Exposing the Big Game

Forget Hunters' Feeble Rationalizations and Trust Your Gut Feelings: Making Sport of Killing Is Not Healthy Human Behavior

Exposing the Big Game



<img src="https://vegnews.com/media/W1siZiIsIjIyMjU5L1ZlZ05ld3MuSm9lQmlkZW4yLmpwZyJdLFsicCIsImNvbnZlcnQiLCItY3JvcCAyMDQ3eDEyMTArMCsyNiArcmVwYWdlIC1yZXNpemUgMTYwMHg5NDZeIix7ImZvcm1hdCI6ImpwZyJ9XSxbInAiLCJvcHRpbWl6ZSJdXQ/VegNews.JoeBiden2.jpg?sha=3ebbc6f154a87a0e&quot; alt="<i>Seaspiracy

Kip Andersen—producer of ocean conservation documentary Seaspiracy—and PETA President Ingrid Newkirk are demanding the Biden Administration overturn a Trump-era executive order that allows the proliferation of fish factory farms.  


MAY 6, 2021


This week, filmmaker Kip Andersen, producer of ocean conservation film Seaspiracy, and Ingrid Newkirk, president of animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), sent a joint letter to President Joe Biden. In the letter, Andersen and Newkirk demanded that President Biden overturn Executive Order 13921, which allows for the proliferation of offshore fish factory farms, which, aside from being cruel to farmed fish, are environmentally damaging to wild marine populations and oceans. The Trump-era executive order also limits the environmental review of developing these aquaculture farms and places the burden on taxpayers to identify the locations where these farms can be constructed. 

“In issuing and implementing Executive Order 13921, the Trump administration made it clear that it was intended to reduce the burdens on commercial fishing operations, and it indisputably shifts the cost of planning for such operations to taxpayers and reduces regulatory review of proposed projects despite the extensive harm to fish and the marine environment,” the letter states. “Your administration has already taken many actions to stay, suspend, or reverse Trump administration decisions that jeopardize wildlife and the environment. We commend you on those efforts and urge you also to revoke Executive Order 13921 to end this damaging policy in order to protect countless fish, other marine animals including birds, the sensitive marine environment, and potentially even human health from significant harm.” 

Fish factory farms

While many consumers are aware that animals such as chickens, pigs, and cows, are raised in factory farms to meet global demand for meat, the knowledge that fish—who feel pain the way other animals do—also suffer in factory farms is less common. In the letter, Andersen and Newkirk point out a few of the ways fish factory farms are damaging. 

Fish are crowded together in unsafe conditions that foster the spread of parasites and disease amongst each other and to the wild fish populations living right outside of the aquaculture farms. Fish are also fed unnatural diets, suffer bodily injury due to stress, and often die through suffocation as there are no federal “humane” slaughter laws that protect fish. Farmed fish escaping into the wild fish population—a common occurrence that often results in the release of thousands of fish—is problematic in many ways, including the spread of disease and food competition with native species. In addition to displacing and disrupting wild habitats and foraging areas, farmed fish are treated with antibiotics, which, along with excess metals and supplements used in fish feed, seep out into the oceans disrupting delicate marine ecosystems. 

For these, and myriad other reasons, Andersen and Newkirk are demanding that Biden overturn Executive Order 13921.

The Seaspiracy movementVegNews.Seaspiracy4

Seaspiracy—which premiered on Netflix in March—exposes the damaging effects of the global fishing industry on the world’s oceans, as well as corruption such as faulty sustainable fish certifications and shrimp industry slave labor. Much like Andersen’s previous films Cowspiracy and What the Health, the documentary became a top 10 film on the streaming platform in 40 countries. 

Seaspiracy is creating lasting effects all around the world, including in Hong Kong where grocery store Slowood is currently moving its remaining fish products to become more sustainable. Companies are also developing new vegan seafood products to meet new demand for fish-free foods, including Dutch brand Schouten which recently launched new vegan fish sticks. 

The Seaspiracy team is also continuing the film’s powerful message through various initiatives. In addition to demanding President Biden shut down environmentally damaging fish factory farms, the Seaspiracy team is asking the administration to designate and enforce “no-catch” marine zones in 30 percent of US waters—which currently only designates three percent of its waters as no-catch zones despite the fact that 75 percent of the American fish population is overfished.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Whale found tangled and trapped in rope dies at salmon farm

PHOTO: Sernapesca


Australis Mar reported finding 15m large cetacean at one of its sites in Chile.

Chilean aquaculture Sernapesca reports that the salmon farmer Australis Mar informed it that discovered the carcass of a sei whale at one of its sites.

