Sunday, 27 December 2015

On-land Fish Farms – Note to Trudeau and Tootoo

I sent a note to Trudeau and Tootoo asking for them to take fish farms out of the water and set them up on land to protect wild salmon, eliminate environmental damage and end the free release of climate-change sewage.

My list of 123 on-land systems shows that the Norwegian fish farm claim that it is too expensive is disingenuous. As you will see, Norway has gotten fed up with the environmental damage that Marine Harvest, Cermaq and Grieg Seafood cause in their own country and is giving out free licences for on-land farms to move the industry out of the ocean. We should be doing the same in Canada with the same companies.

When I generate a figure, or accept one from a report, I do a lot of work so that I am sure of what I say before I say it. An example is the sewage cost of $10.4 Billion in BC, which equals the entire human sewage put out in BC. I looked at sewage treatment in Victoria, the CRD, Vancouver, GVRD, Calgary, Ottawa, Halifax, Milwaukee, talked with the engineers of the Calgary Bonnybrook plant, read several reports, including one right on subject from Nova Scotia, as well as investigated Scotland, Norway itself, and Chile, the saddest, dirtiest country of them all.

My figure is conservative and the other end of the reasonable spectrum is, surprisingly, triple the $10.4 Billion figure – hard to believe yet true. Do also scan the list of 220 News Bites of global news from the last six months. I think you will be shocked. Also, the BC Stats report I cite, was actually done for and paid by DFO. They have never used one stat from their own report, only had their economists increase the multiplier number for jobs 230% from 1700 to 3900. Sorry DFO, that’s bogus.

Anyway, for a whole slew of reasons the way of the future is on land and you can see the link below to an article that concludes we are on the tipping point from sea to shore.

Here is my Christmas day note. Please consider sending one yourself:

Dear PM Justin Trudeau and DFO Minister Tootoo

I am writing to ask you to get fish farms out of the oceans of this country, particularly in BC where I live, and to eliminate the conflict of interest that DFO has with fish farms; as the Cohen Commission also said: DFO needs to concentrate on saving wild Pacific salmon. This is as big an issue in BC as stopping the Enbridge pipeline.

The government of Norway, where Marine Harvest, Cermaq and Grieg Seafood come from, is so fed up with the environmental damage caused by its own companies that it is giving away free licences for on-land farms - to get the industry out of the ocean. In-ocean farms must pay an auction price of $9- to $12-million per licence. In BC the same companies pay a measly $5,000. That means the licence subsidy for in-ocean BC fish farms is: $1.17- to 1.56-Billion that grants them the use of BC water as a free, open sewer, that Norway will no longer tolerate from the same companies.

We don’t want fish farms in the water either. Where people have to live with fish farms they overwhelmingly reject them. In BC 110,000 people signed a petition to stop expansion and get the industry out of the water: This number far exceeds any petition against Enbridge that I have seen.

In Nova Scotia the public also rejects in-ocean fish farms, and the new weaker laws governing them:

I estimate the sewage cost in BC from in-ocean fish farms to be $10.4 Billion. In Norway, the sewage far exceeds that from the entire human population of 8.1 Million. And fish farms don’t contribute much to the BC economy – nowhere near the damage cost they inflict. They say 6,000 jobs and $800 Million, however, the only believable stats, by BC Stats, says 1700 multiplier jobs and $469 Million, with a tiny contribution to GDP, for all of aquaculture, of only $61.9 Million, less than 10% of the contribution from the rest of the fishing sectors.

I made a point of looking into the actual job numbers and found it is only 795 actual jobs in BC. So for the huge environmental damage we suffer, it is for only a handful of jobs. It makes no economic or environmental sense.

And the problems in the global fish farm and seafood industry are pretty shocking: This is a list of more than 220 items in the past six months, including that the CEO of Fredriksen, Jo Lunder (item 129), the company that owns Marine Harvest, was sentenced to six months in jail for corruption. There are other jail sentences in Norway. Why are we not dealing with these companies the same way they are in Norway?

The people of BC want our elected officials to do what we want: get fish farms out of our pristine ocean, or they can take their few jobs back to Norway and set up on land in their own country.

