Forum Index > Stewardship > 'Environmental Nightmare' After Thousands Of Atlantic Salmon Escape Fish Farm 08/24/17
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mike
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PostFri Nov 17, 2017 9:20 am 
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State senator Kevin Ranker is introducing a bill to outlaw farming atlantic salmon.
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MtnGoat
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PostSat Nov 25, 2017 10:09 am 
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Not surprising. If you don't like it, ban it.

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peltoms
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PostSun Nov 26, 2017 9:21 am 
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Had a chance to examine a Cooke Aquaculture operation in Chile.
Erasmo Glacier Collapse

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North Cascade Glacier Climate Project: http://www.nichols.edu/departments/glacier/
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Gregory
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PostThu Nov 30, 2017 5:44 am 
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https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/ne38pd/pipe-spewing-salmon-blood-into-british-columbia-channel
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Gregory
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PostMon Dec 18, 2017 4:30 am 
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http://komonews.com/news/local/washington-state-terminates-atlantic-salmon-farm-lease-after-violations
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Humptulips
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PostMon Jan 08, 2018 9:23 pm 
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This will get Ski going. wink.gif
I see over on
http://hunting-washington.com/smf/index.php/topic,223029.msg2966430/topicseen.html#new

a guy posted a picture of an Atlantic Salmon he caught on the Skykomish.
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Damian
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PostTue Jan 09, 2018 5:20 pm 
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An environmental disaster that results in catching fish in the Skykomish  lol.gif  That guy has had more luck on the Sky than I have in recent years.  He looks pretty happy for a guy witnessing Armageddon.
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Ski
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PostWed Jan 31, 2018 10:55 am 
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Tuesday January 30, 2018 14:46 PST

(edited for brevity)

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

State investigation finds Cooke's negligence was primary cause of Atlantic salmon net pen collapse


OLYMPIA – State investigators have determined that an excessive buildup of mussels and other marine organisms on nets – caused by Cooke Aquaculture's failure to properly clean them – led to the August 19 collapse of the company's net pen at Cypress Island.

An investigative report – authored by the departments of Natural Resources (DNR), Ecology, and Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) – found that 110 tons of mussels and plants had accumulated on the nets before the incident. The report was released today at a news conference in Olympia.

The investigation determined that tidal currents pushing against the tremendous mass of organisms on the nets overwhelmed the pen's mooring system and crushed the pen.

Extensive corrosion of the net pen structure also contributed to the collapse.

In addition, the agencies identified shortcomings in engineering practices that likely contributed to the failure.

Properly designed and maintained net pens would have withstood the tidal currents of August 19.

"The collapse was not the result of natural causes," said Hilary Franz, Commissioner of Public Lands. "Cooke's disregard caused this disaster and recklessly put our state's aquatic ecosystem at risk."

"The results of our investigative report clearly show a significant violation of Washington's water quality laws," said Ecology Director Maia Bellon. "Cooke Aquaculture could have prevented this failure."

"Cooke made this situation even more difficult by under-reporting the number of fish that escaped during the net-pen collapse, and over-reporting the number it recovered afterward," said Amy Windrope, WDFW's north Puget Sound regional director.

Growth of mussels and other marine organisms on nets – called "biofouling" – is documented in state agency videos that show a "rain" of mussels falling off nets as debris from the collapse was removed.

The severe biofouling produced 110 tons of material – an average of 11 tons per net.

Cooke's Failure to Act

Prior to the collapse, Cooke was aware of both the excessive biofouling and the poor condition of the facility.

The report details how Cooke didn't follow its net pen cleaning schedule when broken net washers were not repaired or replaced. This allowed mussels to accumulate on the nets, which increased the drag from currents and added pressure to the structure.

Cooke also failed to take necessary precautions after the net pens were moved out of position in July when strong currents broke ten mooring points.

Cooke documents show that after the July incident, the company had serious concerns about the facility. An internal company email stated, "We almost lost the farm."

Nevertheless, after the July incident, Cooke considered, but did not:

Replace the biofouled nets,
Begin their salmon harvest early, or
Increase monitoring of the net pens and have a tug on standby when strong currents were again expected on August 19.
The report notes that state agencies did not investigate the July incident because they received incomplete and misleading information from Cooke.

More Salmon Escaped Than Cooke Reported

The report also found that Cooke misrepresented the number of fish it harvested when the pen collapsed. According to the report:

There were 305,000 fish in the net pen prior to failure.
Cooke reported harvesting/extracting 145,000 fish from the collapsed net pen.
The investigation concluded that Cooke could only have extracted between 42,000 and 62,000 fish.
Therefore, between 243,000 and 263,000 fish actually escaped. Previous estimates, based on Cooke's reports, put the number of escaped fish at 160,000.
Of the escaped fish, 57,000 have been caught.
Between 186,000 and 206,000 Atlantic salmon remain unaccounted for.
The report concludes that monitoring through the winter and next fall's salmon run season will be critical to knowing if any escaped Atlantic salmon remain in Washington's waters and if they are reproducing.

