Take action against open-net salmon farming

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Open-net salmon farming has a multitude of impacts to the areas surrounding them. Introduction and harbouring of diseases such as Infectious Salmon Anaemia and Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis may be playing an important role in the declining numbers of sockeye salmon returning to the Fraser River. Salmon farms on the coast of British Columbia are typically in shallow bays in close proximity to wild salmon spawning rivers. The juvenile salmon leaving these rivers are vulnerable to the sea lice originating from salmon farms. Atlantic salmon are the go to species for salmon farmers, opening the possibility of introduction of non native species. This happened in September of 2017, when several thousand Atlantic salmon escaped from a damaged net in Pacific waters near Victoria. These salmon could compete with native species, and the impact of that is not yet known. The impacts are not only felt by the wild salmon and salmon industry. Toxic algae and plankton blooms are produced as a result of nutrient loading from the large magnitude of fish faeces that enter the surrounding system untreated. This process is called eutrophication and can be harmful to anything it comes in contact with. Salmon farms are polluting the oceans around them. They are not held accountable as other industries are under the polluters pay concept. It is time to end open-net salmon farming and invest in sustainable inland farming options.