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Issue 4

February 2012

L e g ac y Something interesting for everyone from

Wild Game Fish Conservation International http://WGFCI.blogspot.com Š 2012 Wild Game Fish Conservation International


Legacy Wild Game Fish Conservation International Wild Game Fish Conservation International (WGFCI): Established in 2011 to advocate for wild game fish, their ecosystems and the cultures and economies that rely on their robust populations. LEGACY: Complimentary, no-nonsense, monthly publication by conservationists for conservationists LEGACY, the WGFCI Facebook page and the WGFCI website are utilized to help educate fellow conservationists, elected officials, business owners and others regarding wild game fish, their contributions to society and the varied 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 also 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

Co-editor “Legacy”

Jim Wilcox

Publisher and co-editor “Legacy”


Editorial Comment ...................................................................................................................................................... 4 Planet Earth: ............................................................................................................................................................... 5 A Call to Protect Humble Fish, for Seabirdsâ€&#x; Sake ................................................................................................................. 5

Brazil: .......................................................................................................................................................................... 6 Restricted-Range Fishes and the Conservation of Brazilian Freshwaters .......................................................................... 6

Canada: ....................................................................................................................................................................... 7 1,000s of jobs supported by wild Atlantic salmon ................................................................................................................. 7 Lies, Damned Lies and Salmon ................................................................................................................................................ 8 British Columbia: ..................................................................................................................................................................... 12 Atlantic salmon feedlots .................................................................................................................................................. 12 Alberta: ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 21 Keystone XL pipeline project .......................................................................................................................................... 21

Chile: ......................................................................................................................................................................... 22 IPNv is the most frequent disease in Chile ........................................................................................................................... 22 Project for the complete life-cycle to be enlarged ................................................................................................................ 23

England: .................................................................................................................................................................... 24 Extinction fears as salmon disappear ................................................................................................................................... 24

Italy: ........................................................................................................................................................................... 25 Italy warned over fishing ......................................................................................................................................................... 25

Norway: ..................................................................................................................................................................... 26 Salmon, ecological ruin of Norway ........................................................................................................................................ 26 Marine Harvest Salmon Escape After Dagmar Storm Damages Nets ................................................................................ 27

Scotland: ................................................................................................................................................................... 28 Rubber stamping fish farm applications? ............................................................................................................................. 28

Shetland: ................................................................................................................................................................... 32 Salmon cages cast adrift in sea ............................................................................................................................................. 32 Salmon cages disappear again .............................................................................................................................................. 33

USA: .......................................................................................................................................................................... 34 Update from US Senator Maria Cantwell (Washington State) ............................................................................................. 34 Coalition calls for FDA to halt approval of genetically engineered salmon ...................................................................... 35 FrankenSalmon. Coming Soon To A Table Near You. ......................................................................................................... 36 Alaska:....................................................................................................................................................................................... 37 B.C.'s wild salmon threatened by Alaskan practices - conservation groups .................................................................. 37 Bristol Bay Protection ..................................................................................................................................................... 38 Washington State: .................................................................................................................................................................... 41 Aquaculture ..................................................................................................................................................................... 41 Chehalis River Basin Flood Damage Prevention ........................................................................................................... 44

Featured artist: Glenn Chatten - Adams River Run (click, watch, listen)............................................................. 55 2012 NORTHWEST YOUTH CONSERVATION & FLY FISHING ACADEMY............................................................ 56 Wild Game Fish Around Planet Earth...................................................................................................................... 57 Fishing adventures around planet earth - Tungufljot River - Iceland ................................................................... 58 Legacy distribution................................................................................................................................................... 59 Our Readers Write .................................................................................................................................................... 60 Conservation Video Library ..................................................................................................................................... 61 Attention Conservation-minded Business Owners ................................................................................................ 62 WGFCI endorsed conservation organizations ........................................................................................................ 62


Legacy Editorial Comment With three issues of “Legacy” under our belts, the February 2012 issue is the first to feature wild game fish conservation topics and efforts from locations other than North America. Of course, we’ll continue to utilize “Legacy” to advocate for the protection and restoration of wild game fish on the diverse North American continent and educate those who are empowered to ensure robust populations of these fish for future generations This issue of “Legacy” also includes unique fishing adventures in Iceland along with challenging fisheries conservation issues in England, Shetland, Italy, Chile, Norway and Brazil where many readers of “Legacy” live, work and play. This expansion into advocating for wild game fish around planet earth is intentional by those associated with Wild Game Fish Conservation International. Robust populations of wild game fish rely on wise decisions including sustainable harvest, responsible land and marine use practices and other isues that impact wild game fish and their ecosystems. WGFCI thanks conservationists around the globe who fight day in and day out to protect and restore wild game fish. In this issue of “Legacy” we specifically thank Dr. Alexandra Morton, Anissa Reed, Don Staniford and Dr. Robert Vadas, Jr. for their selfless contributions to wild Pacific salmon and their fragile ecosystems. These salmon heroes are world changers. We continue to urge other conservationists to speak out and to demonstrate peacefully for wild game fish and their fragile ecosystems; ecosystems that we are but one component of. As recreational fishermen, Wild Game Fish Conservation International is our passion. Publishing “Legacy” is our self-imposed responsibility to ensure the future of wild game fish.

Bruce Treichler James E. Wilcox


Planet Earth: A Call to Protect Humble Fish, for Seabirds’ Sake December 22, 2011 ―When people talk about the environmental effects of salmon aquaculture, they usually focus on water pollution and the spread of disease to wild fish stocks. But there is another big problem: It takes more than a pound of fish to produce a pound of salmon. Farmed salmon are usually fed pellets made from ground-up fish like herring. Salmon farms have a prodigious appetite for this food, which has increased fishing pressure on creatures like herring, anchovies, krill and other ―forage fish‖ at the bottom of the food web. Demand for fish oil and fish for the table is also a factor.

An Atlantic puffin with sand lances.

Now researchers from around the world are suggesting this pressure must be limited. Their motto is ―a third for the birds.‖ In other words, they write in Friday‘s issue of the journal Science, fisheries managers should make sure that forage fish stocks do not fall below one-third of their historic maximum long-term biomass — the total amount of the fish, by weight. When stocks fall below that level, the researchers write, breeding rates start to falter for seabirds and possibly for predatory fish and marine mammals as well. The scientists, from North America, Europe and Africa, say that other studies have linked forage fish abundance to seabird breeding success, but they say their analysis is the first to suggest that onethird of maximum historical abundance is a critical boundary. The scientists, led by Philippe M. Cury of the Mediterranean and Tropical Halieutic Research Center in Sète, France, studied gulls, kittiwakes, terns, puffins, penguins and other species, in waters off Alaska, New Zealand, Europe, western North America and elsewhere. They said their analysis of data, collected ―over multiple decades,‖ shows that the one-third figure seems to apply regardless of ―life history strategies, habitat preferences and population sizes of the seabird species considered.‖ They concede that factors like habitat changes, predation on seabirds, interactions among bird species and the birds‘ ability to switch to different prey may also play a role. Also, little is known about historic abundance levels of some fish species, making it difficult to define their maximum abundance. But for most economically important species, ―sufficient data to define the threshold‖ are available, they write. ―

READ ENTIRE NY TIMES ARTICLE HERE


Brazil: Restricted-Range Fishes and the Conservation of Brazilian Freshwaters “Introduction Freshwaters are the most threatened ecosystems on earth. Although recent global-scale biodiversity assessments provide important data on priority regions for freshwater conservation, local watershedscale priorities remain poorly known for most drainage systems on the planet, hampering effective and focused local action. Refining the scale of global biodiversity assessments (both at terrestrial and freshwater realms) and translating these into conservation priorities on the ground remains a major challenge to biodiversity science, and depends directly on species occurrence data with fine taxonomic and geographic resolution. Apart from lack of basic data, effective implementation of local scale conservation actions are also hampered by the fact that most conservation assessments tend to treat terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems as independent ecological and biogeographical units. This lack of integration neglects the interdependence between terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems, and favors a bias towards better known terrestrial systems and organisms (especially endothermic vertebrates), while freshwater biodiversity remains neglected in most priority setting analyses. Fishes are the most studied group and the best indicators of zoogeographical patterns among obligate aquatic taxa. Owing to dispersal limitations not found among terrestrial organisms, many freshwater fish species have relatively localized distributions. Due to high levels of endemism and human pressure, freshwater fish faunas around the world are under serious threats. Threats to freshwater fish species require special attention because historical influences on distribution and diversity patterns may be more evident in freshwater fishes than in other taxonomic groups, and detailed patterns of endemism and distribution of freshwater fishes differ from those in birds and mammals, the two best studied vertebrate groups in terms of threats and conservation priorities. Brazil harbors the world's richest freshwater ichthyofauna, which remains far from being completely documented and studied, despite the recent acceleration of discovery and description of new fish species. Over 267 freshwater fish species have been described from 2001 to 2005, and Brazilian ichthyology is currently experiencing its most productive period. While knowledge accumulates, species extinctions in Brazilian freshwaters are already being documented, and many species may be under serious threat even before being formally described or studied in basic aspects of natural history. Despite extraordinarily high diversity and growing threats from river impoundment projects, water siltation and pollution, and riparian habitat destruction through deforestation, agriculture and urban growth, no comprehensive conservation analysis has ever been conducted on Brazilian freshwater fishes. Herein we provide the first detailed assessment of site-scale freshwater conservation priorities in the Neotropical Region, using validated occurrence data from a comprehensive set of fishes with restricted geographic distribution and information on threats in Brazilian river systems. The main goals of our study are to detect and delineate catchment areas harboring narrow ranging endemic freshwater fishes, highlighting critical areas for avoiding extinction in the worlds richest freshwater ecosystems.‖


Canada: 1,000s of jobs supported by wild Atlantic salmon January 9, 2012

The recreational fishery makes up a significant portion of Atlantic salmon's economic impact.

―Wild Atlantic salmon support close to 4,000 jobs in eastern Canada and add $255 million a year to the economy, a study released Monday concludes. 'Protecting the species rests solidly among the core values of Canadians.'— Greg MacAskill, Gardner Pinfold The study by Gardner Pinfold Consulting Economists of Halifax, sponsored by the Atlantic Salmon Federation, also found a lot of support in the region for government spending to aid in the recovery of the species. The largest economic activity identified in the report was from the recreational fishery, which in 2010 amounted to $128 million. A survey of Atlantic Canadians and Quebecers by the study authors found they would be willing to see governments spend up to $105 million annually to ensure that wild Atlantic salmon continue to exist and contribute to ecosystem integrity. Public support for such spending was surprising given that the survey was done during an economic downturn. "Such strong support for wild Atlantic salmon among non-users, against that dire economic backdrop, adds extra weight to the results, and cements the fact that protecting the species rests solidly among the core values of Canadians," said Gardner Pinfold economist Greg MacAskill. A news release from the Atlantic Salmon Federation connected to the report noted that despite this public support, federal government funding for programs related to wild Atlantic salmon have declined by nearly 75 per cent since 1985.‖


Lies, Damned Lies and Salmon January 4, 2012

―Transcripts and documents made public via Canada's salmon inquiry prove the Government has been lying to protect the Norwegian-owned salmon farming industry in British Columbia!

