Salmon Farms... the Final Death Blow

Prior to the introduction of salmon farms, there was never a need to call salmon anything but salmon and perhaps which species. Now, one must specify whether a salmon is farmed or wild when nature would decree that only wild exist.

Salmon farms. Why do they exist when wild salmon are available through an entirely self-sufficient cycle, dependant only on nature to provide its needs while contributing to an entire ecosystem?

Think money. Think food control. Think government control. See government look the other way as the salmon farms wipe out wild salmon. It's that simple and that convoluted.

salmon farmsalmon-farming-wild-populations-risk 228fish farm cartoonstephen harper            

Wild salmon, moving within the force of nature and migrating through bodies of water too large and vast to keep track of, are magnificent in their very existence. Anyone who has engaged in the complex life dance of wild salmon respects the unique and essential cycle they engage in and the value they have to countless species and Indigenous culture.

Government does not engage in the life dance of wild salmon, but rather the dance of death that has only ever seen them as a resource to be managed for economic monetary purposes. The costs in managing wild salmon stocks according to government standards run to the billions, with over $25 million alone spent in trying to understand why the Fraser River Sockeye run collapsed through the Cohen Commission. The answers to the collapse are right in front of us, but government is not willing to shut down the very thing that is killing wild salmon.

Managing a living species that exists according to the laws of nature is far from simple for a government whose mandate is to capitolize all of nature as a “resource”.

Why Salmon Farms?

An easy replacement to wild salmon in the eyes of government, it has invested in salmon farming at the cost of wild salmon and all who depend on them.

Consider the following:

  1. The existence of wild salmon within rivers and oceans currently prevents massive industrial practices such as mining, pipelines, and major developments from proceeding.
  2. Wild salmon cannot be controlled. Farmed salmon can. Government prefers when the things it is trying to gain profit from can be controlled.
  3. Indigenous Rights; wild salmon are vital to Indigenous peoples of the coast. Government/DFO, has long struggled with the rights of Indigenous people and repeatedly fails to engage with them about the well-being of wild salmon. No more wild salmon means no need to consult. No more wild salmon means an end to an Indigenous way of life as old as the salmon. Government knows this.
  4. Food control; wild salmon are the last free moving source of food that remains as close to its natural form and cannot be controlled. To control food is to control everything. (Read more in 6 Ways That Food is Being Used as a Weapon Against Us)

These are but a few of the reasons why fish farms have spread like a cancer and are endorsed by government in spite of the detrimental effects they have on wild salmon stocks.

environmental impacts diagram

The salmon farming industry in B.C. currently exports 80% of its product to the United States to supply the demand for "fresh" salmon year round. Most consumers have no idea that they are consuming a product grown in open-net pens in the ocean placed on wild salmon migratory routes or that farmed salmon are fed an unnatural diet of animal by-products from slaughterhouses, antibiotics, pesticides, chemicals, genetically modified corn and soy, colorants as well as deplete the oceans of herring and smaller fish for fishmeal. What consumers are often told is that they are getting “fresh Atlantic salmon” from B.C. and not a farmed product that is not only unhealthy but is leaving a devastating impact on wild salmon and the environment.

The Introduction of Salmon Farms

When salmon farms were introduced, it was under the guise of relieving pressure on wild salmon stocks. It is now being promoted as a means to feeding a growing population. Such proclamations are deceptively wrong in that there is no sustainable way to farm carnivorous salmon and the salmon farms are killing wild salmon (which are sustainable without human intervention) globally with disease outbreaks and parasites. Beginning with the importation of eggs, to the transporting of farmed salmon smolts, to the transport of ingredients for salmon feed (herring, chicken feathers, pork blood, GM soya and corn) to usurping wild fish for feed to the process of making the feed to the trucking and barging of the feed to the salmon farms to the artificial lights used in the open net pens to manipulate the growth of the salmon to the chemical laden fecal matter swept into the ocean, to the amplification of diseases and parasites within the open net pens, there is nothing sustainable about this industry. 

