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

Chance of showers and thunderstorm for Okanagan-Shuswap-Similkameen

Mostly cloudy day for the Okanagan-Shuswap and Similkameen regions

EDITORIAL: And if a council meeting was like live theatre…

A news reporter cannot cover a municipal council meeting as if it… Continue reading

Rattlesnake bites dog

Anti-venom used to save pooch

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Unsettled skies dominate the week’s forecast

A chance of thunderstorms is in the forecast for much of the Okanagan-Shuswap.

B.C. Premier Horgan to make announcement in Keremeos

B.C. Premier John Horgan is scheduled to make an announcement in Keremeos

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Crews fight wildfire along Sea-to-Sky Highway

A cause has not been determined, although a downed power line is suspected

Two mudslides close Seymour Arm road in North Shuswap, no one injured

Slides hit Seymour Arm Main Forest Service Road halfway between St. Ives and Seymour Arm

One Okanagan municipality has seen a crime increase in almost every statistical category, report says

Report states there were 617 offences in Lake Country in 2018; almost 100 more than 2017

“Our community has had its heart broken”: South Okanagan celebrates life of David Kampe

Community and families members who knew Kampe give tearful addresses

Lower lake levels could create bumper crop of invasive milfoil

The CSRD board received an update on efforts to suppress the invasive aquatic plant

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Vernon and Sicamous cannabis stores get provincial nod

Spiritleaf in Vernon will be the Okanagan’s first cannabis store.

Most Read