A considered future arguments for rational salmon conservation policy
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A Considered Future Arguments for Rational Salmon Conservation Policy. Andrew S. Wright PhD Technical Advisor to SOS Marine Conservation Foundation Tides Canada Aquaculture Innovation Fund and DFO. West Coast Salmon Aquaculture. West Coast Salmon Aquaculture has two key issues

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A Considered Future Arguments for Rational Salmon Conservation Policy

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A considered future arguments for rational salmon conservation policy

A Considered FutureArguments for Rational Salmon Conservation Policy

Andrew S. Wright PhD

Technical Advisor to

SOS Marine Conservation Foundation

Tides Canada Aquaculture Innovation Fund

and DFO

West coast salmon aquaculture

West Coast Salmon Aquaculture

  • West Coast Salmon Aquaculture has two key issues

    • Global use of precious forage fisheries for feed

    • Local environmental impacts

      • Disease, lice, benthic fowling etc

  • In 2007-2008 the SOS Marine Conservation Foundation attempted to resolve the conundrum

    • Shrinking wild fishery worth $500 million/annum

    • Farmed salmon industry also at $500 million/annum but a lack of social license has stalled growth

    • Burgeoning multi-billion eco-tourism business at risk

  • Summary

    • BC/Canada’s eternal dilemma of Resources & Jobs vs. Environment

Sos marine conservation foundation long term vision

SOS Marine Conservation Foundation - Long Term Vision

  • Integrated multi-trophic - polyculture agriculture business

  • Delivering full size salmon and plate size salmon per year

  • Waste from 200kg living salmon support 3,000 head of lettuce every 6 weeks

  • Diverse vegetable crop line for value add – lettuce, spinach herbs, tomatoes, peppers…

B c s first mover advantages the logical place to locate

B.C’s First Mover Advantages – the logical place to locate

  • Access to source water

  • Significant transportation cost advantage to US ($.20 vs. $1.20/lb from Chile)

  • Localized feed production industry

  • Localized harvest, processing and packaging

  • Initial Pacific Northwest consumers are highly food-aware and looking for farmed salmon alternatives

  • Trained employee and strong skill set base (Gov’t & Industry)

  • Access to low lease Crown and private social venture investment land

  • Lowest continental power costs

  • Low carbon – near zero GHG power source

  • Nascent equipment industry (Pr Aqua - Point 4 etc)

  • Potential Government funding programs (AIMAP, SRED, VCC investment credits)

The closed containment opportunity

The Closed Containment Opportunity

  • Provides a socially acceptable means to expand the industry

    • Increase the landed tonnage of fish

  • Vegetable & secondary aquaculture crops extend profitability

  • Supplementary fertilizer and energy revenue options

  • Premium, sustainable products that satisfy market demand

  • BC Benefits Include

    • Jobs (Fish culture, fish husbandry, mechanical engineering, aquaponics, construction)

    • Localized agricultural food security

    • Equipment industry in B.C can differentiate and grow on sustainability platform

  • Breaks the Resource Jobs vs. Save the Environment paradigm

Dogma ideology and clouded judgments

Dogma, Ideology and Clouded Judgments

  • Biologically, technically and economically unfeasible

    • The unified response from both industry, provincial and federal politicians

    • Despite real world examples in North America

  • An example of the elimination of science and analytic based decision making in policy recommendations

  • Yet there is hope for we have found federal support!

  • SOS Marine Conservation Foundation, Tides Canada AIF and the Federal Government came together to build a 400MT fish farm with the ‘Namgis nation.

  • Yet overseas major investments are now being made by Scandinavian companies building full size land based farms

  • BC is simply missing this opportunity

The cost of poorly informed ideologue decision making

The Cost of Poorly Informed (Ideologue) Decision Making

  • Kaho’olawe –exploitation left the island devoid of topsoil and life.

  • Cost to recover - $500,000,000 to date!

  • Brief present day riches achieved by exploitive industries burden subsequent generations

  • It undermines progress in human well being that science has provisioned thru responsible economic development

  • The current political zeitgeist of attacking science is really an attack on future human well being and rejects centuries of scientific contributions

Hope leading from in front the namgis project

Hope, Leading from in Front – the ‘Namgis Project

  • Construction has started

  • Fish in by this winter

  • Land based bio-secure facilities with no harmful local environmental impacts

  • Fish will be raised free of chemical theraputants, pesticides and vaccines

  • No interaction between wild and farmed populations

  • Carbon footprint lower than ocean farms due to BC hydro power and heat pumps

  • Global issues of fish farming can be resolved

    • Requires university research into sustainable algae and plankton based salmon diets

Science the key to progress

Science – the key to progress

  • Simon Fraser University, University of British Columbia, Victoria University, Watershed Watch, Alexandra Morton, Fresh Water Institute at University of Virginia, Provincial and Federal Scientists

  • These institutes have lent their scientific expertise and knowledge to helping us contemplate, design and build the ‘Namgis farm

  • Thus rational informed decision making leads to enduring economies and sustained human well being

  • This illustrates the very essence of responsible progress and the importance of scientific institutions and a populous that is literate in science



  • The Cohen commission has revealed great failures in management by our government in protecting our oceans

  • Preservation and conservation should be prime directives in future wild salmon governance

  • Closed containment salmon farming should be central in the responsible development of Canada’s aquaculture industry

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