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

Four fires still burning in West Kootenay

More than 25 fires were started by lightning in the last week.

Obscene phone calls keep RCMP busy

Several cases involved a number of obscene phone calls made to a Creston business.

Nine fires burning in West Kootenay

All fires considered to be lightning caused.

Lightning strikes cause fire in the Creston Valley

Two fires were located on Uri Road in Wynndel.

Castlegar mayor releases FCM itinerary

Bruno Tassone delivers promised report on activities at Quebec City municipal conference

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Police investigating fatal collision near Grave Lake

Grave Lake is located approximately halfway between Sparwood and Elkford

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

UPDATE: Two-year-old involved in Chilliwack pool drowning has died

Toddler was reported to not be breathing as air ambulance called out Thursday afternoon

Most Read