold without independent scientific study. "It (the response from Fisheries to the panel) implies that the request to the joint review panel will not be answerable until after a decision has been made, until after the project has been approved," said Jeffrey Hutchings, a marine biologist at Dalhousie University. "This seems, from a science perspective, a rather indefensible position in so far as a key part of the environmental review process is to evaluate the degree to which the pipeline will affect fish habitat." A spokesperson for the panel said there has been no further request for information from DFO, and no further information is expected. The federal department said a spokesperson was not available for an interview, but provided a statement via email saying Fisheries is providing advice to the assessment panel on the potential impacts of the project on fish and fish habitat. "Fisheries and Oceans Canada has provided its assessment and is of the view that the risk posed by the project to fish and fish habitat in the freshwater and marine environments can be managed by the proponent through appropriate mitigation and compensation measures," said the email, which echoed the response sent to the panel. "The Department notes in its submission that the proponent has conducted a reasonable ecological risk assessment and provided useful information on the risks that an oil spill (in either marine or freshwater) would pose to fisheries resources." Hutchings found it odd that they're so sure. "Well, how can you make that judgment when you have not yet conducted a complete review of all proposed crossings?" he said. "Again, from a science perspective, I don't see how it's possible to be able to draw that conclusion." The proposed Northern Gateway is a $6-billion project expected to spur $270 billion in economic growth in Canada over 30 years.
ď ś First Nations paddle in protest of planned Trans Mountain pipeline expansion September 1, 2012
Dozens of Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish first nations canoes paddle through what they call the Salish Sea to protest a plan that would bring in more oil tankers to Kinder Morgan storage tanks on Saturday, September 01, 2012. They signed a declaration to affirm they will work together against the pipeline-expansion proposal, brought by Kinder Morgan.
Opposition building to new salmon feedlot near Tofino September 12th, 2012
Summer is winding down in the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Days are growing shorter, but the weather is clear and sunny, the nights star-filled. It’s the time of year when wild salmon return to their natal rivers, where more than two hundred other species also depend on the sustenance provided by the spawning fish. The salmon, who have grown to full size in the open Pacific, bring marine-based nitrogen into the rainforest, feeding the ancient cedars in a crucial ecological process known as the “nitrogen pump”. Clayoquot Sound’s backcountry is a series of seven large intact rainforest river valleys, which have never known the roar of industry. But wild salmon in the region are in serious trouble. Despite the abundance of pristine habitat, Clayoquot’s salmon runs are in dramatic decline, with some runs now being counted in the tens, rather than in the tens of thousands. Many factors impact salmon survival, including open net-cage salmon farming. It’s an impact that Clayoquot Sound’s salmon endure close to home, where tiny smolts must swim past a gauntlet of 20 farm sites on their journey to the open ocean. They might be attracted into the pens by lights on the farm and be eaten by the ravenous farmed Atlantic salmon, or be sucked up as by-catch during harvesting. Or they might make it past the farms but contract a heavy load of deadly sea lice—a parasite that nature would not normally expose them to until they are adults. Or they may be bathed in a soup of viruses and other pathogens from the crowded farm pens. No wild salmon population anywhere in the world has thrived in close proximity to open net-cage salmon farms. Wild salmon are the lifeblood of Clayoquot Sound’s ecology, culture, and economy. But we are at a crossroads. A new salmon feedlot site near Tofino is awaiting approval. Due to public pressure and now a legal challenge, this permit has been postponed. But we may only have weeks to make a difference. Please sign our petition and share it with your network. Every time someone signs, Premier Clark and federal Fisheries Minister Ashfield will receive an email. Add your voice. Together we can keep Plover Point wild for the salmon!
New Brunswick Citizens slam secrecy over sea lice records Information commissioner denied release of specific statistics on sea lice September 13, 2012 A New Brunswick environmentalist says a ruling by the province's access-to-information commissioner effectively privatizes part of the ocean. Larry Lack and Lee Ann Ward, residents of the southwestern New Brunswick town of St. Andrews, were denied access to information on sea lice counts at individual salmon farms in the Bay of Fundy. After a series of discussions with New Brunswick's access to Information commissioner, Anne Bertrand issued a ruling that those details sought by Lack and Ward are proprietary. "They want to sanitize this by making it private information, Lack said. Two St. Andrews residents were trying to get information on sea lice counts at aquaculture sites in the Bay of Fundy. (CBC) Pam Parker (Executive Director, Atlantic Fish Farmers Association): “if those numbers were released it would hurt the salmon growers’ ability to compete.” Lack was looking for what he calls "hot spots” of sea lice at fish farms. But he now believes there's a larger issue at stake after the commissioner’s ruling. "They can fence off a piece of the public's ocean and call it theirs and treat it like private property. It's like privatizing something that belongs to all of us,” Lack said. Citizens can use the Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act to make requests to the provincial government and a series of other bodies for documents on a specific subject. If the department or public body denies the applicant that information, they can appeal to either the Court of Queen’s Bench or the information commissioner’s office. The information sought by Lack and Ward is collected and held by the Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries. Some information about sea lice counts has been made public despite the commissioner's ruling. The Atlantic Fish Farmers Association released sea lice counts by each of three management areas of the bay claiming more specific information on counts would reveal how many fish each farm has. "Those fish are actually considered assets, financial assets for the farmer,” said Pam Parker, the association’s executive director. The report, which was put on its website, had sea lice counts from 2009 to 2011. Parker said sea lice counts are tied to fish numbers, so if those numbers were released it would hurt the salmon growers’ ability to compete.
Salmon producer's application not hurt by findings, says Fisheries and Aquaculture
September 12, 2012 Loch Duart racked up high numbers for use of toxic chemicals in Scotland An environmental study that casts a dark light on a Scottish aquaculture firm looking to develop three Eastern Shore salmon farms will not hurt the company’s pending application, says a Fisheries and Aquaculture Department spokesman. The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency released findings from a four-year study that monitored five Scottish aquaculture companies and their use of toxic chemicals. The agency found Loch Duart Ltd. used toxic chemicals 282 times at various farm sites in Scotland from 2008 to 2011, making the company the fifth-largest user of toxic chemicals in salmon farms in the same period. Snow Island Salmon Inc., a Nova Scotia subsidiary of Loch Duart, has filed an application for finfish lease sites. The company already operates a salmon farm in the Owls Head, Halifax County, region.
Editorial Comment: If the following were true, the salmon feedlot industry would locate their facilities on land in closed containment systems away from the sensitive marine ecosystem. “The model we’re putting forward is one to ensure the environment is kept as clean as possible, and it’s in our best interest to keep it that way.”
The company wants to develop salmon farms in Spry Harbour, Shoal Bay and Beaver Harbour. Loch Duart hopes to produce up to 2,500 tonnes of salmon by 2013. Agency records show Loch Duart was the most frequent user of the insecticide Teflubenzuron, known to be lethal to lobsters and other shellfish. Shane Borthwick, Snow Island Salmon’s operations vice-president, said Tuesday although he wasn’t familiar with the details of the environmental report, it is tough to compare the conditions in Scotland with those on the Eastern Shore. “We’ve been there for four years on the Eastern Shore and never had any sea lice or a need for treatments,” Borthwick said. “We just don’t use those products. “Scotland farms do have sea lice challenges, but the Loch Duart model of farm separation, low stocking densities and distance between farms, and that year of fallow, means their sea lice is managed effectively and they use products approved in Scotland.” Fisheries and Aquaculture Department spokesman Brett Loney confirmed the department is aware of the study and its findings but said the application is vetted based on its specific site requests. No other companies have applied for finfish lease sites at these three locations. “We’re looking to the specifics of their application and judging their specific application for Nova Scotia, and that’s a pretty rigorous process they must pass,” Loney said.
“Our focus is on ensuring that we have the best and most rigorous and scientific evidence to make a decision for that location in Nova Scotia.” The report’s findings are not black and white, he said. “I’m aware there are various interpretations on the report; I’m not questioning the report itself, but people’s various interpretations of what the report is saying.” The Association for the Preservation of the Eastern Shore said the majority of area residents are against the application. Loney said Fisheries Minister Sterling Belliveau and his counterparts at the federal fisheries, environment and transportation departments understand the local concerns, but he added that, at the end of the day, the decision is “based on science and all of the bodies involved.” Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia representatives are on a trade mission in Ireland to learn about organic fish farming and could not be reached for comment. Meanwhile, Borthwick said the proposed farms would follow the same rotation model used at Owls Head that aims to reduce the environmental impact of the farms. Each farm operates on an 18-month growing period, a 12-month harvest and an 18-month fallow period in which no fish or equipment is on the farm site. “Anything we do as humans has an impact, but this rotation is done to mitigate the impact,” Borthwick said. “The model we’re putting forward is one to ensure the environment is kept as clean as possible, and it’s in our best interest to keep it that way.”
“Last Dead Fish” Independent fishermen, corporate greed, corrupt governments
ď ś Protesters crash fisheries minister's salmon farm tour August 22, 2012
A flotilla of protest boats met Sterling Belliveau as he toured the proposed site of a new fish farm. Opponents of salmon farms pursued Nova Scotia Fisheries Minister Sterling Belliveau on land and sea Wednesday. Belliveau was touring the proposed site of a salmon farm at Shoal Bay on the province's Eastern Shore. It's one of three locations in the area where the Scottish aquaculture company Loch Duart Ltd. wants to grow 500,000 salmon. When the minister arrived at the site on a tour boat he was met by about a dozen boats draped with placards protesting the project. The encounter was largely respectful but the minister was taunted with threats that the NDP will lose votes for its policy of promoting aquaculture.
Sterling Belliveau speaks to protesters during an aquaculture protest on the Eastern Shore.
On a gently bobbing sea, Belliveau defended aquaculture saying it poses no threat to traditional fisheries. He also said current sites occupy a tiny fraction of coastline. The minister did not persuade the protestors, who fear chemicals and feces from the fish farm will pollute local lobster grounds. After the encounter both sides separated and returned to shore but the protestors were not finished. They briefly blocked the minister and his vehicle from leaving a local campground.
Voice of the people August 19, 2012 Factor in clean-up costs Professor Jon Grant (Aug. 15 letter) makes the case for more study of open-pen fish farming. Any study must include the total cost of leaving the area in as pristine condition as it was before the fish farms were introduced. The clean-up of Halifax Harbour cost millions of dollars. Fifty thousand fish in a pen are fed daily and produce feces daily. There is going to be pollution. And there are multiple pens. What will it cost to remediate a harbour? The professor suggests it might be possible to use shell fish or seaweed to help remediate the area. He can eat the shell fish; I won’t. Added to the problem for anyone living in the vicinity is the noise of the automatic fish feeders, the extra activity and the unsightliness of these pens in a previously natural area. A very unsettling point in the letter is that some of these operations are still experimental. Isn’t that a risk? I fully appreciate the NIMBY feeling of people who live adjacent to such operations and proposed operations. Cooke and like companies are in the business to make money. Please, not at my expense. Meanwhile, I will not be eating any farmed salmon. I might even consider boycotting stores that sell it. Maxwell Pottie, Dartmouth No one is listening Dalhousie professor Jon Grant characterizes coastal communities that oppose open-pen fish farms as being alarmist. These residents see, smell, hear and live with aquaculture’s negative effects. Real damage is occurring and no one seems to want to admit it. Dr. Grant speaks of the promising sustainable features of aquaculture, but as with the provincial government, I question whether he understands the true environmental, economic and social intent of sustainability. It is my view that the aquaculture industry is failing miserably with all three of these sustainable values:
Fish farm sites are selected by industry proponents in areas that are not always subject to daily tidal flushing. As a result, sites typically end up being polluted in a very short time.
Fish farms do not pay taxes; they pay paltry annual lease fees. They generate a few jobs, yet they receive huge financial compensation from the province when their stock dies of disease. Remember the $21 million paid to the Shelburne fish farm?
The anger, resentment and controversy over the aquaculture industry are damaging the rural social fabric of our communities. The province is not assuming a leadership role and mending these sentiments; rather, its bias toward aquaculture is fuelling the fires of discontent.
There is a better way for rural communities, but no one seems to be listening. Robert Ross, Port Mouton
Pollution not acceptable There are as many holes in Jon Grant’s argument as there are in a fish cage. As a concerned citizen and scientist, I do not have an “agenda,” other than environmental protection, and that is true of every group opposed to the pollution from pen fin-fish farms. Just as the NDP government and Cooke Aquaculture have done, Mr. Grant attempts to create the positive image that pen fin-fish farming is a viable method of aquaculture. It could better be termed “aquapoison” or “aquadumps.” The revelation that Cooke is contributing to research for better methods of aquaculture is laughable. How much of the $25 million of taxpayers’ money is going toward research and when can we expect appropriate waste-screening processes to be in place? While we wait, the pollution continues, and is increased with the help of Nova Scotia tax dollars so generously contributed by Premier Dexter and the NDP. Mr. Grant, put on some scuba gear and take a swim under a fish cage. Read everything you can find by Alexandra Morton, a renowned biologist who has been studying the damaging results of fin-fish farms for years. Check out the Friends of Port Mouton Bay website. View the videos by Professor Tom Sherman. Pollution is not acceptable just because a government is looking for votes, and a company is making money and a token contribution to research. Fred Giffin, Liverpool Selective about science? So, the premier was glad to be in attendance with the German chancellor during a science tour at Dalhousie on Thursday. I wish that he would give as much credence and respect to the great scientific research of that same institution connected with Dal that has been proving the damage and destruction caused in Nova Scotia water by open-pen fish farms, including some new discoveries of serious copper pollution. Beverley Burlock, Port Mouton
Fishermen oppose Jordan Bay fish farm proposal September 12, 2012
A group of Shelburne County lobster fishermen say they’re rejecting a proposal to put two fish farms in Jordan Bay. In a news release issued Tuesday, the group said they’re not waiting for Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Sterling Belliveau to make a decision; they’re rejecting the plans put forward by Cooke Aquaculture Ltd. Fisherman Ricky Hallett said he and others who fish the bay based their decision on details provided in a recent Fisheries and Oceans Canada report. “It basically confirmed what fishermen have been telling the minister for almost two years now,” Hallett said. “Jordan Bay is too shallow and the currents are too weak for open-pen fish farming.” Based on figures from the federal report, he said the proposed sites would become heavily polluted in about 15 months. “Why the (provincial fisheries department) is still considering this proposal is a total mystery,” he said. Currently, there are about 150 jobs in fishing and Irish moss harvesting in Jordan Bay, industries that depend on the bay remaining clean, said fisherman David Hallett. “They don’t care about our livelihoods or they would not risk putting us out of work,” fisherman John Acker said of the provincial government. On Tuesday, Brett Loney, spokesman for the provincial fisheries and aquaculture department, said the proposal put forward by Cooke is still being assessed and no decision had been made by the provincial government. Kelly Cove Salmon Ltd., a division of Cooke Aquaculture, has applied for a 40-hectare, multi-cage site in the Blue Islands area of Jordan Bay. A similar 40-hectare, multi-cage site is being sought in another part of the bay. The dimensions for each site would be 800 metres by 500 metres, according to documents submitted to government by Cooke. The company’s stocking plans for the proposed sites show two scenarios, one with 550,000 fish and the other with 700,000. More than 20,000 fish would be placed in each of many cages to be anchored at the site. No one from Cooke was available for comment Tuesday.