The lies and misinformation spread about salmon last year reached such ridiculous lengths that many Government officials and industry representatives should have a New Year‘s resolution to start telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth (as witnesses were sworn to do at Canada‘s Cohen Commission). Read more via: ‗Norwegian Blues – Monty Python's Dead Farmed Salmon‘ The Pinocchio cartoon above, posted on a Facebook site in Norway over the festive period, shows that the Canadian Government does not have a monopoly on ‗Pinocchio Politics‘. Jiminy Cricket representing the people (the 99%) - is lecturing Pinocchio on telling lies (Pinocchio‘s nose is sponsored by the Norwegian Government‘s Directorate of Fisheries and Aquaculture and his clothing carries the names of the world‘s largest two salmon farming companies, Marine Harvest and Cermaq). Welcome to the fantasy land of salmon where truth has the memory of a fish.


In Canada, the Government is just as brazen as Norway in their promotion of the salmon farming industry with the Premier of B.C., Christy Clark, and the Minister of Fisheries, Keith Ashfield, peddling farmed salmon in China and India on a trade mission back in November. If politicians were forced to show their sponsors then Christy‘s true colours would look something like this.

Read more via: „Christy Clark's Chinese & Indian Takeaway‘

Documents disclosed at the Cohen Commission now reveal that the Canadian Government, federally and provincially, deliberately misled trade partners including China, Japan, the US and the European Union (see below for documents). Canada shamefully lied to the world that ISA was not in B.C. – in order to protect international salmon markets.


The Canadian Government‘s lies are now so world-renowned that The Seattle Post-Intelligencer‘s article „Lies, pratfalls and bad predictions -- our politicians at work in 2011‘ (27 December) – awarded the CFIA the ‗Suspicious Science Award‘: ―Suspicious science award: When scientists detected the Infectious Salmon Anemia Virus in West Coast salmon, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency claimed they could find no evidence of same. E-mails revealed the CFIA treating a possible epidemic as a public relations problem. ―It is clear we are turning the PR tide in our favor," said one leaked e-mail, which added a few lines later: "One battle is won, now we have to nail the surveillance piece, and we will also win the war."‖

READ ENTIRE SUPERHEROES4SALMON ARTICLE HERE


British Columbia: Atlantic salmon feedlots Two Norwegian Salmon Farmers in Court Next Week| Dr. Alexandra Morton

January 14, 2012 Next week Marine Harvest will be in Port Hardy Provincial Court for sentencing for illegal possession of wild salmon and herring. And Cermaq (Mainstream) will be in court trying to sue Don Staniford for his effort to get salmon farms out of the ocean. Marine Harvest - Port Hardy, Wednesday January 18 9 am In June 2009, young wild salmon were seen spilling onto the dock in Port McNeill as live Atlantic salmon were unloaded from a vessel into a truck. The farm salmon were being transported to a hatchery to strip their eggs, but Marine Harvest did not have a licence to possess the wild salmon which had been presumably scooped out of the sea pen with the Atlantic salmon. Bill Mackay of Mackay Whale Watching picked up some of these fish and gave them to me for identification - they were pink salmon. I pressed a charged under the Fisheries Act, and for the first time ever the Department of Justice (DOJ) took over a private prosecution and moved forward with the case. More generally when the DOJ takes over a private citizen's case they stay the charges. The DOJ required Fisheries and Oceans Canada to actually lay charges against Marine Harvest for illegal possession of wild salmon, as well as, a second report involving juvenile herring. The trial did not proceed, Marine Harvest spokesman, Clare Backman is quoted in the Times Colonist saying the "the company will plead guilty in court Jan. 18. He said there are two counts of incidental bycatch, but he could not elaborate further on the case until after the legal proceedings are concluded." (Times Colonist, Oct 23, 2011). The salmon incident originated at the Marine Harvest salmon feedlot called Potts Bay, Midsummer Island at the mouth of Knight Inlet and the herring were taken from the Marine Harvest Arrow Pass feedlot - both in the Broughton Archipelago. If you can attend the Port Hardy Court House at 9 am on Wednesday January 18, please do. We know fishermen are heavily fined for illegal possession of one salmon - it will be interesting to see how the courts respond to Norwegian salmon farm by-catch of wild BC fish. If you are concerned about wild fish being killed in salmon feedlots and have information on wild fish in farm salmon or salmon farms, please send pictures and reports. Cermaq (Mainstream Canada) Vancouver, Monday January 16 10 am Also next week the Norwegian salmon farm company Cermaq is attempting to sue Don Staniford for publishing graphics that compare salmon farming to the tobacco industry. Don has been working to protect wild salmon from salmon farms for almost 20 years. He has gone to investigate the industry around the world including Chile, Norway and Scotland. Don has met with the CEOs, gone to the share holder meetings, met with scientists, has pressured environmental organizations not to succumb to industry pressure, he has been tireless, fearless and incorruptible. When Cermaq tried to silence him "Staniford responded one minute past the deadline and with another cigarette-likepackage graphic that read "Norwegian Owned" and included an image of a raised middle finger and the words "Salmon Farming." article Don has worked for several environmental organizations in the


past but is going solo on this. Don needs funds to go toe to toe with a company whose largest shareholder is the Norwegian government. If you can help please do. If you can attend the opening day please show support for this brave man at the Court House at Hornby and Nelson 10 am, the exact court # will be posted in the lobby that morning. It was revolting to watch the eye-contact darting back and forth between government employees on the stand at the Cohen Inquiry and the salmon farming representatives. They were huddled together in the hallways. The industry told us their fish would be tested, but appear to have changed their minds after the hearings. The people who are reporting on and challenging this industry in court are taking personal risk and need your help. Your presence and your money are crucial. If we want wild salmon it is up to us.

Don Staniford, Global Coordinator, Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture Thank you, Dr. Alexandra Morton Marine Biologist


Idea to designate Pacific salmon B.C.'s official fish still afloat December 26, 2011 ―Getting the Pacific salmon named as B.C.'s official fish is a lot harder than you might think. In September, a Mustel Group poll done for the Pacific Salmon Foundation showed 85 per cent of the public supported making the Pacific salmon B.C.'s official fish. Some 93 per cent of those polled indicated it was B.C.'s most iconic fish. The proposal was also supported by B.C.'s Assembly of First Nations, the First Nation Summit and the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs. The report was delivered to the provincial government in September - and yet, the foundation is still waiting for a response. Megan Moser, who is dealing with the foundation proposal, remains hopeful. "We continue to think that the salmon as a symbol is a good idea and an easy one for the province and we look forward to working with them," said Moser. The Provincial Symbols and Honors Act has given B.C. an official flower (dogwood), tree (Western red cedar), mammal (Kermode bear), bird (Stellar's jay), mineral (jade) and even a B.C. tartan. Nina Chiarelli of the province's Intergovernmental Relations Ministry said there would have to be an amendment to the Symbols Act to get salmon honoured. "Designating Pacific salmon as B.C.'s official fish remains under consideration," she said.‖


The Cohen Commission and ISAv Evidence January 13, 2012

Judge Bruce Cohen obviously thought that recent evidence of the possibility of Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISAv) in BC's wild salmon was serious enough to warrant a reconvening of his Commission of inquiry into the mysterious disappearance of Fraser River sockeye. The three days of exceptional December hearings were revelatory, confusing and clarifying. We have ISAv in BC waters but we don't have disease. We have different labs getting positive and negative test results on the same fish samples. We have critically important research curtailed just when such vital information is most needed. We have intimations of openness in a practice of obstruction and censure. And we have huge financial benefits accruing to corporate interests if BC's farmed and wild salmon can be marketed free of the stigma of disease. The salmon farming industry has been habitually skewing information to bolster its practices and image - it's been doing this for decades. And, as recent history has revealed, the credibility of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has been compromised by its conflicting mandates of managing wild salmon and promoting salmon farming. Now we discover that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has its own conflicting mandates of suppressing pathogens while enhancing marketing opportunities for fish products. Consequently, when a viral disease is reported and the commercial value of fish is threatened, the CFIA assumes a defensive position by questioning the findings of the testing labs, by re-testing the degraded samples of infected fish with its notoriously inaccurate technology, and then recording "inconclusive" results as "negative". This strategy is evident in an e-mail from a CFIA executive, Joseph Beres, to his colleagues, congratulating them on a conference call to the media that was intended to quell concerns about allegations of ISAv in BC salmon. "It is clear that we are turning the PR tide to our favour," he writes, "and this is because of the very successful performance of our spokesmen at the Tech Briefing yesterday... Congratulations! One battle is won, now we have to nail the surveillance piece, and we will win the war also." This is the response of a promoter concerned about


reputation and market, not the response of a scientist concerned about the danger of an ecosystem-threatening virus. This might explain why the CFIA didn't submit to the Cohen Commission evidence of ISAv in more than 100 wild salmon a decade ago. And why DFO advised its molecular geneticist, Dr. Kristi Miller, to curtail her research on ISAv - precisely the opposite of how prudence and science should respond to such an urgent situation.

Indeed, the Cohen Commission has exposed a systemic history of closeted secretiveness, hidden motives and contrived deception, all exposed since the initial October revelation that ISAv has probably been found in wild BC salmon. Dr. Sally Goldes, a 17-year fish health section head for the BC Environment Ministry, testified during the reconvened Cohen inquiry that "current Canada Fish Health Protection Rules do not provide a high level of regulatory security against the introduction of ISAv into British Columbia." To underscore her concern, she noted, "If you really look closely at the regulations, from a scientific basis, there is not the high degree of protection that the government, and particularly DFO, states that they have." In her opinion, the DFO and CFIA press conference that announced no ISAv in BC "was entirely premature." In other words, ISAv could have leaked into BC waters from Atlantic egg sources used by salmon farms, and government agencies are systematically hiding that possibility. Dr. Kristi Miller, one of the key DFO scientists in this process, took the initiative to do her own testing on wild and farmed salmon. She concluded that an ISA virus, or something that is 95 per cent similar to the strain afflicting farmed Atlantic salmon in Norway, Scotland, Maritime Canada and Chile, is present in BC waters. And her review of DFO's archival fish samples shows that markers for ISAv have been present in BC since 1986 - shortly after Atlantic salmon were first farmed here. A study by Dr. Molly Kibenge suggested that ISAv was here in 2004. Despite a UN convention that requires "evidence or suspicion" of ISAv to be reported, this


was never done. Neither was evidence of ISAv reported to the initial phase of the Cohen Commission hearings. Complicating the issue is a technical definition of "disease". The CFIA takes the position that a suite of characteristics are needed to classify ISAv as such. Dr. Miller recognized this criterion in her testimony to the Commission when she said, "And obviously we have not established that [ISAv] causes disease." Without evidence of dying or debilitated fish, there is no "disease". But evidence does exist. A postdoctoral fellow working with Dr. Miller, Brad Davis, notes ample data suggesting "that the virus is causing enough damage to elicit a strong response in salmon.... Therefore, we cannot at this point assume that this virus does not cause disease in these fish." Regular reports cite adult Fraser River salmon inexplicably dying as they migrate upstream, sometimes just days before spawning. Cultus Lake salmon have long been exhibiting the same strange behaviour. The CFIA has pledged to investigate by subjecting 7,700 salmon to more than 20,000 tests over the next two years. But this does not promise to clarify the mystery of BC's disappearing wild salmon. The CFIA's self-declared "surveillance objectives are to determine the absence/presence of three diseases of trade significance... [and] to support international trade negotiations by making [a] disease-freedom declaration that will stand international scrutiny." If the CFIA's version of science is to start with a trade-friendly conclusion and then research to support it, this does not bode well for BC's wild salmon and the entire marine ecology founded on this iconic fish.

