Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture circulated report to press

A press release announcing a report by Don Staniford, "Fish Farmageddon – The Infectious Salmon Aquacalypse - Judgment Day Beckons in British Columbia" has been circulated
August 23, 2011

Don Staniford, Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture sent the following press report to Aquafeed:


Textof press release:


Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture, 22nd August 2011


Fish Farmageddon – The Infectious Salmon Aquacalypse - Judgment Day Beckons in British Columbia 


Vancouver, B.C. – A new report published today lifts the lid on the can of worms of the global salmon farming industry.   ‘Fish Farmageddon – The Infectious Salmon Aquacalypse’ focuses on the wave of Salmon Transmitted Diseases (STDs), pathogens, viruses, bacteria and parasites sweeping salmon feedlots in Norway, Chile, Scotland, Canada and all over the world.  Today in British Columbia, a judicial inquiry starts investigating the issue of ‘Diseases’ and the role of Norwegian-owned salmon farming companies via ‘Aquaculture’ [1].  


Salmon feedlots are weeping sores on the face of the blue planet,” said the report’s author Don Staniford.  “The use of ever more powerful chemical weapons in the salmon ‘pharming’ industry’s war on disease has served only to create chemical resistance and ‘Salmon Superbugs’.  The spread of Salmon Transmitted Diseases (STDs) is a hazard to the health of wild fish, public health and the health of our global ocean.  However you cut it, the unsavory side of farmed salmon leaves a bad taste in the mouth.”


Farmed salmon are affected by fish versions of bubonic plague (Yersinia), rabies (IHN and VHS), a retrovirus called salmon leukemia, the clap (Piscichlamydia), Parasitic Meningitis, a flesh eating parasite which leaves farmed salmon like ‘milk jelly’ as well as the more commonly known Listeria, botulism and sea lice [2].  


A tsunami of Salmon Transmitted Diseases (STDs) is spearheaded by the ‘Seven Horsemen of the Aquacalypse’; namely: Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA), Sea Lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis), Salmon Rickettsial Syndrome/Septicaemia (Piscirickettsiosis), Listeria monocytogenes (Listeriosis), Kudoa (Soft-Flesh Syndrome), Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis (IPN) and Pancreas Disease (Salmon Pancreas Disease Virus/Salmonid Alphavirus Disease/Sleeping Disease).   


“Infectious salmon diseases and chemical resistance could spell the end of the line for salmon farming,” said Don Staniford [3].  “Unless the global salmon farming industry drastically changes course, the end is nigh for the salmon farming industry in Norway, Chile, Canada, Scotland, Faroe Islands, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and other areas of the world.  Judgment Day is approaching in British Columbia where a salmon inquiry is opening up a can of worms.”


For more information including how to get a copy of ‘Fish Farmageddon – The Infectious Salmon Aquacalypse’ please click here




Don Staniford:


Notes to Editors:


[1]  The ‘Diseases’ evidentiary hearings of the ‘Cohen Commission’ starts today in Vancouver (schedule, exhibits and transcripts available online via:  More details here.    


[2] The sickly salmon smorgasbord laid out in the report includes:


-  Listeria monocytogenes (Listeriosis): contaminating smoked farmed salmon and considered by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as “a poisonous or deleterious substance” and one which may be “injurious to health”.  


- Kudoa thyristes (‘Soft-Flesh Syndrome’): a parasite which develops as white cysts in the flesh of farmed salmon and causes softening (myoliquefaction) into a jelly-like consistency like salmon flavoured blancmange or ‘milk jelly’.   


- Tapeworms (Diphyllobothriasis): parasites which are “on the attack” and can cause a nasty surprise for lovers of raw fish like sushi and ceviche.     


- Botulism (Clostridium botulinum): “the most poisonous substance known” which can cause life-threatening illness and a fatal form of food poisoning. 


- Sea Lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis): a blood-sucking parasite which literally eats baby wild salmon alive and leaves the victim with ‘death crown’ scars (think of the Death-Eaters and Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter and you get the picture).  


- Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA) and Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis (IPN) which have been dubbed “The hoof and mouth disease of the salmon farming industry” and “Salmon farming’s foot-and-mouth”. 


- Pancreas Disease: described as a “sleeping monstercaused by an alphavirus known as salmon pancreas disease virus (SPDV). 


- Paranucleospora theridion: a microsporidian parasite whose rounded spores are causing mass mortalities on Norwegian salmon farms. 


- Yersinia (Yersinosis): The Black Death or bubonic plague was caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis: in salmon farming it is the pathogen Yersinia ruckeri which results in septicaemia, blood spots in the eye and a slow lingering death. 


- Piscichlamydia (also known as Ephitheliocystis or Prolferative Gill Inflammation): Fish Chlamydia (or Fish Clap) leads to haemorrhage and tissue necrosis in the gills.   


- Moritella vicosa (Winter Ulcer): the plague of boils and ulcers can be chronic with wounds covering large parts of the skin of the fish including swelling and necrosis. 


- Flavobacterium psychrophilum (Bacterial Cold Water Disease): causes ulcers, fin-rot and systemic infection. 


- Cardiomyopathy syndrome (CMS): farmed salmon’s version of the heart attack which causes blood clots and is also referred to as “acute cardiac mortality” and “heart rupture”. 


- Heart and skeletal muscle inflammation (HSMI): this lethal disease sounds like a salmon smoker’s condition destroying heart and muscle tissue wasting away the victims. 


-  Gyrodactylus salaris: a parasitic flatworm which has a hook more lethal than Captain Hook and is often called ‘Salmon Killer’.


-  Mycobacterium marinus: a form of ‘piscine Tuberculosis’ which can be transmitted to humans causing ‘fish-tank granuloma’ or ‘swimming pool granuloma’. 


- Plasmacytoid leukemia (marine anemia): this retrovirus dubbed dead fish swimming is also known as Salmon Leukemia Virus and could be associated with pre-spawning mortality of up to 95% of Fraser sockeye (salmon are supposed to spawn and die not die before they spawn). 


- Infectious Hematopoetic Necrosis (IHN) and Viral Haemorrhagic Septicaemia (VHS) are ‘Salmonid Rhabdoviruses’ and “resemble closely that of rabies virus”. 


- Parasitic meningitis: a microscopic parasite which has been found in the brain vault of farmed salmon. 


[3] Don Staniford is an award-winning campaigner and author.  In 2005, he won the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize at the BC Book Prizes for co-authoring the book “A Stain Upon the Sea: West Coast Salmon Farming” (read his chapter “Silent Spring of the Sea”).  In 2002, he won the Andrew Lees Memorial Award at the British Environment & Media Awards.


He is also author of ‘Cage Rage’ in The Ecologist (2001); ‘Marine Salmon Farming in Scotland: The One That Got Away’ (2001), ‘A Big Fish in a Small Pond’ (2002), ‘The Five Fundamental Flaws of Sea Cage Fish Farming’ (2002), ‘Closing the Net on Sea Cage Fish Farming’ (2003), various factsheets for the Pure Salmon Campaign and ‘Global Statistics’ compiled by Farmed Salmon Exposed.


Don has investigated salmon farming issues since 1993 and has worked for Friends of the Earth Scotland, the Salmon Farm Protest Group, Friends of Clayoquot Sound, the Pure Salmon Campaign and currently works for the Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture (GAAIA).