Add to that the introduction of an alien species that escape from the farms and into B.C. pacific waters to carry disease to wild salmon upriver and the insult is complete.

Wild salmon have suffered significant insults throughout the years, and the development of salmon farming may be the insult that brings the final death blow for wild salmon stocks. As with many other industrial farming practices, salmon farming breaks all biological laws. While many salmon farmers argue that salmon farming is no different than any other livestock farming practices, there is one fundamental difference that makes it unacceptable; it threatens one of the last remaining wild food sources. Poultry farms, cattle farms, pig farms all struggle with disease and parasites, but none of them have wild species to impact should there be a disease outbreak. Salmon farms, however, are placed right in the middle of wild salmon habitat and therefore pose a great threat to wild salmon.

Everywhere salmon farms exist around the globe serious issues have arisen, from disease to parasites to environmental contamination. Norway, Scotland, Chile, have all experienced the devastation of aquaculture related diseases and problems, yet the salmon farms continue to spread like a cancer. 

Salmon know no borders, nor do diseases associated with salmon farms. All wild salmon are at risk so long as salmon farms remain in the oceans. 

Learn more  

Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs

Global Alliance Againt Industrial Aquaculture  -

Salmon Are Sacred

Farmed and Dangerous -

Green Warriors of Norway

Report from Norway on Farmed Salmon

David Suzuki Foundation  

The Salmon Farm Monitor




Salmon Confidential -

Farmed Salmon Exposed -

Calling From the Coast -

Salmon Farm Diseases and Sockeye -

Everyone Loves Wild Salmon Don't They? -



No Compromise in the Defense of Wild Salmon!


Farmegeddon for Salmon


Read the report - "Fish Farmageddon: The Infectious Salmon Aquacalypse" - published on Monday 22nd August by Don Staniford

Download a copy in full online here


The New York Times hit the nail on the coffin when it stated that: “Salmon farming is a problem everywhere” in an Editorial published earlier this month.   The Editorial - “About That Salmon” - was a follow up to an article – “Norwegians Concede a Role in Chilean Salmon Virus” - in July which reported that the deadly disease Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA) had been spread to Chile from Norway.  Without a shadow of doubt, salmon farming is spreading disease all over the world. 
This report – “Fish Farmageddon:  The Infectious Salmon Aquacalypse” - focuses on the wave of infectious diseases, pathogens, viruses, bacteria and parasites sweeping salmon feedlots like the Black Death.   Farmed salmon are affected by fish versions of bubonic plague (Yersinia), rabies (IHN and VHS), Tuberculosis, a retrovirus called salmon leukemia, the clap (Piscichlamydia), Parasitic Meningitis, a flesh eating parasite which leaves farmed salmon like ‘milk jelly’ as well as the more commonly known Listeria, botulism and sea lice. 

A tsunami of Salmon Transmitted Diseases (STDs) is spearheaded by the ‘Seven Horsemen of the Aquacalypse’; namely: Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA), Sea Lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis), Salmon Rickettsial Syndrome/Septicaemia (Piscirickettsiosis), Listeria monocytogenes (Listeriosis), Kudoa (Soft-Flesh Syndrome), Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis (IPN) and Pancreas Disease (Salmon Pancreas Disease Virus/Salmonid Alphavirus Disease/Sleeping Disease).

The use of ever more powerful chemical weapons in the salmon ‘pharming’ industry’s war on disease has served only to create chemical resistance and ‘Salmon Superbugs’.  In many ways this report is a follow up to ‘Silent Spring of the Sea’ in that the use of medicines, pesticides, antibiotics, disinfectants and other ‘chemotherapeutants’ are merely symptomatic of disease problems.    

