Sea lice infestation associated with salmon farms (primarily Norwegian firms) along the coast of British Columbia, Canada, continue to devastate wild salmon populations that must pass by the farms. There is mounting concern about this problem especially after the Fraser sockeye run failed this year and wild smolts were found to be covered with lice as they migrated through the inside passage. The combination of escaped salmon and sea lice infestation is a major issue in Norway, but the government in both Norway and Canada refuse to resolve the issue.
Norway is managing the extinction of wild salmon!
The Director of The Directorate for Nature Management, Janne Sollie, says today that Norway is not managing the farmed salmon business, but the extinction of wild salmon!
She says this is due to the fact of record high and disastrous levels of sea-lice in the farmed salmon farms. If this is allowed to keep on, all wild salmon will be history!
The Directorate for Nature Management is the national governmental body for preserving Norway's natural environment. The directorate serves as an advisory and executive agency under the Norwegian Ministry of Environment.
The Government do not listen to their warning! It's shameful how Norway's officials are promoting and protecting the business of farmed salmon! An unsustainable business ruining wild life!
Norwegian Salmon Association – Saving Wild Salmon
Norway's national broadcaster NRK and newspapers across Norway are reporting on the sea lice crisis, chemical resistance and the controversial use of chemicals to kill sea lice.
NRK reports today under the headline: "Lice dispute threatens Norwegian exports: Export Council fears that the dispute about the lice will threaten the export of Norwegian salmon"
NRK, Dagbladet, Aftenposten and Adresseavisen reported yesterday on the use of two controversial chemicals to kill sea lice despite an agreement in 1999 signed by the Norwegian Government not to use them.
NMF reported yesterday (in English):
"The use of these chemicals was stopped after the agreement was signed in February 1999, and fish farmers have used other drugs instead. However, since the salmon louse has developed resistance against the drugs used, these controversial chemicals are again being thrown into Norwegian salmon cages. The industry respected the agreement until now, and we claim the minister of fisheries to be responsible for breaking the agreement."
VG reported yesterday "Tolerance limits for farmed salmon exceeded 6 to 10 times: fish farming in Norway is very far from sustainable, says the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA)".
VG quoted Professor Tor Einar Horsberg at the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science who said: "The harsh treatment that is needed to reach lice limits will lead to more resistant and multi-resistant lice. There is a dramatic development, and I'm worried how this will end."
Professor Tor Einar Horsberg was also quoted in a front page article in Fiskeribladet/Fiskaren titled: "Lice cure will give even more resistant lice."
The Green Warriors of Norway said in a press release - "Sea Lice Situation is Out of Control" - issued earlier this week:
"The sea lice situation is now out of control along the entire coast of Nordland and south. Green Warriors of Norway requires complete slaughter of all salmon biomass with multi-resistance against lice medicines."
NRK reported yesterday that the "Directorate for Nature Management (DN) believes that the number of farmed salmon along the coast from Rogaland to Nordland must be reduced by the Spring."
Last month, VG reported that the Norwegian Fisheries Minister (who was formerly the head of the Norwegian salmon farming association and is an owner of a salmon farming company) had been reported to the police for "repeated violations of the salmon regulations."
Aftenposten also published an article - "Monsternæringen" ("Monster Food") - by award-winning journalist Niels Chr Geelmuyden ending with:
"Incompetent: Unfortunately, there is little reason to expect imminent action from the sitting government. Finance Minister Johnsen comes straight from the post of chairman of Cermaq (A salmon farm corporation). Fisheries Minister Berg-Hansen for her part, co-owner of fish farming company Sinkaberg-Hansen, who recently was reported to the police for a year's greatest salmon escapes. Combined with that, she has been chair of the Fishery and Aquaculture Industry Association and board member of Aker Seafoods, she would in most decent societies have been considered completely incompetent in his current ministerial role. But even this seems to be interested Norwegian media people worth mentioning."
Last week in Norway, the Norwegian Fisheries Minister convened a crisis meeting on the sea lice issue. The day before the sea lice meeting WWF Norway issued a press release (25th November) warning that Norwegian farmed salmon would be given a "red light" unless the issue of sea lice and escapes was tackled. The press release included:
"The management of the aquaculture industry in Norway is not environmentally sound. For several years the Government has increased the number of fish in the sea and provides for even more fish next year, contrary to the recommendations of its own environmental authorities," said Secretary-General Rasmus Hansson of WWF-Norway. The amount of sea lice has exploded along the coast, despite the measures industry and governments have implemented. It shows that the Norwegian regulations are not good. "WWF-Norway will make a new assessment of the sustainability of the Norwegian farmed salmon next year. Such developments on the environment page in Norwegian aquaculture industry is now, it seems that the salmon can get a red light - which in practice means that we will ask consumers worldwide to avoid buying farmed salmon from Norway," said Rasmus Hansson, and Maren Esmark, head for Nature Conservation Department, WWF-Norway."
This week, the Norwegian Hunters and Fishers (NJFF) published a news story headed - "A Lot of Talk - Little Action" - referring to a:
"......life-threatening situation for our wild salmon along the coast is informed by a disaster. The trend of increasing resistance to the main treatment methods are cause for great concern. The organizations ask that the Minister immediately initiated after a standstill for further growth in the industry......We will increase the pressure in this case. The battle is now."
Thanks to Don Staniford of Pure Salmon Organization 12-2-09 for providing NFS with this important information.