The sei whale, around 15m in length, is believed to have died after it became entangled in one of the nets at the salmon farm around seven hours from Puerto Aysén, at the southern tip of Chile.

PHOTO: Sernapesca

On Monday, authorities after analysis determined that it was a sei whale. It had become almost entirely entangled with ropes of different length. Furthermore, a metal chain was found wrapped around the whale.

Sernapesca then instructed the owner of the salmon farm to dispose of the remains of the cetacean in a secured sector of the coast.

PHOTO: Sernapesca

“Once collected, all the information will be made available to the agencies and institutions that require it, as well as to international conservation bodies such as the International Whaling Commission (Response Network to Gillnetting of large cetaceans) and other forums of which Chile is a part of,” wrote Sernapesca.

Sei Whales are one of the fastest of all cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises), able to reach speeds of up to 50 mph for short sprints.

“There are about 80,000 sei Whales in the world today. That is about 1/3 of the population that existed in the world before the whaling boom of the late 1800s through early 1900s,” according to Oceanwide Expeditions.

Stop the salmon farm industry from breaking the rules

Wild salmon with sea lice infestation.

In a March 26 letter to federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan, the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance asked her for “regulatory flexibility” during the COVID-19 crisis so they could break the rules while the public is distracted. In their letter they ask for free rein regarding:

  • sea lice monitoring
  • environmental monitoring
  • deposition of organic waste and pesticides
  • reporting of mass die-offs

This deregulation would allow fish farm companies to go unchecked for the foreseeable future, increasing risk to threatened wild salmon and marine ecosystems.

Sign the petition: https://salmonpeople.ca/stop-covid-deregulation?fbclid=IwAR0M8wolQ3x9c9t-QS-ddypRrTM5bcXIN5KGTyalpqNSANlUv4m5qTbyiVY

The Shameful Reality of Aquatic Torture and Death Pens

Underwater factory farms are condemning fish to live “on the edge of what they can tolerate”.
  • The Shameful Reality of Aquatic Torture and Death Pens

    Commentary by Captain Paul Watson

    One of the things that has troubled me for many years is the way that we treat the fishes of the sea.

    As a species we deny and ignore their sentience. We dismiss them as living beings and refuse to comprehend that these animals think, that they suffer, that they have emotions.

    We literally vacuum them from the sea using highly mechanized machinery to scour the bottom of the sea, to trap them in huge nets or to ensnare them in hooks on long lines that can stretch over a hundred miles across the waves. We suffocate them, we crush them, we tear open their mouth with savage hooks and mutilate their delicate gills in plastic curtains of death and destruction.

    For fish there are no safe places. We have invaded their homes and ravaged their lives, destroyed them by the billions and polluted their habitats.

    And to add insult to injury, not content to murder them in their homes we now breed them in massive confinement facilities that literally fill the air with the stench of decay and death as they spew toxins, parasites and viruses into once pristine eco-systems.

    A Haida elder once told me that salmon farms were a perversion of the spirit of the salmon.

    What we do to them by raising them in concentration camps is obscene.

    We abuse them, we assault them with chemicals, we force them to consume dye in the food pellets to actually dye the flesh pinkish while they are alive. We inject them with antibiotics and force them into toxic chemical baths. We scour the sea to catch millions of other fish from other species to render into cheap fish meal to feed them. We see hundreds of thousands of them die off as the farms collect insurance for the losses and then we send them to market after slicing off the cancerous growths so that humans can have cheap salmon.

    As a species, we cruelly accept that the viruses and parasites that these mass incarceration facilities produce gets transmitted to wild indigenous species of salmon and that the diminishment of wild salmon means the diminishment of food for Orcas, Eagles, Bears, Seals and so many other species of wild sentient creatures.

    These fish that are bred in these horrific facilities are living, self-aware sentient beings that we force into unbearably miserable confines and it takes a toll in suffering and death, pollution and ugliness.

    These shameful facilities degrade not just the salmon but also ourselves.

    They need to be shut down in every eco-system that these companies have invaded.

Farmed salmon laced with poisons, study finds

Farm-raised salmon contain substantially higher levels of PCBs and other potentially cancer-causing industrial pollutants than their wild counterparts, a new study has says.

Researchers at Indiana University measured the levels of 14 toxic compounds, called organochlorines, in about 700 North American, South American and European salmon and discovered that farm-raised Atlantic salmon had “significantly higher levels of 13 toxins compared with wild Pacific salmon.”

