Aquaculture environment. Salmon farming has been introduced in 1904

Aquaculture was seen as a way to provide a living for farmers and provide protein for a third of the world’s population’s protein needs, but the existence of salmon farming in British Columbia had earned farmers and investors millions of dollars but has also negatively impacted aquaculture and the environment. Salmon farming has been introduced in 1904 in the richest pocket on the North American Coast hoping to offer jobs and sustain the community. Farmers used to farm Atlantic Salmon in waters not interfering with the life of wild salmon, but as corporations increased, salmon farms have been dramatically appearing in waters where wild salmon swim out into the sea (See appendix a) thus spreading many diseases to these wild salmon, lowering their populations and the populations of animals that feed on it. Aquaculture corporations are still expanding and seeking sites such as Iceland and the south pacific hoping to increase their incomes. Strategies such as antibiotics, crowded pens, and “sound cannons” used by farmers and corporations are un-eco friendly and need to be changed and stopped. The practice of salmon farming has many negative impacts on the environment and biodiversity along British Columbia shorelines. As the amount of Atlantic salmon increases, the pens become more compacted. Due to the compactness of the pens in open-ocean closures, diseases and parasites (such as sea lice) are common and easily spread among fish. As wild salmon swim under the pens, they are also contaminated by diseases, spreading the diseases throughout the entire aquatic ecosystem and other regions. Antibiotics and chemicals that are also used to sustain wild salmon may also leach into surrounding soil and waters leading to the contamination and poisoning of agricultural lands. Also, as the fishing industry increases (see appendix b), alterations are made to the environment to accommodate the rapid increase in appearing fish farms including deforestations, loss of wetlands, displacement of other aquatic species that could lead to future natural disasters the destruction of the ecosystem. Furthermore, due to the instability of fish pens, Atlantic salmon have a high likelihood of escaping and becoming invasive species competing for food and habitats with other native species and thus affecting the food chain and sustainability of the ecosystem. This proves that there should be more eco-friendly and smarter ways to practice fish farming. Salmon farming is wildly affecting the environment and people around the world. As the market for Atlantic fish increases, the amount of fish farmed are steadily increasing to satisfy the need for food from locals. As this happens, diseases are also widely spread through fish and other native species. This is affecting the sustainability of the ecosystem as well as other fish for source of food. Farmers are increasing their use in antibiotics and chemicals to prevent the dying of fish. As doctors recommend patients to raise the daily intake of salmon, people were dismayed to find the farmed salmon to be tainted with mercury and PCBs, negatively impacting people’s health. The chemicals also leach into soils affecting the agriculture of farmers nearby, thus decreasing their income and the amount of food for locals. Due to the rising of the salmon industry, corporations require more space to continue this practice, as they expand, forests and wetlands are destroyed as well as the decrease in groundwater levels. People believe that the decrease in wetlands higher the damage made by natural disasters as they help buffer the effects of hurricanes. Fish farming industries are constantly expanding and and are using poor decisions to farm. This includes the use of sound cannons and unsteady pens. Due the powerless pens, salmon are constantly escaping, spreading diseases and becoming invasive species to other parts of the aquatic system. First Nations have regularly asked to discontinue salmon farming as there is a serious decline in shellfish, wild salmon, and herring since farms were introduced in their territory in 1999. This is because of the salmon taking over habitat as well as them feeding on other aquatic species. Killer whales, dolphins and other larger animals are also displaced as a result of the use of cannons to prevent species from feeding on farmed salmon. As shown from these effects, inadequate farming practices of salmon widely impact the environment and people surrounding it. There are many ways to successfully farm salmon with little effects to the environment and people. Many technologies companies including, Future Sea Technologies and MariCulture Systems, are developing closed containment pens to prevent the escape of Atlantic Salmon. Despite the huge investment cost, it will pay off in creating faster, healthy salmon that will not spread diseases to other aquatic species. There are many groups, including the David Suzuki Foundation aiming to educate consumers on the risks of eating farmed salmon and the healthy benefits as a result of dining on Wild salmon. As the amount of Atlantic salmon consumed, decreases, this will lead to less farming in the future. Agencies are also asked to better increase their management and lower the use of pesticides in salmon. As researchers say, “Eat the wild, to save the wild.” While salmon farming may be required to satisfy the world’s need for fish, it can be done in a more sustainable and eco-friendly way. Improper practices of salmon farming can lead to many environmental problems as listed before including the destruction of forest and wetlands, displacement of other aquatic species, spread of diseases, spread of chemicals into farmland. There are many ways to prevent all these issues and continue salmon farming in an imperishable way that could both benefit the country environmentally, socially, and economically.

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