Efforts to restore the population of wild Atlantic salmon in the Inner Bay of Fundy between Nova and New Brunswick has reached a milestone as wild-hatched offspring are leaving their home rivers for the first time and migrating to the Bay of Fundy to feed.
Coastal First Nations leaders have told Shepherd Conservation Society to stay off their traditional territories and partners’ farms this summer.

First Nations leaders and salmon farm workers spoke about the importance of aquaculture at a gathering in Campbell River, BC, on June 1.

Tlowitsis Chief John Smith recalled how foreign members of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society have harassed salmon farms for the last two summers.

He said salmon farming has become an important economic driver for his members, creating jobs and economic activity allowing them to purchase land f or their community and establish a post-secondary education scholarship fund for their youth. “You are not invited here,” said Smith, addressing the activists.

Harold Sewid , Clan Chief of the Broughton-based WiumasgumQwe’Qwa’Sot’Enox, noted how he had a change of heart about salmon farming after seeing the industry’s efforts toward sustainability.

James Walkus owns a business based in Port Hardy that transports fish from Marine Harvest farms. Also a commercial fisher, he operates five vessels and employs up to 30 people at a time. He currently has a new boat intended to harvest farm - raised salmon in the Broughton under construction in North Vancouver. “Aquaculture needs to continue,” Walkus said. “The employment it creates for many of our First Nations and other Canadians is important. In Klemtu, it is the major employer. We need it, British Columbia needs it, the world needs it. If we don’t do it some other country will and it will be our loss and some other country’s gain.”

Maurice Isaac, a member of the Tlowitsis First Nation, has worked in salmon farming for 18 years. He started as a farm technician and has worked his way up to managing a Marine Harvest farm site.

“As one of many First Nations people working in the industry I want people to know it’s not as activists are portraying it,” Isaac said. “Come visit our farm, and you will see healthy fish and modern technology. I feel I do my part in keeping wild salmon stocks alive by growing Atlantic salmon. Without this there would be no wild salmon left, in my opinion.”

The World Aquaculture Society (WAS), Aquaculture Association of Canada (AAC) and Newfoundland & Labrador Aquaculture Industry Association (NAIA) have signed an historic deal to co-host WAS North America in 2020.
Plastics have transformed our world, and are now found in everything from clothing to cosmetics. Production of plastic materials has increased dramatically since the early 1950s, reaching 322 million tons in 2015- with current levels expected to double by 2025.
More than just a venue to grow vegetables and fish, the aquaponics lab inspires some students to pursue careers in aquaculture
Michael Rubino discusses two essentials that will help advance the fledgling sector.
Aquaculture Canada 2018 concluded Wednesday at Hôtel Le Concorde in Québec City with 250 delegates discussing the latest industry topics led by developments in recirculating aquaculture systems, improving farming practices and sustainability through new technology and public perception of the industry.
Kuterra LP, the land-based Atlantic salmon farm on northern Vancouver Island in British Columbia, says market supply of its fish will stop from June as it undertakes a “much-needed maintenance break.”

After it delivers its last harvest in June, sales of Kuterra salmon will resume in early summer 2019 when the smolts currently growing in another part of the facility will have reached maturity, according to the company.

“We've been making changes to our facility as we go, but the next changes have to be done with some of the tanks emptied. Examples of these important changes are overhauling a key part of the water filtration system, upgrading the cooling system, and salt-proofing key components to protect against the level of salinity in our water,” said Garry Ullstrom, CEO.

Improvements to Kuterra’s operations over the past few years have turned things around for the company. It became “cash-positive” for the first time late last year.

A major study examining the fish-eating habits of pregnant women has found that they are not linked to autism or autistic traits in their children.

Scientists at the University of Bristol looked at the assumption that mercury exposure during pregnancy is a major cause of autism using evidence from nearly 4500 women who took part in the Children of the 90s study.

Using analysis of blood samples, reported fish consumption and information on autism and autistic traits from one of the largest longitudinal studies to date, researchers found no links between levels of mercury in the mothers and autism or autistic traits in their children. The only adverse effect of mercury found was poor social cognition if mothers ate no fish at all, especially for girls.

"Our findings further endorse the safety of eating fish during pregnancy. Importantly we've found no evidence at all to support claims that mercury is involved in the development of autism or autistic traits,” said lead author and founder of the Children of the 90s study Professor Jean Golding.

"This adds to a body of work that endorses the eating of fish during pregnancy for a good nutritional start to life with at least two fish meals a week."

It was a long time coming but Delaware’s shellfish aquaculture program has officially kicked off with the planting of the first oyster seeds in Sussex County’s Rehoboth Bay.
A nationwide survey conducted to better understand American consumer perception of aquaculture found that the growth of US aquaculture rests on consumer education and strategic outreach.

Globally, the marine aquaculture industry generates roughly $166 billion per year and is predicted to see steady growth for years to come, but the US, in contrast, lags in terms of production levels, said the study from the University of Maine.

It noted there is growing interest in the industry in cities and towns across the country, but there must be a general understanding and acceptance of farmed seafood by the public in order for the industry to grow.

With a better understanding of consumer decision-making and awareness, stakeholders would be better able to recognize the challenges and opportunities that the industry faces in terms of growth potential and visibility, suggested researchers at the University of Maine.

The survey, which generated more than 1,200 responses from across the country, found “numerous gaps in consumer knowledge about the industry.”

“Public opinion, as we know it, is somewhere in the middle,” says Ross Anthony, a graduate student in resource economics and policy at UMaine, who analyzed survey data. “There’s a lot of uncertainty in how people feel about aquaculture and there is a lot of work left to be done.”

