Alex Morton Launches Petition

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by canoecat, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. rider

    rider Paddler

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    It's a world where people chose the evidence to back their convictions, instead of basing their convictions on evidence. Unfortunately there's enough B.S floating around that someone can always say "so and so says otherwise".
    I believe in honesty and good intentions of A. Morton's research. Sure fish farming isn't the root of the problem but an aggravating factor in it's current state. I think that, done PROPERLY, it's an industry that will take a lot of pressure off the wild fish and its habitat, probably at a cost to commercial fishery. Progress needs to be in the name of long term sustainability, not instant profit or instant jobs.
     
  2. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    That study would not be objective. It might be objective if everyone concerned was honest ... but that's not a driving force in business. And if it's not objective, it's NOT science. No ifs, ands, or buts.

    IMHO, it indicates a bias that commercially-funded non-objective "studies" have the same weighting as peer-reviewed objective science. They don't. Anybody that says they do ... doesn't understand how proper science works.

    And I know an owner of an "environmental" company that is as crooked as a dog's hind leg. If a company wants a "study" that says it's okay to dump their trash in a spawning channel ... they just have to hire a company that will tell them what they want to hear.
     
  3. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    I'm gathering that fish farms, as presently operated, are largely unregulated and uncontrolled in BC. Is that the case? Or, are there controls and limits on their operations, in particular on what materials are allowed into adjacent waters?

    I am wholly unfamliar with Canadian water quality regulatatory rules or agencies. Can it be true that no one is monitoring these operations? Don't they require permits to operate? If they do, then it would seem suing the operators and/or the agencies overseeing them might bring on the needed studies to assess their effects on their surroundings, including on wild runs of salmon. In order to bring suit, there must be some water quality standard in violation ... something objective a person can measure near a fish farm that is out of the allowed level.

    I'm having a hard time getting my head around how they came to be so numerous without environmental impact analyses (or whatever such studies are called in Canada) by the score. Could it be that laws and controls are enormously stricter down here, enough so that there are no longer any salmon aquaculture operations in the States (AFAIK).
     
  4. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    My understanding is that the above has finally become the issue - as they did exist with permits, but without environmental impact testing or standards. With the farms being under federal jurisdiction, there are finally some standards that they should have to meet.

    The petition is actually just to get the feds to apply the standards.
     
  5. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Mick, I just re-read the petition. I don't see anything in there pointing toward water quality standards. Am I missing something?
     
  6. ken_vandeburgt

    ken_vandeburgt Paddler

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    BSc Mathematics and Physics. The school was promptly closed when it was determined that I had graduated.

    I have not worked in a science environment. Work experience is in a engineering environment as a technician (marine electrical) and as a manager (communication systems). Trouble shooting and problem solving.

    Hypothesis requires reproducible proof by several different scientists to be accepted. I am not a biologist so I do not know what the proof will consist of but I do know that I will recognize it when I see it.

    Problem is that this does not constitute proof. It strengthens the hypothesis, sure. But to say this happened here but did not happen here ignores the variability of the marine environment. It ignores the possibility of another source of the infection.

    Perhaps one way to strengthen the position would be to collect the data at an isolated fish farm and then shut it down to see if the incidence of lice infestations go down. But even that would be circumstantial evidence.

    Litmus test of technical proof would be to shut down all of the fish farms for a season and see if the incidence of lice is reduced in all areas to levels of 3 lice per 1000 smolts.
     
  7. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    I make the presumption that the 'Fisheries Act' (petitioned to be applied) contains standards.
     
  8. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    Good & good.

    In a nutshell. If needed to ensure objectivity, I would add constraints regarding funding & the definition of a scientist.

    Amen, brother. Might have to be a couple seasons. Probably need to take into account the different life cycle of the different salmonids. Possibly they could rotate shutdowns by location such that some smolts would swim past fish farms while others would swim past none. This is a design task for the experts.

    But let's not forget that there are salmonids in other countries ... Scotland, Ireland, Norway. Studies in these countries support the hypothesis that fish farms increase the burden of sea lice on wild salmonids. I can surmise from Chernobyl that a meltdown in Pickering would be a bad thing ... I don't need a first hand demonstration.
     
  9. ken_vandeburgt

    ken_vandeburgt Paddler

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    Problem is that there is a feud going on between BC government and the federal government. BC legislature usually opens with a cost analysis of completing the railroad to Victoria that was part of the promise that went with confederation (BC joined 1871).

    Our constitution act of 1867 states clearly that the ocean and all things in and upon it are federal responsibilities.

    The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is charged with fisheries.

    The Department of Transport is responsible for navigation and marine safety.

    Problem is that which was pointed out earlier some 36 of the 308 MPs are from BC. The fishery on the east coast has collapsed. There are too many other issues to occupy the attention of the government than a few lousy fish.

    So the BC government has tried to step in as the regulatory authority. It started because BC owns the sea bed in terms of resources found there. So shell fish farm tenures are allocated by the province. And the province is taking the mile when the feds are giving an inch; actually works out so long as things are not at cross purposes. So now there are two governments claiming ownership and both are hoping to score political points.

    It gets even more complicated when you consider the salmon fishery. Now we have fishermen getting licences from one jurisdiction to catch fish that originate in Alaska, BC, Washington, Oregon, and California. Okay when there were sufficient fish to go around but not so okay when there are not. So the question becomes where is the incentive for places that produce the most fish but get the least benefit (and I'm sure THAT argument is true in all jurisdicitions).

