Canadian taxpayers bail out Norwegian fish farms for diseased fish

Canadian taxpayers bail out Norwegian fish farms for diseased fish


Canadian taxpayers bail out Norwegian fish farms for diseased fish

The only thing keeping a number of Norwegian salmon farms afloat in Canada is the hundreds of millions of dollars they net from taxpayers when their fish die of disease.

You might think the multi-billion dollar fish farm industry was a licence to print money. You’d be almost right, but not for the reason you might think. Norwegian aquaculture giants Marine Harvest, Cermaq Mainstream and Grieg Seafood comprise 90% of BC’s farmed salmon industry and Marine Harvest operates in 22 countries. What you don’t know is that taxpayers, meaning you and me, pay big money to them when their fish get diseases and have to be slaughtered.

Food safety regulator’s fishy business

Once the Canadian Food Inspection Agency detects a reportable disease, it issues a slaughter order and the fish are destroyed. Then the CFIA sends a very large cheque to the fish farm. This taxpayer cheque compensates them for disposable items like infected nets, cost of transport and offloading, cost of sequestering diseased carcasses in perpetuity, and disinfecting all other items that came in contact with the fish, including the boat that transported them. In addition to all this, the commonly accepted extra payment for each fish is up to $30. This figure really comprises an average payment because of all the other costs mentioned.

You’d think the fish farms would have insurance for losses, but my conversations with a marine insurer tell me they have difficulty getting insurance because they lose so many ‘crops’ to – wait for it – disease. So why are we, the Canadian taxpayer paying these foreign, multi-billion dollar corporations?

Industry loses up to a half of its fish to disease

Fish farms like to say their fish get diseases from wild salmon because the latter don’t get sick, as if that’s a justification for cash. Not so. A recent PHD dissertation from Norway showed that the problem with farmed fish is that they are stressed – the cages are overcrowded. This results in high output of the stress hormone cortisol and that weakens immune systems in farmed fish, thus they get disease. They actually change benign viruses into infectious killers.

How much product is lost to disease? One third to one half of all aquaculture products in the world are lost to disease every year, some $35 – $49 Billion (1). I started a Freedom of Information request to the CFIA and DFO to find out just how much we taxpayers in Canada pay to these billion dollar foreign corporations. I have been waiting 10 months now with no answer, so, let me give you a reasonable estimate.

Some fish farms only make money when their fish die

Overall, my expectation is that the cross-Canada disease total will come in at several hundred million taxpayer dollars over the past decade for BC, NS, NB and recently NL. Here in BC, Cermaq Mainstream’s Dixon Point and Millar Channel 2012 IHN slaughters would have paid them, in my estimate, about $35 Million of our cash. That’s so much money that it moved this boom/bust business into positive earnings before interest and taxes (i.e., EBIT), when it lost money the year before – and only made money this year because of having disease. They’ve had a decade of problems before.

See on November 8, 2013:

[quote]Mainstream Canada reported an EBIT pre fair value and non-recurring items of NOK 43 million, an improvement from a loss of NOK 26 million the previous year, even though volumes sold declined from 5,600 tons to 4,400 tons. EBIT per kilo was 9.6 NOK. Good prices in the North American market and the IHN outbreak last year are the main factors behind the improved result.(2)[/quote]

So Mainstream lost money when they didn’t have disease and made money when they did have disease – because you and I paid them. And they shipped far less fish, even though a third farm, Bawden Point, posted a weak positive for IHN – they were quickly harvested and sent to humans to eat. This should not be the case. Do complain, as I did, to Gail Shea, Minister of DFO (

Fish Farms reel in another $400 million in Canadian subsidies

On another aquaculture front, you may be even more unhappy to know Shea announced $400 Million in gifts to the aquaculture sector in Canada last week.  That’s a lot of dead, diseased fish. I have asked her for $400 million be given to the commercial, sport and processing sectors in BC that provide 600% more in contribution to gross provincial product than fish farms. I’ll let you know.

Fish, profits turn to mush

And fish farms in BC have been losing money. Mainstream lost money in 2012. Marine Harvest has lost money in the last few years, too, largely due to Kudoa, a fungal disease that cost them $12,000,000 in 2012 – and just prior, in 2011, things were so bad they laid off 60 employees – right before Christmas. Nice guys.

