The Real Facts and Stats
(ISAv outbreaks since Nov 2016 are mapped in the clickable interactive map below.
The government sampling rate is so low (5 fish out of 850,000 fish, once every 1.5 months) it is no wonder we lead the world in ISA outbreaks per ton of fish produced.
ISAv can infect herring, cod, pollock, caplin, smelt, stickleback minnow, and many finfish species. The less virulent strain denoted as HPR0 or non-deletion, does not cause mass mortality in the net pen environment (devoid of normal predation) but does make the fish sick as evidenced by an immunological response in the fish. However, a wild fish having caught this strain of the virus is unlikely to survive to reproduce successfully. This virus mutates regularly in the crowded, often predator free, open net pens resulting in many dozens (170 since 2012 ! ) of "new to science" strains that have been produced in Atlantic Canada since 1996. See the CFIA list here: https://www.inspection.gc.ca/animals/aquatic-animals/diseases/reportable-diseases/isa/locations-infected/eng/1549521878704/1549521878969?fbclid=IwAR1eKeo5raSb7p2oGdHsOBUJI9AJw7ZeldDx-oACNtl9cIo7gMG77UY8bok
The map below is interactive and marks the latest outbreaks - simply click the image
Facts and Statistics self reported by Industry to our Federal Government.
No wonder our Auditor General made these statements:
No wonder our Auditor General made these statements:
Antibiotic Dumping in Our Bays
The open net pen industry in NL is a world leader in antibiotics use per metric ton of salmon produced.
The full reports can be found here:
In 2016 the NL open net pen industry alone used just over 4 BILLION milligrams of antibiotics but increased this by 50% in 2017 when
5.9 BILLION milligrams were used in the open net pens alone. The hatcheries add to these numbers considerably but have not been included in these numbers of 4 and nearly 6 BILLION milligrams. Here are the industry reported numbers in
Kilos of active ingredient on our Federal Government's website:
Maybe our government should worry less about flushing some leftover pills down a toilet and focus on the real travesty in our open net pens:
Inadequate Virus Testing but Horrendous Results
Typically only 5 fish out of 850,000 are genetically tested every 1.5 months.
What is being dumped in YOUR bay and is IN the flesh of salmon from the Net Pens?
This compound was recently banned in the EU and is not allowed as a human food additive anywhere in the world. It is in many of the feed pellets used in NL. Invented by Union Carbide as a rubber vulcanizer, and later repurposed as a pesticide by Monsanto, this artificial antioxidant allows industry to make feed pellets months in advance, store them without refrigeration, and helps prevent rotting of the wild fish fishmeal and oil used in the salmon feed.
As much as 3+% of the weight of a feed pellet can be this compound. The active metabolites from this molecule: cross the human blood brain barrier and have been shown to be both mutagenic and carcinogenic.
We will list studies and results from independent labs here in future. Watch this space.
Salmosan aka Azamethiphos
A non species targeting neurotoxin for which the biologic pathways are not fully understood. Despite this, it is used by simply dumping it into the well boats (and later dumped) or directly into the open net pens in the ocean. The Stephenville hatchery owned by Mowi/Northern Harvest lead all of Canada's hatcheries by a factor of 20 in its use during the last available report from 2017.
100s of KILOS are dumping in NL open net pens annually"
See the stats here:
In NL in 2018 793,800 grams were used. A microgram is a millionth of a gram. So, 793,800,000,000 micrograms were used. Link here to our government's data.
Studies show a dramatic reduction in lobster survival and decrease in storage survival by up to 40%. eg Couillard and Burridge 2015
Sublethal exposure to azamethiphos causes neurotoxicity, altered energy allocation and high mortality during simulated live transport in American lobster
< 0.217 MICRO grams per litre kills our largest crustacean. No dilution factor could be found to not kill mystid shrimp in this DFO study. Burridge 2013. A review of potential environmental risks associated with the use of pesticides to treat Atlantic salmon against infestations of sea lice in southwest New Brunswick, Canada
Death or serious harm concentrations and exposure times are seen here from the 2014 Burridge et al review.
Sadly, that was the bar DFO set - death or obvious serious harm. Pity our wild shellfish.
Norway found that shrimp that were killed by sea lice drugs like Salmosan had undetectable levels in their corpses. See IMR reports and studies:
Slice aka Emamectin benzoate
This toxin is 1000 times more deadly than Salmosan, is not species targeting, and is most often fed to the salmon. This is due to Environment Canada refusing to allow its use when industry first demanded it and so industry had it approved as a feed additive under Health Canada's emergency drug approval program.