Talks on safeguarding River Severn salmon stocks September 3, 2012 Talks have been held between Shropshire anglers and the Environment Agency to safeguard salmon stocks in the River Severn.
It comes after the Environment Agency admitted it was worried about future levels of salmon stocks in Shropshire, despite 10,000 still spawning in the River Severn. Shropshire Anglers Federation chairman Sir John Roberts said Atlantic salmon on the weir was one of Shrewsbury’s best known sights. The autumn migration sees the fish journey up the Severn to the spawning beds in Mid Wales. Shrewsbury & Atcham MP Daniel Kawczynski chaired a meeting last week to quash rumours that traditional salmon angling was to be banned on the river. Sir John, who organised the meeting, said: “Legitimate rod and line salmon anglers play an important part in protecting and conserving the salmon stocks. “They are the eyes and ears that protect the river and its fish stocks from poaching and pollution, and provide vital intelligence for the Environment Agency bailiffs. “If they could no longer fish salmon, stocks would become extremely vulnerable to poachers and illegal anglers looking to plunder the river and make a profit.” Charles Crundwell, of the Environment Agency, presented a report highlighting concerns about the future of salmon stocks, but stressed that they had no plans to impose a ban on anglers taking fish for the table and that their current assessment of the stock would not justify such a move. The Environment Agency and the Severn Salmon Anglers Conservation Association have agreed to hold regular meetings to discuss the changing situation.
The future of fishing September 4, 2012 Richie Flynn of the IFA writes (August 31st) of an “inexplicable delay” in the State processing aquaculture license applications. The delay has been explained again and again to him by the Minister for the Marine, Simon Coveney. Salmon farming is a highly polluting industry, with nitrogen and phosphate loads discharging directly into our western coastal bays. The proposed salmon farm in Bantry Bay would have a discharge (nitrogen and phosphorous) equivalent to the sewage of a town 10 times the size of Bantry, in spite of the fact that a local authority-commissioned tidal study in 1989 showed that in Bantry Bay, “during prolonged periods of calm weather complete flushing would [take] at least 1-2 months”’. The “offshore super-salmon farm” proposed for Galway Bay would have a sewage equivalent of more than twice the population of Galway city. Nutrient enrichment can fuel toxic algae blooms, which have cost the shellfish industry dearly and for which many bays are regularly closed to harvesting every summer. Salmon farming near the rivers where our native salmon spawn damages their survival rates through sea lice infestations from the open pen cages. The EU habitats directive requires baseline studies and environmental impact statements. Licensees can be granted only if the project will not have adverse impacts on protected species and habitats. As the Minster told the Seanad in January, “the way in which we provided aquaculture licences in the past was not up to scratch. The European Commission took a case against Ireland and won it. We are now being forced to put in place a gold-plated licensing system.” If Richie Flynn and the IFA wish to see aquaculture progress in a coherent and efficient manner, they should support the Environmental Protection Agency and Ireland’s environmental NGOs, which are calling for a strategic environmental assessment of the Food Harvest 2020 plan to increase the already stressed farmed salmon production by an astonishing 300 per cent.
US discuss financial, ecological costs of clearing sea-borne tsunami
waste August 19, 2012
TOKYO — The Japanese and U.S. governments are concerned about a large amount of Pacific Ocean debris, set afloat by last year’s tsunami caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake, that is expected to reach the U.S. West Coast starting in autumn. The trouble stems from the lack of an international agreement on who is responsible for disposing of debris released into the sea. Experts have also said harmful substances mixed with debris will likely damage the marine environment.
According to Japan’s Environment Ministry, the total amount of debris resulting from the March 11, 2011, disaster in the three stricken prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima is estimated at 18.11 million tons. About 4.8 million tons of additional debris is further believed to have been washed out to sea. About 70 percent of drifting debris consists of such things as cars and cargo containers. Most debris is believed to have sunk off the coast of the Tohoku region. However, the remaining 30 percent, or about 1.54 million tons, became floating debris, including collapsed houses and wood from disasterprevention forests. These articles have been drifting in the Pacific Ocean since the disaster. A large amount of debris is expected to wash ashore on the U.S. West Coast in October or later, according to the Environment Ministry’s calculation based on data collected from satellite images and ocean currents. Drifting debris such as a fishing boat and motorcycle have already landed on the U.S. coast. It became a local news phenomenon when a large floating pier from Aomori Prefecture washed ashore in Oregon. Members of nongovernmental organizations both in Japan and the United States held a meeting in Oregon early this month and started studying measures to deal with the floating debris. Azusa Kojima, secretary general of the Japan Environmental Action Network, an environmental nongovernmental organization, said after returning to Japan, “What the U.S. side wanted most was concrete information about the debris — how much and what kind will be washed ashore and which areas or coastlines in Oregon it is projected to land on.” To deal with drifting debris, an official at the Cabinet Office’s Secretariat of the Headquarters for Ocean Policy said: “No international rules (about drifting debris) exist and it’s become the custom that a country in which debris drifts ashore bears the costs of clearing it. However, it’s difficult to deal with the situation this time as there’s no precedent for such a large amount of drifting objects being washed ashore.” The Oregon state government paid the demolition cost of the floating pier in Oregon, which was about $84,000. The headquarters official said, “We can’t let the U.S. side solely dispose of debris, as we received a lot of assistance from them during Operation Tomodachi after the disaster.” The headquarters is studying what Japan can do to resolve the issue. Debris washed away by tsunami is believed to have little possibility of radioactive contamination, as most was already far into the ocean by the time of the outbreak of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant occurred. However, Tokai University Professor Masahisa Kubota, an expert on marine physics, expressed concern, saying, “Plastic rubbish contained in debris will seriously damage the environment.” According to Kubota, plastic materials made from petroleum are prone to absorbing toxic chemicals in seawater. If birds and fish eat plastic broken into small pieces by waves, they will eventually carry the potentially contaminated substances into the bodies of other creatures throughout the food chain. “The only way to prevent this is to collect as much debris as possible,” he said.
ď ś Fukushima fish carrying 258 times the 'safe' level of radiation August 21, 2012
An official from Thailand's Food and Drug Administration takes a sample from a shipment of frozen fish imported from Japan to test for possible radiation contamination at Ladkrabang customs in Bangkok
A pair of fish captured near Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant have shown to be carrying record levels of radiation. The pair of greenlings are contaminated with 258 times the level government deems safe for consumption. The fish, which were captured just 12 miles from the nuclear plant, registered 25,800 becquerels of caesium per kilo, according to Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). TEPCO says the high levels may be due to the fish feeding in radioactive hotspots. The company plans on capturing and testing more of the fish, as well as their feed, and the seabed soil to determine the exact cause of the high radiation. The findings were surprising for officials, who had previously seen much lower levels of radiation in contaminated fish. Fishermen been allowed to cast their reels in the nearby waters on an experimental basis since June – but only in areas more than 31 miles from the plant. Previously, the highest recorded radiation seen in the captured wildlife was 18,700 becquerels per kilo in cherry salmons, according to the Japanese Fisheries Agency. The radiation was caused by a meltdown of three reactors at the Fukushima power plant after it was damaged by an earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. The disaster was so intense that contaminated fish were caught all the way across the Pacific Ocean, on the California coast. But it’s not only aquatic life that is suffering from side effects of the leaked radiation. According to researchers, the radiation has caused mutations in some butterflies, giving them dented eyes, malformed legs and antennae, and stunted wings. The results show the butterflies were deteriorating both physically and genetically. But the harmful risks don’t stop with butterflies. The radioactivity which seeped into the region’s air and water has left humans facing potentially life threatening health issues. Over a third of Fukushima children are at risk of developing cancer, according to the Sixth Report of Fukushima Prefecture Health Management Survey. The report shows that nearly 36 per cent of children in the Fukushima Prefecture have abnormal thyroid growths which pose a risk of becoming cancerous. The World Health Organization warns that young people are particularly prone to radiation poisoning in the thyroid gland. Infants are most at risk because their cells divide at a higher rate.
Fish fed poultry oil September 10, 2012 The company that makes the feed pellets used at New Zealand King Salmon farms is replacing fish oil and meal with poultry and freezing industry waste. Skretting Australia New Zealand account manager Ben Wybourne told an Environmental Protection Authority hearing in Blenheim last week that more than 80 per cent of the diet of New Zealand salmon was land-based. An authority board of inquiry will decide whether King Salmon can build nine new fish farms in the Marlborough Sounds. “The blood, meat and feather meal used in its feeds were by-products of the Australian poultry, cattle, sheep and pig slaughter industries”, Mr Wybourne said. “Oil from poultry was increasingly taking the place of fish oil”. Skretting relied on the Peruvian anchovy industry as the source of its marine protein and oil. If this collapsed, as it had in the past, Skretting and other companies would be in trouble, Mr Wybourne said when questioned by Sustain Our Sounds lawyer Warwick Heal. Sustain Our Sounds is opposing King Salmon's application to expand. The absence of salmon diseases in New Zealand farmed salmon meant antibiotics were not used in feeds for this market, Mr Wybourne said. There was no need for lice treatments or drenches to treat internal parasites. The company did add antibiotics and vaccines to feed used in other countries. The dried, cooked feeds made by Skretting were as unlikely to carry disease as cooked dry biscuits, Mr Wybourne said. The company met New Zealand import standards which guarded against disease. Mr Wybourne told the hearing: “The chinook salmon farmed in New Zealand by King Salmon need 1.9kg of feed to produce a kilogram of fish. King Salmon diets are 10 per cent fishmeal compared with 70 per cent in 1990. 3.5 tonnes of anchovy produce enough oil and meal to grow one tonne of king salmon. The salmon produce more fish protein and oil than they consume. Fish are fed astaxanthin, a pigment, to give their flesh its pink colour. Processed salmon fillets retain about 42 per cent of the essential fatty acids fed to the fish.“ Mr Wybourne said Skretting would benefit by increased sales if the King Salmon expansion went ahead. However, other competitors could tender to supply.
ď ś Salmon farms reel in conflict August 24, 2012 Editorial Comment: Interesting to note that there are no plans to evaluate proposed pens for increased diseases or parasites.
Don Staniford: "The risk of salmon diseases entering New Zealand will increase if New Zealand King Salmon builds new farms in the Marlborough Sounds, fish parasite expert Ben Diggles said in Blenheim yesterday"
The economic benefits of nine new salmon farms will be weighed against their impact on the Marlborough Sounds and the effects on people who live, work and holiday there, in a hearing that opens in Blenheim on Monday. The Environmental Protection Authority board of inquiry, which is expected to sit for up to 10 weeks, will hear arguments for and against a proposal that has polarised the Marlborough community. King Salmon and its experts will work to convince the board that nine new fish farms would create jobs, income and export earnings. Their evidence will suggest the development is compatible with what company advertising describes as the "pristine waters" of the Marlborough Sounds. Conspicuous by his absence from the list of King Salmon witnesses is chief executive Grant Rosewarne, who has been the company frontman leading up to hearing. Other company managers will be among those opening the case for the company with a nuts-and-bolts description of salmon farming in the Sounds. Roughly two-thirds of the nearly 1300 submissions to the authority on the expansion plans opposed the proposal. This opposition, especially from the Marlborough District Council, has taken King Salmon managers by surprise. Early this year the company released a survey suggesting 68.5 per cent of Marlborough people knew about its expansion plans and 53.5 per cent supported the plans. The council says King Salmon has challenged its Marlborough Sounds Resource Management Plan which is based on 35 years of community input - with its plan to farm in an area where aquaculture is prohibited. The council's evidence will suggest the application overstates economic benefits and understates the environmental effects of the fish farms. A key topic will be the effects on the water column, from the seabed to the sea-surface. Experts on both sides will use computer models to predict where waste from the farms could spread. The Department of Conservation will argue that King Salmon has not given a full picture, ignoring combined effects of existing and new farms and underestimating increases in algal blooms. Other topics will include seabed effects, marine mammals, seabirds, recreation and tourism, landscape, economics and navigation. Iwi evidence will possibly be heard at Waikawa Marae, in Picton, and the hearing might also shift to Portage Resort Hotel in the Sounds for a day. The Government backs the aquaculture industry's goal of increasing annual sales to $1 billion by 2025, through the Primary Industries Ministry aquaculture strategy. In October last year its Aquaculture Legislation Amendment Act cleared the way for King Salmon to apply for a plan change to move into new areas.
The Environmental Protection Authority works to tight timeframes and there is no right of appeal, except on points of law. This is seen by some people as the Government pushing through a development it supports because it will earn foreign exchange. King Salmon released the proposed location of its farms in October last year and publicly notified its proposal in April. Under this process, the public had 20 working days to digest thousands of pages of information and make submissions. A diverse range of people and organisations, including protest group Sustain Our Sounds, college students, Sounds property owners, boating organisations, fishing clubs, iwi, businesses and the Environmental Defence Society of resource management professionals will give evidence at the hearing, as well as King Salmon experts. Some submitters are worried the board will pay more attention to witnesses with academic qualifications than people with hands-on experience of the Sounds. They say their home and business life suffers as they devote so much time, energy and money to the case. Meanwhile, Mr Rosewarne says King Salmon is spending $8 million on a hearings process he sees as over-rigorous. THE BOARD The Environmental Protection Authority board of inquiry, which will decide whether New Zealand King Salmon can develop new farms in the Marlborough Sounds, comprises: Judge Gordon Whiting, chairman. Has overseen resource management cases, including an Environment Court hearing which gave TrustPower consent to build a hydroelectric power scheme along the Wairau River in 2010. Commissioner Helen Beaumont. Assistant Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment in 2000-07. She sat with Judge Whiting on the Environment Court panel for the TrustPower hearing in 2010. She is qualified in chemistry and interested in connections between the quality of the environment and human wellbeing. Michael Briggs. An accredited hearings commissioner for the Marlborough District Council, responsible for sign-off on non-notified resource consent hearings. In 1980-2001 he was an elected member of the Marlborough county and district councils. Edward Ellison. A hearings commissioner for the Marlborough District Council, Environment Canterbury and other South Island councils. He has been a member of government advisory boards on biosecurity, the Emissions Trading Scheme, cultural matters and water management. He chairs Te Runanga o Otakou (Otago Peninsula), environmental consultancy Kai Tahu ki Otago Ltd and Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu's hazardous substances and new organisms committee. Mark Farnsworth. A hearings commissioner who has been a member of a government aquaculture technical advisory group and a ministerial advisory panel on aquaculture. Was chairman of the Northland Regional Council for nine years and a member of an Environment Ministry advisory board for its "making good decisions" programme. He has chaired and written decisions on a range of resource consent applications.