Kudoa results in myoliquifaction that makes farmed fish into mush. Would you buy salmon you had to put in a container with a spoon?

Grieg losing money, drowning sea lions

Oh, and then there is Grieg. They got IHN too, last year, in their Cullodon site in Sechelt. Fortunately, we did not have to pay for that as well. Grieg is also the company that had to pay a fine of $100,000 for drowning 65 – 75 sea lions in their Skuna Bay nets in 2010 – they tarted up that site to sell to the unsuspecting in the USA as environmentally-sustainable, organic farmed salmon. Where is PETA when you need them?

Grieg has also been losing money:

[quote]In Canada, the company cut losses, with a negative ebit [sic] before fair value adjustment of the biomass of NOK 2.71/kg, compared to a loss of NOK 8.22/kg in the same quarter of 2012.[/quote]

And the kicker? Cermaq is owned 59.2% by the government and thus the people of Norway. Why do we give another government our money for their killing our fish in our ocean rather than raising their fish on land in closed containers? This does not make sense.

Ask Shea for BC’s $400 million. We can spend it on habitat restoration, something DFO has been sadly remiss about in BC for decades. This year’s total DFO habitat projects for BC is a measly $900,000, only 2.6% of our own money Ottawa sent to diseased fish farms in BC.

2. Mainstream did a write down of Dixon Bay for $4.5 Mil for biomass insurance purposes. Millar Channel is the other farm slaughtered.

About DC Reid

DC is a poet, novelist, sport fishing and fisheries policy writer, who has won numerous awards over the years. His houses some 15,000 pages of science on the environmental damage caused by open-net fish farms in BC and around the world. He reads up to 100 pages of global fish farm news every week to stay informed. DC won the Art Downs Award for 2012 for sustained, outstanding writing on environmental issues with respect to fish farms. The award was based on 10 columns on fish farm issues in the Times Colonist newspaper, three submissions to the Cohen Commission on Fraser sockeye and his blog,

49 thoughts on “Canadian taxpayers bail out Norwegian fish farms for diseased fish

  1. Why are we so cruel and stupidly only look at our own gains? Particularly the fish farms – the big ones seem to get dollar fever and never look at the experience of fish in their structures – must be absolutely horrendous!!! And the known damage of by product of their feed is unbalancing if pristine envirinments. Bin Finland and Sweden mid nineties the people identified the seaweeds has mostly disappeared particularly near the fish farms and thus is criminal and smacks of Monsanto type thinking and pushing through with megalomaniacal thinking and deeds for profiteering! We must stop this crazy patriarchal way of doing business . It’s really not okay and serves no one meaningfully ever!!

  2. And how will this all play out as genetically modified salmon enter the topics of interest.?
    Health Canada recently approved the Franken-spawn,
    In fact Health Canada also approved genetically modified alfalfa-forage to organically raised cows!

  3. Since corruption seems so widespread in B.C., what would stop a fish feedlot from doctoring their reports on the actual number of diseased/dead fish so that their compensation numbers would be enhanced. Is there an independent organization that is involved somehow in monitoring the actual numbers or is it solely up to the fish feedlot to provide “accurate” information. What a great tool for these people to employ if there isn’t any monitoring. They could end up selling “healthy fish” into the U.S. and claiming that those fish were diseased and had to be destroyed thereby doubling their profits. I don’t doubt for a moment that this sort of corruption exists.

    1. Wow – that was fast, Grant! Mr. Reid must have struck a nerve.

      I’ll forward your piece to the author for his response.

      For my part, you may accept the subsidy of Norwegian salmon farmers for losses as a matter of due course, but let’s leave that to taxpayers to decide, the vast majority of whom have no idea this has been going on.

      I refer you my earlier comments to your colleague Greg below:

      Land-based agriculture feeds the people of BC (85% of your BC-grown-product is export-bound) and creates real employment opportunities and considerable economic benefits ($2 billion annually for BC). Salmon farms add just $8.5 million a year to BC’s GDP, compared with $325 million for sport fishing – which is directly threatened by the impacts on wild salmon from fish farms. That’s because many of the materials (feed, plant and equipment) come from offshore and most of the profits flow out of the country to foreign shareholders. Despite the well-ballyhooed claims of the industry, salmon farms yield fewer than 2,000 mostly low-paying jobs in BC – compared with 8,400 from sport fishing.

