11:08/01. NEW STUDY CONFIRMS RISK OF EATING AQUACULTURED SALMON OUTWEIGH ANY HEALTH BENEFITS: A study in the most recent edition of the Journal of Nutrition finds the natural health benefits of eating farm-raised salmon appear to be more than offset by the detrimental effects of toxic pollutants found in the fish. “The study led by Jeffrey Foran of the University of Illinois-Chicago found that pollutants are present in both farm-raised salmon and wild salmon,” the Business Review reported on 23 November. “The study concluded that the pollutants in the farm-raised Atlantic salmon outweigh the recognized benefits in salmon, such as preventing sudden cardiac deaths and the beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids present in the fish. The benefits outweighed the drawbacks when it comes to the consumption of wild Pacific salmon.”
Some aquaculture companies have experimented with feeding farmed fish pellets made from vegetable oil instead of fish oil but found that the health benefits that people receive from the fish were decreased when the fish were fed vegetable oil based pellets. An Associated Press report by Candice Choi, reprinted by Intrafish, said a Scottish study found that if vegetable-oil based pellets were fed to the fish except in the last stage of their growth, the salmon had lower levels of contaminants and the fish has most of the health benefits of fish on a standard fish oil diet. Aquacultured salmon from South America (Chile) had the lowest level of contaminants while farmed salmon from North America had the second lowest level of contaminants and salmon from Europe had the highest level. Some Chilean salmon, however, has been found to contain traces of the banned fungicide Malachite green, a known carcinogen, believed to have been used on the fish to control sea lice and reduce algal growth on net pens. For more see the Business Review article at: http://albany.bizjournals.com/albany...1/daily26.html
and the AP story in Intrafish at http://www.intrafish.no/global/news/article96561.ece
In a move reminiscent of the Kent cigarette ads of the 1950’s touting the health benefits of smoking, Salmon of the Americas (SOTA) came out with a six-page ad insert last weekend to the New York Times Sunday edition (27 November), touting the health benefits of farmed salmon. The ad used two pictures of a pregnant women, one depicting her cooking salmon and talking to her young child and the other with the mother, hand across her full belly above the caption, “Just what the doctor ordered. Good for mom, good for the rest of the family.” According to a Vancouver Sun report, the ad campaign cost $100,000 and came out to counter two episodes of ABC’s “Boston Legal” television program regarding the environmental impacts of farmed salmon. For more information, see the 2 December Intrafish article at: http://www.intrafish.no/global/news/article96771.ece
The study reported in the Journal of Nutrition confirms earlier studies finding high levels of toxics (e.g., PCBs) in farmed salmon. On 9 January 2004 the journal Science published a report “Global Assessment of Organic Contaminants in Farmed Salmon” (pp.226-229) finding levels of contaminants in farmed salmon up to 10 times that of their wild counterparts (see Sublegals, 9:02/01; 8:09/03; 8:05/01; 6:14/04). Much of the contamination is associated with the feed used, particularly in the European salmon factories. However, the EU has rejected imports of salmon from Chile after finding traces of malachite green (see Sublegals, 10:10/06). On 10 August 2004, the journal Environmental Science & Technology published a study finding high levels of the fire retardant PBDE in farmed fish and some wild fish (see Sublegals, 10:02/07) and on 9 December 2004, a study found the widespread use by Canadian salmon factories of the pesticide Slice, containing the active ingredient emamectin benzoate, a neurotoxin (see Sublegals, 10:18/01).