Intensive probe to test nearly 8,000 B.C. salmon for disease December 20, 2011 ―The Canadian Food Inspection Agency plans to test nearly 8,000 wild and farmed salmon over the next two years to find out if three potentially deadly fish diseases are present in British Columbia waters. The project is an intensive investigation aimed at detecting any signs on the West Coast of infectious salmon anemia, infectious pancreatic necrosis or infectious hematopoietic necrosis. ―All three diseases are highly contagious, can cause mortality in wild and aquaculture salmon,‖ states a ministerial briefing note prepared by CFIA staff and updated Dec. 8. ―Surveillance objectives are to determine the absence/presence of three diseases of trade significance … [and] to support international trade negotiations by making [a] disease-freedom declaration that will stand international scrutiny,‖ states the note, which was filed as evidence recently at the Cohen Commission of inquiry. A draft copy of the CFIA surveillance plan was also entered at the hearings, which concluded on Monday.‖

READ ENTIRE GLOBE AND MAIL ARTICLE HERE APTN VIDEO FOLLOWING COHEN HEARINGS


Fish farm opponent faces 2nd B.C. defamation case Activist could lose $125,000 January 8, 2012

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D on Don Staniford, of The Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture, poses for a photograph in Vancouver, B.C., (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

―Don Staniford says he's never had a fist fight — not even during his most ferocious action as a rugby player in high school or as a soccer player at university in the United Kingdom. Change the subject to B.C.'s salmon farming industry, though, and the British-born activist with long, curly hair is more than willing to take on the world's largest salmon-farming companies in the ring of public opinion. His outspoken criticism has earned him an appearance at the Supreme Court of B.C. on Jan. 16 where he must defend himself against allegations from Mainstream Canada, the province's second largest salmon farming company, that he defamed the organization. The case could cost him $125,000 if he loses. The defamation case is the second Staniford has faced in the province since 2005 and the third major legal fight of his 18-year international campaigning career. "It's definitely a stressful situation," said Staniford, who is a native of Merseyside, England, near Liverpool. "It's obviously gearing up for a fight. It's not a physical fight but it's a mental fight." According to court documents, the case focuses on anti-salmon farming campaigns Staniford initiated on or about Jan. 31, 2011.‖

READ ENTIRE CANADIAN PRESS ARTICLE HERE


Commerce vs Wild Salmon | Dr. Alexandra Morton 01/06/2012 Time for truth

―I just finished reading the approximately 450 pages of transcript of the last three days of the Cohen Inquiry. I highly recommend them, they can be found at www.cohencommission.ca Go to Calendar and Transcripts and see dates December 15, 16, 19. I know most of us can't take the time to absorb all this material, so I have capture excerpts below. I have noted page numbers so you can read the complete dialogue if you are interested. The final three days were on the explosive findings of ISA virus in BC wild salmon. The Commission brought us two groups of people; the scientists who are actually running the ISA virus tests and a subset of the people who seem to be in charge of managing the release of fish health information. The Cohen Commission did us a great service. They not only allowed key scientists from across the Northern Hemisphere to tell us why we should believe their test results - whether or not ISA virus is in BC waters, they also caused a highly informative discussion between these scientists comparing methods. The one government lab that cannot find ISA virus is using a machine known to have trouble detecting low levels of ISA virus. It is that simple! This would never have been known without the Cohen Commission. Scientists interested in ISA virus and why some labs can detect it and some not, can learn a great deal in reading December 15 and the morning of the 16th and examining the exhibits. Equally important, the Commission gave us the chance to understand how the government of Canada handles wild salmon health. Some diseases are clearly a threat to trade, and so the public is discouraged from knowing anything about them. Hatcheries are asked not to test, pathologists were hindered in trying to figure out why millions of Fraser sockeye are dying just before spawning and salmon farms are off limits to most researchers. The information about these diseases has to be tightly controlled. To put everything in context I start with an exchange sparked in the final minutes of the Cohen Inquiry by Krista Robertson, lawyer for the Musgamagw Tsawataineuk Tribal Council - the First Nations of the Broughton Archipelago. Dr. Klotins works for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Here is why fish health is a federal secret:‖

READ ENTIRE ALEXANDRA MORTON BLOG ENTRY HERE


Clayoquot Under Virus Attack! December 29, 2011 ―The Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, on Vancouver Island's wild West coast, is under attack - from the deadly Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA) and a piscine rheovirus associated with Heart & Skeletal Muscle Inflammation (HSMI). Despite mounting opposition, the Norwegian multinational Cermaq - owned by the Norwegian Government's Ministry of Trade and Industry - is pressing ahead with an application for a super-sized 3,000 tonne salmon feedlot at Plover Point in Fortune Channel. If the Government grants approval it could spark a 'War on the Water' - not seen since Clayoquot Sound's 'War in the Woods'. Cermaq's expansion plans have been dealt a body blow, however, with damning evidence and ‗explosive testimony‘ at the Cohen Commission's ISA hearings (15-19 December). Approving a 3,000 tonne super-sized salmon farm in close proximity to disease-ridden farmed salmon and wild salmon runs would be sheer lunacy. Read more via ‗‗Sounding the Alarm in the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve‘ and ‗Cut the Crap Cermaq - ground-truthing new salmon farm application‘ ―The news that these viruses are here in the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is chilling‖ said Bonny Glambeck, Friends of Clayoquot Sound campaigner (16 December) reacting to news of ISA (Infectious Salmon Anaemia) and HSMI (Heart & Skeletal Muscle Inflammation) in farmed salmon. ―This virus puts at risk not only the wild salmon, but the ancient rainforest for which this region is renowned." ―

READ ENTIRE SALMONARESACRED ARTICLE HERE


ISA virus confirmed in AquaBounty’s genetically-engineered salmon December 20, 2011 Evidence unveiled at federal Cohen Inquiry into Fraser River sockeye salmon VANCOUVER, B.C. – A 2009 memo from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) entered into evidence at Canada‘s federal Cohen Inquiry into the collapse of Fraser River sockeye Thursday reveals that salmon at the AquaBounty facility in Price Edward Island have tested positive for the Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA) virus. The genetically-engineered (GE) salmon, currently under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for potential sale to American consumers, tested positive for the ISA virus in November 2009. An email from a senior DFO fish health official was sent to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, notifying the agency of the positive test results. ―AquaBounty‘s genetically modified fish are in a closed, land-locked facility,‖ said Catherine Stewart of Living Oceans Society, the group whose research uncovered the evidence. ―This suggests the virus could only have entered such a facility through eggs or smolts, proving once again that Canada must take action to both ban egg imports and implement more rigorous testing for ISA.‖ In the notification to the food health authority, DFO notes that based on molecular strain testing at two separate laboratories, the virus appears to be a new strain of ISA. The email also states: ―With respect to international exports of live fish or eggs from this facility, DFO would identify that the facility has tested positive for ISAv should we be asked to sign a fish health certificate for export.‖

Alberta: Keystone XL pipeline project


Keystone XL Pipeline Dec. 23, 2011 ―Keystone XL is a proposed $7 billion pipeline that would run nearly 2,000 miles to connect Canada‘s oil sands to refineries around Houston and the Gulf of Mexico that are designed to handle heavy crude the sands produce. It would be the longest oil pipeline outside of Russia and China, and has become a potent symbol in a growing fight that pits energy security against environmental risk. It would be able to carry more than half a million barrels a day. The proposal requires President Obama‘s approval because it crosses an international border. Opposition from environmentalists and officials along parts of the pipeline route, combined with a Republican measure forcing Mr. Obama to make a decision sooner than he wished appear to have doomed the project, at least for now.‖

READ ENTIRE NY TIMES ARTICLE HERE

Chile: IPNv is the most frequent disease in Chile January 12, 2012 Chile: Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis virus (IPNv) was the most frequently diagnosed disease in Chilean salmonids between January and September of 2011, followed by Flavobacteriosis and Piscirickettsia salmonis (SRS). According to the Sanitary Report 2011 produced by the National Fisheries Service (Sernapesca), there were 634 diagnostics positive to IPNv in the first nine months of 2011. 317 of those diagnostics were reported in Atlantic salmon, 209 cases in Rainbow trout and 95 in Coho salmon. Flavobacteriosis was the second most frequently diagnosed disease in salmonids with 556 cases. 206 of them were reported in Atlantic salmon, 316 in Rainbow trout and 8 in Coho salmon. SRS was in third place with 503 positive diagnostics; 278 of those cases were reported in Atlantic salmon, 140 in Rainbow trout and 77 in Coho salmon. IPNv and Flavobacteriosis are freshwater diseases, while SRS affects fish during the sea water stages. The following most frequently diagnosed disease in salmonids was the Bacterial Kidney Disease (BKD) with 161 positive diagnostics


Project for the complete life-cycle to be enlarged December 29. 2011 “Chile: Salmones Río Coihue has presented a modification to the land-based facility they expect to build, intended to farm Atlantic salmon during its complete life-cycle from eyed eggs to harvest size. Originally, this project was designed for annual production of around 3,120 tonnes. Now it has been increased to 15,000 tonnes. Moreover, previously, this project involved investments of US$ 14 million while now the construction of this facility requires around US$ 73.8 million. Besides, the company expects to start building this freshwater facility by the end of April 2012. According to the information provided by Salmones Río Coihue to the Environmental Impact Assessment System (SEIA), this project considers a freshwater recirculation system for those fish life stages from eyed eggs to 100 gr. smolts; and a sea water recirculation system from there up to an average harvest weight close to 4.5 Kg. This project –unprecedented in the country- is planned to be built nearby Puerto Montt in a coastal area which would provide enough sea water to fulfill the requirements of the recirculation system (432.5 liters per second).‖


