VOCM Radio - St. John's, NL
May 24, 2013
How Many Farmed Fish Are Really Escaping?
The Atlantic Salmon Federation is calling for more rigorous monitoring and research to prevent the escape of farmed salmon into the wild after the recent discovery of 25 farmed fish in the Garnish River on the Burin Peninsula. VOCM's Linda Swain reports.
The regional program director for the federation in the province, Don Ivany, is calling for more transparency in the industry when it comes to escapes, including small-scale 'trickle out' escapes that add up over time. Ivany says currently, the industry is only required to report large escapes of greater than 100 fish. He suspects the industry and government are afraid to do the necessary research because they are afraid of what they will find. Ivany says up to 2001, it was confirmed that over 209 thousand farmed salmon and close to 217 thousand steelhead/rainbow trout had escaped from farms on the south coast. He says the industry and government have been reluctant to provide a list of escapes to the public since that time. Aquaculture has more than tripled since 2003 in the Coast of Bays region of the south coast. Ivany says as the most recent discovery has shown, current regulatory, monitoring and reporting systems do not have the capability to estimate when, where or how many farmed fish are escaping into the ocean.
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