      These figures come straight from DFO and Stats BC.

      So comparing agriculture and aquaculture subsidies in Canada is like apples to oranges in terms of taxpayer value-for-dollar.

      Moreover, you’re ignoring the most obvious issue – that Norwegian salmon farmers have imported these diseases and we are now compensating them – very, very handsomely – for what amounts to a self-inflicted wound

      1. “Norwegian salmon farmers have imported these diseases and we are now compensating them – very, very handsomely – for what amounts to a self-inflicted wound”

        If that is the most obvious issue, maybe you would like to explain what diseases have been imported to the areas in which the CFIA has ordered culls?

        It wouldn’t be IHN in the Pacific waters of BC, or ISA in the Atlantic, so I’m not really following your logic here.

      2. I don’t think you’ve hit a nerve Damian, but understand that was probably the goal. When “errors in fact” are so blatant, they will be corrected. Grant has done a good job fact checking the author’s information – and ouch, the errors are frightening. Fact checking is probably something that the administrators of this webpage should be doing. The credibility of this website kinda hinges on facts…right?

        1. I said Mr. Reid hit a nerve with his story, which we stand by.

          I’m sure he will take the opportunity to adress Mr. Walkertin’s blog.

          I’m sure Mr. Reid’s objective was to share with the public this outrageous misuse of their tax dollars.

      3. One day later is fast?

        And so what if salmon is exported? Lots of BC agricultural products are exported. That’s a good thing, because it brings money from other countries into this province. BC exported $268 million of fruits and nuts last year. See: We also export tens of millions of dollars worth of flowers and alfalfa. Are you going to condemn that?

        Your false dichotomy argument of salmon farming versus sport fishing jobs is silly. We have both sets of jobs, which have together contributed to BC’s seafood sector and the provincial GDP for decades now. Where’s the evidence that salmon farms threaten sport fishing? The Cohen Commission couldn’t find any.

        Also, please name one disease which has been imported to BC by salmon farms, and please provide proof from credible scientists that show BC salmon farms have imported any disease.

        1. It’s not a false dichotomy if one negatively affects the other Grant.

          You believe large-scale, open net pen salmon farms can co-exist in harmony with BC’s wild salmon.

          I do not.

          The combination of the lengths to which your industry has gone to prevent independent testing of its fish and the efforts to which DFO and CFIA have gone to ignore or discredit research into ISAv, we cannot possibly arrive at any reasonable agreement on the facts.

          Our body of reporting and commentary on salmon viruses issues in Canada as revealed through the Cohen Commission and other sources of peer-reviewed, published research – available in full to our readers here – speaks for itself, and together constitutes the basis for our editorial opinion.

          In the end, whether these viruses were imported through eggs or other means, or they were simply picked up from the marine environment, incubated and amplified through the unnatural open containment of hundreds of thousands of fish (which Mr. Reid discusses), sickness and loss of fish from disease seems to be a systemic feature of this industry.

          Knowing that, why should I and my fellow taxpayers compensate the industry for these predictable losses, due entirely to their operation of their farms?

          Especially when the industry makes such a paltry contribution to BC’s economy. And I do mean paltry – just $8.5 million to GDP 2011, according to Stats BC.

          1. I thought this was the Common Sense Canadian, not the Conspiracy Theory Canadian which is the territory you are entering with your claims about DFO and the CFIA.

            You also fail to provide any example of a disease which has been imported by BC salmon farms, and fail to provide any evidence that salmon farms harm sport fishing, instead asserting that a vague body of evidence you refuse to cite “speaks for itself.”

            Repeat your opinions all you want, but that doesn’t make them fact.

          2. Quote from Mr. Gillis: “In the end, whether these viruses were imported through eggs or other means, or they were simply picked up from the marine environment, incubated and amplified through the unnatural open containment of hundreds of thousands of fish (which Mr. Reid discusses), sickness and loss of fish from disease seems to be a systemic feature of this industry.”

            What are these imported diseases, Damian? Did you know that IHN is already endemic to BC waters? If you are calling IHN “imported” you don’t know what you are talking about. Where is ISA present in BC? Where are these massive losses of Atlantic Salmon to ISA? What evidence do you have that fish diseases are out of control on BC fish farms?