ď ś Submitter raises waste fears over salmon expansion August 27, 2012 Some environmentalists liken the waste that would be created by the proposed expansion of New Zealand King Salmon's farms in the Marlborough Sounds to that made by people in a large city.
The salmon company wants to add nine more farms to the five it already has and is presenting its plan to the Environmental Protection Authority. It says the proposed expansion would mean it would be farming a total of 14ha. The surface area of the Sounds is 150,000ha. The application has attracted 1400 submissions, of which 800 oppose the development and 400 support it. Counsel for environmental group Sustain our Sounds, Warwick Heal, says the effects on the water would be "catastrophic", like that made in a city of 400,000 people or 250,000 cows.
New Zealand King Salmon says this analogy is grand-standing and untrue. Chief executive Grant Rosewarne says the analogy is false. The other main opponent is Marlborough District Council. King Salmon has spent $9 million on the application. It is seeking to create more than $200 million of additional value. Mr Rosewarne says the company needs to expand to meet demand and it would have to consider expanding to Chile or the United States if the application is not successful. The hearing continues on Tuesday.
ď ś New Zealand Grants a River the Rights of Personhood September 6, 2012 From the dawn of history, and in cultures throughout the world, humans have been prone to imbue Earth's life-giving rivers with qualities of life itself -- a fitting tribute, no doubt, to the wellsprings upon which our past (and present) civilizations so heavily rely. But while modern thought has come to regard these essential waterways more clinically over the centuries, that might all be changing once again. Meet the Whanganui. You might call it a river, but in the eyes of the law, it has the standings of a person. In a landmark case for the Rights of Nature, officials in New Zealand recently granted the Whanganui, the nation's third-longest river, with legal personhood "in the same way a company is, which will give it rights and interests". The decision follows a long court battle for the river's personhood initiated by the Whanganui River iwi, an indigenous community with strong cultural ties to the waterway. Under the settlement, the river is regarded as a protected entity, under an arrangement in which representatives from both the iwi and the national government will serve as legal custodians towards the Whanganui's best interests.
Laurie Watt: â€œNext logical step: protection of one of the river's prime assets, its wild fish, by saying NO to salmon feedlots anywhere near their migratory routes.â€?
"Today's agreement which recognises the status of the river as Te Awa Tupua (an integrated, living whole) and the inextricable relationship of iwi with the river is a major step towards the resolution of the historical grievances of Whanganui iwi and is important nationally," says New Zealand's Minister for Treaty for Waitangi Negotiations, Christopher Finlayson. "Whanganui Iwi also recognise the value others place on the river and wanted to ensure that all stakeholders and the river community as a whole are actively engaged in developing the long-term future of the river and ensuring its wellbeing," says Finlayson. Although this is likely the first time a single river has been granted such a distinction under the law, chances are it's not the last. In 2008, Ecuador passed similar ruling giving its forests, lakes, and waterways rights on par with humans in order to ensure their protection from harmful practices. And, while it may seem an odd extension of rights, in many ways it harkens back to a time when mankind's fate was more readily acknowledged as being intertwined with that of the rivers, lakes, and streams that sustained us -- a time in which our purer instincts towards preserving nature needn't be dictated by legislation.
Norway ď ś Scientists say there is evidence that Norwegian farmed salmon contains a form of roundworm known as nematode. September 17, 2012
A study performed by the National Veterinary Institute last year looked at looked at sample of 100 fish farmed in the same cage. Tore Atle Mo, head of section 50 were too small and in poor condition (known as “runts”), parasitology at the Veterinary while the other 50 were originally intended to be sent on to Institute consumers. Scientists state nematodes were not found in “There are several thousand these 50 fish, but “seventy‐five nematodes were found in 10 (20%) of the 50 “runts”. cases involving nematodes every year, including in Japan National Veterinary Institute officials say the parasite can and southern Europe. “ burrow into the wall of the intestine causing nausea and fever if alive when eaten. Known as Anisakis simplex (A. Simplex), it can also cause perforation of the intestine in very rare cases. According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), “Many traditional marinating and cold smoking methods are not sufficient to kill A. simplex and freezing or heat treatments remain the most effective processes guaranteeing killing.” “All wild caught seawater and freshwater fish must be considered at risk of containing any viable parasites of human health concern if these products are to be eaten raw or almost raw.”
Nicole Mackay: “We used to get nematode worms in our drinking water at Telegraph Cove, we found some of the biggest species ever recorded! Very cool, finding them in your fish is another story. There are over one million different species of nematodes and very little known about all those species.
The scientific committee/scientific panel also found that “for farmed Atlantic salmon reared in floating cages or onshore tanks and fed on compound feedstuffs however, the current risk of infection with anisakids (a group containing cestodes, trematodes and nematodes) is negligible.” Norway’s Seafood Federation (FHL) has said it is satisfied with the current situation stating that previous studies of the fish have shown it to be safe to eat raw and no nematodes have been found in fish sent for human consumption. Henrik Stenwig, head of department for health and quality, tells The Foreigner, “These specimens were picked out from fish at the slaughterhouse removed as waste products. They would never have reached the market for human consumption.” Norwegian salmon is exempt from EFAS’s requirement for fish that are to be eaten raw as the salmon is fed on dry food. “Moreover, the European Food Safety Authority has concluded the risk of nematodes in salmon is negligible, and the European Commission has adopted an amendment to salmon hygiene legislation saying there is no need to freeze the fish before it is consumed.” Nonetheless, Tore Atle Mo, head of section parasitology at the Veterinary Institute, believes the exemption should not be in place. “The salmon don’t just eat dried food while in the cages but also live prey, such as crustaceans. These crustaceans are termed intermediate hosts. Whales, known as transport hosts, also eat salmon. Both the whale’s and human body temperature are the same.” “Nematodes cannot complete their lifecycle in humans. They have not been found in fish for human consumption, but we believe the risk is still there. There are several thousand cases involving nematodes every year, including in Japan and southern Europe,” Mr Mo concludes.
Scotland Scotland's Secrets Exposed! FishyLeaks September 11, 2012 Scottish Salmon’s Toxic Toilets Named & Shamed! - Twelve-Fold Increase in Chemical Use Since 2005 Read press release in full online here The use of toxic chemicals on Scottish salmon farms more than doubled between 2008 and 2011 and has increased twelve-fold since 2005.
Read exclusively in today’s Guardian newspaper via “Scottish fish farmers use record amounts of parasite pesticides” and “Chemicals to control salmon parasites”. According to data obtained via Freedom of Information from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), the ‘Filthy Five’ users of toxic chemicals were Marine Harvest, Scottish Salmon Company (Lighthouse Caledonia), Scottish Sea Farms (Leroy/SalMar), Hjaltland Seafarms (Grieg) and Loch Duart. The ‘Dirty Dozen’ sites using Azamethiphos, Cypermethrin, Deltamethrin, Emamectin benzoate and Teflubenzuron are named for the first time – including Special Areas of Conservation such as Loch Roag and Loch Laxford. Chemical resistance means that a cocktail of five toxic pesticides are now used to kill Scotland’s plague of ‘super-lice’. Almost twice every day for the last four years (2008-2011), chemicals known to be lethal to lobsters and other shellfish were used on salmon farms in Scotland. Chemicals were used 2,756 times including Emamectin (1,028); Deltamethrin (914); Azamethiphos (487); Cypermethrin (315) and Teflubenzuron (12). Read in full via ‘Dossier of Chemical Use on Scottish Salmon Farms 2008-2011’ The news comes in the wake of a Veterinary Residues Committee report detailing contamination in Scottish farmed salmon with the toxic pesticide Emamectin. In June, officers from Marine Scotland were charged with carrying out a follow up investigation. Data obtained via FOI reveals that since 2005 Marine Harvest, Scottish Sea Farms, Skelda Salmon and the Scottish Salmon Company have all been involved in contamination cases. “The Scottish Government has sanctioned the use of Scotland’s coastal waters as a dumping ground for the chemical wastes of Norwegian and Polish corporations,” said Don Staniford of the Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture (GAAIA). “Scotland’s toxic salmon farms are now infested with resistant ‘super-lice’ and contaminated with chemicals. The drugs don’t work – just say no to chemically embalmed Scottish farmed salmon.” For more information read the ‘Media Backgrounder: Chemical Culture in Scotland’ Read press release in full online here
Chemicals to control salmon parasites September 10, 2012 As salmon farming in Scotland increases so does the use of chemicals to kill parasites. Here's the data that explains the chemicals used and how the levels have dramatically changed
Scottish fish farms, click here to see the full interactive map.
For the first time, a full list of the chemicals used to control the sea lice parasite on every Scottish salmon farm has been disclosed after a freedom of information request to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). The data, requested by the campaigner Don Staniford who runs the website Fishyleaks, shows that overall use of pesticides by the salmon farming industry has increased each year, from 188kg in 2008 to 395kg last year – an increase of some 110%. In that same period, salmon production increased more modestly, by some 22% to a forecast total of 157,000 tonnes last year. Farmed salmon is now Scotland's largest single food export, outstripping beef, diary produce and wild-caught fish. Worth nearly £540m in 2010 to the producers, its global retail value is estimated to be well over £1bn, according to these figures from the SSPO. The industry and Scottish government hope to increase production by 50% by 2020, particularly to target new markets such as China. Showing farm-by-farm usage, these figures are the voluntarily declared figures from each company: Sepa takes them on trust. These chemicals, designed to attack the parasite's nervous systems or shells, were used 2,756 times.
Environmentalists say the chief reason for the increased usage is to counter the increasing levels of resistance shown to these pesticides by sea lice, which damage farmed fish and threaten wild salmon and trout near fish-farms sites. There is no direct link between salmon mortalities and chemical usage, but they do illustrate the sometimes high levels of wastage and loss. Deaths can occur for a variety of reasons, including natural events such as storms, to seal predation or very frequently diseases, and at various stages in a salmon's life. Usage of some, such as the agricultural pesticide cypermethrin â€“ best known as a sheep dip - has fallen sharply from 21kg in 2008 to under 1kg in 2011. Year on year use of the four other compounds, deltamethrin, emamectin, teflubenzuron and azamethiphos, has fluctuated but has increased over time. The organophosphate azamethiphos, described by Sepa as needing "great care" by fish farms "because even a slight overdose can harm or kill the fish", now accounts for more than half of all chemical use by weight. Its usage had more than doubled since 2008, from 100kg to 211kg last year.
The Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation and Sepa insist there is no evidence or grounds to believe that this sharp rise in pesticide use poses a danger to the overall marine environment. "The effects of sea louse medicine residues on the environment are localised and relatively short lived. Therefore, assessing their impacts is best done on a local, site specific basis. "Attempting to draw conclusions from national statistics on use and release of such substances, is a less efficient way of monitoring, because the gross mass of active ingredients discharged will vary considerably. This is due to a wide range of circumstances, not least because the dose rate, when using different medicines, is highly variable."
However, Sepa admitted it did no national or regional monitoring of overall chemicals use, to establish whether there could be cumulative effects or wider policy issues. It said: There has been no need for Sepa to make such a comparison. Sepa has collected data on chemical use and has undertaken work to evaluate its potential impact. Sepa collects the data on a site by site basis and assesses use at that level. Sepa does not collect or aggregate this into national data for use by the agency because doing so provides no useful outputs. However, reporting of this nature is required to fulfill legislative requirements of Scotland, the UK and EU. However, environmentalists and critics of fish farmers say there is substantial evidence that numerous fish farms are failing to use these chemicals safely and that Sepa's failure to do any Scotland-wide studies or to monitor overall pesticide use greatly weakens their position. Guy Linley-Adams, a solicitor working for the Salmon & Trout Association aquaculture campaign, believes the underlying problem the industry faces with sea lice infestation is the critical issue. It is a potential doomsday scenario for wild salmon is on the west coast. Scotland has an expanding salmon farming industry, increasingly unable to control the sea lice problem on its farmed fish, relying on chemical treatments to which the lice are becoming tolerant or resistant and still largely in denial about the impact they are having on the wider marine environment. Here's a map of all the fish farms which have had negative environmental assessments from Sepa, and those with a clean bill of health between 2006 and 2009. View Larger Map Scottish fish farms with negative environmental assessments from Sepa, and those with a clean bill of health, click here to see the full interactive map made by And that the map is made by GreenInfo. Here's all the data from Don Staniford's freedom for information request, please check out the data, use it in your interactives and let us know in the comments below. Source: Scottish Environment Protection Agency
Data summary Chemicals (g) to control salmon parasites on Scottish fish farms Year
Elly Edwards: "They said the fish is so contaminated with toxic chemicals it should be eaten no more than three times a year." Don Staniford: of the Salmon Farm Protest Group said: "This scientific study blows out of the water the myth that farmed salmon is safe, nutritious and healthy. "It's official - salmon is now the most contaminated foodstuff on the supermarket shelf."
ď ś Health scare: farmed salmon contains various toxins August 19, 2012 Scientists Issued a devastating new warning last night about the safety of Scottish farmed salmon. They said the fish is so contaminated with toxic chemicals it should be eaten no more than three times a year. The chemicals, which have been linked to cancer and birth defects, come from the feed used in fish farms. The findings could have a shattering impact on the ÂŁ700million-a-year Scottish salmon farming industry, which supports some 6,500 jobs. Sales of salmon soared as farming brought prices down and the health benefits of oily fish emerged. It has overtaken cod as the best-selling fresh fish in Britain - and 98 per cent comes from Scottish farms. Salmon farmers there branded the latest study "deliberately misleading" last night while the Food Standards Agency said the levels of pollutants were within safety limits used by Britain, the EU and the World Health Organisation. Its chairman Sir John Krebs said the health benefits of eating oily fish outweighed any risk. But Dr Jeffery Foran, an American toxicologist involved in the study, said neither he nor his family would eat farmed salmon again after what he discovered. Poullutants The project - based at the University of Albany in New York state - looked at pollutant levels in farmed and wild salmon bought in Britain, Europe and North America. Previous small-scale studies had identified a contamination risk, but this is by far the biggest and most comprehensive study. Researchers measured the levels of industrial pollutants - PCBs and dioxins - and agricultural pesticides such as toxaphene and dieldrin. They examined 700 fish, some bought in London supermarkets and some direct from Scottish farms. The highest concentrations were found in fish from Scotland and the Faroe Islands. Dr Foran said this may be because their feed contains oil recovered from the ground-up bodies of tiny sea life harvested in the North Atlantic - a dumping ground for decades for manmade toxins. Fish from Norway also performed badly.
