Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Atlantic Salmon Federation urges changes to prevent farmed fish from escaping

The Atlantic Salmon Federation  (ASF) is pushing for changes to fish farms in the New Brunswick (NB) region to keep salmon from escaping into the wild after 138,000 farmed juvenile Atlantic salmon broke out from an aquaculture operation in the Bay of Fundy.  Escaped farmed salmon can survive in the ocean along with wild stocks, meaning that the two could possibly spawn together and weaken wild salmon populations, said ASF officials.

"Recapture efforts must be implemented to reduce the impacts of escaped farm salmon on populations of wild Atlantic salmon which are at critically low levels throughout the Bay of Fundy and nearby Gulf of Maine," said ASF President Bill Taylor, MPBN reports.  "The best solution to the problem of escapes, however, would be to locate salmon farms on land. It would also eliminate the spread of sea lice and disease to wild salmon," he added.

According to the federation, the fish probably escaped late last month as a result of strong winds and ocean swells that tore open net cages that had just been installed. It appears that some 38,000 of the salmon originated from a hatchery in the upper Saint John River in NB and the remainder came from a hatchery on Grand Manan Island. Glen Brown, president of Admiral Fish Farms Ltd  in NB, said his company first noticed the breakout on 26 December, although high winds did not let them confirm the escape until 30 December. Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Aquaculturists, published and supported by the International Aquafeed Magazine from Perendale Publishers.

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