In fact, the on-land movement is global. I have found 123 different on-land systems comprising more than 10,000 on-land farms around the globe. Why are fish farms still in BC water? See:

I receive four global fish farm newsletters every day, and it is my opinion that we are on the tipping point globally, moving from oceans to land. Those on-land near large cities first are the way of the future. See:’s get there first, or they can go home to Norway.

Finally, my site is a global portal for fish farm environmental damage links, with more than 150,000 page views from all around the world. It will reach a quarter of a million in little more than a year: Not surprisingly, Norway leads the pack, with Sweden and Russia in pursuit.

Have a nice holiday season.

DC Reid

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Sometimes a Great Notion

Last year Tom Cole gave me a disk of Victoria area sport fishing history going back to the 1950s. One big file has the 50 year history of the Sport Fish Advisory Board as a Powerpoint presentation along with a lot of historical images of our sport; the other big file is text documents stretching over the horizon, including Alec Merriman columns from the 1960s, and so on.

Since I came to be the keeper of the Ring, I pondered, Frodo-Baggins-like, what to do with it. And I had an interest in seeing the history of the Saanich Inlet fishing being brought together as an e-book before we lose the people who made the history, or those who knew those who made the history. Of course, it was far more work for me to do than I anticipated.

And the CD languished in the piles I keep in lieu of proper filing cabinet stuff.  It has only taken me almost two years to have a bolt-of-lightning moment (and refind the CD among the heaps and ruins of good intentions). It dawned on me today that putting up a blog, which can be done for free on Google, and then slowly filling it with the information I have and hope to receive from everyone, so everyone can go take a read.

I’ll put up a ‘’ blog and everything I receive can go there, along with an index, so available instantly when stuff comes my way, and all Tom Coles stuff can be put up there, too. Images include a young Bob Wright with a ‘busty’ award from Western Speedway, an equally young Bing Crosby and the never-forgotten-once-you-met-him, crusty, vituperative, bites-like-a-Pitbull Bill Otway and etc. The history of the SFAB from its inception is worthy of being preserved for everyone interested in such things. If anyone has a good name, let me know.

And, for God’s sake, if anyone knows how to change a photo of a text document into a text document that can be copied and pasted, please let me know. I had to print a ‘photo’ and then enter it all by hand, rather than copy and paste.

Here is an interesting, historical, 1981 letter to the then DFO Minister, Romeo Leblanc (using the writer’s various text methods):


The Honourable Romeo LEBLANC
Minister of Fisheries & Oceans
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario.

Re: Sportfishing Restrictions announced by C. WAYNE SHINNERS – 11 February, 1981

Dear Mr. Minister:

            This Association is comprised of 546 active members in our current membership year, which is the approximate average for the last 25 years.  The membership is comprised of persons having two common basic similarities and they are:

(1)   A direct association with the Canadian Armed Forces, and
(2)   An interest in Sportfishing.

We believe that as CANADIANS  we have “paid our dues” and our loyalty is beyond question. You can take your united word for it, that sportfishing restriction as announced are unworthy and basically dishonest. These observation are made as a straight-forward assessment back by a great deal of history and practical knowledge.

            In 1963 this club wrote to the then area Director Me. W.R., (Rod) HOURSTON and expressed our concern over the declining stocks – which we attributed to the Juan de Fuca gauntlet net fishery. We received rebuke for our expression of concern.

            In 1964 as a member/club of the Amalgamated Conservation Society, we were party to a brief presented  to J. Angus McLEAN, the then Fisheries Minister, again expressing our concern over declining stocks and our belief that the Juan de Fuca gauntlet net fishery was the main contributor to the decline of the hook and line fishery.  To show our sincerity we voluntarily recommended a cut in our daily bag limit down to four salmon per day.  The Department gladly accepted our voluntary limit cut but continued on the path of fostering the net fishery and actively assisted in the increase of the Seine fleet.