Commissioner Franz is currently reviewing the report and will make an announcement about the future of the Cypress Island facility in the coming days.

In December, DNR terminated Cooke's lease of state aquatic lands in Port Angeles, citing a failure to maintain the facility in a safe condition.

Ecology intends to take enforcement action against Cooke Aquaculture for violating Washington's water quality laws.

This multi-agency report included information collected during and after the incident, interviews with Cooke staff, and an engineering review of the failure.

More documents and information is available at www.dnr.wa.gov/atlanticsalmon.

-WDFW-

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Ski
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PostWed Jan 31, 2018 11:27 am 
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Wild Fish Conservancy Director Kurt Beardslee's Op-Ed piece in the Seattle Times 01-30-18

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostWed Jan 31, 2018 3:49 pm 
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Fish Farm Caused Atlantic Salmon Spill State Says Then Tried To Hide How Bad It Was - Seattle Times 01-31-18 Lynda Mapes

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Ski
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PostThu Feb 15, 2018 6:16 pm 
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Thursday February 15, 2018 17:32 PST

Contrary to agency claims, escaped Atlantic salmon were infected with a highly contagious and harmful virus. Lab results show 100% of escaped Atlantic salmon tested were infected with virus of Norwegian origin.

Wild Fish Conservancy wrote:
PRV is known to be a highly contagious and debilitating salmonid virus, and is proven to be the causal agent for heart and skeletal muscle inflammation (HSMI) disease.[1]  HSMI causes a crippling onset of symptoms in salmonids, symptoms that would either kill or render a wild fish incapable of surviving in natural conditions. HSMI has caused up to 20% mortality in Atlantic salmon net pens in Norway.[2]  Significant mortalities from HSMI have also been reported in farmed Atlantic salmon in Scotland and Chile.[1,3]  Recently, HSMI has been reported in farmed Atlantic salmon in British Columbia.[3]

Peer-reviewed scientific literature demonstrates a high likelihood that Atlantic salmon net pens infected with PRV will amplify the virus and spread it to wild salmon. PRV survives well in sea water, and is known to spread out long distances from farms.[4]  The spread of PRV from farmed Atlantic to wild salmon has been well documented,[5]  and a 2017 BC study demonstrated that significantly more wild salmon were infected with PRV if they had been exposed to salmon farms than if they were located far away.[2]

Peer-reviewed science also shows us that even without the occurrence of HSMI, PRV can negatively impact a salmon’s ability to compete and survive in the wild. As PRV builds up in a salmon’s red blood cells, the virus may reduce the amount of oxygen cells can transport to the fish’s muscles,[6]  lowering the fish’s performance. For a wild fish, reduced performance means a reduced ability to capture prey, evade predators, and swim upriver to spawn.

Statistical analysis conducted by WFC ecologist Dr. Nick Gayeski suggests the disease is highly prevalent in escaped farmed salmon from Cypress Island. “Based on the results of this sampling,” Dr. Gayeski said, “I estimate that more than 99.9% of the 260,000+ fish that escaped from the Cypress Island net pen are infected with PRV. For all practical purposes, all of the escaped fish are most likely infected with the PRV virus.

The independent lab results corroborate Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) recently released report detailing their own findings of PRV-positive Atlantic salmon originating from Cooke Aquaculture’s Cypress Island net pen facility.[7]  Yet during a January 30th press conference announcing a state agency investigative report into the Cypress Island spill, a spokeswoman for WDFW, who acted as incident commander and co-authored the report, contradicted the report’s own findings, stating:

“The released fish… were healthy at the time of release. Of the escaped fish, there was no disease. No endemic bacterial, viral, or parasitic (including sea lice) pathogens were detected at the time of release.”[8]

- Amy Windrope, North Puget Sound Regional Director

“I’m outraged,” said Kurt Beardslee, executive director of Wild Fish Conservancy. “The Atlantic salmon in Puget Sound net pens originate from Norway, and we now know they are highly infected with a harmful virus from Norway. I’m outraged this disease is being amplified into our public waters, and I’m outraged our state agencies are willfully misleading the public. When the public finds out about this atrocity, they will be outraged as well. Wild salmon are the environmental, social, economic, and cultural cornerstone of this region, we can't afford to put them at greater risk. We need to take corrective actions and remove this dangerous industry from Puget Sound before it’s too late.”

The lab work presents another stunning revelation, finding the strain of PRV present in 100% of the tested samples to be of Norwegian origin. This discovery raises immediate concerns as to whether Cooke Aquaculture is placing infected Atlantic salmon into open-water net pens in our public waters.

In British Columbia, a recent lawsuit provided that many BC salmon farms are being stocked by salmon infected with PRV.[9]  In one instance, British Columbia’s predominant Atlantic salmon net pen company conceded that 5 out of 6 of their hatcheries were infected with PRV.

