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.

Just Posted

Teen sexually assaulted at Radley Beach

A sexual assault took place at Radley Beach in Burns Lake on… Continue reading

Australian gold mining giant acquires Red Chris mine

Newcrest now owns 70 per cent of the mine south of Iskut and operatorship

Pride crosswalk too expensive to install says municipal council

Mayor and council have asked staff to investigate whether a bench with a plaque supporting the LGBTQ+ community is feasible

Skeena Watershed reopened for recreational pink and coho

Four sections and tributaries remain closed

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Speculation tax forces sale of Greater Victoria’s iconic ‘Tulip House’

Bob and Jan Fleming selling their retirement home famous for its thousands of tulips

Most Read