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5 thoughts on “Collapsed fish pens could shift the debate over Atlantic salmon farms

  1. It is interesting that land based systems with the recycling of waste products are not being aggressively pushed as legitimate alternatives to the net pens.
    The Conservation Fund has promoted significant efforts in this area and, if they can be believed, are on the cusp of commercial viability. This seems to be the right time to introduce this technology

    There are farmers in middle America using closed systems for other fish. It’s beginning to work.

  2. Years ago, similar pens collapsed and released a lot of these salmon in the Manchester area. Can Mr. Dunagan point out a single negative lasting effect from that incident? His concern about these escaped fish eating salmonids and steelhead is laughable. We protect seals, sea lions and many birds that feed on these, and no one cares a wit. This is all anti fish pen folks making a story out of an incident for all it’s worth. Fish pens are in use all over the world, and if they were as risky and dangerous as they would have us believe, they would not be in operation today.

  3. UPDATE: Aug. 30

    Democratic members of Washington state’s congressional delegation are calling on federal agencies to take immediate steps to minimize damage from the net pen collapse and release of Atlantic salmon near Cypress Island. Read the news release.

    “Pacific salmon are central to our economy, our culture, and our environment in the Pacific Northwest and are a critical part of marine and estuarine ecosystems in Washington state,” the letter states. “Most concerning is the threat farmed Atlantic salmon pose to the wild Pacific salmon populations stocks in Puget Sound. Farmed salmon tend to be larger and could outcompete wild salmon for critical resources, such as prey and preferred habitat, which is important for spawning. Tribes, fishermen, and state agencies are working to respond to the escapement, but the scale of the release calls for immediate and direct federal response….”

    Meanwhile, a public hearing about the expansion of the Port Angeles net pen operation has been cancelled at the request of the owner, Cooke Aquaculture. Read the letter from Steve Gray (PDF 155 kb), Clallam County’s deputy planning director.

  4. Please show us a shred of evidence (i.e. data) that there was any harm caused by fish farming and the escaped Atlantic Salmon. I find a lot of rhetoric from companies that compete with farm raised salmon but I’ve yet to see any hard data that indicates that farm raised salmon harm the environment. I am a environmentally responsible person that simply wants facts…. not emotional or profit motivated information.

    1. Go to Google Scholar–a search engine to search peer-reviewed scientific articles and type this in the search box “harm caused by fish farming and the escaped Atlantic Salmon” straight from your question. Other keywords will work too. You can avoid a lot of the emotional or biased articles and go straight to the science.

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