Fifty-five organizations and thousands of concerned citizens have been calling for the removal of five salmon farms along Okisollo and Hoskyn Channels on the north and east side of Quadra Island, a critical Fraser River sockeye migration route. This call was supported by the conclusions of a think tank of scientists who convened at Simon Fraser University in 2009 to discuss the potential causes of the Fraser River sockeye collapse. Included in their recommendations was the experimental removal of salmon farms along Fraser River sockeye migration corridors.
Despite these calls, and the many still unanswered questions concerning the role that fish farms may have played in the 2009 collapse, Marine Harvest has chosen to sublet an inactive site along this very route to Grieg Seafood. Expansion of net-cage salmon farming along a critical Fraser River sockeye migration route during an inquiry into the reason for the sockeye collapse is reckless, given that salmon aquaculture is included in the scope of potential impacts that may have led to the drastic decline. Adding a sixth farm and half a million more farmed salmon to the Wild Salmon Narrows migration route is an irresponsible move that elevates the threat to Fraser River sockeye and many other wild salmon that migrate through this region.
On top of this, last week a new scientific paper was published in PLoS ONE journal. Sea Louse Infection of Juvenile Sockeye Salmon in Relation to Marine Salmon Farms on Canada’s West Coast provides a tangible link between salmon farms and elevated levels of sea lice on juvenile Fraser River sockeye salmon. This study further highlights the need to observe the precautionary principle and remove farmed salmon from the path of migrating wild salmon.
Grieg Seafood stocked the previously inactive Conville Bay site with Atlantic salmon being relocated from another fish farm site, a move that can sometimes indicate problems at a farming location. Grieg Seafood and the BC Salmon Farmers Association have ignored our request to explain where these farmed Atlantics were moved from and why, despite their constant reassurances that their industry operates in an open and transparent manner.
Watch the video below and join us in the Wild Salmon Narrows at the reactivated Conville Bay net-cage salmon farm. Also, take action by joining our Spring Cleaning Crew and help us clear this critical migration route before the offspring of the 2009 collapsed Fraser River sockeye arrive at this very location in a few short months.