    Last time we had Glen Clarke NDP Premier (1996- 1999?) try to start a fish war over the matter. I have often wondered that western Canada might be better off as its own nation but after considering Glen Clarke as el Presidente I am stronger in my conviction as ever about keeping that red rag of ours aloft.

    Then there is the race based fishery that is accorded to the indigenous people.

    Bottom line is the political situation surrounding everything fishy on Canada's west coast is too much of a cluster f**k to be effectively regulated by anyone. So yes there are rules but enforcement is a problem even if the rules are applicable to the situation. And the people who are in the money don't want to see any changes.
     
  10. ken_vandeburgt

    ken_vandeburgt Paddler

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    They support the hypothesis but you have to remember that there is an ocean of difference in the marine environment including the flora and fauna in it.

    Chernobyl and Pickering are as different as oranges from apples. Catastrophe would be the same but the mechanism of failure most certainly would not be.
     
  11. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Hey, I didn't say that I'd believe it or trust it, only that they I'd entertain it and review what they had to say. Big difference there between what you're saying and what I intended. I'm not disagreeing with you.

    *****
     
  12. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    Yes there are differences. More studies are needed. But, as you admit "they support the hypothesis". They add weight to the idea that CAUTION would be WISE.

    Ken, this statement adds nothing to the discussion. You admit catastrophe would be the same but the rest of it belittles the analogy. Why bother? I'd rather you came up with a different analogy and stated: "I recognize the validity of your analogy ... but here is how I see it". I don't mean to be huffy to YOU, but this nit-picking is what the spin-doctors do when they are trying to invalidate proper science. How is the man on the street (who has heard of neither Pickering or Chernobyl) going to accept the analogy when the last thing he hears (& remembers) is that Chernobyl and Pickering are as different as oranges from apples. To put it another way, I could state: google finds 1 result for "different as oranges from apples" but 117 results for "different as oranges and apples". The insinuation is that your statement is wrong ... when in reality the google statement is just a weasel statement.
     
  13. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    This is my hope as well.

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  14. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Sushiy, I realized that no one gave you a satisfactory answer to your questions. I'll try to do it here.


    To my knowledge, no she is not. I'm not certain where her funding comes from but i doubt that it is from the traditional wild fishing industry, but I may not be correct about that. I'll see what I can find out.

    No she is not. She wants to see fish farming done in a more responsible manner -- with closed systems that are fully contained and don't allow anything harmful to escape to the ocean.

    Yes.

    I believe so, again I'm not certain. But she does say with science, that fish farming (in the manner than it is currently done) has a negative impact on the life cycle of wild salmon.

    I don't know, but I'll see if I can find anything that she's said about this. I would assume that she does but I'm only assuming.

    I agree -- but there will undoubtably be those who will not agree -- such as those who currently make thier living from fishing wild salmon. Some will not be happy but I believe that in the long run, everyone will be happier if the fish survive.

    Oh, oh, oh. I suppose I could go for four years too but I would really, really miss sake sashimi -- it's my favorite. Mmmm.

    As far as someone suffering by such a decision, we may all suffer in more ways than we can imagine if the salmon don't survive this.

    I hope that this at least mostly answers your questions.

    I would say that you're one of the more intelligent people that I've had the pleasure of meeting, Setsuko.

    *****
     
  15. ken_vandeburgt

    ken_vandeburgt Paddler

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    I would hope he does remember that Chernobyl and Pickering are not comparable. A good solution to the power problem in BC is to build a nuclear plant close to an existing transmission line. Unfortunately the man in the streets of BC thinks of Chernobyl instead of Pickering even though a plant built here would resemble neither. Our politicians too will have you thinking of Hiroshima or Nagasaki depending on if they are Liberal or NDP. -and none of this has validity in a polite discussion about fish.

    That is why it is a poor analogy for the discussion of fish farming because if you think fish farming is an emotive subject just lets start another thread about nuclear power ... actually lets not and just say we did.
     
  16. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    I concur. We don't have enough popcorn for that discussion. :wink:

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  17. Ken B

    Ken B Paddler

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    An excellent point Dan.
    For the few of us engaged debating this topic here...I've got a feeling that positions among us won't be changed.
    I think Ken V and I are in an odd position...we're in the middle of the issue...debate is from one direction to the middle...wouldn't it be great if we had some pro-Fish Farm advocate's engaging here?
    We have had a few bystanders weight in for a comment/question or two...which is great.

    Anybody else out there reading this?
    Is the debate relevant?
    ...Or are you just waiting for the 'Crap to hit the Fan', a flame war?
    Nobody's asking you to engage...just post that your reading it, and give some thoughts.


    I will say...there has been some good debate. There has been some good points made.
    But, it's starting seem like a small handful of people playing opinionated
    tennis.
    It's beginning to feel pointless from here out if there are but 4 of us.
    We can agree to disagree and move on...maybe even laugh about it over a beer at a future campsite fire.

    Of course...IF there are others reading this, and they find the debate engaging...what the heck, I'm game.
     
  18. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    LOL. I can assure you that we're not about to let that happen.

    There are plenty of others who are asking questions and stating opinions so I've no problem with this discussion continuing -- but I don't think we need to keep rehashing what has already been said.

    *****
     
  19. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Funny, I'm not seeing that at all.

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  20. Ken B

    Ken B Paddler

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    Maybe it's ended up as just the main 4 debaters, and a sprinkle of others.
    If so, I'm thinking the subject has pretty much taken it's course.
    However...if there is a large number of 'Lurkers' reading this debate, it would be great to hear from them.

    Of course...never under estimate the lurker who is hoping for some 'Heated' entertainment. :wink: