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Ecology and salmon related articles

Lice Killing Wild Salmon, Scientists Say

by The Canadian Press
Globe and Mail, September 19, 2007

VANCOUVER - Eighteen respected scientists and researchers say the facts are indisputable: Sea lice from fish farms are lethal to wild salmon stocks.

The scientists, ranging from David Suzuki to National Geographic Society explorer-in-residence Wade Davis, have signed an open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell.

They say the science is clear, without a single piece of evidence to the contrary: The future of juvenile wild salmon, a species vital to life throughout the North Pacific, is at risk.

The open letter calls for immediate barriers between wild and farmed salmon and says closed containment of fish farms, not the current open-pen system, is the only safeguard.

The letter also warns that where farmed and wild salmon meet in narrow passages such as the Broughton Archipelago, off the northeast coast of Vancouver Island, the long-term decline of wild salmon stocks is inevitable.

The 18 scientists admit that changing to closed containment systems would be expensive for the fish farming industry. But they say it is up to Canadians to decide if the benefits of aquaculture outweigh the threats to wild salmon and the ecosystems and economies that depend on healthy stocks.

The Canadian Press
Lice Killing Wild Salmon, Scientists Say
Globe and Mail, September 19, 2007

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