Atlantic salmon escape numbers under-reported, biologist claims

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
26 October 2006, at 1:00am

BRITISH COLUMBIA - Echo Bay biologist Alex Morton isn't buying the minuscule escape numbers reported by B.C. fish farms over the past two years.

Provincial department of agriculture figures show that just 64 Atlantic salmon escapes were reported in 2005. Only four escapes have been reported this year.

But Morton said fishermen have turned over to her more than a dozen Atlantic salmon caught during the past few weeks in eastern Johnstone Strait.

"These guys looked like they'd come off a factory assembly line,'' Morton said. "They all had the same body shapes, the same type of spotting . . . So either they're all coming from one farm which has not reported escapes or they're coming from a bunch of farms who all have similar stock.''

Morton said the fish are relatively the same size -- ranging from nine to 15 pounds -- maturity and appearance, and all have been vaccinated. "Everything about them looks like they came out of one farm.

"They definitely came from farms because the tips of their tails are worn off and their dorsal fins are all worn down and it's a pretty classic symptom of them being in a net.''

Source: The Times Colonist