Considering the multitude of scientific studies that demonstrate PRV from open-water pens will likely spread to and harm wild fish, WFC is deeply disturbed by the disease’s apparent ubiquity among escaped Atlantic salmon in Puget Sound, and incensed by WDFW’s willingness to obfuscate the existence and harmful nature of the disease. Even more troubling is the possibility of the virus being imported into public waters from an outside source, as lab results seem to suggest.

To remedy the harm that may be imparted to our wild fish, and to get to the bottom of the disease’s source, WFC calls on WDFW, Washington Department of Natural Resources, and Washington Department of Ecology to:

1. Stop all restocking of Atlantic salmon net pens until thorough testing has proven the Atlantic salmon hatchery is not planting PRV infected fish.

2. Immediately test all Atlantic salmon net pens in Puget Sound for PRV.

3. Remove all PRV-infected Atlantic salmon from Puget Sound net pens.

4. Immediately disinfect facilities showing any trace of PRV.

These actions are essential to ensure that diseased, PRV-infected fish are not being planted into public waters and that Atlantic salmon raised in net pens are not amplifying the virus and spreading it in the public’s waters where it places our native salmon at risk.

“Hopefully the Washington state legislature will successfully pass legislation to phase out Atlantic salmon net pens in Puget Sound, but in the interim, this alone is far from enough to protect our wild salmon from this industry,” said Kurt Beardslee. “It’s absolutely critical that our state agencies take immediate action to ensure we’re not planting or amplifying
viruses into our public waters.” 


1.  Wessel, O., Braaen, S., Alarcon, M. (2017). Infection with purified Piscine orthoreovirus demonstrates a causal relationship with heart and skeletal muscle inflammation in Atlantic salmon. Plos One,12(8).

2.  Morton, A., Routledge, R., Hrushowy, S. (2017). The effect of exposure to farmed salmon on piscine orthoreovirus infection and fitness in wild Pacific salmon in British Columbia, Canada. Plos One, 12(12).

3.  DiCicco, E., H.W. Ferguson, A. D. Schultze. (2017). Heart and skeletal muscle inflammation (HSMI) disease diagnosed on a British Columbia salmon farm through a longitudinal farm study. PlosOne 12(2).

4.  Garseth, A. H., Ekrem, T., & Biering, E. (2013). Phylogenetic Evidence of Long Distance Dispersal and Transmission of Piscine Reovirus (PRV) between Farmed and Wild Atlantic Salmon. Plos One, 8(12).

5.  Garver, K. A., Johnson, S. C., Polinski, M. P (2016). Piscine Orthoreovirus from Western North America Is Transmissible to Atlantic Salmon and Sockeye Salmon but Fails to Cause Heart and Skeletal Muscle Inflammation. Plos One, 11(1).

6.  WDFW. (2018, January 30th) Retrieved from: https://www.facebook.com/CommissionerHilaryFranz/videos/787631131444879/

7.  Victory for wild salmon as Federal Court strikes down aquaculture license conditions. (2015). Retrieved
from https://www.ecojustice.ca/pressrelease/victory-for-wild-salmon-as-federal-court-strikes-down-aquaculture-licence-conditions/

8. WDFW. (2018, January 30th) Retrieved from: https://www.facebook.com/CommissionerHilaryFranz/videos/787631131444879/

9. Victory for wild salmon as Federal Court strikes down aquaculture license conditions. (2015). Retrieved
from https://www.ecojustice.ca/pressrelease/victory-for-wild-salmon-as-federal-court-strikes-down-aquaculture-licence-conditions/


==

The spread of PRV from farmed Atlantic to wild salmon has been well documented:

Piscine Orthoreovirus from Western North America Is Transmissible to Atlantic Salmon and Sockeye Salmon but Fails to Cause Heart and Skeletal Muscle Inflammation


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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Gregory
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PostSat Feb 17, 2018 6:10 am 
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http://newsbut.com/wild-fish-conservancy-says-escaped-atlantic-salmon-were-infected-with-contagious/
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Pyrites
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PostSun Feb 18, 2018 11:17 am 
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I’m getting purchased ads on FB from Cooke salmon co. I must have scored high enough on some algorithm.

It’s clear they’ve hired a professional industrial PR firm. They’re using the playbook the cigarette industry pioneered successfully.

Deny, diminish, doubt, divide. Add repetition.

Because it works.
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RandyHiker
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PostSun Feb 18, 2018 11:34 am 
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Ski wrote:
Piscine Orthoreovirus from Western North America Is Transmissible to Atlantic Salmon and Sockeye Salmon but Fails to Cause Heart and Skeletal Muscle Inflammation

Interesting -- Farmed Atlantic Salmon are edemically infected with this Pacific Salmon virus, but also causes no inflammation ...  Sort of sounds like the salmon equivalent of the cold virus.

But isn't all the concern about viruses being passed from Atlantic to Pacific
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PostSun Feb 18, 2018 10:20 pm 
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yes. one of many concerns.

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Forum Index > Stewardship > 'Environmental Nightmare' After Thousands Of Atlantic Salmon Escape Fish Farm 08/24/17
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