Monthly Archives: April 2013

Storm destroys salmon farm!

Last Wednesday night strong gales in Galway caused damage to a fish farm that has luckily been inactive for the past two years. The massive amounts of debris which  were washed up on the shore could have caused serious damage to marine vessels in the vacinity as it was floating towards the shoreline. Dept of Agriculture, Food and Marine and ‘Údarás na aeltachta’ are looking into it, whatever that means! There is debris from old farms around a lot of South Connemara and nobody seems to be taking any responsibility for them. It is just another example of the poor practices of this industry. What hope would a farm, on the scale proposed for Galway, have in the violent storms which come in from the Atlantic? The consequenses are too frightening to contemplate!

NSFAS- “We will debate this issue in any forum”

NSFAS would like to thank all those who attended the Westwood Hotel in Galway last night. We hope that the passion we have for this cause, the environment and our wild stocks was as evident as the serious concern which was expressed by those present. We really appreciated the warm reception we were given and would like to thank Senator Trevor O Clochartaigh of Sinn Fein for facilitating this event and his party for inviting us to attend. As you all know, BIM thought it wiser not attend an open democratic debate, but instead issued a statement which can only be described as a lame attempt to save face. NSFAS will debate this issue in any forum and with any group, state body or political party that have not yet come to the realisation that this project is bad for our environment, bad for our wild stocks, bad for jobs and bad for Ireland. Our commitment to achieveing a successful outcome to this campaign is unwavering and we look forward to progressing our work to get this development stopped

BIM run for cover!

NSFAS were to debate the salmon farm proposal with Bord Iascaigh Mhara tonight in Galway. The event is being hosted by Sinn Fein. We have been informed that BIM have now pulled out of this debate under instruction from their board. In a statement to Galway Bay fm News, Bord Iascaigh Mhara claims that “the recent statements from some angling groups” have made it impossible for BIM to provide a public platform for them. NSFAS are not an angling organisation, we are a conservation group comprised of environmentalists, concerned citizens of this island, business owners and anglers. We can only assume that they have thought it wiser to run for cover and put out misleading press releases as a damage limitation exercise rather than face a formidable opponent. Members of NSFAS will still travel to Galway and take part in an information and questions and answer session with those present and honour our commitment to attend. Looking forward to it!

Fish farmers tap ecology to sell land-reared salmon story

Early adopters of closed-containment farms bank on pioneering efforts paying off. Guy Dean, vice-president of import-export for Albion Fisheries: “it’s a new industry, and people still don’t know what they don’t know”  |  Dominic Schaefer By Jen St. Denis Tue Apr 9, 2013 12:01am PST .As technology and public acceptance push closed-containment aquaculture into the mainstream, B.C. businesses are ramping up production of a new type  fish farming.

Closed containment breeds fish in large tanks on land. Proponents say it provides an alternative to open-net fish farms in the ocean, a practice that has come under attack from environmentalists and some scientists, who say it can spread disease to wild fish stocks.Production from land-based farms is tiny compared with B.C.’s salmon farming industry, which produces 75,000 metric tonnes of salmon per year. But it’s beginning to gain acceptance from government, commercial fish buyers and the public.That wasn’t the case several years ago, said Andrew Wright, a retired engineer and board member of Save our Salmon Marine Conservation Foundation (SOS).“We met with many ministers in both provincial and federal government who argued that it was biologically, technically and economically not feasibly to raise salmon in a tank,” said Wright.In March, a federal standing committee on fisheries and oceans released a report encouraging more study of closed containment systems, while cautioning that land-based fish farms have a higher carbon footprint than open-net operations and much higher capital costs.

SOS has partnered with the ’Namgis First Nation to build B.C.’s first closed-containment Atlantic salmon farm near Port McNeill. It cost $7.5 million to build and will produce 470 metric tonnes of fish when at full capacity. Most of the project’s funding came from Tides Canada, Sustainable Technology Development Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).Steve Atkinson, the owner of Taste of BC Aquafarms, has tapped into government funding to expand his closed containment steelhead operation near Nanaimo. The $1.2 million expansion, which is partially funded by DFO, will increase annual fish production to 100 tonnes.In Langley, the owner of Willowfield Enterprises also has big plans for expanding his fish farm. Don Read has worked with biologist Larry Albright to breed the first sockeye in a closed containment system (see “First B.C. sockeye farmed on land to hit store shelves next week” – www. biv.com, March 27). He plans to increase yield to 100,000 metric tonnes in the next three years.Breeding the fish is one challenge; selling them is another. Richmond-based Albion Fisheries will be processing both the Atlantic salmon from Port McNeill and Willowfield’s sockeye and selling the fish to B.C. grocery stores. “It’s a new industry, and people still don’t know what they don’t know,” said Guy Dean, vice-president of import and export for Albion. Albion ran a trial of land-based farmed Atlantic salmon trucked all the way from the Freshwater Institute, an aquaculture lab in West Virginia. The company sold the fish in Safeway stores in the Lower Mainland from November 2012 to February 2013. The product sold well, but Dean said it’s clear a lot needs to be done to educate consumers and grocery store staff. In the Safeway trial, Albion emphasized the sustainability factor, with signs that carried the endorsement of conservation groups and used the term “land-raised farmed salmon.”Dean said the fish sold at a price point similar to wild salmon – about 20% to 30% higher than open-net farmed salmon.But he expects the price to drop as the volume of fish produced increases.