READ ENTIRE DAILY MAIL ARTICLE HERE
Killing Farms GAAIA & Save Our Seals Fund September 16 2012 Scottish Salmon’s Lethal Seal of Disapproval - 87% of farms fail to install predator exclusion nets Exclusive figures forced from the Scottish Government under Freedom of Information laws reveal that only 13% of Scottish salmon farms use seal exclusion nets. The 2011/12 survey has just been released by Marine Scotland following an appeal over the refusal of an earlier Freedom of Information request. The survey shows that although 20% of salmon farms have these vital anti-predator nets only 13% of farms use them .
Don Staniford of the Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture (GAAIA): “These damning figures blow the industry’s claim that seals are only shot as a ‘last resort’ out of the water”
Read the Sunday Times article "Fish Farms in Shooting Seals Row" (16 September 2012) “These damning figures blow the industry’s claim that seals are only shot as a ‘last resort’ out of the water,” said Don Staniford of the Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture (GAAIA). “The bloody truth is that 4 out of 5 salmon farms do not even have predator nets and are killing seals unnecessarily. Consumers have blood on their hands when buying Scottish farmed salmon – even RSPCA-certified ‘Freedom Food’ salmon.” Following Marine Scotland’s refusal to name the companies, GAAIA has now filed an appeal with the Scottish Information Commissioner . GAAIA has forwarded this damning new information to the US Government demanding that imports of Scottish farmed salmon be banned due to a blatant breach of the US Marine Mammal Protection Act. “When you buy Scottish salmon you pay for bullets to shoot seals,” said John Robins, Secretary to the Save Our Seals Fund. “It is ludicrous and shameful that the Scottish Government is freely issuing licences to allow salmon farmers to kill seals when, by the Governments’ own admission, the vast majority of these floating factory fish farms do not use proper anti-predator nets. When the Scottish Government and RSPCA Freedom Foods claim that seals are only shot as a ‘last resort’ they are lying. They are lying to the public and colluding with the salmon farmers in the killing of seals in Scottish waters. The Scottish Government and RSPCA Freedom Foods should insist that salmon farmers deploy and maintain proper seal exclusion nets.” Paul Wheelhouse, the new Environment Minister at the Scottish Government, claimed earlier this month: “More than 60 per cent of Scottish farmed salmon now has the RSPCA’s Freedom Foods accreditation.” Despite failing to install predator nets at 87% of farms, the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation claims: “More than 90% of Scottish salmon will be farmed to RSPCA Freedom Food welfare standards within the next two years”.
In June, FOI data from the Scottish Government revealed that over 300 seals were killed during 2011 and 2012 (up to April) by Scottish salmon farmers including Marine Harvest, Loch Duart, Scottish Sea Farms, Meridian, Hjaltland Seafarms and The Scottish Salmon Company. 2011/12 Survey - Anti-Predator Nets
A total of 13% of fish farms actively use anti-predator nets and a further 7% have anti-predator nets in storage, making 20% in total (36 out of 175 responses). A number of reasons were offered for not using such nets but the most significant by far at 70% was related either solely or partly to possible impacts on wildlife. It should be noted that properly installed and maintained high-tension seal exclusion nets should not harm seals or other marine mammals. However this requires employing extra trained staff and regular net maintenance and cleaning which costs money and eats into profit margins.
â€œPredator controlâ€? of marine mammals via lethal removal (shooting) is also practiced in British Columbia and other locations where salmon artificially raised in open pen feedlots are valued higher than wild marine life.
ď ś Beavers Positively Impact Wild Salmon Numbers August 10, 2012
Reintroduced European beavers could have an overall positive impact on wild salmon populations in Scotland, according to a study by the Univ. of Southampton. Representatives of recreational fisheries interests north and south of the border are concerned that beavers can harm economically important fish stocks due to their dam building activities and potential
to block migratory life phases. However, results of a study conducted by scientists at the Univ. of Southampton, funded by Scottish Natural Heritage, indicate that beavers can also have substantial beneficial effects which may outweigh those that are negative. The study’s findings highlight that while the activities of beavers can result in localized and often temporary negative impacts on fish, primarily due to dams impeding their movements and reducing the availability of suitable spawning habitat, these can be at least off-set by the benefits of increased habitat diversity and resulting abundance and productivity of fish, including salmon. Paul Kemp, a researcher in freshwater fish ecology and fisheries management from the university’s International Centre for Ecohydraulics Research, who led the study comments that, “the positive findings were more frequently based on quantitative evidence, while discussion of negative impacts was often speculative.” Kemp and his colleagues were surprised that the “weight of evidence” tended to indicate an overall positive effect considering the background of those who participated in the survey. “Most participants were from a fisheries background and whom you might expect would tend to side with the fish, but based on their experience of beaver and fish interactions tended to be positive towards beaver,” he says. Beaver reintroduction has been a contentious issue in Scotland ever since a total of 16 individuals from Norway were released in Argyll in 2009 and 2010 as part of a scientific trial conducted by the Scottish Wildlife Trust, The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and the Forestry Commission Scotland. Even more controversy surrounds the establishment of a breeding population of escaped beavers on the River Tay. This has had ramifications south of the border as the Angling Trust has written to Richard Benyon, the UK minister for Fisheries and the Natural Environment, requesting that trapping and destruction of the beavers be urgently undertaken to prevent their spread to England where it is claimed they could damage fisheries. Researchers carried out a critical view of over 100 sources of peer-reviewed information in which benefits were cited 184 times compared to 119 for the negative effects. Analysis of existing literature indicates that beaver activity can have both positive and negative effects on fish. Negative effects relate to the construction of beaver dams which can temporarily impede the movement of some fish, particularly in narrow rivers and streams, while siltation can cause loss of spawning habitat immediately upstream of dams. But beavers can also have beneficial effects on fish by increasing the variety and area of habitats in streams, and due to the presence of dams and ponds by increasing the abundance of invertebrates, which form the main component of the diet of many stream-dwelling fish, and providing refuge during periods of high or low water flows. The study, which was published in the leading international fisheries journal Fish and Fisheries, also reports the findings of an expert opinion survey of 49 fisheries managers, scientists and beaver ecology experts, from Europe and North America, where most of the research has been conducted. More than half (58 per cent) of those who responded believed that the overall impact of beavers on fish populations was positive. Prof. Roger Wheater, the Chair of the Beaver-Salmonid Working Group, says, “I would be very surprised if biodiversity were not increased but our concern continues to be the impact on salmonid spawning areas and the management required to deal with situations where salmonids in any particular system are at risk.”
KeepAmericaFishing: We asked. They answered. You decide.
We asked. They answered. You decide. Dear KeepAmericaFishing™ Members (ed, and others),
You rarely hear the presidential candidates speak to recreational fishing while on the campaign trail so to provide insight into each of the candidate's views on issues important to you, we asked each candidate eight questions. At KeepAmericaFishing, we want our nation's anglers such as you - to be informed, united with one voice and participating in the issues that concern recreational fishing both locally and nationally. We hope the responses provide you some insight about the candidates' views on issues that impact recreational fishing and give you a basis to judge which candidate best serves the interests of you, the angler. We encourage you to both vote on November 6 and continue to voice your viewpoint to policy makers on recreational fishing issues through KeepAmericaFishing.
Gordon Robertson KeepAmericaFishing™
See the responses by Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney to several National fishing/conservation policy questions presented to the candidates by KeepAmericaFishing at the link below:
Recreational fishing might be on the way out September 6, 2012 So, you want to head to your favorite lake, river or pond to do a little fishing, but when you get there, there’s a sign that says “No Fishing.” It wasn’t there last week or even the day before. What’s going on?
Austin Conder (from left), Chris Ryan and his father, Perry, show off a morning's catch of Thurmond Lake hybrids and stripers on a trip with Capt. David Willard.
Robert Montgomery pens a conservation column in B.A.S.S. Times, published monthly by the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society. Here’s what his Sept. column says: “Recreational fishing as we know it no longer exists in portions of Western Europe. Even more disturbing, the seeds of its destruction are well established here (in the U.S.) When people are asked whether they approve of recreational fishing for sport, answers change dramatically. In some urbanized states in the West, 25 to 30 percent of the people view angling for sport as cruel. About 20 percent feel the same way in more rural states.” A worst case scenario, Montgomery points out, already exists in Switzerland. “The Swiss Animal Welfare Act of 2008 highlights the nightmarish possibilities. The legislation makes catch-and-release illegal because “it is in conflict with the dignity of the fish and its presumed ability to suffer and feel pain.’” Adopting such a system in this country, Montgomery says, “would mean that a majority of the nation’s millions of anglers would stop fishing.” The 79-year-old American Sportfishing Association (ASA) has created a new advocacy arm to rally fishermen whenever threats to the sport arise, said Dave Precht, B.A.S.S. Times editor, in that same issue. That arm is called Keep America Fishing (KAF) and it’s grown from 20,000 members two years ago to 750,000 this year. The goal is to increase membership to 3 million by 2015, Precht says. So, what can you do? “There is no membership fee to join,” said Gordon C. Robertson, vice president of ASA. “All you do is sign up for the e-newsletter and alerts and that is it. We do make it possible for members to make a donation.” For more information, go to www.keepamericafishing.org and click About Us. Don’t know about you, but I’m joining.
Latest assault from House Republican leadership would let big polluters skirt air, water standards
WASHINGTON--(ENEWSPF)--September 17 - The House of Representatives this week is moving forward a bill that would let big polluters increase air pollution, dump more hazardous coal ash into America’s streams and rivers and strip away fundamental health and environmental protections under the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act. The following is a statement from Franz Matzner, associate director of government affairs for the Natural Resources Defense Council: “Disingenuously spinning this as some sort of jobs legislation does not hide House Republican leadership’s true purpose: To continue gutting our fundamental environmental and health protections just to please political supporters. “No amount of rebranding can change the facts: dirty air and water won’t create jobs, but it will pollute our lungs, contaminate our water and devastate our communities. “Despite all the other pressing issues America faces, it’s unfortunate but not surprising that Republican leadership continues to spend time dismantling our basic environmental protections. This is what they’ve been doing since they took control of the House.” The House has voted more than 300 times to block or eliminate fundamental environmental protections, making it the most anti-environmental House in history, according to a House Committee on Energy & Commerce database. See here for details.
B.C. farmed salmon on menu at U.S. Open Skuna Bay says deal with high-profile event an endorsement of local product August 28, 2012
Editorial Comment: It is absolutely shameful that the U.S. Tennis Association chose to serve chemically treated, open pen feedlot-raised Atlantic salmon from British Columbia during the prestigious US Open Tennis Championship in New York. Given the many negative ecological, cultural and economic impacts associated with open pen salmon feedlots around planet earth, this was a very irresponsible, short-sighted action by the U.S. Tennis Association. Food Network chef filleting his first Skuna Bay Salmon. Vancouver Island’s Skuna Bay Seafood will be providing its farmed B.C. salmon for the dining rooms at the U.S. Open Tennis Championship in New York this week. Stewart Hawthorn, managing director and head farmer with Skuna Bay, said the company is thrilled to have its fish being served at the prestigious event. He declined to say what the exclusive deal is worth, but said Skuna Bay would be shipping about 800 fish (about 8,000 pounds) to New York for the championship. “For us, this isn’t really about the money. We are making a profit on these fish, but what’s really exciting is that this is farm-raised salmon from B.C. being eaten at one of the top sporting events in the world,” Hawthorn said. “They saw what we are doing and they wanted to be part of it. This is a real endorsement.” Skuna Bay salmon — farmed in the ocean near Nootka Sound on Vancouver Island and just off the Sunshine Coast — has been on the market for less than a year, and the company has sold 153,000 pounds of farmed B.C. salmon in its first eight months of operation, the company said in a news release this week. The deal with the U.S. Open came about when Ed Brown, a food consultant to the U.S. Tennis Association, became aware of Skuna Bay’s salmon, and made room for the fish on his menus.
READ ENTIRE VANCOUVER SUN ARTICLE HERE
Chef Rick Moonen stands up for wild Alaskan salmon August 31, 2012
The battle over Bristol Bay salmon in Alaska has spilled over to Las Vegas, where chef Rick Moonen is fighting a plan to build a gold and copper mine in the bay's watershed. (Al Grillo/AP) Who knew there was a salmon lobby in the middle of the Nevada desert? Dining at RM Seafood, a Las Vegas restaurant in the Mandalay Bay hotel, offers a peek into the fierce battle over whether the federal government should allow a massive gold and copper mine to be constructed in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed. Bristol Bay is home to nearly half the world’s sockeye salmon, as well as other wild species such as coho. But it’s also where Northern Dynasty Minerals, a Canadian company, wants to build Pebble Mine. The Environmental Protection Agency is considering whether to invoke the Clean Water Act on the grounds that mine waste will pollute streams that wild salmon need to spawn. A laminated specials card that the wait staff hands guests in celebrity chef Rick Moonen’s restaurant touts the Bristol Bay salmon they serve. But it also carries a message: Oppose Pebble Mine. “If built, Pebble Mine would produce up to 10 billion tons of toxic waste that will have to be treated for hundreds of years,” it reads. “This waste will threaten Bristol Bay’s $600 million commercial and sport fishery and 12,000 fishing jobs. The future of Bristol Bay is in the hands of President Obama and the EPA.” John Cunin, the restaurant’s general manager, said Moonen feels so strongly about the issue that he visited Bristol Bay in July and gave personal briefings to the staff on why the watershed deserves protection. “The staff is kind of gung ho on Bristol Bay,” Cunin said, adding that wild salmon now ranks as the restaurant’s top seller. (Moonen, incidentally, is expected to be in Washington on Friday, Sept. 7, for a State Department special event.) And how does the salmon taste? The kitchen offered several dishes featuring both wild coho fillets as well as coho roe: The most exceptional was a flatbread prepared with house-cured coho, creme fraiche, coho roe and micro chives. After a dish like that, people might take to the streets in defense of wild Alaskan salmon.