            Why do you stop trying to rewrite the Cohen Report and stick to what the judge stated in his findings and recommendations. The fact is that the Cohen Final Report does not support your views about the importation of viruses and diseases by BC fish farms nor does it find any evidence of the existence of ISAv in Fraser Sockeye:

            “I find that the evidence does not allow me to conclude whether the infectious salmon anemia virus (ISAv) or an ISAv-like virus currently exists in Fraser River sockeye, or whether such an ISAv or ISAv-like virus,
            if present, is endemic to British Columbia waters or has been introduced.” – Justice Bruce Cohen (Vol. 2; Ch. 5; pg. 114)

            Seems like your views are in direct conflict with Cohen’s yet you contend your body of reporting and commentary reflects his findings. You are delusional.

            1. I’m saying it’s unnatural to incubate and amplify disease in highly densified feedlot populations, Steve.

              It’s like Dr. Sanjay Gupta said in the recent 60 Minutes investigation into BC aquaculture: “One of the things that happens to humans is that if they live in close quarters, what might otherwise be a relatively harmless infection can spread very quickly. Is that an issue here?…Farmers vaccinate salmon against known viruses, but the vaccines don’t always work. Every year, there are outbreaks on salmon farms and some scientists are concerned those diseases could spread to wild salmon.”


      4. What are these imported diseases & THREATS to wild salmon? Are you saying thedeclining of wild salmon is not due to over fishing. Saying we ban fish farms how long will wild salmon last, 20, 40, 60 years. Salmon is going the way of east coast cod because of man ?
        This industry has been here over 20 years & improves each year.
        Long term the oceans are not going to deliver, so get over it. It’s the only food that is not farmed.

        1. Sure, there are other issues threatening the health of wild salmon – but Alaska has no farms and currently enjoys the world’s healthiest salmon fishery. So you can’t put it all down to over-fishing or climate change.

          Here’s what the Cohen Commission had to say on the subject:

          And 60 Minutes:

  4. A corporation from Norway carrying on business in Canada is, like a company from Germany, Japan or elsewhere, subject to, and able to avail itself of the benefits of, Canadian law. We do not have laws that discriminate on the basis of where ownership is resident.

    I know nothing about the biology of farming salmon. I do know one thing. Farmed salmon h a flesh like mush and bones growing in the meat that are absent in wild salmon. I do not buy farmed salmon.

    1. Indeed, Gary. It is precisely those laws and government policies with which many Canadians take issue. I would have the same concerns were it a Canadian company getting public subsidies for its own negligence.

      That said, the matter of ownership and where these profits flow is relevant. I personally would rather see my tax dollars going to support Canadian jobs and Canadian economic development. The fact that these are Norwegian companies adds insult to injury. The argument we hear time and time again from government and industry is that the negative impacts of open net pen salmon aquaculture are outweighed by the positive economic benefits they provide. So we’re talking about trade-offs and a balancing act of risk vs. reward. In that equation, the matter of who reaps the reward is absolutely material.

  5. And now for the inconvenient facts that Mr. Ried chooses to ignore:

    1. Farm releif (or “AgriRecovery) has always been a part of the Canadian agriculture system (as most 1st world countries):

    2. Aquaculture relief pales in comparison to other food business:

    3. Salmon farm in BC have over 90% survival (not exactly the “lose so many crops” that Reid likes to suggest)

    4. Global salmon prices were down below production costs in 2011 and 2012, but were very high in 2013. That is why the companies made many money. Reid doesn’t seem to have a grasp on global commodity pricing.

    5. From all the Canadian “Fisheries” grants, BC salmon farmers received about 0.2%. So don’t worry, Mr. Ried, your hatchery fish (you know, those fish that are aquaculture raised and released into the ocean to compete with real wild fish, and are caught by guys like you who want to pretend it’s still the “good ‘ol days”) have a lion’s share of the Canadian taxpyers money.

    Ever since the Times Colonist gave Reid the boot from spewing nonsense in their paper about salmon farms, he posts his rants-full-of-errors in fringe papers like this. Nice guy.

    1. On point 3 above, just look at the Kibenge powerpoint presentation above. He said that one third to one half of all acquaculture products are lost to disease. He is a world class fish farm disease expert scientist. Sorry.

