FILE - In this Oct. 11, 2008 file photo, an Atlantic salmon leaps in a Cooke Aquaculture farm pen near Eastport, Maine. A surge of parasitic sea lice is disrupting salmon farms around the world, infesting salmon farms in the U.S., Canada, Scotland, Norway and Chile. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

Conservationists raise alarm over wild fish found on B.C. salmon farms

Experts say nine times as many wild fish were reported inside open-net pen farms in 2017 compared to 2011

A conservation charity says it’s concerned by what it calls a “growing trend” of wild fish killed by the salmon farming industry on British Columbia’s coast.

READ MORE: DFO to test for harmful virus at B.C. fish farms

Stan Proboszcz, science advisor with Watershed Watch Salmon Society, says nine times as many wild fish were reported inside open-net pen farms in 2017 compared with 2011.

The farms raise Atlantic salmon in netted areas of the Pacific Ocean that allow a fresh flow of water and other sea life to enter.

He says the society crunched the number of “incidental catches” self-reported by industry to government during harvests or farm relocations, adding the data doesn’t cover wild fish found during normal operations and there needs to be more transparency about the apparent increase.

No one was immediately available for comment from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans or the B.C. Salmon Farmers Association.

Proboszcz says the most common species caught on salmon farms is Pacific herring and little is known about what might happen if the herring transmit pathogens, parasites or viruses picked up on farms to other fish.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Honk if you’re in Harrison

Despite COVID-19 restrictions in place, flights flagrantly disregard the rules and are… Continue reading

Shades of gray in Teacup debate

Laurens Van Vliet of Agassiz has mixed thoughts about the exclusion application

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

COVID-19-appropriate Easter hunt to hop into Agassiz

Local bear hunt organizer creates Easter version

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Insurance shock for B.C. condo owners

Claim-free two-year-old townhouse complex told premium will nearly triple

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

Most Read