My turn: Scientific review underscores fishermen's concern with Pebble August 28, 2012 As a Bristol Bay fishermen my family depends on our jobs and income from Salmon. I follow the debate around large-scale mining in the headwaters of Bristol Bay, Alaska’s greatest wild sockeye salmon fishery, as best I can. Because the State of Alaska has done nothing over the years to address concerns about largescale mine development in the region I was among many Alaskans who asked the Environmental Protection Agency to get involved and address concerns over potential impacts to fisheries. Here is the latest issue of concern: after being petitioned by Bristol Bay Native Tribes and permit holders in the Bristol Bay commercial salmon fishery to take proactive action to protect Bristol Bay’s wild salmon fishery, the EPA conducted a Watershed Assessment of the region. The Assessment, which sought to understand the potential risks posed by large scale metallic sulfide mining on Bristol Bay’s salmon ecosystem, was recently peer reviewed by a panel of 12 independent scientists who held open deliberations on the document in Anchorage last week. And one point in particular made by one of the panelists grabbed my attention immediately. One expert said that reductions in the commercial catch of salmon could be one of the only forms of compensatory mitigation possible for a project of this kind. The idea of reducing the commercial salmon fishery to make room for mining is extremely disturbing, especially because the Pebble Limited Partnership has repeatedly told fishermen and others that the proposed Pebble mine and salmon can co-exist. They promised they could mitigate the losses and have ‘no net loss.’ Yet, now it appears they could target commercial harvest reductions to mitigate for the loss of essential salmon habitat due to the impacts of mining. As you may know, the EPA’s watershed report found that – even without a disaster or a series of leaks and spills – mining at the Pebble site would cause the loss of up to 87 miles of salmon streams and up to 4,300 acres of salmon wetland habitat. That alone is unreasonable, but the panel had other concerns that were big red flags as well. Overall, they concluded that EPA underplayed the potential long-term impacts of mine development – including roads, pipelines, sewage treatment facilities and housing – on the watershed, fish and wildlife. They also pressed for more information on the effects of mining to migratory birds, other marine mammals and human health. Several panelists expressed serious concern about how Pebble’s massive mine waste lagoons could be managed “in perpetuity.” The group agreed that the Watershed Assessment correctly notes that mines of this sort must not only outlast the mining companies, but also governments. The mine waste storage and treatment must be planned for 20,000-30,000 years as a start, or at least until the next ice age rolls through, in an area that is vast, wet, and has a complex hydrological system of ground and surface water interaction. But, on top of all that, it is important for Alaskans to know that the discussion for mitigation involves limiting commercial fishing so as to allow more fish to get upstream to compensate for habitat loss (and nutrient deposit) due to mining. Doing so would mean being asked to trade one resource for another and putting over a century’s worth of Alaskan fishing and processing jobs at risk. That is unacceptable to Alaska’s commercial fishermen and to the Bristol Bay fishery, the most productive and highest valued in the state. For my part, I reject the development of a behemoth like Pebble altogether in the heart of our salmon stronghold and certainly will not support decreasing Bristol Bay’s catch to make Pebble’s mine plan more acceptable to scientists or regulators.
ď ś Commerce secretary declares Alaska salmon disaster September 13, 2012 ANCHORAGE, Alaska â€” King salmon fisheries in major Alaska watersheds have been declared failures by the U.S. Department of Commerce, making commercial fishermen eligible for disaster relief. Acting U.S. Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank announced the disaster declaration Thursday for the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers, which flow into the Bering Sea, and for Cook Inlet region south of Anchorage, which includes the Kenai River. "Some Cook Inlet salmon fisheries have experienced revenue losses of up to 90 percent of their historical average during the 2012 season, seriously hurting local economies that are dependent on fishing," Blank said in her announcement. The Yukon River is North America's third-longest. Villages along the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers depend on chinook salmon for both commercial sales and subsistence needs, Blank said. King salmon are the largest of the five Pacific salmon that thrive in Alaska waters. They hatch in freshwater streams, live a year in rivers and spend three to four years in ocean water before returning to streams to breed and die. Some spawning Yukon River kings swim more than 2,000 miles over two months across the width of Alaska to reach headwaters in Canada, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Gov. Sean Parnell requested disaster declarations over the summer following weak returns that had state fisheries managers closing seasons and limiting sport, commercial and subsistence fishing. In some cases, managers halted the catch of sockeye or other species so that enough kings could escape up streams. The Kenai River's eastside commercial setnet fishermen lost nearly 90 percent of their normal annual income when that fishery was restricted and closed, according to Parnell. Setnets are nets anchored to a beach and run perpendicular to shore. State Commerce Department officials estimate a commercial fishing loss of $2 million to $3.7 million, Parnell spokeswoman Sharon Leighow said. "This does not include impacts to guides, sport and recreational anglers, which impacts charters, gear shops, RV parks, restaurants," she said by email. It also does not account for the significant household income value of the subsistence catch, she said. The reason for the poor returns remains unknown but researchers continue to suspect ocean factors, said Robert Clark, the state's chief sport fish scientist. "If you look at what's been going on lately, since about 2006, run strength around the state, they all seemed to have peaked at about the same time in `06, and pretty much all the stocks that we have monitoring for declined," he said. The department has not seen similar conditions since the early 1970s, he said. Generally, king salmon returns to home rivers and streams vary, with some doing well and others not in any given year. "This time around it looks like there's a real statewide downturn and that leads you to the idea that it's probably something in the early marine environment or something in the marine environment itself," Clark said. Clark and his counterpart for commercial fisheries, Eric Volk, head a team formed by Parnell to look at declining king runs. The team is drafting an analysis that will be discussed at a symposium next month in Anchorage and will eventually generate a research plan.
Report warns against offshore drilling in Bristol Bay August 20, 2012
A new report from an Alaska conservation group calls for putting the seafood rich waters of Bristol Bay permanently off limits to offshore drilling for oil and gas. “After more than 35 years of ongoing controversy and debate, the time has come to provide this global gem the permanent protection from offshore drilling it deserves,” the Alaska Marine Conservation Council concludes in “National Treasure at Risk: Protecting Alaska’s Bristol Bay from Offshore Drilling.” “The waters targeted for oil and gas development in Bristol Bay and the southeast Bering Sea lie at the epicenter of our nation’s most well-managed and economically important commercial fisheries – including the largest runs of wild salmon on the planet,” AMCC said. The report, which was released in mid-August, can be downloaded at www.akmarine.org [http://www.akmarine.org/] The document details the history of drilling efforts, beginning with the federal government leasing the area to a group of eight oil companies in the 1980s, then buying the leases back in the 1990s, in the wake of the Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster in Prince William Sound. The same area was re-opened for leasing in 2007. Then in March 2010 President Obama and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced cancellation of the 2007-2012 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing program, protecting the area from drilling by presidential withdrawal through 2017. Drilling would risk much more than the annual $2 billion fisheries economy and the tens of thousands of related jobs these renewable resources support, the report said. “Alaska Native cultures of the region rely on centuries old hunting, fishing and gathering traditions. Those practices depend not only on healthy fisheries, but marine mammals, seabirds and waterfowl that are a part of the unique Bristol Bay web of life.” The 34-page report profiles species of fish, marine mammals and seabirds that have particularly important habitat within and surrounding the area targeted for drilling. It includes an informative discussion of the potential impacts from offshore drilling such as oil spills, drilling discharges, infrastructure and seismic surveys that pose risks to the region’s marine ecosystem and the people who depend on its continued health. In short, the report concludes, the potential economic, cultural and ecological consequences of offshore oil and gas development in Bristol Bay and the southeast Bering Sea vastly outweigh possible benefits. The report was funded by a grant from the World Wildlife Fund, with additional support from Oak Foundation, Wolfensohn Family Foundation, The Oceans Foundation and Alaska Conservation Foundation. IT was prepared by AMCC staff with help from Thomas Van Pelt of Transboundary Ecologic LLC, Wild Salmon Center and Audubon Alaska.
ď ś Shell begins petroleum drilling off Alaska coast September 09, 2012 ANCHORAGE, Alaska â€“ More than four years after Royal Dutch Shell paid $2.8 billion to the federal government for petroleum leases in the Chukchi Sea, a company vessel on Sunday morning sent a drill bit into the ocean floor, beginning preliminary work on an exploratory well 70 miles off the northwest coast of Alaska. Drilling began at 4:30 a.m., said Shell Alaska spokesman Curtis Smith. Shell Alaska vice president Pete Slaiby called it historic. "It's the first time a drill bit has touched the sea floor in the U.S. Chukchi Sea in more than two decades," Slaiby said in a prepared statement. "This is an exciting time for Alaska and for Shell. We look forward to continued drilling progress throughout the next several weeks and to adding another chapter to Alaska's esteemed oil and gas history." Federal officials estimate Arctic waters in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas hold 26 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 130 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Aug. 30 that Shell would be permitted to begin preparation work at the Chukchi site even though the company's spill response barge has not been certified and is not positioned nearby. The company is authorized to drill narrow pilot holes 1,400 feet below the ocean floor and roughly 4,000 feet above a petroleum reservoir. Shell has spent upward of $4.5 billion for Arctic Ocean drilling but had been thwarted from drilling by environmental lawsuit, regulatory requirements and short open-water drilling seasons. Despite the requirement to stay out of oil-bearing rock, they were elated to finally begin work. "In the days to come, drilling will continue in the Chukchi Sea, and we will prepare for drilling to commence in the Beaufort Sea," Slaiby said. Drilling is bitterly opposed by environmental groups that say oil companies have not demonstrated they can clean up a spill in ice-choked water. They say a spill of the magnitude of the Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico would be catastrophic in a region hammered by climate warming and home to endangered or threatened marine mammals such as bowhead whales, polar bear and walrus. Shell officials say there's little chance of that happening. They are drilling in about 130 feet deep, versus 5,000 at the site of the gulf spill, and wellhead pressure is expected to be far less. Shell also claims its support vessels could quickly choke off and respond to a spill. Smith said workers Friday completed mooring of the drill ship, the Noble Discoverer, in heavy seas with eight anchors that each weigh 15 tons and are staged on the seafloor in a circular pattern. The diameter of the anchor pattern, he said by email, was more than 6,500-feet. A 20-by-40-by-40-foot mud-line cellar will allow a blowout preventer to be positioned below the seafloor, protecting it from ice scraping the bottom. The oil spill response barge remains in Bellingham, Wash., and is expected to undergo sea trials over the weekend, he said. Shell's other Arctic Ocean drill ship, the Kulluk, is in the Beaufort Sea waiting for the fall whale hunt to end before moving to the drill site.
Atlantic salmon returns are disappointing August 29, 2012
St. Andrews, NB; Canada… Wild Atlantic salmon returns to North America are disappointingly low this year, especially in the rivers of Maine. The Penobscot River, which is undergoing a major restoration program, had only 609 salmon return from their ocean migration by the end of August the lowest number since the year 2000. This amounts to only 20% of the more than 3,100 salmon that returned in 2011. The low return of salmon to the Penobscot is especially disappointing to the Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF), one of the partners in a coalition of conservation organizations, a power company, an Indian Nation, and state and federal governments. In June, this coalition removed the first of three dams from the Penobscot River as part of one of the biggest restoration projects in the United States. This project will open up 1000 miles of habitat to 11 fish species, including the Atlantic salmon, and help restore the whole ecosystem of the river, when all three dams are finally removed within the next couple of years. Low water levels and high temperatures did not encourage the salmon to enter Maine’s rivers this season, a complete reversal of the excellent water conditions of last year. “It’s in years like 2012,” said Sue Scott, ASF’s VP, Communications, “that people realize the significant importance of our conservation agreements with Greenland fishermen, who have not conducted a commercial fishery for wild Atlantic salmon since 2002.” The wild Atlantic salmon of the United States, which are all listed as endangered, migrate to the coast of Greenland to overwinter and feed. The bigger the fishery there, the more likely these salmon will be killed. In June 2012, the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (made up of all North Atlantic countries concerned with wild Atlantic salmon, including the United States) negotiated an agreement with Denmark on behalf of Greenland to extend the suspension of its commercial salmon fishery for another three years, “This is time well needed until the fruits of restoration programs in the United States can be realized,” said Ms. Scott. The decommissioning of the Great Works Dam, the first of the Penobscot River’s dams to be removed, began in June, in Bradley, Maine. A large crowd of politicians, state and federal government representatives, conservationists, naturalists, members of the Penobscot Indian Nation, and fishermen cheered from shore as a giant hydraulic jackhammer began removing the dam. “As reservoirs above dams heat up river water; removing these dams will result in cooler water temperatures,” concluded Ms. Scott. “Free-flowing water will not reach such high temperatures – something that will benefit future generations of wild Atlantic salmon destined to return in hot and dry summers.”
Maryland In Maryland train deaths, more questions than answers August 21, 2012 Editorial Comment: This article was selected to serve as a reminder of hazards associated with transporting America’s coal through populated regions and environmentally sensitive areas. In this tragic story, two women were killed when brakes failed on a fully-loaded coal train. Tons of coal covered the women and more fell into the nearby Patapsco River Two killed as CSX train derails in Ellicott City overnight: The women had been tweeting from near the tracks before the CSX train hauling coal near Ellicott City derailed. Some of the train cars fell off the 20-foot-tall bridge and onto vehicles parked beneath. Getting to the bridge above Main Street, which is smack against the gray stone of Acquisition Home and Design, requires a walk up the hill that is Maryland Avenue. Just beyond the old railroad station that is now a B&O railroad museum, and around a bright red caboose that is a fenced-in museum exhibit, a pedestrian can step onto the tracks. The bridge is about 100 yards down the rails, and there is a comfortably wide walkway on the bridge apron for crossing. A seat on that walkway would give a view of Main Street. Sitting on the other side provides a view of the Patapsco River. Aerial footage shows the wreckage of a CSX train that derailed overnight in downtown Ellicott City, Md. From atop the bridge the women tweeted two photos, one looking up Main Street and the other showing their feet dangling as they sat on the bridge. Apparently they settled in on the river-view side, perhaps because a 19th-century iron fence on the Main Street side kept them from sitting on the edge. In bold gold letters painted on that side of the bridge are the words “Ellicott City.” At 11:40 p.m., Nass sent a tweet that was read by her brother, Brendan: “Drinking on top of the Ellicott City sign with [Rose].” It is unclear whether the two women got up too late when they heard the train. But as the engines chugged over the bridge, past the station and near a sharp curve to the left, a brake line that connects each car to the next severed, and an automatic system began slamming on the brakes on each of the cars. The cars began to derail to the left, spilling their coal. Some came to rest on their side, others tumbled from the bridge or down the embankments on either side.
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Ore. Wave Power Project Gets Federal Permit August 21, 2012 (AP) Wave power developers planning a project off the Oregon Coast now have the nation’s only federal permit to develop a commercial wave power park. Ocean Power Technologies Inc., based in Pennington, N.J., said Monday it will deploy the first buoy for testing sometime this year off Reedsport. Charles Dunleavy, CEO of the publicly held company, said it hopes to have the country’s first commercial wave power park online within two or three years of securing full financing. The project will include 10 buoys anchored 2 1/2 miles off the coast and covering about 30 acres. They will produce 1.5 megawatts — enough to power about 1,000 homes. An undersea cable will carry the power to a site slated for the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, and connect to the grid at a substation in Gardner. Belinda Batten, director of the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Facility and a professor of mechanical energy at Oregon State University, said the Ocean Power facility is small by European standards but presents a big step forward in development of alternative energy from the ocean in the U.S. The Oregon Coast has become a hotspot for wave power research and development. Waves are bigger on the West Coast than the East Coast by virtue of the prevailing westerly winds, and waves get bigger the farther they are from the equator, Batten said. She noted that Atmocean Inc., in Santa Fe, N.M., plans to test three buoys this year off Coos Bay and that Oregon State is looking for a site to build a larger grid-connected test facility.