      On point 4, fish farm prices in the USA were up largely to disease, in BC and Chile. Mainstream lost 15% of its stock to sea lice alone in Chile, not counting disease. It lost money in Finnmark, too due to disease. Norway’s annual cost to sea lice was recently released as $157 Million. In total, the fish supply went down and prices went up. Prices will go back down because the tariff on Norwegian exports to the USA of 26% was rescinded recently so they will be in the market in a big way soon.

      Sorry, again. I read so much global fish farm news each week, that I am often ahead of financial analysts whose job it is for Oslo, Bloomburg, predict share and fish prices.

      1. Thanks for responding Mr. Reid. I can’t comment on the Kibenge link you refer to as it reads “HTTP Error 404.0 – Not Found”. Regardless, the claim of “aquaculture” sounds broad, and not specific to one industry or region. Your story doesn’t read like that, and doesn’t represent the facts about the industry you are talking about.

        As to point 4, you are correct that supply and demand are drivers in global fish prices. However, the events you isolate are a needle in a haystack. In isolation they may seem impactful, but in reality they are a drop in the bucket for global fish production.

        I’m glad we agree on points 1, 2 and 5. Perhaps you should include these facts in your next story, so you readers can base their own opinions on all the facts, and not just the ones DC Reid chooses to include to confirm his own bias.

        Leading “financial analyst” and a poet. Wow, you are special!

          1. I see the backup has arrived! Welcome Damien.

            Actually the OIE has dissassociated itself from Kibenge because 178 countries unanimously voted to remove his lab as a reference station because his quality control was, well, for lack of a better term, horrendous. All detailed here for you with a link to the actual audit report (failed not once, but twice):

            PPPSS: lame conspiracy theories don’t help your cause.

            1. We’ll have to agree to disagree about the mechanics and motives behind Mr. Kibenge’s ouster, Greg. I followed the case very closely and have good reason to draw my conclusions.

    2. Greg,

      Points one and two amount to “two wrongs make a right” – not good enough for taxpayers.

      Land-based agriculture feeds the people of BC (85% of your BC-grown-product is export-bound) and creates real employment opportunities and considerable economic benefits ($2 billion annually for BC). Salmon farms add just $8.5 million a year to BC’s GDP, compared with $325 million for sport fishing – which is directly threatened by the impacts on wild salmon from fish farms. That’s because many of the materials (feed, plant and equipment) come from offshore and most of the profits flow out of the country to foreign shareholders. Despite the well-ballyhooed claims of the industry, salmon farms yield fewer than 2,000 mostly low-paying jobs in BC – compared with 8,400 from sport fishing.

      These figures come straight from DFO and Stats BC.

      So comparing agriculture and aquaculture subsidies in Canada is like apples to oranges in terms of taxpayer value-for-dollar.

      Moreover, you’re ignoring the most obvious issue – that Norwegian salmon farmers have imported these diseases and we are now compensating them – very, very handsomely – for what amounts to a self-inflicted wound.

      In terms of your claim that BC’s farms somehow buck the global trend, retaining 90% of their fish, what evidence do you have to back this up? I ask because my years of experience with this secretive, deceptive industry and because of problems with disease I’m aware of in Clayoquot Sound, Gold River, the Discovery Islands and elsewhere. I would need to see solid data from no earlier than 2012 to give any credence to you claims – please feel free to provide here. Even then, I’d remain skeptical, as is warranted with an industry that refused for years to allow independent testing of their farmed fish for viruses like ISAv and has a long track record of secrecy and obfuscation. You have so little credibility left at this stage…

      …Or perhaps the reason fish losses for BC farms from disease are so low, as you suggest, is that the industry foists its mushy, Kudoa-ridden fish on unsuspecting consumers?!

      Finally, I consider being “given the boot” by Postmedia as a mark of Mr. Reid’s journalistic integrity and I assure you his insightful analysis will always be welcome in these pages.

      1. Damien, please define “low paying jobs”. I would suggest that 60k average – full time, year round – jobs are important to families in small coastal communities.

        You resort to the ‘ol kudoa scare again. Yeah, you mean that little bug that is also carried by all wild salmon, halibut, hake and dozens of other species. You can do better than that, can’t you?

