Monthly Archives: August 2013

Now we’re illegally selling Pacific herring for profit!

You can bet on sportfishing blogs to throw out crazy accusations. Don’t get us wrong – we love sportfishers – and many salmon farmers are avid sportfishers. But we’re not a fan of the kind of sportfisher who just stays at home posting crap on discussion boards.

Case in point: Grant Eriksen and his friends at SportfishingBC have convinced themselves that salmon farms are illegally harvesting Pacific herring and selling them to processing plants. Pure BS. They say that the harvesting of herring is threatening the herring populations.

Grant’s letter spawned this beautify of an accusation from a blogger called “Whole in the Water”: “So what do we have here; (1) herring and other small wild fish being mixed up with feedlot salmon and potentially getting diseased (see articles about recently found diseased herring), (2) wild fish (in this case herring) being illegally harvested and then illegally sold by salmon feedlots to help sustain their economically and environmentally unsustainable industry!”

Grant and his discussion board allies may now regret even bringing this topic up, because as it turns out they just need to look into the mirror to find the culprit who is killing Pacific herring for profit.

One of our PAA members called a fish processing plant to find out more about the Pacific herring fishery. Here’s the facts;

Pacific herring fishing licenses in British Columbia allow for the capture and processing of roughly 500 tonnes each year for – here comes the kicker – sport fishing bait. The herring are caught in late fall/winter and held in net-pens (that look a lot like a salmon farm to the uneducated) over the winter and harvested in early spring to be sold to:  fishing resorts, fisherman direct, tackle and bait shops. A small portion is also sold to zoos and aquariums for animal food. This is a legal fishery and all product must be validated to the source.

Salmon farmers do not harvest or sell Pacific herring. Salmon farmers separate any herring (or other fish) from the net-pens that may have lived alongside farm-raised salmon during harvest (the fact that herring live alongside farmed salmon for 20 months also blows the “disease” myth out of the water). The herring are released at harvest time to the waters outside the net-pen. All “incidental catch” is recorded, audited and reported publicly on the Fisheries and Oceans Canada website. (Note: no other fishery publicly states their incidental catch).

Dear Grant Eriksen and friends: feel free to contact us next time, and before you write an attack letter accusing salmon farmers of illegal activity, which only turns out to be a legal activity that supports BC sportfishing.

How much fishing experience do you have Guy Fournier?

Well, it seems as though the gang at Salmon are Sacred knew this blog post was coming.

When Guy Fournier posts a note about a pink salmon he just caught in the Squamish River that was red, had sea lice on it, was bleeding from the mouth, and had large lacerations, the Salmon are Sacred fan club was shocked and left grasping for reasons for this “unusual catch”.

 Guy Pink salmon1

Many Salmon are Sacred had never witnessed this horror before – including one lady with 57 years fishing experience.

 Guy Pink salmon5

Many wanted to pontificate on reasons for this natural disaster: someone questions if it could be radiation from Japan? Activist Alexandra Morton calls for pictures so she can try to pin this revelation on salmon farmers, of course.

 But then Lorne Parker points to the obvious (well, obvious to people that actually understand salmon biology):

Guy Pink salmon2

 Here’s a few more facts about spawning pink salmon that Lorne Parker may have missed:

  •  They have sea lice. In fact, the pink salmon that Guy was catching had lower sea lice levels than studies have shown. This study in 2004 and 2005 shows 100% of the pink salmon caught in the Queen Charlotte Strait naturally hosted between 24 and 52 sea lice
  • Salmon bleed from the mouth when they have a large hook in it.
  • Some are ugly. They have a humped back, hooked jaw and skin lacerations from getting pounded against the rocks whilst swimming up river.

 But then, like an angel watching over Sacred Facebookers, Cuba Libre cautions the gang not to jump to conclusions and misdiagnose – but only so they don’t give “them ammunition” (sorry, too late for that Cuba).

Guy Pink salmon3

Then finally, Cuba Libre slaps Claudette Bethune (a self-purported expert on everything Canadian – she lives in the USA) upside the head and reminds her that she knows very little about sea lice and salmon biology.

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“…those enviro nuts don’t know what they’re talking about.” – Cuba Libre, August 16, 2013

 Have the Salmon are Sacred bunch began to critically think for themselves? Probably not. After all, the post from Anne Illerbrun about thousands of pink salmon knowingly killed and wasted by fishermen this week didn’t even earn itself a comment.  

Guy Pink salmon6