Coal clash: Multnomah County to examine health hazards from coal dust and diesel September 10, 2012 Editorial Comment: “railroad testing found an average of 225 pounds of coal lost per car during a 567-mile trip. For a 135-car train, that's about 15 tons.” This means that 16 loaded trains will lose one million pounds per day (365 million pounds per year) along the 1,000 mile route – clearly, this number increases as the number of trains increase – seems very problematic. A coal train in Wyoming's section of the Powder River Basin. Multnomah County Chairman Jeff Cogen is directing the county health department to review potential health hazards from coal trains that may run through the county en route to new Northwest export terminals. Cogen's request, to be formally announced today, focuses on diesel emissions from locomotives and coal dust from uncovered coal cars. He also wants the emergency management office to study potential delays in emergency response from mile–plus trains. Activists have asked federal regulators for an independent health review and Gov. John Kitzhaber for a state health department review, to no avail thus far. "There's been a lot of talk about this on regional, state and national level, but I think it's time for the local level to step up so we can understand how concerned we should be," said Cogen, also chair of the county's board of health. Three of the five coal export terminals proposed in Oregon and Washington are likely to route coal trains through Multnomah County, as many as 32 a day -- half of them full, half empty. Those three terminals, one in Coos Bay and two along the Columbia River, would ship coal from Montana and Wyoming's Powder River Basin to Asia for electricity generation. » Interactive map: Proposed Northwest export terminals Railroads and terminal developers say health impacts would be minimal. If they're all fully built out -highly uncertain -- they'd add nearly 900 permanent jobs, plus construction work, developers say. Trains account for less than 10 percent of total diesel particulate pollution in the Portland area, according to state estimates, and trains are far less polluting per ton of cargo than trucks. Federal limits will deeply cut emissions from new diesel locomotives as fleets turn over.
Coal dust is a problem near mines, the railroads acknowledge, but diminishes with distance. Coal dust from trains doesn't generate the fine particulates that do the most lung damage, coal terminal supporters say, and exposure near the tracks won't come close to the exposure shown to cause problems for miners. Washington union leaders, whose members handle coal trains headed to British Columbia ports and the Centralia coal-fired power plant, say their members have reported no health issues related to coal dust. And both BNSF Railway and Union Pacific, the major lines in the West, are requiring mines to spray open-top coal loads with sticky surfactants that the coal industry says cut dust emissions by 80 percent or more. "Any kind of export business, any kind of transportation, is going to have impacts," said Lauri Hennessey, of the Alliance for Northwest Jobs and Exports, a trade group backed by mining companies, terminal developers, railroads and unions. Regulators will explore health issues during permitting, she said, and developers would mitigate problems that come up. Opponents say older trains spew high amounts of carcinogenic diesel particulates, and there's no guarantee newer trains would be used in the Northwest. That could harm people living or working close to the tracks, which tend to run through poorer neighborhoods. On dust, opponents note that some coal-burning utilities are challenging the requirements to use surfactants. And railroad testing found an average of 225 pounds of coal lost from per car during a 567-mile trip. For a 135-car train, that's about 15 tons. Cogen said he doesn't want to rely on permit reviews, which will lean heavily on data from terminal developers and their consultants. "We don't have the ability to stop trains and we don't the ability to force (railroads) to cover the trains," he said. "We do have the ability to direct light at the problem and demand protective measures." Cogen wants a report by year's end. Gary Oxman, the county's health officer and a preventive medicine doctor, said staff will review the science to date, but can't take air samples near tracks or do other field work by then. It's clear coal dust can harm miners, Oxman says -- think black lung disease. But the potential harm from "community exposures" will be much trickier to pin down. The department will also assess diesel pollution risks from added trains. That will be complicated, too. The railroads won't specify which routes they'll take. existing traffic varies by line, ranging from 85 a day over the Columbia River rail bridge to about 30 a day on southeast Portland's Brooklyn line to just a handful through the Linnton neighborhood in Northwest Portland. Cogen is among critics who raise broader concerns about coal export, including global warming impacts. But the health department doesn't feel political pressure for a negative review, Oxman said: "We're here to speak from an objective perspective."
Lakotas organize to halt new Keystone tarsands route September 17, 2012 Lakotas organize teach-ins to protect sacred water from Keystone and dirty tarsands oil
Photo Lakotas blockade tarsands trucks on Pine Ridge. Lakotas are organizing to protect sacred water and halt the new proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline, which could poison their drinking water. Already, the tarsands are devastating the homelands of Cree and other First Nations in Canada and poisoning their land and people. On Pine Ridge in South Dakota, Debra White Plume, Lakota said, “The precious drinking water supply of the Oglala Lakota people will be overlapped more than a few times if TransCanada gets its way and the US State Department approves its second attempt to get a permit to build the Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline will enter this big land in Montana, come south and skirt the Cheyenne River, Pine Ridge, Lower Brule, and Rosebud Reservations before it enters Nebraska.” “Recently, TransCanada revealed its ‘new’ route through the sandhills of Nebraska, keeping their budget in mind, they diverted a total of 20 miles. There is sandhills land on the Pine Ridge in the LaCreek District. The KXL pipeline will be buried into the Ogallala Aquifer, in numerous places when one digs a few feet down, water rises.” “Our Lakota people, and people all over South Dakota, depend on the Rural Water Pipeline, or Lyman Jones as it is called off-reservation. It crosses the Lyman Jones in 43 places. It crosses our water pipeline to the Pine Ridge at least twice.” “The KXL will carry dirty crude tarsands oil from the mines near the Ft McMurray area of Alberta, Canada. Much of the pristine Boreal Forest has been totally decimated, strip mined to bare dirt, to get at the tarsands oil deep in Mother Earth.”
White Plume said the oil miners use three to four barrels of drinking water to produce one barrel of oil, and stores billions of gallons of waste water in huge waste water ponds. “It is a secret what chemicals they use to dilute the heavy crude! However, a Viet Nam Veteran knew that some of the chemicals are the same as what was used in Agent Orange, revealed in a meeting with the US State Dept I attended last spring in Washington, DC. That Viet Nam Veteran is from here on the Pine Ridge. Maybe he will come and speak out!” White Plume said. Owe Aku is hosting a series of Sacred Water Protection Teach Ins across Lakota Territory. “The first will be held at our own famous Billy Mills Hall in Pine Ridge Village on September 26, 2012 and at Kyle on September 27, 2012 at the Church Hall, both begin at 1pm. On both dates, there will be guest speakers and handouts to share facts on the tarsands oil mine, the KXL oil pipeline, and the historical and cultural Lakota land sites that TransCanada plans to cross. Tribal officials will be speak on these significant landsites, allied organizations who also work to protect drinking water and Mother Earth will be speaking. There will be slideshows to share images from the tarsands oil mine and other water destruction mining and mining-related activities,” she said. “We will have handouts that describe how each Tribal Government plans to protect their Homelands, and we want to generate a discussion on how we can all work together to protect our sacred water, Mother Earth, and coming generations. We will share images of how people in Texas are protecting their ranches, farms and neighborhoods from TransCanada’s KXL oil pipeline, and from heavy haul trucks carrying equipment across our Homelands, as well the river hauls in BC Canada,” White Plume said. “Info will be available regarding the impacts of oil mining using the hydrofracturing (fracking) method, a technique that is being banned around the world, yet is being practiced all over this big land. There is recent discussion on the Pine Ridge regarding fracking near our northern border and on the Reservation as well. Several tribal candidates are already discussing how the Oglala Sioux Tribe must prepare for oil ‘fracking’. We want to give folks an opportunity to voice their opinion on this crucial topic.” There will also be an update on the uranium case against Cameco, Inc. In Situ Leach uranium mine in Crawford Nebraska, as well Cameco’s plans for three new uranium mines will be discussed. White Plume said, “There will be time for Traditional Headsmen to speak regarding these mining issues and to lead the discussion on a statement from all those in attendance regarding the protection of our sacred water, Mother Earth and coming generations, after all, we protect this sacred water for them, it is their water. Mni wicozani, through water there is life.” Oglala musicians Scatter Their Own will share their awesome indigenous music, and a drum group will share their songs. A feed will follow, and there will be beverages and snacks all afternoon. White Plume said the Sacred Water Protection Teach In is open to all people and everyone is encouraged to attend, share and bring friends, relatives and neighbors.
Keystone XL Pipeline blockades continue in Texas September 10 2012 Three landowner advocates and climate justice organizers have locked themselves to feller buncher machines used for clearing large trees in the path of the Keystone XL pipeline. Today’s action has halted work on a segment of TransCanada’s illegitimate pipeline outside of Saltillo, TX. As promised, Tar Sands Blockade’s rolling campaign of nonviolent civil disobedience pushes forward. Five blockaders total are currently risking arrest to stop work on this segment of the Keystone XL pipeline. Contractors discovered their presence early in the work day, and work at the site was called off shortly thereafter. Texas-born blockaders have united with neighbors from other states to support rural and neighboring communities threatened by the toxic pipeline’s diluted bitumen slurry. Tar Sands Blockade’s landowner solidarity actions hit home with 22-year-old Houston-born blockader Sarah Reid. “This pipeline affects me, my friends and my family directly. The toxic contents threaten the water we drink, the air we breathe.” Reid, who traces her Texan ancestry back to Obedience Smith, the first female settler to own land in Texas, continues, “Out in East Texas, the landowners I’ve met are honest, hard working people who have been taken advantage of by TransCanada. They’re people who just want to protect themselves and their families.” The sense that legal means have failed to curb the landowner abuse inherent in the current eminent domain process is palpable. Gary Lynn Stuard, 54, of Dallas is no longer willing to wait for regulatory reform or judicial intervention: “We have exhausted all of the traditional avenues, and it’s not enough. It’s unjust that a multinational company can seize people’s property by proclaiming themselves a “common carrier”—that’s eminent domain abuse. It’s theft, and these peoples’ homes and land shouldn’t be ruined while decisions on what to do are put off.” Mikey Lowe, 24, traveled from California to raise awareness of the tar sands carrier’s deception. “I feel that eminent domain has really gone too far. I really want to show [the world] what’s going on,” he said. Former Quinlan resident, Beverly Luff, 23, is primarily motivated by the threat that tar sands surface mining and extraction pose to the future of a livable climate. “The more people ignore it, the worse it will get. There’s only one planet, and we can’t afford to let dirty business interests cheat to win in East Texas or elsewhere.” Tar Sands Blockade is a coalition of Texas and Oklahoma landowners and climate organizers using peaceful and sustained civil disobedience to stop the construction of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Today’s action comes on the heels of last week’s outside of Livingston, TX in which seven blockaders were arrested when four locked themselves to a truck delivering pipe segments to a Keystone XL construction site. Their successful nonviolent action stopped activity in the pipeyard for the day. In response, TransCanada claimed its pipeline was not to carry anything other than “crude oil,” which is factually inaccurate at best. “TransCanada commits fraud when it lies about the substances in its toxic tar sands slurry pipeline,” explains Tar Sands Blockade spokesperson Ron Seifert. “East Texans have been documenting TransCanada’s deceit for over four years now. Rural and neighboring families have been treated as nothing more than collateral damage by industry, political and regulatory leaders on all sides of the aisle. The truth is TransCanada will do or say anything to ram this pipeline through, regardless of who gets hurt along the way.”
ď ś Hundreds gather to celebrate Bonneville Dam's 75th September 16, 2012 NORTH BONNEVILLE, Wash. â€” Save Our Wild Salmon: Hundreds of people gathered this weekend to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the dedication of the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River.
"While Bonneville celebrates, the salmon are notâ€?
The event Saturday included honored guests arriving in a motorcade of 1930s-era cars, The Columbian ( http://is.gd/t1FfG2) reported in Sunday's newspaper. The Bonneville Dam was the first of 31 federal dams on the Columbia Basin, including 11 on the Columbia River. The Bonneville Power Administration and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers marked the anniversary of the dam's dedication with a tribute to the landmark hydroelectric facility. During a ceremony, a Franklin Roosevelt impersonator, Gary Stamm, delivered the same speech the president gave at Bonneville Dam's dedication in 1937. "Truly in the construction of the dam," Roosevelt had said. "we have had our eyes on the future of the nation." Federal and local officials, Native American tribal leaders, members of Congress and hundreds of American-flag-waving visitors attended the ceremony. BPA administrator Steve Wright, who will retire in January, called Bonneville and other dams an essential part of the Northwest's identity and history. Life in the region today would be "unrecognizable" without the facilities and the cheap, clean power they provide, he said. Wright noted the work the BPA and others are doing to restore fish populations decimated by dams and other changes on the Columbia, to "right the wrongs" of previous decades, he said. Yakama tribal leader Gerald Lewis mentioned the now-gone Celilo Falls fishing grounds. He described the historic native camps along the river that vanished after the dams arrived - even as he noted the benefits they've provided. Before the event, conservation organization Save Our Wild Salmon released a statement criticizing the BPA's record on fish restoration. "While Bonneville celebrates," the group said, "the salmon are not." Vancouver resident Dan Ogden, who attended the dedication in 1937 as a teenager, said he doesn't have any particular memories of the dam from that time. But his research as a University of Chicago doctoral student in the 1940s brought him in close contact with the BPA and its mission, he said. The BPA model as a federal power-marketing agency has served the region well and should continue, he said. "Electricity is a public resource that should be (distributed) for the public, by the public, at cost," Ogden said. Almost all of the speakers paid tribute to the beauty and power of the Columbia River, and the fuel it provides. Wright ended his remarks with a familiar refrain, quoting songwriter Woody Guthrie: "Roll on, Columbia. Roll on."
