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There is a lot of reactionary crap written about fish farming. Yes, there can be problems with fish farms if badly positioned or run, but that is the exception not the rule.
As a former fish farmer i could address every comment on this thread but it would take for ever.
Comments about 3tons of wid fish producing 1 ton of farmed fish are quite true. But bare in mind that in the wild it takes around 5 - 7tons of wild fish to produce 1 ton of non-farmed fish! So, in a world that needs fish, you could almost argue that replacing wild predatory fish with farmed predatory fish saves wild food fish!
The truth is that farmed fish reduce the pressure on wild stocks. The effects of fish farms are very localised, short lived and easily mitigated. The most difficult aspect (environmentaly) its feed supply but technological advances are rapidly improving artificial feeds and reducing the requirement for fishmeal.

As for restocking the wild, i would like to see a situation where all farms release 2x their annual productions (head of fish) as viable post-larval fry. It is feeding of fry upto and just beyond the larval stage that is most difficult but the space and effort of producing 1000000 or 3000000 fry isnt that different - its the ongrowing to market size that determines a huge fish farm.

Those of you that value your sea angling should encourage and support responsible marine aquaculture, it may be the only thing that stops commercial over exploitation of wild stocks. It worked for UK Salmon.
 

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i totally agree with you m8 ,i watched a programme years ago where they tagged salmon par that were just leaving the river to start there journey to sea , in the lough just where the river ended was a salmon farm .now the salmon par must have had tiny radio transmitters in them because they were able plot there positions and recapture most of them just as the enter the sea ,what do you think the results were ...... healthy young fish as they entered the lough ,totally cover in parasites as they past the salmon cages ,dead and dying par recaptured at sea .....why the parasites were sucking the life out of the tiny buggers ...


now on the years recorded since the salmon farm had opened there was a steady decrease in numbers of salmon running back up the river ,and in the same year as the programme was made the fish counter on the river had recorded only 2 fish returning that year ...

you can draw your own conclusions from this but i know what mine are ..

mark
2 points to consider.

A/ There has been a general decrease in all traditionally valuable species and that includes salmon, most of which are caught at sea.

B/ How many salmon would be around if salmon farms had never been invented? They would just about have been fished to extinction, look at fish like Skate and Halibut in UK waters.
Look at the rivers that are restocked with farmed smolts, can you imagine the price of salmon if farmed fish weren't available? Every UK river would be poached to extinction.
 

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i will answer your points

a. yes there has been a decrease in traditional species but how many species are in decline as a direct result of salmon cage farming .


b. the first point i would like to make is there is a big difference between mass produced, over sized ,fat, tasteless salmon from a salmon cage and parr raized in hatcheries that do more often than not have a genetic relation to the river they are released into .

point 2 yes wild caught salmon is expensive but there's a reason for that its the king of fish and the taste is superb you see its all about the quality of the fish and in fact cage breed fish aren't fit to have salmon on there packaging ,and i seem to remember salmon and sea trout numbers being very good before salmon farming was introduced lol and there poaching back then


but m8 dont get me wrong i am a firm believer in aquaculture but just not the way its done in cages and the affects it has on wild species

mark .
The key word that i used in my first post is "responsible" - you can see irresponsibility in many things that we do, especially angling but it doesnt mean that most anglers are irresponsible. The fact is that most salmon farming in the uk and europe is very tightly controlled by the EA.
As for the demise of the UK atlantic salmon? The major cause has been netting at sea and environmental degradation due to such things as water abstraction and eutrophication.
Currently UK wild salmon are being primarily kept viable by cold hard economics - farmed salmon supply supresses the price of wild salmon by satisfying a large percentage of demand for salmon as a whole. This means that it is less economicaly viable to commercialy exploit wild salmon stocks.
In short, the lower the value, the sooner the commercials will stop fishing for them, so the remaining stocks will be greater.
By all means praise the higher quality of wild fish (it is better but not that much better) but remember that when YOU buy wild salmon YOU are directly supporting an industry that kills wild salmon. No ifs, no buts, no excuses.
 

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nothing to say fish farms could not be inland ones and would stop a lot of problens
Unfortunately it would cause a lot more. The best solution is to move the cages off shore and away from confined migratory paths such as estuaries. Advances in technology are letting the industry move towards this anyway.
 