        Any Canadian with common sense, understands the benefits that aquaculture has, compared to land animal agriculture: the biggest being low CO2 emissions and efficient users of feed (the lowest compared to any land animals). Best type of animal to raise for protein from a global resource perspective. It’s not a question of “who’s the biggest”, but rather who produces a healthy food with the least amount of inputs. Raising fish is a clear winner.

        “Direct impacts on wild salmon”. Please refer me to anything that concludes this as fact. The latest – a $26 million dollar Inquiry into Fraser sockeye – certainly didn’t conclude that. In fact, it found that low plankton levels in the ocean was the “primary reason” for a low return of sockeye. And then…the record high return in 2010. You can keep repeating your statement ad nausiem, but it’s sounding sillier every year.

        You want fish health records for you to not believe fish health on farms, then waste your own time checking out the Cohen Commission documents, that you say you won’t believe. Anyways, not for me to prove to you: it’s your article above that insinuates high mortality on BC salmon farms, and you provide nothing to back that up – aside from a Power Point presentation that only refers to “fish and shrimp” from around the world.

        Arguments on the computer screen are best one with fact, not emotion. Come prepared next time.

        1. Greg, the bottom line is I don’t want my tax dollars propping up your company for its negligence.

          We can both interpret the evidence that came forth at the Cohen Commission and the large body of global scholarship on the matter and draw our own conclusions. I subscribe to the Precautionary Principle. The direct risks to the health of BC’s wild salmon and the economy it supports – which absolutely DWARFS the contribution of your industry to jobs and our economy – make it a poor investment of taxpayer’s money.

          We can go around in circles but neither one of us is likely to persuade the other.

          Paying salmon farmers for dead fish is simply outrageous.

          1. Yes, to be fair, I don’t want my tax money propping up your filmmaking either – which it has done. So I know how you must feel. Governments spend some of our money on services we don’t use, care about, or support. I guess we’ll just have to get over it!

            I don’t think it’s for us to “interpret the evidence” from Cohen – I doubt either of us have the technical training to do so. Cohen did this for us, and found that food availability for sockeye upon entering the ocean was “likely to be the primary factor” affecting Fraser sockeye, and that “data did not show…that salmon farms were having a significant negative impact”. Case closed. $26 million thank you very much.

            PS – I knew we’d get to the “precautionary principle” within about 3 posts. Seems to be “the closer” for people when facts don’t support their feelings.

            1. Sure governments support all sort of initiatives. I don’t care whether you or I are “interested” in them – I care whether they have a detrimental effect on the environment and economy, which your industry does.

              I don’t want my tax dollars supporting that.

              You have an appalling selective recollection of Justice Cohen’s conclusions, so allow me to refresh you with his comments on salmon farms:

            2. Can’t wait til we get this disgusting industry out of our waters. As for Mr. Gillis ,at least he makes an honest living.

          2. As a consumer I would never buy farmed fish. And I know of no one who does. It is just stupidity to allow aquaculture in open waters. It’s like putting a petting zoo in a schoolyard. Sooner or later disease will break out and it will be difficult to stop. It just goes against common sense.

    3. Let me respond to some of Grant Wartkentin’s article on my post:

      1 I did not say fish farms only made money when they had disease. I said that as a taxpayer I don’t want my money going to a multinational billion dollar corporation because they get disease. If fish farms are on land, they won’t get disease.

      2. Fish farms produce healthy products. You just have to find the current information about scientists in Norway and the persuasive graph that shows fish farm fish have more organic pollutants in them by a factor of 10 over any of the usual animal products consumers buy to be persuaded not to buy farmed fish. Norwegian scientists have said they won’t eat farmed fish.

      3. As for making money, it’s pretty clear that when the roughly $35 Million taxpayer money was received that Mainstream did well by it. As a taxpayer, I don’t want my tax money going to fish farms for disease, and ones that are extra-Canada as well. And I did not say that Mainstream only makes money when it has disease. Wartkentin came to the wrong conclusion..

      4. As for the quoted material from the fishsite on Mainstream not making money last year and making some this year, as they received taxpayer money to the tune of roughly $35 Million, as I read it it says clearly that getting IHN and fish prices lead to making money this year. Fish prices went up largely because of disease in BC, eastern Canada, Chile, Finnmark and so on – supply went down and price went up. The real kicker is that Norway had a tariff of 26% rescinded by the USA, and this clearly puts BC farmed fish in even more trouble because 85% of it goes to the US – we won’t buy it.. Their own parent companies will be outcompeting them.

