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Salmon Farms Co-operate To Fight Sea Lice

CANADA - Six of nine salmon farms in Okisollo and Hoskyn channels, British Columbia are lying fallow right now, with re-stocking of fish not expected to begin again until later this year.

The BC Salmon Farmers Association and its members are releasing this update regarding the channel, in response to questions from the public about current status of operations in the area. Okisollo Channel is located just north of Campbell River and is home to five farms: two of Marine Harvest Canada's, two of Mainstream Canada's and one operated by Grieg Seafood. Hoskyn Channel, on the east side of Quadra Island has four Marine Harvest Canada leases.

The Conville Bay site located in Hoskyn Channel, has been sub-leased from Marine Harvest Canada to Grieg Seafood - who began stocking it in December 2010 and expect to be finished by the end of the month. Barnes Bay, Grieg Seafood's site in Okisollo Channel, is currently harvesting, and is expected to be complete in the coming months. Mainstream Canada is completing its harvest of Venture Point this month.

That means that three of the nine farms in the area are in partial operation.

Farm Site Sea lice counts - Dec. 2010(Treatment threshold of 3/fish) Notes
Okisollo Channel    
Cyrus Rocks (Marine Harvest) EMPTY  
Okisollo (") EMPTY  
Brent Island (Mainstream) EMPTY  
Venture Point (") NO COUNT DUE TO HARVEST Harvesting to be complete in coming weeks.
Barnes Bay (Grieg Seafood) .35/fish Harvesting - to be completed in coming months.
Hoskyn Channel    
Conville Bay (MHC) .15/fish Sub-let by Grieg Seafood. Fish introduced Dec/Jan.
Conville Point EMPTY  
Dunsterville Bay EMPTY  
Oil Bay EMPTY  

All three companies operating in the area are sharing information with each other about their operations. Our members believe inter-industry co-operation is important to ensure the success of farms and the natural environment they work in. This update is part of an increased effort to share information with the public to answer any questions they might have.

These farms - even when in full operation - do not threaten wild migrating salmon. Sea lice numbers are managed and maintained below regulation levels. The most recent sampling on the farms operating in the area show levels well below threshold levels (see table above).

Extensive research also shows that Pacific salmon are resistant to damage from sea lice after they outgrow very early infancy. Sockeye salmon, for example, have well outgrown that risk by the time they're migrating past Campbell River.

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