BC fish farmers update

Update on Okisollo and Hoskyn Channel salmon farms – May 2011

May 18, 2011
Seven of nine salmon farm sites in Okisollo and Hoskyn channels are fallow right now, as it moves into the third month of the outmigration period for wild smolts.This is the fifth monthly update from the BC Salmon Farmers Association regarding the channels, in response to questions from the public about current status of operations in the area. Okisollo Channel is located just north of Campbell River and is home to five farms: two of Marine Harvest Canada’s, two of Mainstream Canada’s and one operated by Grieg Seafood. Hoskyn Channel, on the east side of Quadra Island has four Marine Harvest Canada leases. (To see a map of where all these leases are located, click here).

The Conville Bay site located in Hoskyn Channel, has been sub-leased from Marine Harvest Canada to Grieg Seafood, is stocked, and as per regulation, are following all fish health and sea lice management programs.

Mainstream Canada has now completed stocking of their Venture Point farm in Okisollo Channel.

These farms – even when in full operation – do not threaten wild migrating salmon. Sea lice numbers are managed and maintained below regulation levels and fish health is closely monitored. The most recent sampling on the farm operating in the area show lice counts well below threshold levels (see table).  

Please note, to protect the health of newly-introduced smolts they are not handled for sea lice sampling during their first month in the ocean. These smolts are of course, lice-free when introduced to the ocean. Sea lice sampling and monitoring for Venture Point will begin this month.

All three companies operating in the area share information with each other about their operations. Our members believe inter-industry co-operation is a great way to ensure the success of farms and the natural environment they work in.  This update is part of an increased effort to share information with the public to answer any questions they might have.

The three companies have also released maps showing all farms that were in operation at any time between March and July of the years 2007 to 2010. To review those, click here.

Extensive research also shows that Pacific salmon are resistant to damage from sea lice after they outgrow extreme infancy. Sockeye salmon, for example, have well-outgrown that risk by the time they’re migrating past Campbell River.

For more information about sea lice on wild and farmed salmon, please see:

Jones, S., E. Kim & W. Bennett. 2008. Early development of resistance to the salmon louse Lepeophtheirus salmonis (Krøyer) in juvenile pink salmon Oncorhynchus gorbuscha (Walbaum). Journal of Fish Diseases 31:591-600.



Or contact us:

Colleen Dane
Communications Manager, BCSFA
(250) 286-1636 x225

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