Pictured above: Healthy farmed Atlantic salmon in a tank at the Kuterra land-based salmon farm.
The issue: Open net-cage salmon farms are a serious threat to the balance of life on the coast, and to wild salmon in particular.
Most salmon farms hold more than one-half million fish penned in open net-cages, mostly Atlantic salmon. There are over 100 open net-cage farms growing farmed salmon in sheltered bays along the British Columbia coast.
Waste, chemicals, disease, and parasites from the farms pass through the mesh and pollute the surrounding water and seabed. Especially harmful are the sea lice who attach to wild juvenile salmon on their migration out to sea. Too many sea lice can kill the young wild salmon.
Storms, accidents and predators can tear the nets allowing the farmed fish to escape. Predators like seals and sea lions are often shot. Many marine mammals get entangled in the nets and drown.
The solution: Grow salmon in closed containment. An impermeable barrier between farmed salmon and the ocean helps to protect the ecosystem and wild salmon from the problems caused by industrial salmon farming.