'No debate' that fish farms kill wild salmon, says B.C. scientist
There's no question that sea lice from salmon farms kill wild salmon, says one of B.C.'s leading critics of open-net fish farming.
Marine ecologist Dr. John Volpe of the University of Victoria told the legislature's sustainable aquaculture committee on Thursday that the science is clear, the results have been vetted and the conclusions are not in doubt.
"The independent scientific community speaks with a single voice with regards to sea lice and their impact on wild salmon. Salmon farms kill wild salmon. There's no debate around that. It's been known and acknowledged in Europe for more than a decade."
Volpe and a team of other researchers published a paper a couple of weeks ago that says sea lice from fish farms kill up to 95 per cent of juvenile salmon that pass by.
Earlier this week, industry advocate Patrick Moore called it a fabrication to suggest sea lice from fish farms are decimating pink salmon stocksnear the Broughton Archipelago, off Vancouver Island's northeast coast.
Other pro-industry witnesses have suggested the issue is still being hotly debated among scientists.
Yesterday, Volpe fired back at Moore. "We have agitators, creating, fabricating conflict," he told the committee.
Volpe suggests that all the raw data on fish farming be placed before a blue ribbon panel of international experts, so theycan draw conclusions about its validity.
The committee is wrapping up its hearings after seven months and thousands of witnesses, and is expected to make its report to the legislature next spring.