Our usage rates can bee seen here: https://open.canada.ca/data/en/dataset/288b6dc4-16dc-43cc-80a4-2a45b1f93383
Deadly at over 1 km from where it gets dumped. Dilutions of 10,000 to 1 are still deadly and/or extremely harmful to shrimp.
This bleaching agent persists in the ocean according to SEPA studies found here. See the latest stats available (2017) at this link showing the TONS being used annually in NL:
71,600L were used in NL in 2018.
At a 1.5g/L recommended treatment dose, this results in 71,600L (50% active ingredient) so 35, 800 kgs or 35,000,000 grams. 35,000,000 / 1.5 = 23.3 million. Now multiply by 10,000 to find the lethal amount of seawater created in NL annually.
230,300,000,000 litres is all.
Or 230.3 million cubic meters. Enough to make 92,120 olympic sized swimming pools of deadly toxic water. Laid out end to end. These olympic sized swimming pools full of shrimp lethal doses of this toxin would extend 4.6 KILOMETERS in length.
Impacts on zooplankton, fish and shellfish larva are dramatic as shown in the latest Scottish government reports aka SEPA (Scottish Environmental Protection Agency) seen here:
Net Antifouling Toxin use:
(we're working on this)
Antibiotic Usage/Abuse Comparison with Other Jurisdictions
We're working on a more global perspective on this issue
Norway vs NL 2017 = 785 Times more antibiotics used in NL per metric ton of fish produced according the the respective governments. In 2018 Norway halved it usage rate (again) while NL is expected to have increased it. This would results in us using >1500 times more antibiotics than Norway for the exact same amount of fish. ie per metric ton of fish produced.
535 Kgs total in Norway for https://www.vetinst.no/en/surveillance-programmes/norm-norm-vet-report
NFLD produced 18,822 metric tonnes of salmon
NFLD used 5902 kilograms of antibiotics
That is 314 grams /mt
Norway produced 1 284 682 metric tonnes of salmon
Norway used 535 kg of antibiotics
That is 0.4 grams / mt
Ironically, an "allowable counting error" of up to 6% per site allows circa 900,000 fish to die or escape annually unreported. More than 20 MILLION fish have died since 2012. Statistically, more than 40$ are never explained. Environmental causes are ALWAYS used as a diagnosis if remotely feasibly as an excuse, despite that there is ALWAYS many underlying disease and/or parasite issues.
Fees NL vs Norway
NL annually runs an aquaculture deficit. We spend more on specific aquaculture management than we reap from the companies in industry specific fee.
Here are the fees charged in Norway in 2018: https://www.fiskeridir.no/Akvakultur/Tildeling-og-tillatelser/Auksjon-av-produksjonskapasitet/Auksjon-juni-2018
e charge $8/hectare, a water use permit of $100/yr and $1000/yr plus a few minor application fees of $500 and $172 per site. All this adds to less than $1/mt of production on a given site of 850,000 fish per year and https://www.fishaq.gov.nl.ca/licensing/pdf/aquaculture_fee_changes.pdf
If one does the math, on a per metric ton basis, it becomes apparent that Norway charges 17,000 to 36,000 times more than NL charges at about $1 per metric . It would take us 1000s of years to catch up to what Norway charges up front.
Yet, Norwegians have decide to add an additional special to net pens only tax of 40% which brings their taxes to 62%. NL charges no special taxes to net pen sites nor owners. https://salmonbusiness.com/labor-party-respond-to-billionaires-who-fear-proposed-62-per-cent-salmon-farm-tax-burden/
With cage sites only 1 km apart, it is little wonder that we lead the world in highly contagious deadly (to fish) ISAv outbreaks per metric ton of salmon produced. All three of these shown above sites suffered from ISAv in the last stocking cycle (2017/18) and had mass mortalities due to "warm" water this stocking cycle August/Sept 2019. Ditto for sites separated by less than 1 Km in Little Bay (Mac Grath's Cove North and South) and other regions like the Gaultois Pass.
Our stocking densities are 72 times higher in NL than recommended. Sites are 1 km apart, stocked at >17Kgs/m3 and massive in scale with up to 850,000 fish in a single site.
Unfortunately, the NL government does not track sea ice numbers despite that they are a principle issue ecologically and financially, but instead they rely on whatever the industry tells them is happening. Moreover, unlike other jurisdictions, there are no legal limits on sea lice in NL nor any limits on sea lice neurotoxin usage.