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I have just read your post and it has proved to me that you have a lot less knowledge of the industry than you think! Sounds like you saw a few fish farms when you were at college but never really understood what makes a successful fish farm!
For what its worth, Not only did I do a 3 year course in fish farming and fishery management (at the time it was the highest pure fish farming course that you could do), I also spent 15 years putting it into practice working on and managing fish farms from Koi farms and salmon hatcheries to the Sea Fish Industry Authority's Marine farming research unit at Ardtoe in Argyll.
If you knew what you were talking about, you would know that offshore cages (they are not the same as those you have worked on) have already been used successfully, as for your argument about eating chickens from a battery farm? Battery farms produce eggs not chickens" LOL
If you had the vast wealth of experience that you claim to have you must be one of the very few fish farmers that doesn't eat farmed fish because the hundreds that i have met and known over the years are quite happy to.
How about going and looking at the projects where farmed fish ARE preserving and regenerating wild populations - there have been many.
 

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I never claimed to have a 'vast wealth of experiance' LOL. Maybe a touch more than Joe Public :)
Your probably right in that the vast majority of fish farmers eat farmed fish. If its free, then few would look a gift horse in the mouth??
Give me a choise of a wild cod (or salmon, or bass - or any fish), or a farmed one, and the wild fish would be travelling home in my ice box everytime. You can keep the mass produced crap thanks!!



I'm not doubting or questioning your qualifications, experiance or fish farming pedigree; I just think that for you to say a farmed salmon for example is anywhere near the same league as a wild fresh run fish, you must never have seen one!! Chalk and cheese.

SS
I haven't said that farmed fish are as good in quality as wild ones (re read my first post) but I think you exagerate the difference, traditional consumer taste tests show mixed results and consumer demand stays high.
What I am saying is that THE AVAILABILITY OF FARMED FISH REDUCES PRESSURE ON WILD STOCKS.
Do you disagree?
 

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at the end of the day we are all to blame ,for years we were blaming netting for the decline in salmon numbers ,then came the need for ever cheaper fish by hungry consumers, driven by demand and probably instigated by the larger super market chains the salmon farm was born ,who were pretty much the death of the netting communities, hoorah we say ,wild stock should recover ,but no all salmon cage farming was doing in fact was condensing an age old problem salmon have always had ,little buggers called sea lice ,the sea lice in there new caged environment went into a reproduction explosion and sadly any wild salmon swimming in the infested water soon became weak and kicked the bucket .


mark
Er, mate you need to get your facts straight - take some time to look at some of the FACTS (not propaganda) that are available on the net. You might even learn a thing or two about sea lice AND fish farming.
You should also investigate the effects of catch and release on the immune system of wild salmon caught in fresh water, namely the fact that the stress causes a self perpetuating collapse in the immune system that knocks out the animals ability fight natural diseases, particularly skin parasites.
 

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you clearly have no idea what we are talking about because we are talking about Parr ,smolts that wouldn't be caught by rod and line .


mark
So how the hell do Parr which live in fresh water become infested with sea lice which live in salt water?
Over to you clever dick!:kissing:

As for your quotes, I am seeing propaganda from pressure groups and reports on foreign fish farming e.g. pacific salmon species which is not what I am talking about. Read my posts, I am talking about UK practice with Atlantic salmon which have larger smolts.
 

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Woah! How about we get back to the just of the thread?
Is sea fish farming a good thing?
Does it/can it help wild stock?

BTW Marcus is sort of right - some parr do make their way to brackish water before turning into smolts - it depends on location and species a bit, but they must be smolts before going to sea. It kind of depends on where you think that the river ends and the sea starts:)
 

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I was fishing for threadfin salmon; not hammerhead sharks. Not exactly my fault if a 4ft+ hammerhead decides to eat my pilchard head bait on a size 1 hook, 10lb line
After, the fish was tired so i stayed with it in the shallows for some time before it swam away strongly.

Would you have cut the line? Yes or NO ??


SS
Only winding you up, I would have put on another pilchard and cast for a bigger hammerhead!

But - some folk would see that, as sport fishermen, we condone animal cruelty. Doesn't bother me though.
 
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