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ผู้เขียน หัวข้อ: Closer examination of closed-containment systems  (อ่าน 1913 ครั้ง)
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« เมื่อ: พฤษภาคม 05, 2007, 06:54:23 PM »

Source: The Westcoaster  World News    4/05/2007 19:25:10

 

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Keven Drews
Closed-containment salmon farming: environmentalists talk about it, fish farmers talk about it, but not everybody understands what it means, says a federal aquaculture specialist.


“I really do think it’s a phrase that’s used a lot without a full understanding of what it means,” said Andrew Thomson, acting director of aquaculture management for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. “You really need to scratch below the phrase.”


So in an effort to better understand the concept, DFO will study the technology as part of an upcoming federally funded project, said Thomson.


Thomson said DFO has yet to hire any scientists, set a start date or even determine the scope of the study, which will consult those in the know from B.C. and around the world.


He made the comments just days after the B.C. Salmon Farmers Association announced that an NDP-led committee on aquaculture reform will recommend a move towards closed-containment systems, and just weeks after 51 sea lions drowned on a Tofino-area salmon farm.


“At the moment there is no closed-containment facility for salmon operating in B.C,” said Thomson, who pointed to a few pilot-projects that are no loner operating.


But fish farmers are growing trout and tilapia in closed-containment systems, he added.


“I really think the end result is to better inform the federal and provincial governments.


“To the best of my knowledge, nothing’s been pulled together.”
Industry spokesman and environmentalists reacted with skepticism towards the study.


“If DFO’s really going to contribute to the knowledge base, great,” said Catherine Stewart, campaign director for the Living Oceans Society.


Stewart said the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform is currently conducting several sea lice studies with Marine Harvest and has a terms of reference to study closed-containment technology with the company.


Any study, she said, must focus on commercial operations, their economic viability, the benefits of closed-containment technology over open-net cages, and the “external costs” of allowing open-net cages to discharge their waste for free into public waters.


“Our concern with DFO’s research agenda is will it contribute moving the discussion forward?”


Spencer Evans, general manager of Tofino’s Creative Salmon, said any study must examine animal welfare, the carbon footprint and social-economic impact of shifting towards closed-containment technology.


Evans said raising too many fish in too small an area decreases growth, and increases animals’ stress levels and the potential for disease outbreak and the need for antibiotic use.


Growing fish in a closed containment system also requires a huge volume of power and water, he added.


If the industry moves to closed-containment, added Evans, farms will move closer to their markets – affecting First Nations employment.
“That’s not going to benefit those First Nations people,” he added.
 


Source or related URL: http://www.westcoaster.ca
 
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