Subject: Salmon farms, sockeye and pink salmon


November 5, 2009
Hello Wild Salmon Narrows supporters!

There’s a lot of confusion about the role that net-cage salmon farms may have played in the Fraser River sockeye collapse, and why pink salmon are returning in abundance in many areas with salmon farms. But when you talk to people like Jody Eriksson, who has seen virtually every juvenile sockeye, pink and chum salmon sampled for sea lice studies occurring around his home in the Wild Salmon Narrows, the relationship between net-cage salmon farms, sea lice levels, and the success of various runs of salmon is crystal clear.

When lice levels are high on farmed salmon in net-cages, there is nothing stopping wild out-migrating juvenile salmon from being infected. Research in Europe and Canada has shown high lice levels are related to lower survival of wild salmon.

Join us in talking with Jody about lice on sockeye and other wild salmon.

It’s high time our politicians took these threats to our wild salmon and marine ecosystems seriously by overhauling the salmon farming industry. That’s why CAAR, as part of the Global Week of Action November 9-14, is calling upon citizens to demand accountability from their MPs in the form of town hall meetings. We are encouraging the MPs to start by closing the farms in the Wild Salmon Narrows immediately in order to give next year’s out-migrating juvenile wild salmon, including the Fraser River sockeye, a better chance at getting to sea without being laden with sea lice.

There has been a fantastic response to our call and in fact, there’s already a public notice to join a town hall meeting in Nanaimo on November 14th.

It’s not too late to get involved! Contact right away for some resources to help organize a town hall meeting in your community. Or, no matter where in Canada you are, there’s always the very powerful opportunity to write a letter directly to your MP. Click here to find your MP’s contact information.

And to all of you in the US, you too can talk directly to decision makers –click here to send a fax directly to the head honcho in charge of wild salmon and salmon aquaculture in Canada, Minister Gail Shea of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

We’re so glad researchers like Jody and citizens like you are out there speaking up for wild salmon. We’ll be in touch on Monday with more ideas for really turning up the heat during the Global Week of Action. Stay tuned!

— Michelle, Shauna, and all of us at CAAR 

P.S. A great resource to counter the confusion about pinks and sockeye is ourMyths & Realities of the Salmon Farming Industry in BC fact sheet. It cuts through the complexities of the issues, and the ‘our-science vs. their-science debate’ to lay out the case for why emergency measures are needed now to protect wild salmon. The removal of all five active salmon farms along theWild Salmon Narrows is an important part of what needs to be done.

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