On 30 November, FishUpdate.com reported, “Russia’s Rosselkhoznadzor Federal Service for Veterinary & Phitosanitary Inspection has suspended imports from a number of Norwegian fish farms from today according to Russian news agency Itar-Tass. ‘After tests of salmon samples from some Norwegian farms, experts found an increased content of such harmful metals as lead and cadmium,’ Rosselkhoznadzor chief Sergei Dankvert told Itar-Tass. In one sample, the lead content exceeded the permissible limit by 18 times, it is alleged, and cadmium by 3.7 times. In a second sample, the contents of lead and cadmium were exceeded, respectively, by 10 and 2.5 times. A second test verified these results. Imports can only be resumed after a joint inspection conducted by the Russian and Norwegian veterinary services, Itar-Tass reported.” For more information, see the full FishUpdate.com article at: http://www.fishupdate.com/news/fullstory.php/aid/3435
Toxic contamination is not limited simply to aquacultured salmon. Malachite green, used to fight disease among fish but also poisonous to humans, is used by aquaculture operators in Asia, primarily China and Vietnam, and is getting into worldwide markets. In Canada, for example, despite the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) testing of farmed fish as it enters the country, the contaminant is being found in farmed fish on supermarket shelves throughout the nation. The CFIA testing is done in batches, five fish tested to 1,000 fish approved and subsequently contaminant-laden fish are reaching consumers. For more, see the Intrafish article: http://www.intrafish.no/global/news/article96561.ece
11:08/02. MASSIVE CANADIAN FARM FISH ESCAPE THREATENS WILD SALMON STOCKS: During the second week of November, tens of thousands of factory salmon were released from several net cages owned by Cooke Aquaculture, a large Canadian aquaculture company with $100 million dollars in annual sales. CBC reported Cooke as reporting $1 million dollars (CN) in losses, citing vandalism as the culprit for the escape at its New Brunswick facility. The Bangor Daily News, meanwhile reported 18 November that while Cooke had pegged the number of escapes at 20,000 fish, that amount could be as much as a quarter of a million if the vandalized pens were filled to capacity at the time of the release.
Scientists fear that the escaped farm fish will endanger the remaining wild Atlantic salmon at a time of year when swimming up river to mix with spawning wild stocks could mean a genetic dumbing-down of an already endangered fish. There are several rivers in Maine, particularly the Dennys, where it is feared that the mixing of farmed and wild stocks could be detrimental to recovery efforts. Cooke Aquaculture reports that they are attempting to catch the escaped fish. For more information see the CBC report at: http://www.cbc.ca/nb/story/nb_escape...20051117.html;
the Bangor Daily News article at: http://www.bangordailynews.com/news/...tes/?a=123911;
and the FishUpdate.com report at: http://www.fishupdate.com/news/fullstory.php/aid/3369
11:08/03. FLOATING AQUACULUTURE PENS MAY BE BETTER OPTION FOR ENVIRONMENT: A new type of aquaculture pen for the production of aquacultured salmon that is claimed to be a better option for the environment has been unveiled in Canada, according to a 25 November 2005 Vancouver Sun article by Scott Simpson. The pens, created by Richard Buchanan of AgriMarine Industries and funded by the Canadian government, would be enclosed and float along the Pacific coastline.
The enclosed pens for fish factory operations work by having seawater pumped into the tanks and returned after treatment of the waste-water with ultra-violet light to kill parasites and the screening of solids. The tanks would cost $1.5 million to build, weigh 1,400 tons and have a lifetime of 25 years. The tanks aim to cut the impacts of farmed fish on wild fish populations by reducing the spread of disease, impact of waste and the threat of fish escapes that is present in the current open net systems used by salmon aquaculture factories. For more information, see the full Scott Simpson article at: http://www.canada.com/vancouver/vanc...6-1e094d73d601
11:08/04. CAMPAIGN TO SMARTEN UP SAFEWAY ON DANGERS OF AQUACULTURED SALMON: The Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform's (CAAR) “Farmed & Dangerous” campaign has initiated a new campaign using billboards, newspaper and transit shelter ads to educate the public about supermarket giant Safeway’s support for farmed salmon. Safeway's continued sale of the product represents a serious threat to British Columbia’s beleaguered wild salmon, according to CAAR. The campaign urges consumers to tell their Safeway store managers to stop selling farmed salmon until the chain’s suppliers can provide an environmentally sustainable product. Evidence indicates that outbreaks of sea lice from open net cage salmon farms are putting some wild salmon populations in BC at risk of extinction.
Safeway claims to be a responsible corporation; however, it continues to support the salmon aqua-culture industry’s unsustainable practices, says CAAR. CAAR is calling on the company to become active to avoid factory salmon from open net cages and show support for the future of wild salmon and the coastal communities and businesses that depend on the wild stocks. The ads are part of CAAR’s ongoing “Smarten Up Safeway” campaign that has previously focused on the high levels of toxic contaminants, the industry-wide use of antibiotics and pesticides, and the synthetic color additives in aquacultured salmon. According to CAAR, Safeway is in an influential position, as the nation’s third largest grocery chain behind Krogers and Albertsons, to demand a sustainably produced product from its suppliers, a step consumers increasingly expect to be taken by a corporation that claims to be responsible and committed to consumer health. To view the ad, go to: www.FarmedAndDangerous.org