England: Extinction fears as salmon disappear December 30, 2011 ―Atlantic salmon that travel thousands of miles to swim up a West river could become extinct there within three years, environmentalists have warned. The Wiltshire Avon, which drains most of south Wiltshire through Salisbury and on through Dorset, is one of the most important rivers for salmon in England, but a combination of milder climate and a loss of suitable breeding grounds has badly affected the numbers. The Wiltshire Wildlife Trust said the number swimming back up the Avon has halved in the past five years, and there could be no salmon left in the river within three years. The trust is now embarking on a new survey to discover what the problem is, and what can be done to help the epic swimmers. The salmon hatch from eggs in the upper reaches of the Avon, often as much as 40 miles from the sea, in shallow gravelly stretches of the river and its tributaries like the Nadder, Wylye, Bourne and Ebble, which all meet at Salisbury. Once a year old, the salmon then swim out to sea and spend their lives thousands of miles away in the north Atlantic, off the coast of West Greenland. There they live for years, before returning for a final journey back across the Atlantic, up the English Channel and into the mouth of the Avon in Dorset. They then have to find the exact tributary where they were born to spawn. But Wiltshire Wildlife Trust director Gary Mantle said that surveys of the numbers accessing the mouth of the Avon at Christchurch, near Bournemouth, show that numbers have halved in just five years. Tests on stretches of the Wylye tributary which the wildlife trust owns and manages have also shown that the temperature of the water and other habitat information has changed and appears to be badly affecting the Atlantic salmon. Oxygen levels, and the pH level of the water has changed, and the river appears to be a less salmonfriendly environment. The trust is actively restoring sections of the river to create more gravelly shallows that the salmon prefer. "We want to get into the river and clean the gravel so we provide a much better spawning area for the fish," said Dr Mantle. "It's a range of activities that we can do and we need to make sure we conserve the fish so that the few that remain are protected as well," he added. "In the next three years, salmon could be extinct from the river," he warned. Salmon numbers took a nose dive in recent decades as the river quality was damaged by pollution caused by agriculture. Dredging the river to aid flood defences also damaged habitats, and extraction by water companies created a less healthy environment.‖


Italy: Italy warned over fishing 20 October 2011 ―The European Commission is warning Italy that it risks heavy court fines for its alleged failure to stop largescale illegal fishing with driftnets that were banned from European waters two decades ago. The opening of infringement procedures against Italy is expected to be announced in Brussels on Thursday after undercover European Union inspectors reported that the Italian authorities were turning a blind eye to the use of illegal driftnets in the Mediterranean by Italian fishing vessels. Italy was condemned in 2009 by the European Court of Justice for not complying with the 1992 driftnet ban, which limits their length to 2,5 kilometres and prohibits catches of Atlantic blue-fin tuna, an endangered species, and swordfish. Italy risks ―significant‖ sanctions, which official Italian sources said could amount to fines of €120m. Officials in Brussels speak of an ―embarrassing case that has been going on for decades‖. They say Italy will have to provide a very strong argument to persuade Maria Damanaki, the maritime affairs commissioner who has taken a strong stance against illegal fishing, not to refer the case back to the European Court of Justice in two months time. Tuna and swordfish are part of a multi-million euro industry in the Mediterranean with much of the illegal catches ending up on restaurant tables and sushi bars across Europe. Separate to the EU investigation, Italian authorities are probing the suspected role of the mafia. The illegal nets, stretching for several kilometres, are set on the surface of the open sea and drift with the currents, catching any large animals that swim to a depth of 20 metres, including small swordfish, tuna and other endangered species such as dolphins, turtles and sharks. Data obtained by the Financial Times from ICCAT, the fishery body that manages large migratory fisheries in the Mediterranean, show for the first time the quantity of prohibited species caught by Italian vessels over the years. According to ICCAT, illegal use of driftnets accounted for almost a third of the total official Italian swordfish catch in 2006 and 2007 (4,290 tonnes out of 14,146) as well as a third of albacore tuna in 2007 (1,220 tonnes out of 4,017), plus 2,500 tonnes of small tuna and sharks – prohibited species under EU regulations – caught over several years up to 2009.‖

READ ENTIRE EARTHDIVE.COM ARTICLE HERE


Norway: Salmon, ecological ruin of Norway Norwegian association has sent Rue89 the catastrophic results of its study on the environmental impact of livestock, ultra-sensitive issue in Oslo.

―Criticize the salmon industry is in very bad taste in Norway. Green Warriors The organization Green Warriors saw unfold against a powerful attack when it published its report last year on the environmental impact of salmon farming. vient d'être mise en ligne Today, Rue89 engaged in exclusive French version (the English version has just been put online ), they continue to fight in a highly sensitive area - fishing is the third largest export sector after oil and gas. And France is the largest importer of Norwegian salmon, most of what we eat (30% during the holiday season) comes from the fjords of the country. qui pèse 416 millions d'euros annuels A market tripled in twenty years, which weighs 416 million euros a year . ―

READ ENTIRE RUE89 ARTICLE HERE (Translated here via Google Translate)


Editorial Comment: Marine Harvest, which operates in British Columbia as Mainstream Canada, supplies material, personnel, technology and experience to raise Atlantic salmon in open pen feedlots in British Columbia, United States, Chile, Norway, Scotland and other sites around planet earth. Their goal, like other corporations is to maximize profit.

Concerns regarding impacts of open pen salmon feedlots have been raised by those dependent on wild fish and their fragile ecosystems. These documented impacts include, but are not limited to disease outbreaks in wild salmon (ISAv, ISA, HSMI), parasite outbreaks (sea lice) in wild salmon, utilization of pharmaceuticals to control fish disease and parasite outbreaks, farmed fish escapes and marine mammal slaughter to protect farmed fish. Even with these highly publicized impacts for at least three decades, governments from around the world continue to work with Marine Harvest and other salmon farm industry leaders to expand the problematic salmon farm industry (along with its known and unknown impacts) by exploiting new and existing marine ecosystems. Those, including Wild Game Fish Conservation International,, who are concerned about these near term and long term impacts have formally called for a moratorium on open net salmon feedlots in British Columbia and in Washington state where wild salmon contribute $2.2 billion annually to the local economy. In addition, these wild salmon are key components to the health of unique ecosystems and to salmon-dependent cultures

Marine Harvest Salmon Escape After Dagmar Storm Damages Nets January 2, 2012 ―Marine Harvest ASA (MHG), the world‘s biggest salmon farmer, started re-catching fish that escaped from an enclosure in Nordfjord, northern Norway, after the storm Dagmar damaged nets over the Christmas holidays. It isn‘t clear how many fish escaped from one enclosure, which held 139,000 salmon with an average weight of 4 kilograms (8.8 pounds), the Oslo-based company said on its website today. The size and location of two net tears don‘t indicate that a large number of fish escaped, it said. Local fisherman caught 150 fish, while the company recovered 30 close to the site, according to the statement. The fish are considered safe to eat, the company said. The breakout from the enclosure was the fourth-largest escape in 2011, Marine Harvest said. ―


Scotland: Rubber stamping fish farm applications? January 11, 2012

Reel-life salmon superhero Bruce Sandison has been championing wild salmon in Scotland for decades - here's his latest 'Northern Climes' column published in the magazine Fly Fishing & Fly Tying.

Scotland's skies belong unto the Lord, And all that lies below, Except the West Highlands and the Isles, They're the SSPO's

Between 2008 and August 2011 Scottish local authorities received 106 planning applications for fish farms in their areas and 99 were approved. The authorities are Argyll & Bute, Highland, Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles. During this same period the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) received 200 applications for increased fish farm activity, and 185 were approved. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) was consulted on 135 cases in connection with fish farm panning applications, and objected to 12. In summary, therefore, during that period, a total of 441 applications were received and only 34 refused. The information outlined above was obtained by the use of Freedom of Information requests to the authorities concerned; the figures I quote were extracted to the best of my ability from details received. So why does the phrase ‗rubber stamp‘ spring to mind? I suppose it does so because that is what it looks like, at least it does to me. The Crown Estate, who own most of the seabed around the British Isles and the seabed out to the 12-mile limit, must also approve applications; they lease seabed sites to the fish farmers and collect more than £1 a year in in fees for doing so - over £2m last time round. Have they refused any such application for fish farms?


To the best of my knowledge the Crown Estate has objected to only one such application - in the Dornoch Firth if my memory serves me right? The reason they gave for rejecting the application, again, if my memory serves me right, was because it represented an unacceptable risk to local wild salmon and sea-trout populations. I think it was in the late 1980‘s. At the time I wondered how they could possibly ‗square‘ that decision with all the other leases they had given fish farmers in the West Highlands and Islands, which, it is alleged, has resulted in the collapse of wild salmonid populations in rivers and lochs in that area.

Another part of the answer to the sudden surge in applications for increased fish farm activity might lie in an announcement from HM Revenue and Customs that between January and June of this year 3,036 tonnes of salmon was exported to the Far East; including 2,347 tonnes to China, an increase of


600% over previous figures. This followed an agreement between the Scottish and the Chinese governments to allow seafood to be exported directly into China for the first time. It has been suggested that the sudden Chinese interest in Scottish salmon, rather than in Norwegian salmon, as was hitherto the case, was prompted when Norway welcomed the award of the 2010 Noble Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo for ―his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China‖. Liu Xiaobo is now serving an 11 year prison sentence for doing so. However, if the decision to switch from Norwegian to Scottish salmon was designed to show the Chinese government‘s disapproval of Norway for hosting the Nobel Peace Prize laureate presentation, it is surely ironic that much of the salmon currently flying east might have come from the Norwegian-owned multi-national companies who dominate farm salmon production in Scotland. So, if you live and work in the West Highlands and Islands of Scotland look out for more and ever bigger fish farms arriving soon in a sea loch near you and, possibly just out of sight, over the horizon, more and even bigger fish farms at sea. Of course, the fish farmers will have to submit the appropriate applications to the Crown Estate, SEPA and to local planning authorities. But on the basis of the evidence available to me I think that it is almost certain that most of these applications will, in all probability, simply be ‗rubber stamped‘? I am long enough in the tooth, as are other observers of the inexorable rise and rise of fish farming, to remember the fag-end days of the Industrial Revolution: rampant pollution, smog, tuberculosis, the slums of Auld Reekie and the ‗dear green place‘, Glasgow, and many other Scottish towns and cities; the lack of proper sanitation and effective sewage treatment plants; low wages and industrial unrest; the coal mines and shale mines of the central belt; pollution-belching steel works, car manufacturing factories and aluminum smelters; stinking rivers that were little better than open sewers. It has cost the nation billions of pounds to effect change, to restore the environment to a better state and the fight to do so continues to this day. I am also wise enough, I think, to understand that if history teaches us anything, then it is that history teaches us nothing. The degradation I grew up with as a boy was easily identifiable because it could be seen, touched and felt every day by everybody. However, fish farming, to most people, is out of sight and out of mind. And yet I honestly believe that fish farming is having a similar impact on our marine and coastal environment as the Industrial Revolution had on the more obvious environment, and that it might have a similar effect on the lives of the whole population, lowlander and highlander alike. There will be a price to pay, a horrendous price, believe me, and our present band of so-called legislators and regulators will deservedly go down in history as being responsible for orchestrating one of the greatest acts of environmental vandalism in modern history. I believe they have shamefully sold a cornerstone of the Scotland‘s natural heritage for the sake of a few slices of pseudo salmon.


- Northern Climes is a monthly round-up of news and views about Scotland‘s fish farms compiled by Bruce Sandison from his regular column in the magazine Fly Fishing & Fly Tying which has been following these events for twenty years.

