Fish Farms Pushing Wild Salmon to Extinction

courtesy Alexandra Morton

By Stephen Leahy

Dec 14 (IPS) – V
ast populations of pink salmon on Canada’s west coast will be extinct in four years due to infestations of parasites from open ocean salmon farms, scientists reported Friday in the prestigious journal Science.

Canadian officials seem likely to let the wild salmon go extinct, if past inaction is any indicator, Alexandra Morton, the study’s co-author and director of the Salmon Coast Field Station in Broughton, British Columbia, told IPS.

The Science study shows that infestations of sea lice have killed more than 80 percent of the annual pink salmon returns in British Columbia’s Broughton Archipelago, 300 kms north of the city of Vancouver, over the past four years. In another four years, there will be no more pinks if the infestations continue.

“If nothing changes, we are going to lose these fish,” said lead author Martin Krkosek, a fisheries ecologist from the University of Alberta. Continue reading