            In 1967, with our sportfishing success still on the decline and again in conjunction with the Amalgamated Conservation Society, we protested so effectively as to finally obtain a public meeting in Victoria with Dr. NEEDLER,  the then Deputy Minister of Fisheries.  He conceded that the gauntlet net fishery did in fact impact on the Victoria-Sooke water front fishery.  His solution was to implement a sportfishing reserve in the easterly portion of Area 20.  We expressed out considerable doubt that this was the solution to our problem, and we have been proven right – it was not the answer.  Along about the same time we had commenced advocacy of salmon enhancement, and one of the tools we proposed was fish hatcheries.  We were told by the Department that salmon could not be effectively produced in hatcheries.  How wrong could they be?

            Under the same Dr. NEEDLER, statements were made regarding herring, one being that herring could be fished in every known fashion and because their numbers were so large and they were so prolific, the herring could never be fished out. We hasten to call your recollection  to the complete closure of the herring net fishery that was required to afford the recovery of the stocks. Another Department gem was that herring was not a major part of the Salmon’s diet.

            As proof that we were not insincere about our concern over declining stocks, we commenced voluntary work assisting fish guardians in stream work and fry salvage.  As early as the 1960’s we commenced ground works and negotiation to be allowed to enhance salmonids in
The Goldstream River.  Ever since the Amalgamated Conservation society has had an approved Salmonid Enhancement Program on the Goldstream, the R.C.N. Anglers’ Association members have actively and physically participated in the program which predates S.E.P by two years.

            You may wonder, Mr. Minister, why the foregoing history lesson; well, we simply wish once and for all to establish our credibility and to point out how the Fisheries Department alienated us as a user group through their insistence on being wrong.  The drastic restrictions imposed on the sport fishery is again a demonstration of this propensity for being wrong.

            We insist that a major influence on chinook escapement is the incidental catch of chinooks in the gauntlet seine fishery in Johnstone and Juan de Fuca Straits, just as it was 20 years ago.  The Department still fails to recognize this fact; this fishery takes place so far from the rivers of origin that stock management is impossible.

The effect of the gauntlet net fishery was recognized by a former Minister of Fisheries, The Honourable Jack DAVIS.  In a meeting with sportsfishermen in Victoria’s Empress Hotel when he was still Minister, he actively advocated the return of the net fishery to the river mouths, as a cleanup fishery where a finite stock management would be possible – he had our agreement in this policy even though it had little support by members of the Fisheries Department.

            These regulation changes have “reached in” and changed our our  quality of life; some measure of the importance of these regulations to our life style can be taken from the observation that it was the very first item of news on the front page of the TIMES-COLONIST  News paper of 12 Februarry 1981,  and was the lead story on CHEK Television News on 11 February 1981.  It is a topic of conversation throughout the whole city and disbelief and indignation are the emotions being expressed. With the Department’s past track record for making the wrong decision to resolve problems, you can hardly wonder at our lack of faith in them.

            If these regulations are implemented, which will result in the mostly innocent sportsfisherman being punished,  and if the gauntlet net continues the wild chinook stocks will NEVER recover – mark our words…  The name of LEBLANC and the Liberal government will never be forgotten by many thousands of Westcoast residents who have lost a jewel out of the joy of living.  Shame, Mr. Minister, shame!  Bloody shame!  You can, and must, do better than this.

                                                                                    Yours truly,

Mr. Alan McKinnon,  M.P.                             The Honourable Stephen Rogers
(Victoria, - Oak Bay)                                      Minister of the Environment B.C.
House of Commons                                        Parliament Buildings
Ottawa,  Ont.                                                  Victoria,  B.C.

Mr. Donald Munroe,  M.P.                             The Honourable Pat Jordan
(Esquimalt Saanich)                                        Minister of Tourism
House of Commons                                        Parliament Buildings
Ottawa,  Ont.                                                  Victoria,  B.C.

Mr. Ed Broadbent,  M.P.                                Mr.  Dave Barrett, MLA
House of Commons                                        Leaders of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition
Ottawa,  Ontario                                             Parliament Buildings

                                                                        Victoria,  B.C. 

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Q and As – December

Marine Traffic: Previously, I mentioned that Marine Traffic stations were being closed by the former federal government, which included the Kitsilano Coast Guard station. A reader got me in touch with Allan Hughes, President of Unifor Local 2182 – Marine Communicators Officers and he brought me up to date on the issue. I pass along what he has to say.