Read more via "Scotland's 'Cull of the Wild' - read Bruce Sandison in the Daily Mail"


Shetland: Salmon cages cast adrift in sea January 1, 2012 ―Twelve large and potentially lucrative salmon cages have been cast adrift in the North Sea. Shetland Coastguard said they are currently trying to find a way to reel in the cages, which were filled with salmon ready for harvest and sale. It is thought the cages broke free of their moorings, at Uyeasound on the south coast of Unst, in high winds. A Shetland Coastguard spokesman said: "They are big cages and they are all attached to one another in one big lump, although they are starting to break up now. "There was a boat out there that got a hold of it but he didn't have the power to tow it. In fact, it was towing him. It is drifting around there so it is a threat to navigation. "The Maritime and Coastguard Agency pollution and salvage officer is currently trying to sort it out. I doubt very much that there's any fish left in them. It will be a fair expense." It is unclear how many fish were in each cage, or how much the incident will cost their owners. The cages are operated by Lakeland Unst Ltd, which operates between the islands of Yell, Fetlar and Unst in an area known as Bluemull Sound, which covers approximately 13 square miles. The company's website states that Bluemull Sound has to contend with moderate wave exposure and strong tidal currents. The site has the potential to produce 10,000 tonnes of salmon over one production cycle, the website states. Lakeland Group could not be contacted for comment‖


Salmon cages disappear again January 12, 2012

THE HUGE salmon cages being towed to safety after being washed out to sea by the strong Christmas gales across Shetland have disappeared again. Almost three weeks after the 12 cages containing 300,000 fully grown salmon went missing from the south coast of Uyea Isle, off the Shetland island of Unst, the whereabouts of more than half of them are unknown. The company is hoping that the Scottish government‘s fish patrol aircraft will be able to find the cages on Friday afternoon. Meanwhile one of the cages was due to be towed into Lerwick harbour‘s Dales Voe on Thursday night by the Shetland whitefish trawler Opportune. A second cage was being towed into port by another local trawler Devotion, though it is thought to be about 40 miles behind. The Danish tug Westsund and a third Shetland trawler, Fairway, are 60 miles east of Shetland where the tow was first attached last Sunday. They are now waiting to find the missing cages in heavy seas and a Force 8 north westerly gale. The towline on the remaining 10 cages broke on Wednesday afternoon and by the following afternoon the cages had disappeared in the heavy seas. Two of the sea pens are thought to have broken free and sunk. This is the third time the tow has broken and the second time the cages have been lost after they first went missing on Christmas Day. Mark Warrington, managing director of Meridian Salmon Group, who own the cages, said: ―There is a huge swell out there and the visibility is very poor, so we are putting the spotter plane up there again if we don‘t find them in the meantime. ―The problem is these cages are not made for towing, they have no points to attach a towline.‖ He said that once they find the cages they hope to break them up and tow them back one or two at a time. They are depending on a break in the bad weather, which is forecast for Friday and expected to last over the weekend. Time is running out though, with strong winds forecast for Tuesday next week. ―It‘s a very small window, but here‘s hoping,‖ he said. Mr Warrington said he could not confirm reports that some of the fish, whose sale value amounts to £3 million, are still alive despite their ordeal.


USA: Update from US Senator Maria Cantwell (Washington State) ―As you may know, Canadian scientists recently announced they have detected ISA in multiple species of wild Pacific salmon. While the virus does not pose a threat to human health, previous outbreaks of ISA in Chile and Norway did significant damage to their aquaculture industries. This virus could harm the Pacific Northwest salmon fishing industry and the coastal economies that rely on it because thousands of Washington state jobs depend on healthy, sustainable salmon populations. A 2010 Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife Study found that commercial fisheries, after processing and distributing their stocks, contributed $1.6 billion to the local economy. In response to the recent ISA discovery in Canada, I authored a bipartisan amendment to the Fiscal Year 2012 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill (H.R. 2112) on October 19, 2011. This amendment calls on the National Aquatic Animal Health Task Force to evaluate the risk the virus could have on wild salmon off West Coast and Alaskan waters, and to develop within six months a plan to address this emerging threat. I am pleased my amendment became law on November 18, 2011, when H.R. 2112 was signed by President Obama (P.L. 112-55). Additionally, on November 2, 2011, I sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science expressing the need for the U.S. federal government to independently test samples of the recently detected salmon virus, rather than relying on Canadian scientists. The letter urges the Committee to commit the resources needed for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to measure salmon virus susceptibility among different species, assess surveillance and monitoring, develop an essential action plan to respond to the potential salmon virus, and establish better techniques for virus detection. As we continue to learn more about the potential infectious salmon anemia virus on the West Coast, I will work to ensure NOAA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and other state and federal agencies have the resources necessary to protect our wild salmon. Since being elected to the Senate, I have committed myself to protecting the environment and natural resources, not only within Washington State but throughout the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Pacific Northwest wild salmon support tens of thousands of local jobs. I believe we need to take immediate action to protect these jobs by quickly developing a salmon virus action plan. Please be assured that I will keep your views in mind as we continue to closely track this ISA threat. Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter. You may be interested in signing up for my periodic update for Washington State residents. If you are interested in subscribing to these updates, please visit my website at http://cantwell.senate.gov. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance ― Sincerely, Maria Cantwell United States Senator


Coalition calls for FDA to halt approval of genetically engineered salmon December 20, 2011 Discovery of undisclosed infection of salmon eggs calls into question company claims that GE salmon are safe for the environment ―Yesterday afternoon a coalition of 11 food safety, environmental, consumer and fisheries organizations sent a letter to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) calling for a halt to its approval of a genetically engineered (GE) salmon after learning that the company‘s – AquaBounty Technologies, Inc. – research site was contaminated with a new strain of Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA), the deadly fish flu that is devastating fish stocks around the world. ―This new information calls into question the reliability of AquaBounty‘s data and the validity of its claims that their fish are safe for the environment‖ said Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of the Center for Food Safety. ―The FDA must respond appropriately and conduct their own environmental impact statement that looks at a broad range of environmental risks from these genetically engineered salmon, including the risk of spreading diseases such as ISA and antibiotic use for other diseases.‖ AquaBounty has claimed that the company‘s process for raising GE fish is safer than traditional aquaculture. However, documents that were revealed last week indicate that their production site was found by Canadian Authorities to have been contaminated in Nov. 2009. This information was hidden from the public and potentially FDA and other Federal agencies consulting on the GE salmon application. ISA is a deadly disease and is classified as a ‗Listed‘ disease by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) – alongside diseases such as Anthrax, Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), Foot and mouth disease, rabies, sheep pox, swine fever, avian influenza, West Nile fever, scrapie, fowl cholera, bovine tuberculosis and myxomatosis. ―Infectious Salmon Anaemia threatens wild fisheries around the world and the communities whose livelihood depend on those fish‖ said Erich Pica, President of Friends of the Earth US. ―ISA infections in Chile cost the industry around two billion dollars. A similar infection in Canada and the U.S. could be the last blow to wild Atlantic salmon populations and bring a collapse in wild salmon fisheries.‖ The December 19 letter urged FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to release all health data on AquaBounty‘s GE salmon and to suspend any approval actions until all the data is disclosed and the public has an opportunity to review the data. Additionally, the coalition asked the FDA to conduct a full environmental impact statement that includes review of the effect of fish diseases, like ISA, on wild fish populations that might come into contact with the AquaBounty fish. Currently, the FDA has only performed a less comprehensive environmental risk assessment. This news comes on the heels of a Senate subcommittee hearing held last Thursday on the environmental risks of GE fish, the first hearing of its kind in Congress.‖


FrankenSalmon. Coming Soon To A Table Near You. ―In September of 2010 the FDA approved the first genetically animal safe for eating. The ―product‖ is a genetically modified Atlantic salmon developed by AquaBounty Technologies, which they named AquaAdvantage Salmon (AAS). AAS can grow twice as fast as a normal salmon. This super speedy growth rate was gained by making two changes to the salmon‘s genome, the addition of a growth hormone gene, and the addition of an antifreeze gene. AquaBounty see their salmon as an environmentally sustainable alternative to the current farmed salmon. AAS are to be raised in landbased facilities, which would reduce the environmental impact on coastal areas, and eliminate the threat of disease transfer from farms to wild fish. Land-based facilities would also allow people to live closer to their food facilities, reducing some of the costs associated with transporting fish. But many people are still worried about the health and environmental risks posed by genetically modified salmon. The first worry people have about modified genetically modified salmon is ―are they safe to eat?‖ It‘s a known fact that in the United States we‘ve been eating genetically modified produce for years. The main health concern with genetically modified foods is allergens. For AAS, the two proteins being introduced into the salmon‘s genetic makeup are from other fish, so there‘s not the same kind of worry as adding a protein from a peanut or shrimp. But there is still the worry that adding proteins will increase the number of fish allergens inside the salmon. A bigger concern may be environmental impact if the AAS salmon are accidently introduced into the wild. AAS are designed specially for land based facilities, but precautions have also been taken to reduce their impact if they are accidently introduced into the wild. AAS salmon are all triploid females, which means that they are not only all female, but are sterilized as well. The problem with triploid induction is that there is a very small percentage of fish where the sterilization doesn‘t work. There is a failure of sterilization in .1 to 1% of fish, which is a pretty small number, except fish farms usually contain 500,000 to 1 million fish. How this could impact wild fish populations is unknown. Personally this reminds me of the Movie/Book ―Jurassic Park‖. Even sterilized fish may have a negative impact on wild salmon populations. AAS salmon grow faster and larger then natural salmon. This would make an AAS salmon more attractive for mating then a natural Atlantic salmon, which could negatively impact wild salmon populations. When AAS hit the market, farming facilities need to be monitored to make sure there is no way for the salmon to accidently escape into the wild. This is especially important in areas where a salmon population is already present. AAS could be an excellent way to increase the availability of fish without impacting wild salmon populations and the coastal ecosystem but strict monitoring is needed to keep these ―mutants‖ from causing trouble.‖


Alaska: B.C.'s wild salmon threatened by Alaskan practices - conservation groups January 11, 2012 Editorial Comment: Although the article below specifically addresses impacts to British Columbia's wild salmon, the concerns are true for all wild fish during interception fisheries in the North Pacific; no matter their place of origin Alaskan salmon ranches and interception fisheries are damaging B.C.'s wild salmon populations, according to three Canadian conservation groups. Raincoast Conservation Foundation, SkeenaWild Conservation Trust and Watershed Watch Salmon Society said Wednesday they plan to challenge the eco-certification awarded to the Alaskan salmon fishery by the Marine Stewardship Council. The council assesses fisheries and certifies those that are sustainable and environmentally sound, giving consumers assurance they are buying seafood from a responsibly managed fishery. MSC certification labels appear on fresh, frozen and canned fish. No stranger to controversy, the council sparked outrage last year when it awarded certification to B.C. sockeye salmon, including the troubled Fraser River runs. MSC gave 16 Alaskan salmon fisheries blanket certification in 2000, which remains the commission's largest and most complex of the 133 fisheries it certifies. But the MSC's own surveillance report on the Alaskan fisheries noted concerns about the effects that the release of billions of hatchery fish into the ocean could be having on wild salmon stocks. In all, the 2011 surveillance report noted that 19 conditions of the fishery's recertification remained unfulfilled. "Alaskan ocean ranching and hatchery operations release billions of farm-raised fish into natural ecosystems and wild salmon populations," said Aaron Hill, a biologist with the Watershed Watch Salmon Society. "There is increasing scientific concern about the effect that flooding the North Pacific with these fish is having on wild salmon populations." Alarm bells about the practice of ocean ranching began ringing as soon as the Alaskan fishery was certified more than 10 years ago. A 2001 report by the Environment and Natural Resources Institute at the University of Alaska Anchorage bluntly warned that the practice could jeopardize the state's own wild salmon populations. Ocean-ranched fish are hatched and reared in fresh water and then raised in ocean-based net pens where they are fed and protected from predation to gain size and strength before being released into the wild. "These fish compete for the same food resources as wild salmon in the open ocean," said Hill. "Between Japan, Alaska, Canada an! d Russia more than five billion hatchery fish are released into the North Pacific and it's getting to be a real concern." Ocean-ranched salmon could damage wild stocks by out-competing them for food and by mixing with spawning populations, Hill said. The release of the groups' concerns about the Alaskan fisheries is timed to coincide with this week's scheduled meetings in Portland of the Pacific Salmon Commission, the body that manages the Pacific Salmon Treaty between Canada and the United States. The groups are also concerned that indiscriminate Alaskan fisheries are intercepting sockeye and chum bound for B.C. Skeena and Nass Rivers and called on the Canadian government to do more to protect at-risk salmon stocks at the bargaining table .