The ‘Salmon Superbugs’ and Salmon Transmitted Diseases (STDs) detailed in this report include: Gill Disease (Proliferative Gill Inflammation, Epitheliocysts/Chlamydia & Amoebic Gill Disease), Paranucleospora theridion, Parvicapsulosis (Parvicapsula pseudobranchicola/Paranucleospora theridion), Gyrodactylus (‘Salmon Killer’), Furunculosis (Aeromonas salmonicida), Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis (IHN), Viral Haemorrhagic Septicaemia (VHS), Cardiomyopathy Syndrome (CMS), Heart and Skeletal Muscle Inflammation (HMSI), Plasmacytoid Leukemia (Marine Anemia), Bacteria Kidney Disease (BKD), Myxobacterial Infection (Piscine Tuberculosis), Spironucleosis (Spironucleus salmonicida), Francisella (Francisellosis), Yersinia ruckeri (Yersiniosis/Enteric Redmouth/ERM), Flavobacterium psychrophilum (Bacterial Cold Water Disease/Rainbow Trout Fry Syndrome), Vibriosis (Cold Water Vibriosis/Hitra Disease), Moritella Vicosa (Winter Ulcer), Hemorrhagic smolt syndrome (HSS), Mad Fish Disease, Botulism (Clostridium botulinum), Parasitic Meningitis, Costia (Ichthyobodo species), Tapeworm (Diphyllobothriasis), Microsporidian encephalitis, Nephrocalcinosis (urolithiasis), Malignant Intestinal Tumours, Desmozoon lepeophtherii (Paranucleospora theridion) & Autumn Disease and Salmonella. 

Chilean farmed salmonDead salmon on Arran in Scotland
Infectious salmon diseases and chemical resistance could spell the end of the line for salmon farming.  Unless the global salmon farming industry drastically changes course, the end is nigh for the salmon farming industry in Norway, Chile, Canada, Scotland, Faroe Islands, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and other areas of the world.  Judgment Day is approaching in British Columbia where a salmon inquiry is opening up a can of worms. 

The sickly salmon smorgasbord laid out in the report includes:
-  Listeria monocytogenes (Listeriosis): contaminating smoked farmed salmon and considered by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as “a poisonous or deleterious substance” and one which may be “injurious to health”.  
- Kudoa thyristes (‘Soft-Flesh Syndrome’): a parasite which develops as white cysts in the flesh of farmed salmon and causes softening (myoliquefaction) into a jelly-like consistency like salmon flavoured blancmange or ‘milk jelly’.    
- Tapeworms (Diphyllobothriasis): parasites which are “on the attack” and can cause a nasty surprise for lovers of raw fish like sushi and ceviche.      
- Botulism (Clostridium botulinum): “the most poisonous substance known” which can cause life-threatening illness and a fatal form of food poisoning. 
- Sea Lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis): a blood-sucking parasite which literally eats baby wild salmon alive and leaves the victim with ‘death crown’ scars (think of the Death-Eaters and Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter and you get the picture).  
- Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA) and Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis (IPN) which have been dubbed “The hoof and mouth disease of the salmon farming industry” and “Salmon farming’s foot-and-mouth”. 
- Pancreas Disease: described as a “sleeping monster” caused by an alphavirus known as salmon pancreas disease virus (SPDV). 
- Paranucleospora theridion: a microsporidian parasite whose rounded spores are causing mass mortalities on Norwegian salmon farms. 
- Yersinia (Yersinosis): The Black Death or bubonic plague was caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis: in salmon farming it is the pathogen Yersinia ruckeri which results in septicaemia, blood spots in the eye and a slow lingering death. 
- Piscichlamydia (also known as Ephitheliocystis or Prolferative Gill Inflammation): Fish Chlamydia (or Fish Clap) leads to haemorrhage and tissue necrosis in the gills.    
- Moritella vicosa (Winter Ulcer): the plague of boils and ulcers can be chronic with wounds covering large parts of the skin of the fish including swelling and necrosis. 
- Flavobacterium psychrophilum (Bacterial Cold Water Disease): causes ulcers, fin-rot and systemic infection. 
- Cardiomyopathy syndrome (CMS): farmed salmon’s version of the heart attack which causes blood clots and is also referred to as “acute cardiac mortality” and “heart rupture”. 
- Heart and skeletal muscle inflammation (HSMI): this lethal disease sounds like a salmon smoker’s condition destroying heart and muscle tissue wasting away the victims. 
-  Gyrodactylus salaris: a parasitic flatworm which has a hook more lethal than Captain Hook and is often called ‘Salmon Killer’.
-  Mycobacterium marinus: a form of ‘piscine Tuberculosis’ which can be transmitted to humans causing ‘fish-tank granuloma’ or ‘swimming pool granuloma’. 
- Plasmacytoid leukemia (marine anemia): this retrovirus dubbed “dead fish swimming” is also known as Salmon Leukemia Virus and could be associated with pre-spawning mortality of up to 95% of Fraser sockeye (salmon are supposed to spawn and die not die before they spawn). 
- Infectious Hematopoetic Necrosis (IHN) and Viral Haemorrhagic Septicaemia (VHS) are ‘Salmonid Rhabdoviruses’ and “resemble closely that of rabies virus”. 
- Parasitic meningitis: a microscopic parasite which has been found in the brain vault of farmed salmon. 