The researchers, whose findings are published in Friday’s journal Science, did not study farmed Pacific salmon or wild Atlantic salmon as fish from these groups are rare.

The average dioxin level in farm-raised salmon was 11 times higher than that in wild salmon – 1.88 parts per billion compared with 0.17 ppb. For PCBs, the average was 36.6 ppb in farm-raised salmon, compared with 4.75 in wild salmon.

Overall, salmon farmed in Europe had significantly higher levels of toxicity than salmon farmed in North America or South America, the study said.

Farmed salmon from Scotland and Denmark’s Faroe Islands registered the highest levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins, toxaphene and dieldrin — the four toxins thought to have the greatest impact on human health. Farmed salmon from Chile and Washington state registered the lowest levels of these four toxins.

The researchers point to “salmon chow” – a mix of ground up fish and oil fed to farm-raised salmon – as a likely cause of toxicity.

Farmed salmon eat lots of fish oil and meal made from just a few species of ocean fish, which concentrates the contaminants they are exposed to, while wild salmon eat a greater variety, David Carpenter, one of the researchers told the Associated Press.

But several farmers in the United States, Canada and Chile are beginning to replace the fish oil in the feed with soybean and canola oil.

Based on their findings, the researchers recommend that farmed salmon bought in Toronto supermarkets (as well as those in San Francisco, Boston, London, Oslo London, Paris, Edinburgh and Frankfurt) not be consumed in quantities of more than one half to one meal a month. Eight ounces of uncooked fish constitutes one meal.

Farmed salmon bought in Vancouver supermarkets (along with those in London, Washington D.C., Seattle, Chicago and New York) should not be eaten in more than two meals per month.

People who can consume more than the recommended amounts, which are based on strict guidelines established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, could slightly increase their risk of developing cancer later in life. The same guidelines allow wild salmon to be consumed in quantities of up to eight meals per month.

Purdue University researcher and nutritionist Dr. Charles Santerre says he agrees with the overall findings of the study, but disagrees with its conclusion that consumers should limit their intake of farmed salmon because of increased cancer risk, noting the heart benefits of the fish, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

“The study shows that the cancer risk from eating large amounts of salmon is significantly lower than the risk of developing heart disease from not eating generous amounts of the fish,” Dr. Santerre said.

He also recommends farm-raised or wild salmon for pregnant and nursing mothers as an ideal source of nutrients for a developing fetus and infant and says salmon it is one of the safest fish on the market.


2.6 million farmed salmon dead on south coast of Newfoundland, company says

David Maher

Published: 11 hours ago

Updated: 11 hours ago

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ST. JOHN’S, N.L. —

A massive salmon die-off on Newfoundland’s south coast has led to the suspension of licences for Northern Harvest Sea Farms in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The die-off first occurred on Sept. 3, but information about the incident did not go public until weeks later.

No estimate for the amount of dead salmon in the Northern Harvest pens were disclosed until Friday, when the company announced 2.6 million salmon had died.

“As a result of the ongoing investigation and evidence of non-compliance, I am suspending all affected Northern Harvest Seafood Farms licences and issuing a directive that requires the company to continue the cleanup of the sites,” Fisheries and Land Resources Minister Gerry Byrne said in a statement.

“I will be amending licence conditions to all unaffected Northern Harvest Seafood Farms and other associated MOWI licence sites in the coming days.”

As of Friday, the company was not made aware of what needed to be done for its licences to be reinstated. Northern Harvest communications director Jason Card says the government is drafting a letter detailing what is needed.

“Surprised by the suspension? Yes. Warranted? I think the minister has an obligation to protect the public good, so he’s doing what he thinks is best,” Northern Harvest managing director Jamie Gaskill said.

An initial number provided to the government was that two million fish had died, but after an addition 600,000 fish were found dead, the company updated the figure, triggering the suspension of the licence.

The massive death was not accompanied by a massive escape of farmed salmon, Gaskill said.

“There are no fish that have escaped. I am very confident,” he said.

Provincial regulations dictate that companies must report the escape of even a single fish, and no such reports have yet been issued.

The 2.6 million salmon carcasses will be delivered to another company to be processed and turned largely into cat food and other animal feed.

The company says sustained southwestern winds in the area of the farm caused increased temperatures near the sea farms housing the salmon. The company says the surface water near the pens warmed up and maintained an increased temperature over the course of weeks.

Because water near the surface was warmer than water further below, Gaskill said, the salmon followed their instinct, toward their demise.

“These fish want to go where it’s good for them. So, what they do, they nose down — it’s called sounding. Anybody that is familiar with herring, mackerel, lots of fish do this,” he said.