The treaty is meant to ensure that both countries receive benefits equal to the production of salmon in their waters and to limit interception fisheries. Calls to the MSC were not returned by press time.


Bristol Bay Protection Bristol Bay Alliance

Battle for Bristol Bay, a resource struggle for the ages December 21, 2011 ―DILLINGHAM, Alaska -- On a chilly day in late September, fishing boats were docked by the dozens in this remote town on Bristol Bay. Come wintertime, many would rest on blocks in people's yards. The boats sit waiting for the rush of the summertime, when Dillingham's population of 2,300 will double. Fishermen come from across the region to make their living, just like the settlers who flooded Alaska just over a century ago in search of gold and the salmon that earned the nickname "money fish." The salmon catch still sustains these towns, but today they face a new test. Because of a plan to dig a massive copper, gold and molybdenum mine in the headwaters of Bristol Bay, people here are grappling with a question they would rather not ask: Can southwest Alaska make money from its wealth of minerals without doing harm to the money fish? This is the first of a two-part series about the proposed Pebble Mine in southwestern Alaska. Part two, about the upheaval in villages near the mineral deposit, will appear on Thursday. Even as wild salmon populations have dwindled elsewhere, southwest Alaska's fishing industry has stayed strong since the first canneries were built in the late 19th century. Year after year, fishermen harvest almost 70 percent of the salmon, but the ones that make it past the nets are still enough to replenish the population, said Rick Parkin, a 30-year veteran of U.S. EPA who has spent the past 10 months leading a study of the Bristol Bay watershed.‖

READ ENTIRE EENEWS ARTICLE HERE


Pebble prospect divides Alaskans in land of plenty December 22, 2011 ―ILIAMNA, Alaska -- Greg Anelon was raised near the shores of Iliamna Lake, surrounded by some of the world's most bountiful wild salmon spawning grounds. Like most of his neighbors, he has been a fisherman his whole life, plying the waters of Bristol Bay with a fishing permit handed down from his father. Caribou, moose and wolves stalk the vast, windy wilderness of southwestern Alaska, where more brown bears than people live spread across an area the size of West Virginia. The lakes are filled with rainbow trout, northern pike and dolly varden. People in the nearby town of Nondalton like to say that no one needs to go hungry with such treasures all around them. This is the second of a two-part series about the proposed Pebble Mine in southwestern Alaska. Click here for part one, about Bristol Bay's emergence as one of Alaska's tensest political battlegrounds. The Newhalen River

Anelon remembers the first time mining executives stepped off a plane at Iliamna's airstrip and held a meeting. What they described that day, about eight years ago, could scarcely be imagined. They wanted to start digging into a massive deposit of copper and gold known as the Pebble mine, which at today's prices could be worth a mind-boggling $400 billion or more. Bringing the minerals to market would require infrastructure that doesn't exist here: a power plant, perhaps an ore processing facility, a 100-mile corridor of new roads and pipelines that would bridge the untouched terrain and end at a brand new port. Building all that would be a huge undertaking anywhere, but all the more so in a remote area threaded with rivers and splotched with lakes, where airplane and boat are the only two ways to reach most villages. "That was scary," Anelon said. "And I think a lot of the local people are still feeling that scaredness." On that day, Anelon and his neighbors saw a vivid image of southwest Alaska being transformed, seemingly overnight, to extract minerals that sat hidden in the ground for untold ages before the Dena'ina and Yup'ik people made this place their home. Some people living near the mineral deposit came to see Pebble as a godsend for a struggling local economy. Others feel the miners should pack up and leave before they devastate an ecosystem with some of the world's best salmon runs. The tension between them has created a rift, turning families into factions and giving the whole area an uneasy Hatfields and McCoys feel.‖

READ ENTIRE EENEWS ARTICLE HERE


Economic value of Bristol Bay fisheries could be $4.1-$5.4 billion December 29, 2011 ―A newly released report commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund concludes that the value of commercial fisheries that could be adversely affected by offshore oil and gas development in Bristol Bay ranks in billions of dollars. Researchers at Portland, Ore., based Ecotrust concluded that the fish harvested in Bristol Bay at the final point of retail sale averaged $2.2 -$2.9 billion annually from 2005-2008, supporting $4.1-$5.4 billion annually in total economic activity. While the study was completed months ago, it was not released until last week. ―The economic value at each step of the value chain is comprised of the direct value added to the commercial fishery input plus the additional economic activity that it supports,‖ said study authors Sarah Kruse, Kristen Sheeran and Taylor Hesselgrave. Their value chain analysis estimates the direct values of the commercial fishery at three distinct steps along the value-chain: harvest, processing and wholesale and retail. The estimated wholesale value of commercial harvests from the base study region ranges from $1.1$1.4 billion annually, the study found. The wholesale value as it is processed supports secondary economic activity in the base study area and beyond, and the value of the total economic output associated with fisheries wholesale and processing, therefore, may be as high as $2.3 billion each year, the authors concluded. ―These values include landings value and the value of economic activities associated with harvesting. It is a cumulative estimate of the value of the total economic activity created as fish are harvested, processed and sold wholesale along the value chain,‖ they said. The National Marine Fishery Service value-added model employed by the researchers allocates 48.8 percent of the wholesale value of seafood to retail services, such as restaurants, caterers, schools, hospitals and other institutional food service provides, where the estimated retail mark-up is 182 percent. It apportions 50 percent of the wholesale value to retail stores, including supermarkets, grocery stores and seafood specialty shops, where the mark-up is 33.4 percent. The model assumes that there is no additional value added to the remaining 1.1 percent of wholesale value going to industrial products. Beginning with the landings value as the starting fishery input, the total retail value of seafood harvested from Bristol Bay is estimated by these researchers at $2.9 billion. The direct value of the fishery at every step along the value-chain supports secondary economic activities, researchers said. For example, the fisherman sells his catch to processors/wholesalers to pay for his crew and supplies. The processor/wholesaler sells his product to retailers to cover the cost of supplies and employees. Retailers sell their seafood to consumers to pay for labor and other inputs. Commercial fishermen, processors, and retailers have downstream suppliers who benefit indirectly from sales; these backward linked economic activities constitute the indirect secondary impacts of commercial fishing.‖

READ ENTIRE CORDOVA TIMES ARTICLE HERE


Editorial Comment: Wild Game Fish Conservation International continues to raise concerns regarding the open pen Atlantic salmon/steelhead trout feedlot farm proposed for the Strait of Juan de Fuca, near the mouth of the Elwha River, just west of Port Angeles, Washington. As we‘re learning, open pen Atlantic salmon farms are associated with outbreaks of parasites and deadly salmon diseases including Infectious Salmon Anemia and Heart Skeletal Muscle Inflammation. Just as problematic are practices such as marine mammal slaughter and treatment via pharmaceuticals to reduce expense. Additionally, there is a history of Atlantic salmon escapes from salmon feedlots where hundreds of thousands of escaped exotic fish compete with wild fish for food and habitat. The location of these proposed salmon feedlots is also problematic when it comes to navigational challenges associated with the area‘s non-stop shipping and recreational boating activities. Lastly, as recently experienced in Shetland, these open pen salmon feedlots can become free from their moorings during severe storms and tide changes; common occurrences in this selected location.

Washington State: Aquaculture Pacific Seafoods steelhead farm hits road block ―After four years of planning and investing, the Oregon-based company may abandon plans for a second steelhead farm in Washington state. Pacific Seafoods has been working for more than four years to establish a second steelhead farm in Washington state in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Now it appears all of the company's efforts could be wasted. After extensive talks, both the tribes that live in the area and a key environmental stakeholder told the company in December that they would need to see the final application before deciding whether to support it, Pacific Seafood's Aquaculture Manager John Bielka told IntraFish. With that news, Pacific has decided to reassess whether to move forward. This farm would be Pacific Seafoods' second farm in Washington state. It also owns a trout farm in the Columbia River, which has two sites, with 20 net pens per site. Each net pen is 82 feet by 82 feet. The main labor base for the farm is the local Native American tribe, and the product is sold to supermarkets such as Fred Meyer, according to Bielka. ―We like to be in areas that we have cooperation with all the stakeholders,‖ Bielka said. ―We don‘t want to push something in an area where someone‘s against it.‖ If the project were to move forward, Bielka said the main labor base would most likely come from the tribes. If Pacific doesn‘t get nods of approval before submitting its application, it risks having to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to defend the project in court once the application process begins, Beilka said. ―Because we have so much at stake when we make an application, we want to know going in what are going to be the pitfalls – what might stop us from being accepted – before we apply for a permit.‖ Typically the formal permitting process, after an application is submitted, takes two years.‖


Washington Department of Ecology Won't Allow Ban on Fin Fish Aquaculture

―This year, citing concerns over the effect of salmon farms on wild salmon Jefferson County sought to become the first county in Washington State with a Shoreline Management Plan (SMP). With ever more evidence coming out of Canada that open containment salmon farms spread parasites and disease to wild fish you'd think state resource managers would have applauded the counties decision. Except they didn't. Instead the Washington Department of Ecology demanded that the ban on fin fish aqua culture be removed from the SMP before it could be approved by the state. Jefferson County then compiled a bibliography of over 120 cited resources pertaining to fin fish aquaculture and revised their SMP, however despite these efforts Ecology has indicated that it will not support the SMP so long as it contains a ban on fin fish aquaculture.‖


Aquaculture: From the archives –not too distant past


Chehalis River Basin Flood Damage Prevention


Editorial comment: WGFCI founders have supported the proposed Chehalis River basin floodplain and floodway delineations by FEMA for more than two years as part of an effort to prevent catastrophic, flood related damage throughout the Chehalis River basin.