Chapter 1:  Fish Farmageddon
-  Super Sized Salmon Pharming 
-  Hazards to Health 
-  Factory Fish Farming 
-  Aquacalypse Now: The End of the Line for Salmon Farming
-  Judgment Day in British Columbia
-  Feedlots as ‘Pathogen Culture Facilities’
-  The Global Spread of Infectious Salmon 
Chapter 2: The Seven Seahorsemen of the Aquacalypse 
- Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA) 
- Sea Lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) 
- Salmon Rickettsial Syndrome/Septicaemia (Piscirickettsiosis)
- Listeria monocytogenes (Listeriosis)
- Kudoa (Soft-Flesh Syndrome)
- Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis (IPN)
- Pancreas Disease (Salmon Pancreas Disease Virus/Salmonid Alphavirus Disease/Sleeping Disease)
Chapter 3:  Salmon Superbugs and Salmon Transmitted Diseases 
- Gill Disease (Proliferative Gill Inflammation, Epitheliocysts/Chlamydia & Amoebic Gill Disease)
- Paranucleospora theridion 
- Gyrodactylus (‘Salmon Killer’) 
- Furunculosis (Aeromonas salmonicida)
- Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis (IHN)
- Viral Haemorrhagic Septicaemia (VHS)
- Cardiomyopathy Syndrome (CMS)
- Heart and Skeletal Muscle Inflammation (HMSI)
- Plasmacytoid Leukemia (Marine Anemia)
- Parvicapsulosis (Parvicapsula pseudobranchicola/Paranucleospora theridion) 
- Bacteria Kidney Disease (BKD)
- Myxobacterial Infection (Piscine Tuberculosis)
- Spironucleosis (Spironucleus salmonicida) 
- Francisella (Francisellosis)  
- Yersinia ruckeri (Yersiniosis/Enteric Redmouth/ERM)
- Flavobacterium psychrophilum (Bacterial Cold Water Disease/Rainbow Trout Fry Syndrome)
- Vibriosis (Cold Water Vibriosis/Hitra Disease) 
- Moritella Vicosa (Winter Ulcer)
- Hemorrhagic smolt syndrome (HSS)
- Mad Fish Disease 
- Botulism (Clostridium botulinum)
- Parasitic Meningitis 
- Costia (Ichthyobodo species) 
- Tapeworm (Diphyllobothriasis)
- Microsporidian encephalitis
- Nephrocalcinosis (urolithiasis)
- Malignant Intestinal Tumours 
- Desmozoon lepeophtherii (Paranucleospora theridion) & Autumn Disease 
- Salmonella 
- Aquacalypse Tomorrow: Salmon Skeletons in the Closet?  
Appendix: Diseases reported in British Columbia (2003 – 2010): 

Dead fish in Warn Bay smaller res

For a copy of the report in full online here

For more information please email Don Staniford:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. " style="color: rgb(80, 127, 47); "> This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Other reports and references:

"Infectious Salmon Anaemia: literature review and implications for wild salmon" (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, March 2000) - read in full online here