Data also revealed a need for targeted efforts to address knowledge gaps in various demographic groups, including people who are older, have less education, and live in landlocked states.

Interest and engagement with aquaculture increases in communities with high rates of seafood consumption, the survey found. For instance, in Maine where the sea-to-table relationship is more pronounced, fish farmers can use this information to design impactful marketing campaigns and educational programs to increase consumer awareness.

Participants expressed a desire to learn more about aquaculture and seemed, for the most part, open to expansion within the industry, as long as it doesn’t affect other coastal recreation activities.

But few respondents indicated they had actively sought information about aquaculture or related technologies. Data suggested television advertisements, social media postings, and specially designed package labeling might be the best way to reach citizen consumers.

The findings also indicated consumers hold a positive view of scientists and scientific research, which suggests public outreach should be designed with a scientific lens in mind.

While there are many public discussions to be had about the risks and benefits of aquaculture, the research team was encouraged by the general open-mindedness suggested by the responses and believe the information can be used to steward resources toward ongoing research and community conversation.

“People are really on the fence because they don’t have enough information to make a solid opinion about it,” says Murray.

UMaine assistant professor of economics Caroline Noblet and assistant professor of risk communication Laura Rickard led the research team.

Cermaq Canada will no longer sell ASC-certified salmon from its sea-lice affected farms in British Columbia until it has resolved the situation, the company said today.

On May 4, the salmon and trout producer announced that sea lice counts at some of its farms in the Clayoquot Sound region in BC have been higher than usual.

Today’s announcement by Cermaq follows a call by SeaChoice for the Aquaculture Stewardship Council to “immediately suspend” Cermaq Canada’s Dixon Bay, Millar Channel and Ross Pass farms from using the ASC label. An ACS certification verifies that the product was raised in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.

“Cermaq takes this matter very seriously and is actively addressing it as quickly as possible through a number of strong actions, both immediate and longer-term in nature,” said David Kiemele, Managing Director for Cermaq Canada, who also said it has spoken with ASC representatives on Friday.

The company said it is “using multiple tools in the immediate-term, including depopulating affected farms while treating others with an environmentally safe hydrogen peroxide bath.” Next year it will start using a hydrolicer, a non-chemical method of combating the sea lice.

“We are 100% committed to investing in robust sea lice control measures, and are continuing to enhance them through investment in new equipment and ongoing research,” said Kiemele.

Marine Harvest’s operational earnings and profit fell by 28 percent and 15 percent, respectively, but the Norwegian salmon producer remains optimistic.
Calls to move salmon farming from open-net pens in the ocean to land-based farms will not only increase the pressure on wild salmon but also kill an entire industry in British Columbia and more than 6,600 jobs, according to the BC Salmon Farmers Association.

The association called the recommendation of the Pacific Salmon Foundation for BC to remove open-net pen fish farms and switch to land-based salmon aquaculture as “premature and misguided.”

BCSFA spokesperson Shawn Hall reiterated what initial findings from research under the ongoing Strategic Salmon Health Initiative have so far shown — that there is “no direct evidence that salmon farms are negatively impacting the health of wild Pacific Salmon.”

“In fact, there is important data regarding the health of wild salmon the research team has yet to make public that we believe is important for the public debate,” says Hall.

Calls for switching salmon aquaculture from open-net pen operations to land-based farms are growing as the renewal period for 22 fish-farm tenures in BC approaches in June. A newly formed environmental group calling itself Wild First has added its voice to this call.

Land-based aquaculture is, however, still in its infancy. The technology has yet to prove itself in growing salmon to maturity, and the costs of building a land-based farm remain prohibitive. “So far no one has succeeded because the costs are so high. The oldest one is in Denmark and it has been bankrupt three times,” Alf-Helge Aarskog, CEO of salmon farming giant Marine Harvest, told the Vancouver Sun in April.

Contrary to popular belief, small- and medium-sized commercial fish farms growing affordable fish were behind most of the growth in the global aquaculture industry over the past three decades and not large corporations growing fish for export nor tiny backyard farms growing fish for family consumption, according to three prominent academics.

Simon Bush (professor and chair of Environmental Policy, Wageningen University, NL), Dave Little (professor of Aquatic Resources Development, University of Stirling, UK) and Ben Belton (assistant professor of International Development, Michigan State University, USA) recently published their views on this topic on the World Economic Forum website.

Bush, Little and Belton say that while the aquaculture industry has advocated very small farms to feed the poor, their research shows that most of the fish being eaten by poor people in developing countries “comes from a dynamic new class of small- and medium-scale commercial farms, the existence of which is rarely recognized.” The trio point to Bangladesh as an example, where the farmed fish market grew by a factor of 25 over the last 30 years to exceed 2 million tons in 2015. This growth in supply caused the price of farmed fish to fall by almost 10 percent from 2000 to 2010, and its consumption by poorer householders increased rapidly over this period.

“The ‘quiet revolution’ in farmed fish supply has been driven neither by corporate agribusiness nor by tiny backyard farms,” conclude Belton, Bush and Little. “Rather, most of aquaculture’s growth over the past three decades has come from a dynamic and increasingly sophisticated segment of small- and medium-sized commercial farms and the myriad businesses that support them…Rather than focusing on producing expensive species for export markets or wealthy domestic customers, these unsung heroes have focused on growing affordable fish such as carp. Where these species are produced in large quantities, they have become affordable for huge numbers of low- and middle-income consumers close to home.”

These academics believe that while the existence of many small and medium operations growing affordable fish is yet to come in many developing countries, particularly in Africa, these countries can make this transition through learning from peer nations where aquaculture has boomed.


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