Environmental groups sue US over flood management “SEATTLE – The National Wildlife Federation filed a motion in U.S. District Court on Wednesday, asking a judge to stop the U.S. government from issuing any more flood insurance policies for new development in flood-prone areas around the Puget Sound until it changes its flood plain plans to consider the impact on endangered species like salmon and orcas. The motion for a preliminary injunction is the latest move in a decades-long fight to get the Federal Emergency Management Agency to pay more attention to endangered species, said Jan Hasselman, an attorney for Earthjustice, the environmental law firm that filed a motion in Seattle on behalf of the National Wildlife Federation. The environmental group won a lawsuit in 2004 that found FEMA did not create its flood plain management standards with the Endangered Species Act in mind.

Hasselman said the National Marine Fisheries Service in 2008 issued a plan for changing the flood standards, setting various deadlines, the last of which recently passed."They're continuing to issue flood plain insurance for new developments in flood plains, incentivizing activities not just harmful to salmon, but harmful to people," Hasselman said.

"Time's up."They are asking the court to stop the federal government from issuing new flood insurance in the most sensitive areas, which would effectively stop development in those areas because private flood insurance is nearly nonexistent and it is very difficult to build without insurance, Hasselman said.

An attorney representing a coalition of property owners, builders, real estate professionals and industry groups says the National Wildlife Federation's approach on this issue is all wrong.Molly Lawrence of Seattle law firm Gordon Derr said the motion ignores the many regulations already in place at the local level to protect endangered species.

"From my perspective, the real story is that, to date, NWF has not challenged one local jurisdiction's development regulations as violating the Endangered Species Act," Lawrence said. "They are trying to achieve through this lawsuit what they have been flatly unable to accomplish through local and state land use regulation development processes."She said the Property Owners for Sensible Regulations will decide soon how they might want to participate in the lawsuit.‖

READ ENTIRE OLYMPIAN ARTICLE HERE


Science-based, wild salmon and trout habitat conservation strategies


Review Comments: Draft report - Chehalis River Fish Study (December 2011) Wild Game Fish Conservation International December 27, 2011

The Chehalis River Basin Flood Authority, as directed and funded by the 2010 Washington State Legislature, commissioned the Chehalis River Fish Study. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of a ‗water retention structure‘ (a dam, in another words) on anadromous salmon in the Chehalis River After reviewing the report and its appendices, Wild Game Fish Conservation International (WGFCI) remains extremely concerned that supporters of building a dam in the headwaters of the Chehalis River basin will dismiss this report with its negative conclusions. There seems to be no understanding that from here on any studies on this topic will likely result in even more negative conclusions. From our perspective there are a number of issues with this study. Among them are: 

There was insufficient time to collect the necessary data, approximately a year. temperature data was collected for only two months;

Only three of the anadromous species; spring run Chinook salmon, winter run Steelhead trout, and Coho salmon were included in the study. This resulted in several species such as summer run and fall run Chinook salmon, summer run steelhead trout, Cutthroat Trout (both resident and anadromous), Sturgeon (both green and white), Rainbow trout, Bull trout, Chum salmon, Eulachon and Pacific Lamprey being excluded from the study. This means, again, that the impacts due to a water retention facility on fish in the Chehalis River basin are underestimated;

The failure to include the 2007 and 2009 floods in the modeling of water flows, temperature, and impact on fish. These two floods are the reasons for the creation of the Flood Authority and this study;

The assumption that Coho salmon and Steelhead trout would change where they spawn from the headwaters and upstream tributaries downstream to an area in the main stem where they have never spawned. In effect, this meant that conclusions about the impacts of a dam on fish were understated;

The modeling makes clear that a dam will not protect I-5, the Chehalis-Centralia Airport or the cities of Chehalis and Centralia.

Water

There is more, but the point is painfully clear. The conclusions reached by the report authors are easily understood. Every scenario modeled predicted declines in the three species if a dam were to be built. This is regardless of the type of dam (hydroelectric or flood control) or whether fish passage is included in the construction of the dam or whether water is released from the top of the reservoir or the bottom.


The Flood Authority is reviewing possible mitigation and enhancement projects in the basin. The stated purpose is to lessen the impact of a dam on fish and to enhance or improve current conditions. So far there has been no discussion on how other mitigation efforts, necessary because of a dam, have fared regarding the impact on fish. A question we have asked is for the Flood Authority to give us one example of a dam being built where the outcome for anadromous species was the status quo or better. So far, no answer and we do not think there will be one. We continue to ask about other factors that are nowhere considered in this study. These include irrigation withdrawals and its impact on aquatic plants and on animals such as deer or elk that live in the basin, forestry practices and floodplain development. Given the Chehalis River Fish Study‘s predicted negative impacts to anadromous salmon due to a proposed water retention facility in the headwaters of the Chehalis River, Wild Game Fish Conservation International respectfully recommends: 

Discontinue all further efforts and expenses associated with the proposed construction of a water retention facility in the headwaters of the Chehalis River;

Immediate adoption and implementation of these actions:   

Immediate and permanent moratorium on steep slope logging Immediate and permanent moratorium on floodplain development Independent peer reviews of Flood Authority-commissioned studies and associated reports (review by UW or WSU);

Work collaboratively to prevent flood related damage throughout the Chehalis River basin

Given the potential and irreversible impacts of the proposed Chehalis River dam to Chehalis River basin fish, we requested that a colleague and friend of WGFCI who is an aquatic ecologist to review the draft report associated with the Chehalis River Fish Study (December 2011). The following are his comments. 

It is possible to have headwater-oriented salmonids spawn below dams, if coldwater (hypolimnetic) releases are made from dams, as has been required to maintain headwateroriented (i.e., winter, spring, and late-fall) runs of Chinook in the Sacramento River, CA. But even with that scenario, these populations haven‘t recovered, so dam-release management has been a stopgap solution (rather than a panacea). Moreover, loss of Chinook runs into the upper Sacramento River drainage has led to the loss of bull trout, given loss of adequate foods. Hence, the very coldwater-adapted bull trout became extirpated from California with such dam-building;


Fall Chinook and winter steelhead are better at spawning in mainstem habitats than spring Chinook, coho, summer steelhead, and cutthroat. All 6 of these runs occur in the upper Chehalis River drainage.

See: Caldwell, B., J. Pacheco, H. Beecher, T. Hegy, and R. Vadas. 2004. Chehalis River Basin, WRIAs 22 and 23: Fish Habitat Analysis using the Instream Flow Incremental Methodology. Washington Department of Ecology and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Open File Technical Report 04(11-006): 99 pp. (http://www.ecy.wa.gov/biblio/0411006.html 

Winter steelhead should also be relevant to summer/fall Chinook, whereas that for spring Chinook and coho should also be relevant to summer steelhead and cutthroat (for mainstem vs. tributary-spawning guilds, respectively). Other mainstem spawners include sturgeons and eulachon, but likey not upstream into the Pe Ell area. Other salmonids, notably other salmon species and bull trout, are believed to be rare in the Chehalis River basin;

Clearly, the hydropower option should change Chehalis River flows more significantly than the storage-only option, likely with more-significant impacts on downstream salmonids and other fishes, given the importance of normative (semi-natural) flow management for native fish and wildlife.

See: AQ, Watershed GeoDynamics and Normandeau Associates, Inc. 2011. Flood storage facility fish analysis: Chehalis River Fish Study (draft). Prepared for the Chehalis River Basin Flood Authority. Arthington, A.H., S.E. Bunn, N.L. Poff, and R.J. Naiman. 2006. The challenge of providing environmental flow rules to sustain river ecosystems. Ecological Applications 16: 1311-1318 (http://rydberg.biology.colostate.edu/~poff/Public/poffpubs/Arthington2006(EcologicalApplications).pd f). Geller, L.D., ed. 2003. Guide to instream flow setting in Washington State. Washington Department of Ecology, Water Resources Program Publication 03(11-007): 81 pp. (http://www.ecy.wa.gov/biblio/0311007.html). Poff, N.L., et al. 1997. The natural flow paradigm: a paradigm for river conservation and restoration. BioScience 47: 769784 (http://www-personal.umich.edu/~dallan/pdfs/Poff_1997.pdf).


Strange, E.M., K.D. Fausch, and A.P. Covich. 1999. Sustaining ecosystem services in human-dominated watersheds: biohydrology and ecosystem processes in the South Platt River basin. Environmental Management 24: 39-54 (http://www.springerlink.com/content/ufheul6ma97rkkf1). Vadas, R.L. Jr., and D.L. Weigmann. 1993. The concept of instream flow and its relevance to drought management in the James River basin. Virginia Water Resources Research Center Bulletin 178: 78 pp. (http://www.vwrrc.vt.edu/pdfs/bulletins/bulletin182.pdf). 

This would be the expected worst impacts for downstream-oriented spawners like sturgeons and eulachon;

Although these thermal data are for a limited window of time, they don‘t support Lewis County‘s claim that the upper mainstem has a heating problem. Indeed, the main channel (MC) was colder there than for the Satsop River during mid-early September of 2001. Moreover, MC values for both rivers then were within the optimal range for most salmonids.

Respectfully submitted,

Bruce Treichler James E. Wilcox Wild Game Fish Conservation International

To view this draft report: click on above photo, username = chehalisfish, password = upstream-4


Flood Authority will be audited this year By Steven Friederich, The Daily World ―The Chehalis Basin Flood Authority has spent millions of the state‘s dollars since its formation in 2008 — but it‘s never been audited by the state Auditor‘s Office. Until now. The office plans to conduct a formal audit this year, looking at the way the Flood Authority spends money and what the money is being spent for. Mindy Chambers, a spokesperson with the state Auditor‘s Office, said the state agency began in September of 2010 trying to figure out if the Flood Authority is a legally separate entity or if the group should be audited as part of Lewis County‘s annual audit since Lewis County is the official fiscal agent of the group. Chambers said that whatever the case, the Auditor‘s Office has determined that a financial review must be done this year. The news comes just as the Flood Authority is grappling with another round of financial questions. Last month, Lewis County Community Development Director Bob Johnson told the Flood Authority that funds they had carved out to facilitate the operation of the authority would run dry as soon as April — many months earlier than expected. The state Legislature allocated $1.32 million for flood mitigation efforts on the Chehalis River and the Flood Authority was able to convince officials from the state Office of Financial Management to carve off a chunk for administration of the organization. The Flood Authority was able to take $156,270 and use it to hire multiple facilitators, including an attorney acting as an organizer and two technical consultants. The hope was to make the funds last for a year or longer, but facilitators and technical advisers have been needed to sort out membership issues and attend many more meetings than expected. State Rep. Hans Dunshee said Friday that he understood why the Flood Authority wanted to hire facilitators. ―Especially given their nature to not really get along,‖ he said. But he says that he doesn‘t expect to give more money to the Flood Authority for administrative purposes when the Legislature convenes on Monday. Dunshee is the House Capital Budget chairman and has been keeping an eye on how the Flood Authority has been managing its funds since its formation in 2008. He‘s been critical in the past of some of the expenses, especially of studies that seem to just be sitting on a shelf gathering dust.


