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Wild Salmon Decline Was Not Caused by Sea Lice from Farm Salmon, New Research Suggests

Conservation & Preservation

ScienceDaily (Jan. 18, 2011) — A new UC Davis study contradicts earlier reports that salmon farms were responsible for the 2002 population crash of wild pink salmon in the Broughton Archipelago of western Canada.

 

The Broughton crash has become a rallying event for people concerned about the potential environmental effects of open-net salmon farming, which has become a $10 billion industry worldwide, producing nearly 1.5 million tons of fish annually.

The new study, to be published online this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, does not determine what caused the crash, but it acquits the prime suspect: small skin parasites called sea lice.

The study's lead author is Gary Marty, a veterinary pathologist and research associate at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. An expert in fish diseases, Marty has been studying the health of pink salmon since the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.

"For anybody concerned about the effect of farm salmon on wild salmon, this is good news," Marty said. "Sea lice from fish farms have no significant effect on wild salmon population productivity."

The new study is the first to analyze 20 years of fish production data and 10 years of sea-lice counts from every salmon farm in the Broughton Archipelago and compare them against 60 years of population counts of adult pink salmon.

The study concludes that farm fish are indeed the main source of sea lice on the area's juvenile wild pink salmon, but it found no statistical correlation between lice levels on the farms and the lifetime survival of wild pink salmon populations.

 

To read the rest of this article please visit:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101213151411.htm

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Salmon Management Should Include Bears, Whales and other Wildlife

Conservation & Preservation

THE HUFFINGTON POST

Chris Genovali

Posted: January 6, 2011 08:36 AM
 

As last year's returning wild Pacific salmon headed upstream, scientists spawned a thought-provoking proposal about how taking less salmon might bring more benefits to both ecosystems and economies.

Writing in the journal Conservation Letters, researchers from the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, Canadian and US universities, have proposed shifts to salmon harvesting in which fisheries take smaller catches of known runs closer to shore. The paper, titled Salmon for Terrestrial Protected Areas, argues there are many benefits from letting more fish come back to spawn, especially when spawning rivers are situated within parks or protected areas.

"Although more than a hundred wildlife species - like grizzly bears, wolves, and eagles - depend on salmon, commercial and sports fisheries often capture more salmon than the consumption from all these animals combined," explains lead author and Raincoast scientist Dr. Chris Darimont. "This happens even on salmon runs returning to parks that were created to protect these species."

Dr. Paul Paquet, a carnivore expert and senior scientist with Raincoast, questions whether a protected area can be truly protected when its foundation species, in this case Pacific salmon, are not safeguarded. "Places in British Columbia like Gwaii Haanas, the Kitlope Valley and the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Sanctuary were set aside to protect key wildlife and ecosystems that evolved with salmon. Yet recommendations to reduce the harvest on the runs, so the benefits of salmon could sustain the species and parks being protected, have never been seriously considered."

 

For the rest of the story please visit: 

THE HUFFINGTON POST - Salmon Management

 

 

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'Super-toxic' Rat Poisons Killing BC's Rare Barn Owls, Other Wildlife

Conservation & Preservation

 

The Tyee

Owls are bleeding to death slowly and agonizingly. The culprit: extra-potent rodenticides poisoning wild animal food chains. Part one of two.

By: By Robert McClure, 13 December 2010, InvestigateWest

 

With the spooky glow of his headlamp illuminating an antenna in his hand, Paul Levesque stalks one of Canada's last remaining barn owls.

"Are you getting anything?" research team leader Sofi Hindmarch asks over a walkie-talkie.

"I got it!" Levesque responds. Then a few seconds later, dejected, he radios back: "No. I lost the signal."

Working in darkness, with the quarter-moon obscured by clouds, these two scientists are trying to figure out what an elusive, radio-collared owl is eating along this country road just beyond the suburbs that ring Vancouver. Their mission is to determine whether the decline of Canada's barn owl is tied, in part, to super-toxic rat poisons.

Scientists know that at least some owls are dying under gruesome circumstances, bleeding to death from stomach hemorrhages in an agonizing and days-long decline. The culprit: An extra-potent class of rat poisons that has flooded the market in recent decades, designed to more effectively kill rats, a food source for the owls.

View full article and comments: http://thetyee.ca/News/2010/12/13/BarnOwls/  Part 1 of 2

Read part 2 here

http://thetyee.ca/News/2010/12/13/PoisonsEndangerChildren/

 

 

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Including wildlife in fisheries management just makes sense

Conservation & Preservation

The Northern View

Published: November 30, 2010 11:00 PM


As this year’s returning wild salmon headed upstream, scientists spawned a game-changing idea about how taking less salmon might bring more benefits to ecosystems and economies.

Writing in the journal Conservation Letters, researchers from the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, Canadian and US universities, have proposed shifts to salmon harvesting in which fisheries take smaller catches of known runs closer to shore. The paper, titled Salmon for Terrestrial Protected Areas, argues there are many benefits from letting more fish come back to spawn, especially when spawning rivers are situated within parks or protected areas.

“Although more than a hundred wildlife species - like grizzly bears, wolves, and eagles - depend on salmon, commercial and sports fisheries often capture more salmon than the consumption from all these animals combined,” explains lead author and Raincoast scientist Dr. Chris Darimont.
Dr. Paul Paquet, a carnivore expert and senior scientist with Raincoast, questions whether a protected area can be truly protected when its foundation species, in this case Pacific salmon, are not safeguarded.

“Places like Gwaii Haanas, the Kitlope Valley and the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Sanctuary were set aside to protect key wildlife and ecosystems that evolved with salmon. Yet recommendations to reduce the harvest on the runs, so the benefits of salmon could sustain the species and parks being protected, have never been seriously considered.”
 

To read the rest of this story please visit:

The Northern View

To read the Original Study please visit:

Salmon for Terrestrial Protected Areas

 

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No Endangered Species Legislation in British Columbia

Conservation & Preservation

Take Action

 Many people are shocked to find out that BC, along with Alberta, is one of only two provinces in Canada with no endangered species legislation to protect wildlife at risk, such as grizzly bears, Great Blue Herons, and rare desert plants. By taking action today - you can help change that.

You are in good company: polls show that over 85 percent of British Columbians want a law that will protect the 1900 species at risk that call this province home. The petition signatures will be forwarded to the leaders of all political parties in British Columbia.

After you have signed this petition, pass the link onto five of your friends.  Together we can make sure that BC remains the Best Place on Earth!

Please sign the petition now!

Protect BC's Precious Wildlife Now

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