Wounded warriors go fishing with local anglers September 17, 2012 PORT ANGELES — While the fishing was hit-and-miss, the appreciation for wounded veterans was immense at the three-day Wounded Warriors Marine Event hosted by the Korean War Veterans' Association. Eight wounded veterans from Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma and Sarge's Place in Forks spent the weekend fishing for salmon in the Strait of Juan de Fuca with local anglers. “It's going well,” said Clallam County Veterans' Coordinator Tammy Sullenger, when reached by cellphone on a boat Friday afternoon, though she said the fishing was “hit and miss.” The injured veterans were joined by their wives and children for three days of complementary fishing and sightseeing in Port Angeles. “Chuck Gagnon and Jerry Rettela of the KWA [Korean War Veterans' Association] have worked very hard to make this happen, along with generous donations from organizations and people in our community,” Sullenger said in an email. “This is an opportunity for local veterans to show their gratitude to the wounded warriors and gives [the veterans] an opportunity to enjoy a day away from the often painful healing they are going through.” The 7 Cedars Casino provided lunch for the veterans upon their arrival Thursday afternoon. The service members took in the sights of Port Angeles, including an underground tour, before a meet-and-greet and spaghetti feed at the Elks Naval Lodge. Rettela, KWA president and event co-organizer, said the Elks provided the location for the spaghetti feed, the accounts receivable, and breakfast and lunches for the anglers. The Elks received a $2,000 grant for the event, Rettela said. The veterans and their families stayed in rooms donated by local hotels. After fishing all day Friday, the anglers were treated to a salmon bake hosted by the Lower Elwha tribe. They left the Port Angeles Boat Haven early Saturday and fished until noon. Then they returned to the Elks lodge for fishing derby awards, Sullenger said. Last month, a group of Clallam Bay Corrections Center employees hosted a wounded warrior appreciation with a two-day salmon derby, backyard barbecue, a bluegrass hoedown and auction in Sekiu. The Wounded Warrior Project helps service members who incurred service-connected wounds, injuries or illnesses on or after Sept. 11, 2001, and the families of those service members. The project's goal is “to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation's history,” according to the Florida-based group's website, www.woundedwarriorproject.org.
Our Views (chronline.com): Governor Needs Basinwide Advice on Flooding August 18, 2012 Gov. Chris Gregoire aims to end strong as her second and final term in office concludes this year. One of her final acts will be to present a capital projects budget for the Legislature to consider in January. Among the most important items for her office to consider is what solution she will support to reduce the ravages of flooding on the communities of the Chehalis Basin and the economies dependent on Interstate 5. She has asked five Chehalis Basin leaders to advise her office on what flood projects she should include in the state’s capital construction budget for 2013 to 2015. This group includes David Burnett, chairman of the Chehalis tribal council; Vickie Raines, mayor of Cosmopolis; Karen Valenzuela, a Thurston County commissioner; J. Vander Stoep, a Chehalis attorney and former state legislator; and Jay Gordon, an Elma organic dairy farmer and executive director of the Washington Dairy Federation. They will work with Keith Phillips, of the Governor's Executive Policy Office, and Jim Kramer of the Ruckelshaus Center. Their work will be difficult, as is the long debate over how best to remedy the devastating floods that periodically wash through our valley. We urge the members of this group to consider what is best for the whole basin, from the farmers of the upper basin to the people who live downstream in Adna, the Twin Cities, the Independence Valley, the Chehalis Reservation, Oakville and farther downstream. The big factor in that equation, of course, is Interstate 5. This major corridor of West Coast commerce has been closed four times over the past 25 years between 13th Street in south Chehalis and Mellen Street in Centralia. Each closure is estimated to have cost tens of millions of dollars in lost commerce. As this ad hoc working group debates what measure to recommend to the governor’s office, we hope they keep in mind that proposals that would protect I-5 would not help the rest of the basin one iota. In fact, every measure proposed to protect the freeway would make flooding worse in many other spots as water that would have washed over the interstate is pushed elsewhere. The only comprehensive, viable, basinwide solution on the table is construction of an upper Chehalis watershed dam. Such a structure would hold back 80,000 acre-feet of water during the peak of the flood, reducing the high water mark downstream by as much as 12 feet in Doty-Dryad and 4.5 feet in Centralia during a 2007-type event. We thank those who are advising Gov. Gregoire and urge them to consider the needs of the whole basin as they undertake this crucial task.
Wild Game Fish Conservation International published response to previous article August 18, 2012 The multi-purpose dam (hydropower and water retention) proposed for the headwaters of the Chehalis River near Pe Ell should never be constructed. It is not a feasible, basin-wide solution as it will only capture approximately five percent of Chehalis River basin storm water. The 2007 flood event was an anomaly - the storm (pineapple express) stalled over the Willapa Hills dumping massive amounts of warm rain on top of saturated soil that was covered in snow. Additionally, logs harvested on steep slopes by Weyerhaeuser Timber Company had not been removed prior to the storm. These logs and massive amounts of logging debris were carried down these steep slopes into the Chehalis River below and into many tributaries. We know all too well that the Lewis County PUD/Bonneville Power Administration Cowlitz Falls dam has never effectively passed fish upstream or downstream as we were ensured that it would. The same will be true for this Chehalis dam - thus wiping out unique populations of salmon and trout.
Cowlitz Falls dam on the Cowlitz River, a tributary in SW Washington State to the Columbia River The Cowlitz Falls dam (140 feet high and 700 feet wide) is less than 20% (16.3) the size of the proposed Chehalis River multipurpose dam (300 feet high and 2,000 feet wide). The Cowlitz Falls dam has never successfully allowed migrating salmon and trout to pass upstream or downstream. The proposed Chehalis River dam design does not include fish passage.
Guest commentary - Steve Robinson: “The Representative’s (Herrera Beutler) solution is, unfortunately, one born out of ecological ignorance. Anyone who has experienced the results of deforesting a fragile mountainous region in a high rain area, e.g., Deer Creek on the Stillaguamish, particularly in a time of increasingly intensified storms—and taken the time to fly over the upper Chehalis Basin and seen just how deforested it is— and seen that it already has landslides commencing, would know exactly what the likely outcome of damming the free-flowing Chehalis River would be. If the downriver communities think they had challenges with flooding—which were, incidentally, caused by the inability of the watershed to hold water as it once could due directly to forest harvest and compacting, particularly in the steeper terrains—well, wait until they get a load of massive mudslides resulting from the collapse of entire hillsides. The timber industry can make all the excuses in the world, such as they did a few years back when the legislature and the Governor came to their aid with such a fervor (which was a good thing as far as helping people goes), but they went the extra mile of de-winging environmental regulations they did not understand. They are playing with matches atop a powder keg and don’t even realize it. They have been responding to the needs of a few people at the expense of many, and are neglecting the Laws of Nature in the process. There is a price to pay for such arrogance, unfortunately, and they’re not even achieving what is best for the economy. Protecting the stability of the hillsides, through proper management, not only creates jobs; it provides sustainability—economically, culturally, environmentally and in terms of human health, education and stewardship. To achieve proper results, people need to listen, and they need to look forward, past the bickering of a few landowners and past the next season or fiscal quarter. They need to have a bit of vision and have enough intelligence to realize the impacts their actions will have. Once again, in its way, keeping the upper habitat undammed for salmon spawning is the correct move, and those who have the audacity to say that people come before fish simply demonstrate that they don’t understand the world they live in. “
Chehalis-area leaders slam state projects for I-5 flood control August 27, 2012 Chehalis-area leaders are opposing a series of proposed projects designed to keep Interstate 5 from flooding, believing that if the state focuses on protecting the freeway, there will be no help for people who reside in the Chehalis River basin. Flooding in early December 2007 swept away the Interstate 5 barrier between the northbound and southbound lanes in places, as the highway passes through Chehalis. Editorial Comment: As with the jurisdictions within the Chehalis River basin, Wild Game Fish Conservation International opposes projects designed to only protect Interstate 5 from flooding. Flood damage reduction projects throughout this basin are needed to protect residents and businesses in harm’s way of future floods. WGFCI also opposes the proposed Chehalis River multi-purpose dam for many economic and environmental reasons. WGFCI supports moratoriums on steep slope clear cut logging and floodplain development. CENTRALIA — Local leaders are opposing a series of proposed projects designed to keep Interstate 5 from flooding, believing that if the state focuses on protecting the freeway, there will be no help for people who reside in the Chehalis River basin. The proposals were developed by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), at the request of the Legislature, to examine alternatives for protecting Interstate 5 and the ChehalisCentralia Airport, and improving access to medical and other critical facilities during floods. Bart Gernhart, the assistant regional administrator for engineering for the WSDOT, presented the report at a meeting last week in Chehalis. "This stuff's really important to you, to your livelihoods, to the people who drive up and down the freeway," he told the group of more than 50 people in attendance, who included Republican state Sen. Dan Swecker and Jon Haugen, the Democratic candidate in the 3rd Congressional District. "It's a matter of life and death in some ways." Gernhart said the project alternatives are still only in the beginning stages of development. The report says that the WSDOT has done only a limited amount of design work to evaluate the individual approaches, and more effort would be needed to refine and evaluate them should the Legislature or others choose to pursue them.
Six primary project alternatives were evaluated; of those six, two â€” building a viaduct and relocating I-5 â€” were determined impractical because of costs, flood elevations and impacts to existing structures and the natural environment. Others include building miles of levees and walls along I-5, raising the interstate and widening it from four to six lanes, and building temporary bypass lanes or new express lanes that would be protected from flooding. The proposals range in cost from $70 million to $550 million. Local leaders, including those who serve on the Chehalis River Basin Flood Authority, have expressed opposition since long before the draft report was released. Chehalis City Manager Merlin MacReynold said the City Council is opposed to each alternative. "The council has taken a longstanding position that it has to be a basinwide solution," MacReynold said. "How any one of these fits in is very critical. The City Council of Chehalis is very consistent; none of these are viable options as individual or together without a basinwide solution." Centralia City Councilor Edna Fund said her council also is opposed and believes a basinwide solution is necessary. "It's tough to be in favor of one of them or any of them because you have to put them in combination with something else," she said. Fund said I-5 should be just one piece of the puzzle of flood mitigation. During a two-day flood policy workshop in June, policymakers around the basin were tasked with evaluating several proposed flood-mitigation projects. Those policymakers, including Lewis County Commissioner Ron Averill, were almost unanimously against the WSDOT projects. "A plan which protects the freeway and ignores the people is not acceptable," Averill said last week. Averill and other local leaders, including J. Vander Stoep, who serves on the Flood Authority as an alternate representative for Pe Ell, said they would support pieces of the WSDOT proposal only if a dam were also built on the Chehalis River. "If they proceeded with any of those six alternatives and build it, then the discussion of funding from WSDOT or the federal Department of Transportation will be over," he said. "Everybody else in the basin will be left in the same or worse position than when we started." Recently Vander Stoep was selected by the governor's office to serve on a group responsible with recommending a suite of packages the governor can consider for funding in her last capital-budget proposal. Vander Stoep couldn't say how the report will affect the group's decisions, other than that members have more information with which to work. "Only time will tell," he said.
Lower Elwha Klallam tribe ceremoniously welcomes salmon back into upstream river
August 18, 2012
Rachel Hagaman of the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe places two king salmon on a bed of cedar boughs during a traditional ceremony to welcome the salmon back to the Elwha River.
PORT ANGELES — Members of the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe welcomed salmon back to the Elwha River during a ceremony Thursday morning. About 40 members of the tribe, based west of Port Angeles, assembled on the east bank of the Elwha River and thanked their creator for the annual return of the king salmon, also known as chinook salmon, which is one of seven species known to have spawned in the river. The tribe has been performing the ceremony since it was revived in 1990, re-created from stories by tribal elders of how the tribe always offered their thanks for the salmon and other things, said Rachel Hagaman, Elwha economic development and fisheries policy committee member. This year was special, since salmon can swim above the Elwha Dam site for the first time, giving the big fish 8 more miles of riverbed and several tributaries for spawning and for young salmon to colonize. “There are already reports of salmon returning,” tribal elder Ben Charles said. Demolition of Elwha Dam— which was built about 5 miles from the mouth of the Elwha River, with construction beginning in 1910 and ending in 1914 — was completed in March, freeing the river up to Glines Canyon Dam, 8 miles upriver.
The 85-year-old Glines Canyon Dam has been knocked down to less than half its original 210-foot height and is expected to be completely gone by early next summer. The dam demolition is part of the National Park Service’s $325 million restoration project to return the river to its wild state. The tribe is a partner in the project. Standing on the east bank of the river mouth, Charles spoke to the assembled tribe members and offered a prayer to the creator. Gains in river restoration seen since demolition work began in September — which includes wild steelhead spotted above the Elwha Dam site in June and the waters receding from the tribe’s creation site in July for the first time in nearly a century — are an answer to the tribe’s prayers, he said. “Some [of the prayers] have been going on for 100 years,” he said. “It’s amazing to look and see what’s happening all up and down our river.” Children from the Elwha tribe day-care center placed small pieces of cedar boughs on a bed of larger boughs, symbolizing their future being closely tied to the river. “Give them hearing ears, open eyes, open minds and the understanding of the things taking place during their time,” Charles said in his prayer. Hagaman, with two other members of the tribe, placed two king salmon on the cedar bed and set it in the river to float downstream. King salmon can be found in the Elwha River beginning in late May, but their numbers peak in midAugust. The run in the Elwha was legendary, with stories of salmon weighing 100 pounds and swimming in schools that filled the river, before the dams were built without fish ladders. The dams blocked access to the 70-mile river where salmon had spawned for thousands of years, and the salmon population plunged to a few thousand annually. Salmon now are stopped 13 miles upriver, where Glines Canyon Dam still stands 90 feet above the canyon floor. The hope is that the 2013 salmon run will be throughout the entire river system. The siltiness of the river has made it more difficult to count the returning salmon this year, so the tribe is using a sonar camera to count fish as they pass, said fish biologist Mike McHenry. King salmon fry, suspected to be the offspring of 24 adults that were released above Glines Canyon Dam last year, have been spotted in the “middle reach” of the river, between the two dam sites, McHenry said. A fish weir has been set up to capture some wild kings for their offspring to be raised and returned to the river to provide the next generation, while other salmon will be able to pass to naturally repopulate the 13 miles of river that currently are accessible, he said. There is currently a five-year moratorium on fishing on the river — for tribal, commercial and sport fishermen — to allow the salmon to begin to repopulate the river.
Chinook salmon observed in undammed portion of Elwha River August 20, 2012
PORT ANGELES — Adult chinook salmon were observed on the Elwha River in Olympic National Park on Monday, park officials and biologists reported, less than five months after removal of one of the two dams. These are the first observed Elwha River salmon to naturally migrate upstream into the park, according to a statement released by the park. When the Elwha Dam became operational in 1913, 25 years before Olympic National Park was created by Congress, more than 70 miles of Elwha River habitat were blocked to fish passage. Salmon and steelhead were restricted to spawning in the five miles of the river below the Elwha Dam, just west of Port Angeles and outside the national park. Steelhead were discovered above the now-removed dam earlier this summer. The chinook — also known as king salmon — were observed above the Elwha Dam site, approximately two miles upstream from the boundary of the park, by Phil Kennedy, lead fisheries technician. "We knew this was going to happen and as I saw the fish roll, my heart jumped," Kennedy said. In the park's announcement, headlined "Return of the Kings," Todd Suess, Olympic's acting superintendent, said: "This has been an extremely exciting summer. First we see a renewal of a culture with the uncovering of the creation site of the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe, and now we see the renewal of the legendary chinook in Olympic National Park.” The tribe is a partner with the National Park Service in the $325 million federal project to remove the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams and restore the Elwha River and its fish runs. The chinook salmon run in the Elwha was legendary, with stories of salmon weighing 100 pounds and swimming in schools that filled the river, before the two dams were built without fish ladders. In recent years the Elwha's king salmon population had plunged to a few thousand annually.