As an example, for about a year Seattle-based FCS Group worked on a report and tried to help the Flood Authority create a tri-county flood taxing district that simply never came to be. The whole plan was scrapped after the contract expired in June of last year. Cost to the taxpayers — $420,000. The Flood Authority received about $3.5 million from the state Legislature during its first three years of existence. Dunshee said that legislators trusted that the Flood Authority would use the funds to work on actual flood protection projects. Instead, about $1.5 million was spent on studies related to a potential earthen dam at the headwaters of the Chehalis River. A major study involving whether fish could survive if a dam would be installed is still being done today, funded as part of the new $1.32 million allocation. Dunshee said he would still like to see actual projects done. The question there is funding. There‘s ! also still a question of personalities on the Flood Authority and the recent conflict over whether the communities of Napavine and Cosmopolis should be allowed to join the Flood Authority. It‘s just another issue that shows the discord that exists on the board, he points out. ―Democracy works when people come together on disagreements and that‘s got to happen here,‖ Dunshee said. ―If it‘s happening in Libya, it can happen with the Flood Authority. I have faith.‖ Dunshee said he‘s grateful that Flood Authority Chairman Vickie Raines, who is the mayor of Cosmopolis but represents Montesano on the board, has reached out to him. Over the summer, Dunshee toured some parts of the Chehalis River with members of the Flood Authority. He later met with the Chehalis Tribe, which abandoned the Flood Authority earlier this year. ―Chairman Raines gives me hope that things will get better,‖ Dunshee said. Dunshee said he‘s glad that the group will be audited, given the amount of money that the group has spent and all of the contracts involved. ―A little more sunshine is pretty good,‖ Dunshee said. ―People would like to see an accounting of what they‘re spending their money on.‖ Raines said she‘s not worried about an audit, noting she‘s worked with multiple auditors in the past. ―I look at is as an opportunity to learn from them rather than be scared out of them,‖ Raines said.‖


Economic downturn delays flood zone work in Chehalis January 6, 2012 “CHEHALIS, Wash. -- The city of Chehalis has received a $1.2 million federal grant to raise up homes in the flood zone, but the money is not being put to use. And KOMO News has learned the money could go to waste if the city doesn't meet an important deadline, leaving homeowners vulnerable to the next big flood. Since the devastating flood swept through the Chehalis River valley in 2007, some homes have been raised. But others are waiting for the grant. Memories of 2007 are still vivid for many in the area. "I stayed upstairs," said resident Edward Buda, who refused to evacuate. "I have dogs. I can't leave them." Buda said he had 4 feet of water in his house even though he raised it by several feet back in the 80s. "And at that time, they told me it was high enough," he said. But he's been flooded out since -- "five times so far." Chehalis received the grant in 2010 to raise up Buda's home and 24 others in the area. But the city hasn't touched that money. "They need help. It's not right," said resident Dorothy Mako. Mako, who lives next door to Buda, had her home raised in 2009. Her flood insurance and a $10,000 check from the Problem Solvers and the Salvation Army paid for the project. "I was so appreciative," she said. But now she struggles to understand why the grant isn't helping her neighbors. "Why is he still on the ground?" she said of her neighbor. According to the city, because this is a federal grant, the city must pay for the construction upfront and get reimbursed months later. The city didn't have that up-front money last year, and the administer of the program was a victim of budget cuts. "In 2010, we ran into the economy, so we had to alter what we intended to do about a year later so," said Bob Nacht, the city's community development director. Nacht says the city now has the money to move ahead, and plans to start raising homes in April. "We feel we're going to be able to do it this year," he said. The city is up against a deadline; the two-year grant expires at the end of this year. Chehalis hopes to get all 25 homes lifted by then. If not, it hopes to get an extension from the government so that none of the grant is lost.‖


Dam Could Help Fish Habitat While Reducing Flooding By The Chronicle Editorial Board December 29, 2011

―A draft study released last month on how a flood retention dam on the upper Chehalis River might affect fish is one step in an important evaluation of how fisheries could also be enhanced by a project that would simultaneously reduce flooding downstream. Water retention has multiple potential benefits - cutting back on high water during the winter while also bringing cold, clear water during the dry, hot summer months. If a dam had been in place during the hot August of 2009, a massive fish kill near Pe Ell could have been avoided. Temperatures in the low Chehalis River at that time measured nearly 80 degrees - a deadly environment for salmon. The stagnant Chehalis River is a horrible place to be a fish during the summer. The cities of Chehalis and Centralia over the past 15 years were ordered to spend millions of dollars to change how they treat their waste water. The warm, murky Chehalis River couldn't handle the cities' effluent. Even after the cities made those changes, the water still isn't a healthy place for aquatic creatures. Adding cool, clean water from a new reservoir during the summer would greatly help make the river a better place for fish - up to 10 degrees cooler in parts of the upper basin. Building a "multi-purpose reservoir," which holds back water in the winter to release during the summer, "has a large beneficial effect on water temperatures in the Chehalis River," according to November draft study. Releasing cold water from the bottom of the reservoir would be a benefit to salmon species, but the draft study suggests that the dam alone would still have some negative impact on fish. Fortunately, there are ways to enhance the environment as the dam is built, so at this point there is no conclusive indication that fish populations would suffer a net decline. A study is being conducted right now to figure out just how that could happen. That analysis is due this spring and will detail how salmon habitat that has been lost in the upper basin due to culverts, logging roads, and other factors could be enhanced. This first analysis of the impact of dams is a start as we look at the best way to reduce the impacts of Chehalis River flood mud and muck on people and wildlife. To do nothing is not acceptable. Warm, stagnant summer flows in the Chehalis River are killing fish now. Floods threaten with every hard rainfall. Building a dam above Pe Ell could help reduce flooding while making the river healthier for fish, especially if paired with targeted environmental mitigation and enhancements that are being evaluated as we speak.‖


Featured artist: Glenn Chatten - Adams River Run (click, watch, listen)


2012 NORTHWEST YOUTH CONSERVATION & FLY FISHING ACADEMY

The Washington Council Trout Unlimited and the Washington State Council Federation Fly Fishers jointly announce they will begin accepting applications for the 2012 Northwest Youth Conservation and Fly Fishing Academy beginning January 1. The Olympia Chapter Trout Unlimited and the South Sound Fly Fishers will again host the Academy at the Gwinwood Conference Center on Hicks Lake in Lacey, Washington from June 24 through 30, 2012. The Academy is designed to educate youth about the importance of conservation and resource stewardship and is modeled after the nationally acclaimed award winning Pennsylvania Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp held annually in Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania. The curriculum is structured to provide students with a background in fundamental science and includes presentations on ecology, hydrology, aquatic entomology, invasive species, watersheds, wildlife management, and fish behavior. Participants will also learn the essential fly fishing skills that include fly casting, fly tying, fly selection, streamside ethics and etiquette, knot tying, reading water, and water safety.

Twenty-four youths, ages 12 to 16, who show an interest in the outdoors and fly fishing will be selected to attend. The Academy is co-educational with acceptance based upon a candidate‘s written essay indicating his/her desire to attend and what she/he hopes to learn from it. Applications will be accepted until April 15, 2012. Total cost, including meals and lodging, is $275. Fly fishing rods, reels, and fly tying equipment will be available.


Wild Game Fish Around Planet Earth

Fish On! Wild winter Steelhead buck - hooked while rafting and spey casting on the Bulkley River – ―I will never forget this experience!‖, Anette Lauder (Smithers, British Columbia) – Photo by Adam Bernero


Fishing adventures around planet earth - Tungufljot River - Iceland http://riversoficeland.com/

“Tungufljot in Biskupstungum is situated around 100 kilometers east of Reykjavik. It is a big river at least at Icelandic standard ideal for double handed rods and since it is rather cold most of the fishing is on tubes and sink leaders.

Tungufljot originates south of Langjokull it was a glacier river but the glacier part has been blocked and now it is gin clear. The river itself is about 80 kilometers from the ocean so the salmon have to run through a big part of the glacier river Hvita before they come home. Tungufljot salmon best is fished with 4-6 rods depending on the seasons. In the past anglers have looked at Tungufljot and wondered why there was not more salmon in it and for over 30 years there was a fish ladder built at the beautiful waterfall Faxi and smolts were released but the results were not as good but the last 5 years Tungufljot has been under control of the management team that runs Ytri Ranga and East Ranga and they began releasing smolts again and now it worked and worked indeed the river that had almost no salmon in it has been averaging about 1,600 salmon per year the last three years on just 4-6 rods that is just remarkable.‖


Legacy distribution

‖Legacy‖ is distributed around planet earth via Facebook ―groups‖ and it is shared with others via e-mail and other means. Facebook groups utilized to distribute “LEGACY”  Fishing World Wide (300)  Salmon Are Sacred (3,000)  Save Our Rivers (4,500)  Save the Baltic Salmon (3,000)  Steelhead Salmon (3,400)  Straight Lines and Bent Poles With James T. (1,000) 


Our Readers Write (re: January issue of Legacy)  “A Must Read. Excellent articles and more reflections. Read page 26-27. Glad to have FREEDOM part of this issue.” D. Michelin (British Columbia, Canada)  “Wow! Congrats!” D. Gresham  “What an interesting publication” C. Mainardi (New Jersey, USA)  “ I wasn't familiar with your site and am very impressed!” Anette Lauder (British Columbia, Canada)

Wild Atlantic salmon (Denmark) infected with lice. Wild Pacific salmon and steelhead trout in British Columbia are also found in this condition. Lice infestations along with recent detections of Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) and Heart Skeletal Muscle Inflammation (HSMI) are increasing with increased reliance on open pen Atlantic salmon feedlots sited in Pacific salmon migration routes on either side of Vancouver Island.


Conservation Video Library

The End of the Line Sacred Headwaters - British Columbia, Canada Atlantic salmon feedlots - impacts to Pacific salmon Salmon: Running the Gauntlet - Snake River dams Farmed Salmon Exposed Salmon farm diseases and sockeye Shame Below the Waves Locals Oppose Proposed Pebble Mine Occupy Vancouver, BC - Dr. Alexandra Morton Farming the Seas (Steve Cowen) Farming the Seas (PBS) Cohen Commission – Introduction Deadly virus found in wild Pacific salmon A tribute by Dr. Alexandra Morton (turn up the volume) In our hands H2oil - A documentary about the Canadian tar sand oil Final Trout - Rising from the Shadows Green Interview with Dr. Alexandra Morton Closed containment salmon farms Don Staniford on 'Secrets of Salmon Farming'

From: Final Trout - Rising from the Shadows


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 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 (Facebook)  Salmon Are Sacred  Save Our Salmon  Sierra Club – Cascade Chapter  Sportsman‘s Alliance For Alaska  Trout Unlimited 

Wild Salmon First

Legacy - February 2012  

Wild game fish conservation articles and photos from around planet earth

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