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Low Bycatch Numbers Show Success in Fish Farmers Proactive Work

03 May 2013

CANADA - Three more quarters of public reports show the very low level of incidental catch at British Columbia salmon farms, highlighting farmers’ work to eliminate this impact entirely.

The amount of bycatch from BC’s farms averaged 0.014 per cent of the industry’s harvest over the first, second and third quarter of 2012. That number represents all incidental catch mortalities during harvests in that period. When including all incidental catch that was caught and live released, the average was 0.024 per cent.

“Our farmers have made diligent efforts over many years to implement new practices and equipment that has brought this number so low,” said Mary Ellen Walling, Executive Director of the BCSFA. “This work is important to our ocean conservation goals – goals we know we share with the BC public.”

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans, as part of the Pacific Aquaculture Regulations, releases quarterly incidental catch numbers for salmon aquaculture operations to the public. Quarter 2 of 2012 saw an increase in bycatch numbers because of depopulations that were ordered by the federal government due to an outbreak of IHN (Infectious Heaematopoietic Necrosis). With those incidents removed, the average incidental catch is 0.00975 per cent of harvest total.

Quarter Percentage of Incidental Catch (Dead) to Harvest Total Percentage of Incidental Catch (Dead and Live Released) to Harvest Total
Quarter 1, 2012 .0014 .0023
Quarter 2, 2012 .016 .0029
Quarter 3, 2012 .025 .068

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