      5. I did not say that disease was a disaster and fish farms should get money. You said that. I said the disease resulted in a payment of taxpayer dollars to fish farms. I don’t think anyone outside of fish farm employees wants taxpayer money spent on foreign, billion dollar corporations. Health care would be a better place to spend money.

      The problem is solved when fish farms move on land in closed containers. By all means go see the post on my on the SOS symposium in Virginia in September. I spent two days reading the science on my own dime, and it is clear that it is only a matter of time before the old-tech fish farms are out of the water. Just go and read. An unbiased reader will draw that conclusion. Disease is only one issue, but it is solved.

      6. As for grants, the recent $400 million grant by Shea to aquaculture, while BC wild salmon netted only $900,000 this year is true, and leads a reasonable person to say, let’s have $400 million to save wild BC salmon.

      7. Yes, you had IHN results at Bawden, Dixon, and Millar, but, as stated, harvested Bawden and sent it to consumers to eat – not many in Canada I would add. I am on the CFIA’s email list and get all the fish farm diseases reported all across Canada. NL, for example, is in a very sad state right now because of ISA.

      8..Yes, Kibenge’s powerpoint presentation says that one third to one half of all aquaculture products in the world are lost to disease. He is an expert, and I accept his opinion on this. I don’t work for a fish farm company. I simply side with wild BC salmon. Fish farms need to be out of the water.

      9. As for the fish health of BC farmed salmon, the Cohen commission had to overrule fish farms complaints about the BC testing system tables being made public, and then required the individual results; Recollection tells me that fish farms have lost 29 Million farmed salmon in the last decade. And haven’t I got it right that Marine Harvest sent smolts with IHN to the on-land Namgis project?

      10. As for the $400 million, yes it is for aquaculture across Canada, as I said, and the citizens of BC, would expect the same for our wild salmon, not the small amount of $900,000.

      I have nothing more to say, other than fish farms need to be on land, to solve the disease problems and the sewage problem, and the others..

        1. No, it’s too long for our system, Grant.

          If you like you can post your response on your own blog and link to it here.

            1. It may have displayed fine temporarily in your page but it never appeared to anyone else, Grant, I assure you. It was above our maximum length for an individual comment. Like I say, you’re welcome to post a link to it or to break it up into smaller pieces and repost.

  6. Trying to ‘contact’ a minister let alone a local mp or mla is an act of futility in this country.

    All of their mails are intercepted by boys and girls in short pants and the only ones that get further along the chain are the ones piling praise and hero worship on the target, or supported with a substantial cheque supporting them.

    No wonder they think they are doing a good job when the only feedback they get is from drooling milsops.

    In a real democracy slugs like Gail Shea wouldn’t even make it to the post let alone be first past.

  7. British Columbia is going to pay dearly for the foolishness and hubris of our governments.

    Today it was announced that China’s largest natural gas distributor will be building an LNG plant in Vancouver as well as one in Edmonton, in order to supply our domestic retail market.

    Thats right, we cannot develop our domestic retail gas market, instead the chinese company will be processing our Natural gas, and selling it back to us and under FIPPA if we do anything to affect pricing, say like policies that make it affordable or have the temerity to actually charge them respectable rates for the feedstock of our gas reserves, they will sue us for lost profits.

    So much like paying foreign fish farmers to devastate our local environment with diseased fish we will be paying foreign oil and gas behemoths to frack up our environment to sell us our own gas, and if we ever do anything about it that impacts their profits they will just sue us for even more.

  8. Why do we pay them someone asks?, because some slimy POS politician got his palm greased, when is the fucking madness gonna stop? Here in BC the lieberals are basically giving away the province lock, stock and barrel to their buddies who donate money to them , we got a cabinet minister who tries to interfere with a independent tribunal and when the decision gets turned down his friend goes ahead and does what the tribunal said he couldnt do and what does the government do/ NOT A GOD DANM THING you get chritsy clark beakking off ahh its making me sick with the couruption and its so in your face. gottaa stop typing

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