A brief look at the industrial, mega-operations that salmon farms are:

(click the thumbnails to view full-size image slideshow)
Industrial Salmon Farm: docks surrounding net pens industrial fish farm: ship unloading stock industrial fish farm

Fish Farming: A Poor Economic Benefits Profile

fisheries employment In this graph you can see salmon feedlots have never been big employers in BC compared against the common property fisheries.

And when an industry generates $600-800 million annually (as does salmon aquaculture in B.C. according to Prov. gov’t figures), producing only a few thousand jobs is weak job creation performance. This speaks to how aquaculture contributes poorly to the B.C. economy – even before you consider where the profits go (98% of fish farms are Norwegian owned), and the fact that Canadian taxpayers PAY for losses experienced by fish farmers when stocks are ordered culled (due to infestation with ISA virus for example).

That’s right – WE PAY!!
Fish Farm Quarantined After Suspected ISA Outbreak
– June 20, 2012 – CBC
An outbreak of ISA at a Cooke facility in Shelburne in February resulted in the company destroying 700,000 fish. The federal government will compensate the company for those fish, up to a maximum of $30 per fish, but Halse said no money has been paid to Cooke yet.

How Did This Happen?

salmonids In 1984, the Science Council of Canada unveiled their industrial aquaculture plan. Encouraged by weaker restrictions, Norwegian companies began claiming sites to raise their salmon in British Columbia waters, lured by close proximity to the US market. Norwegian politicians warned Canada there were high risks. Canada knew ownership of salmon in the ocean was outside the Constitution of Canada, but that did not stop anyone.
The United Fisherman’s and Allied Workers Union UFAWU published a newspaper called THE FISHERMAN. This publication chronicled the arrival of salmon feedlots onto the BC coast… It is a record of how government brought this industry in swiftly with no public consultation, in full expectation that it would take the place of the wild fisheries, do away with the common fishery resource, and require heavy foreign investment. They knew it existed outside the Constitution of Canada, because they could not figure out who owns the salmon inside the pens. The government gave the salmon farmers eggs from public hatcheries, even as those stocks were dwindling. They granted foreshore leases at a rate of one per day. They saw the conflicts with aboriginal title to fish, but plowed ahead regardless. They refused to assess environmental impact and they knew it would not make jobs…
READ: Salmon Feedlots: This Was Not a Mistake – Alexandra Morton, blog
salmo-fan: artificially adding colour to farmed salmon Allows the producers to pick the shade of pink in their farmed salmon