Traffic, like aircraft control at an airport, runs 24 hours a day, keeping boat traffic updated on current and upcoming ship position – all ships over 20 metres. As industry runs 24 hours a day, it is in the dark that you see the great benefit in knowing where everyone is. No one is out at night who doesn’t belong there, hence pleasure craft operate only in the day. Radar is mandatory on boats.

Traffic also tracks and relays communications for boats in distress. All sport fishers have Traffic to thank when things turn ugly during our trips. The Leviathan II tragedy off Tofino is an example of the kind of situation Traffic could have handled. The problem is that the Ucluelet Traffic station was closed, and that closure included the weather from Amphritite Point. When you boat on the west coast, knowing current water conditions is vital.

Hughes has this to say: “In 2012, the Coast Guard Marine Communications and Traffic Services had 22 centres across Canada. In May 2012, the Harper government announced, via C-38, that it would consolidate centres across Canada, on the BC Coast, that meant the closure of the centres in Vancouver, Ucluelet and Comox. In April 2015, Ucluelet was closed and consolidated into Prince Rupert. In May 2015, Vancouver was closed and consolidated into Victoria.”

When my main engine went kaput in the fog south of Discovery Island many years ago and my kicker couldn’t outpace the tide, it was Traffic Vancouver that picked up my distress call and sent the Volunteer Unit from Oak Bay Marina to tow me in.

Comox is scheduled to close in the spring, taking with it the Cape Lazo weather report. This leaves the entire coast in the hands of only two stations: Victoria and Prince Rupert. Local knowledge is thus very compromised, on a coast that has 25,000 km from Tswassen to Portland Canal, and help could not be on the way. The Leviathan II situation was luckily spotted by Ahousaht fishermen and local First Nation responders saved many lives. The situation should not have happened, but if Traffic is closed, the reality is that it can mean people die.

“The union representing MCTS officers has been driving the campaign to stop the closures, Comox, the last centre left to close, has a chance if public criticism is brought to bear on the new government. The former Conservative government turned a blind ear to the cries against the cuts to the Coast Guard in BC.”

The Kitsilano Coast Guard station is being reopened by the new federal government. You might like to send Justin Trudeau and DFO Minister Hunter Tootoo a note of support for Comox, etc. It could be your rear end that is saved.

The Unifor site that has all the news releases of the past few years is:

Pacific Salmon Foundation: “In 2015, our donors helped support 33 projects engaging 33 different partners in the Strait of Georgia. In the weeks leading up to year-end we will send you highlights of these projects. That's because this year-end we're asking supporters to make a tax-receiptable year-end donation to support efforts to restore a wild Coho and Chinook fishery in the Strait through our Salish Sea Marine Survival Project. If you donate by midnight on December 31, 2015, your donation will be doubled through our matching fund. Also, you will be entered to win a hand-carved First Nations artist proof reel.”

The value of the fishery is reasonably estimated as a $200 Million shot in the arm for sport fishing revenues.

South Vancouver Island Anglers Coalition:  The pre-Christmas social occurs Tuesday, December 8, 7PM, at the Esquimalt Anglers Clubhouse, 1101, Munroe Street. In addition to the social, an update on SFAB activity regarding local waters will be given. Also, Jerrod Pinder will provide info on the South Island Aggregate’s Shawnigan toxic soil dump and possible effects on Shawnigan Creek and its coho enhancement project.

If you would like to pay your annual SVIAC dues, you may do so at: This is a good thing to support, as it works on our behalf for local salmon fisheries.

Watershed Watch Newsletter: This ENGO puts out a wide-ranging, weekly newsletter of salmon and fisheries information. You can ask for it here: Watershed Watch Salmon Society

Living Oceans: also an ENGO, has an update on several fish farms issues: lice that are out of control as much as 10 times the limit of 3 per fish; data on escaped Atlantics in identified rivers in BC (this is something that previous, conventional data suggested is not happening); and hiring someone to take on the file, as well as push the new Trudeau government to finally undertake enacting the Cohen Commission 75 recommendations that the previous government simply ignored.

You can request the newsletter at:<>. The site is: