For immediate release
December 19, 2012
St. Andrews…” Here we go again,” says Bill Taylor, President of the Atlantic Salmon Federation; “another outbreak of infectious salmon anemia discovered at a Newfoundland south coast aquaculture site. It has only been six months since the last outbreak of this serious disease was confirmed in Newfoundland. This is unacceptable and, as we have said before, shows the industry’s poor management, lack of emergency planning, and inadequate husbandry practices along with the government’s poor oversight and lack of concern for threatened wild Atlantic salmon populations.”
“The transfer of ISA, other diseases, and sea lice to wild and farmed salmon could all be eliminated with the use of land-based, closed containment aquaculture systems”’ adds Mr. Taylor. ASF and the Conservation Fund Freshwater Institute, of Shepherdstown, WV, have proven the effectiveness of land-based aquaculture facilities, where salmon are produced without the use of vaccines, antibiotics, or harsh chemicals to control disease and sea lice. All water is recycled, and all wastes are captured. An added bonus is that these salmon cannot escape and breed with wild salmon, weakening the wild gene pool.
For now, 350,000 farmed fish at a Cooke Aquaculture site have been ordered destroyed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency because of another ISA outbreak. “This disease, other diseases, and sea lice will continue to plague the aquaculture industry, wild Atlantic salmon, and other marine species, as long as our governments continue to promote and allow the expansion of open net cage aquaculture in our bays,” continues Mr. Taylor.
To eliminate these problems in the future, the Atlantic Salmon Federation, along with other concerned conservation groups, is advocating that the Federal and Provincial governments stop the expansion of open-net pen aquaculture in all provinces and transition to land-based systems that are environmentally friendly.
While ASF recognizes the economic value of this industry to the Province of Newfoundland and the employment opportunities generated by it, we believe the time has come to start charting a new course for the industry. As such, ASF would welcome an opportunity to meet with the new Minister to share our concerns about the impacts current aquaculture operations are having on wild Atlantic salmon populations on the south coast of Newfoundland and to provide assistance to the new Minister to help chart a more environmentally and economically sustainable course for the industry.
The Atlantic Salmon Federation is dedicated to the conservation, protection and restoration of wild Atlantic salmon and the ecosystems on which their well being and survival depend. ASF has a network of seven regional councils (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Maine and Western New England). The regional councils cover the freshwater range of the Atlantic salmon in Canada and the United States.
ASF Contact: Muriel Ferguson, Communications 506 529-1033 or 506 529-4581