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Inquiry Into Effect of Farming on Wild Fish


CANADA - British Columbia Salmon Farmers welcome the inquiry into the sockeye salmon returns.

The Salmon Farmers group will provide details on farm operations throughout the region to assist the inquiry in its determinations.

Claims have been made that salmon farms near Campbell River are having a negative effect on wild fish –especially sockeye. Sea lice on farmed salmon are monitored and managed to minimise possible transfer to wild populations.

This work is audited by provincial authorities and is a condition of farm license. 
 Every farm is monitored monthly and, during the spring months when juvenile salmon may be traveling past the farms, fish are inspected at least once every two weeks.

If the average number of motile sea lice reaches three per fish, veterinarians prescribe medication called SLICE to remove the lice from all salmon on the farm. 
 Slice usage in 2008 is 0.136 grams per metric tonne of salmon produced –down from 2007. 

Preliminary research shows that the common species of louse on sockeye (Caligus) is not the species normally found on farmed salmon which is Lepeophitheirus. Caligus is normally hosted by Pacific herring.

BC salmon farms can only be sited in areas where water currents provide optimal conditions for fish well-being and environmental sustainability. This includes avoiding sensitive wild salmon habitat, such as coastal fish spawning and nursery areas.