Hydropower vital to Northwest – and so are salmon August 22, 2012 11 Comments The Pacific Northwest is well-known for its dams that provide carbon-neutral hydropower. Now we are also becoming famous for taking them down, undertaking a series of dam demolition projects that rank as the largest in United States history. The removal of three dams represents a positive step toward restoration of access to spawning grounds for some of the Northwest’s legendary wild salmon runs. Two of the dams being demolished are on the Elwha River near Port Angeles, and the third is on the White Salmon River, east of Vancouver and across the Columbia from Hood River, Ore. As The Olympian reported recently, members of the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe are rejoicing because chinook salmon – guided by improbable DNA recall – are already returning to their river after a 100year absence. The migratory fish – weighing as much as 100 pounds, according to tribal stories – were blocked from about 70 miles of Elwha River watershed by the 108-foot Elwha Dam, built in 1914, and the 210-foot Glines Canyon Dam, built miles upriver from the Elwha in 1927. This victory for the environment, the salmon and the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe’s tourism industry didn’t come easily, even though the two dams combined were providing just 28 megawatts of power to a declining pulp mill. Through the efforts of the tribe, Congress passed the Elwha River Ecosystem and Fisheries Restoration Act in 1992. But it took another 20 years of effort by the tribe – and supported by the Port Angeles Chamber of Commerce and the National Park Service – to get the $325 million project under way. That’s a heady price for returning a river to its natural state, but this isn’t just any river and no insignificant salmon run. An article in The New York Times by Timothy Egan described it this way: “The investment here will not only return a river to its natural state, but lays the foundation for a wild salmon fishery like no other in the 48 states. Imagine having a place, two hours and change from the 3 million people of the Seattle metro area, that looks like Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula – and has the fish to bring in visitors to expand what is already a thriving tourist industry.” Along those 70 miles of the river and its tributaries, upwards of 400,000 salmon used to spawn in the pre-dam years. Since the dams were built, that number had dropped to 3,000, according to the NPS in 1996. Fish are just starting to return to the river. The Elwha Dam came down in March, and about half of the Glines Canyon Dam has been removed. It will be completely gone by next summer, when the tribe hopes fish will migrate through the whole Elwha system. Hydropower-generating dams remain important to the national power grid. Although hydropower accounts for only 8 percent of all U.S. electrical production, that represents 80 percent of the nation’s renewable energy source. And hydropower is particularly important to the Northwest, providing nearly 70 percent of the region’s electricity. The Columbia and Snake rivers provide 40 percent of that hydropower. But when a dam has outlived its purpose, it’s a wonderful thing to return those rivers to their natural state and watch the miracle of Mother Nature’s restorative capacity. See reader response below
ď ś Reader response by Joseph Bogaard to previous article Editorial Comment: Joseph Bogaard serves as the Outreach Director for Save Our Wild Salmon; an effective salmon and steelhead conservation organization that works to restore Columbia River and Snake River wild salmon and steelhead and their freshwater habitats. Wild Game Fish Conservation International is excited to work with Save Our Wild Salmon and other like minded conservation organizations working to ensure robust populations of wild game fish for this and future generations to enjoy and respect.
â€œThank you for your balanced perspective on an issue that tends to stir up demagoguery and hyperbole. Indeed, hydropower and salmon are both very important elements of our Northwest economy and culture. Over the last century, of course, dams have been constructed in a manner and at a rate that has often overwhelmed the natural productivity, resilience and adaptability that define salmon as a species. In the Columbia-Snake River Basin, for example, there are more than 400 dams - and, largely as a result, thirteen distinct salmon and steelhead populations at risk of extinction. That some of these dams, in retrospect, were mistakes or have today out-lived their usefulness, merits serious consideration. It is encouraging to many of us that we as a society increasingly recognize that aging, expensive, and out-dated dams provide us an opportunity to begin to strike a new balance in the Northwest between energy and salmon. There is no reason to get stuck thinking that all the dams we have today we should have ten years or fifty years from now. Economics, technology and values that equation. Further, each dam must be assessed individually. Not all dams are good, of course, nor are all dams bad. In the last decade, hundreds of dams (there are more than 80,000 dams nationwide) have been removed from rivers across the country - for fiscal, public safety, environmental, and/or economic development reasons. In the next decade, hundreds more in the Northwest and elsewhere will be removed. This growing movement is not led by extremists seeking to destroy all dams and return to a life in caves, but rather it is often the efforts of regular people, community leaders, and businesses who recognize river restoration as an opportunity to work together to improve their community, resolve conflicts, create jobs, restore fisheries and recreation, and save money. These processes are rarely easy. Change is often hard, and any services that the dams might still serve - like energy generation or water storage - will need to be accounted for and/or replaced. (In the Northwest today, for example, the magic of energy efficiency and investments in wind energy are creating the space and flexibility for future dam removals/river restorations without increasing bills.) But the immense value of the effort in the end can be seen today on rivers like the Elwha White Salmon in Washington, Sandy and Rogue in Oregon, Penobscot and Kennebec in Maine.â€?
Are We Getting Railroaded? September 8, 2012 Recently, Matthew Rose, CEO of BNSF Railway,
visited editorial boards in Vancouver, Spokane, Seattle and Bellingham to talk about a variety of issues related to increased train traffic.
American coal should not be transported to Asian markets via west coast terminals.
However, the 800 pound gorilla in the room was not train traffic, but the commodity those trains would carry: coal.
Technology should be developed and shared with others to utilize clean power generation instead of relying on coal to produce energy.
In Washington, coal has been shipped by train for decades. Currently, about three to four coal trains a day pass through Clark County. Rose said it’s hard to predict specifics at this point, but if proposed export terminals at Longview and Cherry Point are approved, it could mean an additional 12 to 20 train trips per day.
Continued reliance on coal-fired power generation will continue to pollute the very air and water necessary for all living things to thrive. How very foolish it is to not utilize clean technologies to meet growing global energy demands.
Activists predict terrible consequences for local communities as a result, including traffic snarls, blocked emergency vehicles, derailments and pollution. Interestingly, there’s little indication these activists ever voiced similar concerns about trains that don’t carry coal. Regarding the much discussed issue of coal dust, before the recent anti-coal campaigns, there wasn’t a single complaint about coal dust from the coal trains that have been traveling through the Puget Sound region for decades. That’s because coal dust wasn’t a problem except near the loading docks at the mines, more than 1,000 miles away. In fact, BNSF conducted extensive testing on 1,633 coal trains and found that sealants sprayed on loaded coal cars dramatically reduced coal dust — in some cases to zero. BNSF now requires all coal shippers to use such treatments. Ironically, in attacking trains, the Sierra Club and others are going after one of the most efficient ways to move cargo and people. In reality, trains are one of the most environmentally responsible ways to move goods. One train can move a ton of freight almost 500 miles on a single gallon of diesel. A single freight train removes 280 trucks from the highway — the equivalent of 1,100 cars — reducing congestion and pollution and saving energy.
The Sierra Club has also raised questions about particulate emissions from diesel locomotives. But the state Department of Ecology ranks locomotives as one of the smallest contributors of such emissions among the 19 sources it tracks. Rose says BNSF plans to spend $1.1 billion on energyefficient locomotives expected to further reduce emissions by 60 to 70 percent. The real issue isn’t train traffic or diesel emissions, it’s coal. Even though coal produces nearly half the electricity used in the U.S. and the world, the Sierra Club wants to eliminate it, opposing any coal plant, even those designed to reduce emissions to zero. Asia, particularly China, is hungry for coal. They prefer Powder River Basin coal from Wyoming and Montana because it is low in sulfur and produces fewer pollutants. Building the new export terminals that would ship that coal to China will create hundreds of jobs and produce millions in tax revenues for schools, colleges, social services, police and fire protection. If the Sierra Club and other activists succeed in pressuring elected officials to block the proposed export terminals, China will simply buy dirtier coal from somewhere else. The problem compounds because those air pollutants will make their way back to the west coast. China plans to transition to natural gas over the next 25 years, but until then, U.S. coal is projected to retain the largest share of China’s electricity generation mix. In the end, Laura Stevens, a Portland-based representative of the Sierra Club, admitted that trains are not the real focus of their efforts, telling the Columbian that the railroads “are something of a middleman” in the coal export issue. Unfortunately, we are all caught in the middle — the middle of the Sierra Club’s war on coal — a war that, if successful, will cause severe collateral damage to America’s families, jobs and our fragile economy.
Featured Fishing Photo for October 2012 â€“ Late summer coho salmon
Bryan McKenney with an awesome, late summer coho salmon Guided by Darren Bisson (Steelhead Heaven â€“ Kitimat, BC, Canada)
ď ś Kids depict life of salmon in art
Working in the Environmental Education Center building of the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge on Thursday, Mariah Art School founder and owner Diane Gaile lays out the full tile mural her summer camp art students worked on before installing it.
Community Outreach and Education
Free Seminar – ALIEN INVADERS: Snails, mussels, milfoil and more OLYMPIA CHAPTER OF TROUT UNLIMITED SEPTEMBER 26, 2012 7:00PM NORTH OLYMPIA FIRE STATION 5046 BOSTON HARBOR ROAD NE
New Zealand Mud Snail
Eurasian Water Milfoil
Program: The public is invited to the September 26th meeting of the Olympia Chapter of Trout Unlimited for a presentation by Mr. Jesse Schultz, refreshments, and fishing equipment raffle. Aquatic invasive species, both plant and animal, pose a serious threat to the biological diversity of coastal waters the world over. The rate of introductions of nonnative species has increased dramatically. It is illegal to transport or spread aquatic invasive species. Come to this presentation and learn how to identify, clean your equipment, and report the invaders. Bio: Mr. Schultz is a long time resident of Washington State and graduate of The Evergreen State College in Natural Resource Management. He has been with the Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife for over 7 years. His duties with invasive species also make use of his scuba diving skills.
Featured Fishing Guide Service â€“ Olympic Peninsula Outfitters
Welcome to Olympic Peninsula Outfitters! 1-253-227-5236
With over a decade of steelheading knowledge I provide a safe, fun, trip for up to 2 anglers in a 16ft Wille's drift boat. Depending on the client's requests and ability level we will fish a variety of techniques throughout the day ranging from side drifting to pulling plugs. I also offer guided fly trips. The only difference is the gear and the boat. To allow clients more comfort and room while casting I fish out of a 13ft Aire Super Puma raft. This allows me to take clients into water that doesn't get fished as hard as some that is more drift boat friendly. Nymphing various egg patterns and other flies is our main way of fly fishing, but when the opportunity to swing to aggressive fish comes up you can't pass it up! Putting up numbers is always nice but I am a firm believer that there is more to a trip than hooking a boat load of fish. I want my clients to have a good time on the water, walk away having learned something new and a greater appreciation for the beautiful rivers we have the privilege of fishing!
Your Guide: Hi, my name is Justin Tenzler, guide and owner of Olympic Peninsula Outfitters. I was born and raised in Washington, where I caught my first salmon at the age of 7. Ever since then I have been a fishing junkie. My passion has taken me from Washington to Alaska where I spend 4 months of the summer in remote parts of the interior guiding for salmon and big rainbows. I love having a good time on the water, sharing a few laughs and most of all the excitement of hooking into fish!
Conservation Video Library – “Why we’re involved” Salmon Wars: Salmon Farms, Wild Fish and the Future of Communities (6:07) Tar Sands: Oil Industry Above the Law? (1:42) SPOIL – Protecting BC’s Great Bear Rainforest from oil tanker spills (44:00) The Facts on Fish Farms (60:00+) Undamming Elwha (26:46) Is your favorite seafood toxic? (6:06) “Algae culture fish farm” (6:40) Pebble Mine: “No Means No” (1:15) Salmon Wars- Aquaculture, Wild Fish & The Future of Communities (6:25) Vegetarian Fish? A New Solution for Aquaculture (7:32) Everyone Loves Wild Salmon – Don’t They? - Alexandra Morton (2:53) The End of the Line (1:08) Sacred Headwaters - British Columbia, Canada (16:14) Atlantic salmon feedlots - impacts to Pacific salmon (13:53) Salmon: Running the Gauntlet - Snake River dams (50:08) Farmed Salmon Exposed (22:59) Salmon farm diseases and sockeye (13:53) Shame Below the Waves (12:37) Locals Oppose Proposed Pebble Mine (7:23) Occupy Vancouver, BC - Dr. Alexandra Morton (6:18) Farming the Seas (Steve Cowen) (55:53) Farming the Seas (PBS) (26:45) Cohen Commission – Introduction (9:52) Deadly virus found in wild Pacific salmon (1:57) A tribute by Dr. Alexandra Morton (5:35) Green Interview with Dr. Alexandra Morton (6:06) Closed containment salmon farms (8:15) Don Staniford on 'Secrets of Salmon Farming' (7:50) H2oil - A documentary about the Canadian tar sand oil (3:20) From Tar Sands to Tankers – the Battle to Stop Enbridge (14:58) Risking it All - Oil on our Coast (13:16) To The Last Drop: Canada’s Dirty Oil (22:31) Greed of Feed: what’s feeding our cheap farmed salmon (10:37) Land-based, Closed-containment Aquaculture (3:14)
Attention Conservation-minded Business Owners Many businesses around planet earth rely in part on sustained populations of wild game fish. This is true for fishing guide/charter services, resort and hotel owners, fishing tackle and boat retail stores, clothing stores, eco/photo tours, grocery stores, gas stations and many more. In fact, wild game fish are the backbone of a multi-billion dollar per year industry on a global scale. This is why we at Wild Game Fish Conservation International offer complimentary space in each issue of “LEGACY” for business owners who rely on sustained wild game fish populations to sustain your business. An article with one or more photos about your business and how it relies on wild game fish may be submitted for publication to LEGACY PUBLISHER. Please include your business website and contact information to be published with your business article. Selected submissions will be published each month. Sustained wild game fish populations provide family wage jobs and balanced ecosystems while ensuring cultural values. They also provide a unique, natural resourcesbased lifestyle for those fortunate to have these magnificent creatures in our lives. Conservationists working together with the business community can effectively protect and restore planet earth’s wild game fish for this and future generations to enjoy and appreciate. This will be our LEGACY. WGFCI endorsed conservation organizations:
American Rivers Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture LightHawk Salmon Are Sacred Salmon and Trout Restoration Association of Conception Bay Central, Inc (be sure to “Like” on Facebook) Save Our Salmon Sierra Club – Cascade Chapter Sportsman’s Alliance For Alaska Steelhead Society of British Columbia Trout Unlimited Wild Salmon First