Submitter: Mike Crawford
Date Submitted: August 21, 2010
The commission should review the carrying capacity of the ocean, particularly the extent to which ranched salmon, billions of which are released into the ocean every year, are competing with Fraser sockeye for food.
It is important for the Cohen Inquiry to review the carrying capacity of the ocean.
Over 5 billion salmon are "ranched" - these are additional hatchery salmon released annually, in addition to naturally wild salmon. Alaska alone releases over 1.5 billion salmon each year. Unlike farming (where one can calculate the amount of food required), no one knows for sure how much fish meal/oil is consumed by 5 billion salmon.
Ranched salmon have a single purpose - to provide additional salmon for human consumption and provide monetary gain to commercial fishing (ie, keep the "dream alive").
In addition, they are released in areas close to the feeding grounds of most (all?) salmon (Alaska, Russia, Korea). Therefore, these ranched salmon have a head start on other natural salmon who might have to swim further (California, Oregon and the Fraser River, British Columbia).
Could ranched salmon be consuming all available feed prior to the Fraser sockeye reaching the feeding grounds? It's a very good question, that, for political and marketing reasons seems to get ignored.
As part of the Cohen Inquiry's interest in Aquaculture, the practice of salmon ranching and ocean carrying capacity should be of keen interest.