“They put their nose down, they try to get down to where it’s cool, where conditions are better, and they smother themselves.”

As for why information was slow getting to the public, Gaskill said his company “misinterpreted” the reporting requirements for the second mass die-off of salmon.

“That is our fault,” he said.

Card says information about the mass die-off was reported locally, but not to the public.

“To be clear, we did disclose to local stakeholders, mayors, indigenous first leaders, the FFAW, to our own staff when we observed this event, that it happened. To be clear, we also disclosed to government that we had a mass mortality on September 3.”

According to the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources, new regulations were implemented on Thursday, enshrining for the first time a duty to publicly report mass deaths of farmed salmon.

Regulations wanting

Large deaths of farmed salmon are not rare within the aquaculture industry throughout the world.

According to the Ferret, a Scottish investigative news outlet, nine million farmed salmon have died in that country since 2016, between 760 reported mass deaths in the country. The mass salmon die-off in this province hit almost a third of that number in one incident.

Michael Montague, a specialist with the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), says there are three separate entities that oversee differing aspects of the industry in that country.

SEPA oversees the concentration of fish in aquaculture pens and effluent coming from aquaculture projects, and determines how much chemicals and antibiotics are allowed to be used at any given time. SEPA has monthly monitoring programs for companies to comply with as part of their regulations.

“We don’t really look at the mortality aspect. The mortality aspect is covered by two legislative parts. There’s the Marine Scotland … they are very much focused on fish health. If there’s a certain percentage of fish lost, then they have to report that through Marine Scotland,” said Montague.

“Then, there’s also the Animal and Plant Health Agency. They have the regulations covered by animal byproducts regulations, and that looks at any kind of waste, from cattle to marine caged fish farms. They deal with those kinds of (mass death) incidents and how to deal with the waste coming from them and any concerns around that.”

In Newfoundland and Labrador, the aquaculture industry is largely regulated by the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources and the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). DFO declined an interview request from The Telegram.

Enforcement measures at the government’s disposal, according to the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources, include a formal warning, followed by tickets ranging between $100 and $500, administrative penalties. Those charged with an offence under the act will be charged between $5,000 and $20,000 for a first offence and/or face one to six months in prison for a second offence, and up to a $50,000 to $100,000 fine and/or three to six months in prison for third-time offenders.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is expected to make a statement Tuesday about the incident.

<mailto:david.maher@thetelegram.com> david.maher@thetelegram.com


Scotland’s farmed salmon industry stinks


23 Feb 2017 | Joanna Blythman

Scotland’s salmon farming industry is being eaten away by sea lice, the parasite that stalks large concentrations of farmed fish. Latest figures from Marine Harvest, the Norwegian multinational that owns most of the Scottish ‘farms’, show that despite its self-styled reputation as a clean, green country, Scotland has by far the worst sea lice problem of any producer nation. In 2014, 28% of sites were affected; by 2015 that figure had jumped to 49%. Equivalent levels on Norwegian and Irish farms were 5% and 18% respectively.

No technical fix can control Scotland’s now endemic lice, not even dosing every tonne of fish with 42 litres of hydrogen peroxide. The Thermolicer, a machine that immerses fish briefly in warm water, was presented as a solution until last year, when it cooked to death 95,000 fish in one incident. And no wonder lice are having a field day. These caged fish are already weakened by endemic amoebic gill disease, which generous doses of antibiotics barely contain.

Any image of Scottish aquaculture as a job-creating cottage industry has been washed away. Its business story is poor also. Politicians once cited the 6,000 jobs it sustained directly, but the true figure now stands at 2,200. Reduced output, combined with a hefty bill for drugs and chemicals, is making the industry less profitable, yet pushing up prices.

The gloss is off the Scottish salmon brand. Fewer and fewer aspiring restaurants put farmed salmon on their menu. Its image is dull at best, highly contentious at worst, and because it’s so flabby and oily, even the best chefs toil to make something of it.

Yet Fergus Ewing, the Scottish secretary for the rural economy, backs the Norwegian salmon industry’s plan to double its business in Scotland by 2030. And the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency is considering proposals to site the world’s biggest salmon farm in Orkney or Shetland, even though by its own calculation, the faecal waste from the two million-fish mega-farm would be equivalent to the sewage from a city the size of Glasgow.

It’s time for politicians to learn from experience. Scotland is already mired into dirty salmon farming. Don’t make matters worse by going in any deeper.

Joanna Blythman is a journalist and author of Swallow This