Bethnic Impact Studies Show Minimal Long Term Impact

Special Committee on Sustainable Aquaculture Nanaimo session reports water currents and tides disperse organic waste
June 6, 2006

A number of areas of interest were raised at the Special Committee on Sustainable Aquaculture Nanaimo session. Anyone with an interest in these topics may find the following information useful.

A number of studies have been done to assess "benthic" impact - the impact on the collective organisms inhabiting the seabed under the farms.
These studies show that when farms are properly sited - as they must be to meet today's regulatory requirements - water currents and tides disperse organic waste from under the pens minimizing any long-term impact.

Click here to read "An evaluation of the relationship between salmon farm biomass, organic inputs to sediments, physicochemical changes associatedwith those inputs and the infaunal response - with emphasis on total sediment sulfides, total volatile solids, and oxidation-reduction potential as surrogate endpoints for biological monitoring"

Click here to read an assessment of "The Net-pen Salmon Farming Industry in the Pacific Northwest" prepared by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Assessing the environment, fish health and cost factors associated with closed containment - the raising of ocean fish in land-based pens - remains an area of interest for both salmon farmers and industry critics.

Click here to review BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands (MAL) study of three closed containment systems.

Click here to read a study done by the World Wildlife Federation providing another perspective.

Click here to see an assessment of the country-by-country regulations prepared by the Government of British Columbia

Fish health is monitored by way of a database compiled by the BCSFA for the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands (MAL). Providing information for the database is a condition of license for all salmon farms. MAL publishes
quarterly fish health report reviews on their Web site. Each quarterly report includes average mortality rate for each species in each sub zone (Avg); Proportional mortality rate by cause (PMR) and fish health events (Events) Click here to link to recent reports

[Source: BC Salmon Farmers Association]