Tag Archives: tuna ranching

Oceana errs again, ignores the facts in fish feed screed

By Grant Warkentin, Communications Officer, Mainstream Canada.

2013-10-17: By ignoring the issue of salmon ranching, Oceana shows that not only is the organization stuck in the past, but it is also unscientific and ignorant, content to preach rather than to educate the public.

Embarrassed, perhaps, when his ignorance about salmon feed conversion ratios was exposed last month, Oceana CEO Andrew Sharpless published a defensive blog post today.

“Comparing the feed ratios of farmed salmon to wild salmon is like comparing apples to oranges, or jack mackerel to wild salmon. It doesn’t make sense. To see the full picture, you need to compare the effect of both animals on wild fisheries and oceans,” he writes.

That’s true, Andy. You do need to compare the effect of both animals on wild fisheries and oceans. And the criticisms you throw at farmed salmon for feed consumption must also be applied to wild Alaskan salmon.

That’s because the wild Alaska salmon Andy likes to promote eat the same fish feed that farmed fish eat.

Yep. Wild salmon DO eat pellets.

Every year Alaska releases 1.5 billion hatchery-raised salmon into the wild as part of the state’s “ocean ranching” program. Those fish eat an enormous amount of fish feed in the hatcheries (and ocean pens) before they are released.

Alaskan enhancement fish eat nearly 1.3 million metric tonnes (wet weight) of feed per year. BC farmed salmon eat 162,340 tonnes per year.

Wild salmon from Alaska use nearly eight times more fish feed than BC farmed salmon

101713 Oceana

And when you compare the amount of wild fish being ground up to feed wild salmon in Alaska hatcheries to the amount for BC salmon farms, it is clear that wild Alaskan salmon, not farmed salmon, pose the greatest threat to the forage fish used to make fish meal and fish oil.

Environmental groups believe Alaska’s ocean ranching practices pose other threats to the truly wild salmon. Oceana has spent a great deal of time and money condemning tuna ranching, but is strangely silent about the threats posed by the ranched “wild” Alaska salmon Sharpless loves to promote.

Why is that?

By ignoring the issue of salmon ranching, Oceana shows that not only is the organization stuck in the past, but it is also unscientific and ignorant, content to preach rather than to educate the public.