Just in case you didn't hear the recent news, 30,000 Atlantic Salmon escaped from a fish farm near Campbell River, on Vancouver Island, B.C. on July 1, 2008. The majority of the Atlantic Salmon, 13 to 14 pounds each, are not likely to be caught and returned.
[Fishing boat near Campbell River - Macpablo Campbell River CC=nc-sa-flickr]
There are serious concerns from environmentalists and local First Nations that the escape will have a negative impact on B.C. native Pacific Salmon stocks. Some of the conerns are that Atlantic Salmon eat wild salmon fry on their way to the ocean. Also, Atlantic Salmon could out-compete and wipe out B.C.'s native salmon species.
[Atlantic Salmon pens by GoBot CC=nc-sa-flickr]
Efforts to recapture all of the Atlantic Salmon have been unsuccessful, as less than 2% have been recaptured from a site north of Campbell River. The fish farm company expects to lose more than $500,000 as a result of the loss of the fish and repairs to the facility. Further, the company owning the fish stock could face charges of negligence, as farms are required to report escapes within 24 hours.
Government and environmental groups are investigating closed containment aquaculture pens to better secure the farmed salmon. To prevent future escapes like these is to farm fish in closed off pens.
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