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«[Graphic courtesy of Markus Fenz: By Don Staniford i August 2011 Introduction: The New York Times hit the nail on the coffin when ...»

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Fish Farmageddon:

The Infectious Salmon Aquacalypse

[Graphic courtesy of Markus Fenz: http://morxn.com]

By Don Staniford i

August 2011


The New York Times hit the nail on the coffin when it stated “Salmon farming is a problem

everywhere” in an Editorial published earlier this month. The Editorial - “About That

Salmon” - was a follow up to an article – “Norwegians Concede a Role in Chilean Salmon

Virus” - in July which reported that the deadly disease Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA) had been spread to Chile from Norway. Without a shadow of doubt, salmon farming is spreading disease all over the world.

This report – “Fish Farmageddon: The Infectious Salmon Aquacalypse” - focuses on the wave of infectious diseases, pathogens, viruses, bacteria and parasites sweeping salmon feedlots like the Black Death. Farmed salmon are affected by fish versions of bubonic plague (Yersinia), rabies (IHN and VHS), Tuberculosis, a retrovirus called salmon leukemia, the clap (Piscichlamydia), Parasitic Meningitis, a flesh eating parasite which leaves farmed salmon like ‘milk jelly’ as well as the more commonly known Listeria, botulism and sea lice.

A tsunami of Salmon Transmitted Diseases (STDs) is spearheaded by the ‘Seven Horsemen of the Aquacalypse’; namely: Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA), Sea Lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis), Salmon Rickettsial Syndrome/Septicaemia (Piscirickettsiosis), Listeria monocytogenes (Listeriosis), Kudoa (Soft-Flesh Syndrome), Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis (IPN) and Pancreas Disease (Salmon Pancreas Disease Virus/Salmonid Alphavirus Disease/Sleeping Disease).

The use of ever more powerful chemical weapons in the salmon ‘pharming’ industry’s war on disease has served only to create chemical resistance and ‘Salmon Superbugs’. In many ways this report is a follow up to ‘Silent Spring of the Sea’ in that the use of medicines, pesticides, antibiotics, disinfectants and other ‘chemotherapeutants’ are merely symptomatic of disease problems.

The ‘Salmon Superbugs’ and Salmon Transmitted Diseases (STDs) detailed in this report include: Gill Disease (Proliferative Gill Inflammation, Epitheliocysts/Chlamydia & Amoebic Gill Disease), Paranucleospora theridion, Parvicapsulosis (Parvicapsula pseudobranchicola/ Paranucleospora theridion), Gyrodactylus (‘Salmon Killer’), Furunculosis (Aeromonas salmonicida), Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis (IHN), Viral Haemorrhagic Septicaemia (VHS), Cardiomyopathy Syndrome (CMS), Heart and Skeletal Muscle Inflammation (HMSI), Plasmacytoid Leukemia (Marine Anemia), Bacteria Kidney Disease (BKD), Myxobacterial Infection (Piscine Tuberculosis), Spironucleosis (Spironucleus salmonicida) Francisella (Francisellosis), Yersinia ruckeri (Yersiniosis/Enteric Redmouth/ERM), Flavobacterium psychrophilum (Bacterial Cold Water Disease/Rainbow Trout Fry Syndrome), Vibriosis (Cold Water Vibriosis/Hitra Disease), Moritella Vicosa (Winter Ulcer) Hemorrhagic smolt syndrome (HSS), Mad Fish Disease, Botulism (Clostridium botulinum) Parasitic Meningitis, Costia (Ichthyobodo species), Tapeworm (Diphyllobothriasis), Microsporidian encephalitis, Nephrocalcinosis (urolithiasis), Malignant Intestinal Tumours, Desmozoon lepeophtherii (Paranucleospora theridion) & Autumn Disease and Salmonella.

Infectious salmon diseases and chemical resistance could spell the end of the line for salmon farming. Unless the global salmon farming industry drastically changes course, the end is nigh for the salmon farming industry in Norway, Chile, Canada, Scotland, Faroe Islands, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and other areas of the world. Judgment Day is approaching in British Columbia where a salmon inquiry is opening up a can of worms.

Contents Chapter 1: Fish Farmageddon

- Super Sized Salmon Pharming

- Hazards to Health

- Factory Fish Farming

- Aquacalypse Now: The End of the Line for Salmon Farming

- Judgment Day in British Columbia

- Feedlots as ‘Pathogen Culture Facilities’

- The Global Spread of Infectious Salmon Chapter 2: The Seven Seahorsemen of the Aquacalypse

- Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA)

- Sea Lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis)

- Salmon Rickettsial Syndrome/Septicaemia (Piscirickettsiosis)

- Listeria monocytogenes (Listeriosis)

- Kudoa (Soft-Flesh Syndrome)

- Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis (IPN)

- Pancreas Disease (Salmon Pancreas Disease Virus/Salmonid Alphavirus Disease/Sleeping Disease)

Chapter 3: Salmon Superbugs and Salmon Transmitted Diseases

- Gill Disease (Proliferative Gill Inflammation, Epitheliocysts/Chlamydia & Amoebic Gill Disease)

- Paranucleospora theridion

- Gyrodactylus (‘Salmon Killer’)

- Furunculosis (Aeromonas salmonicida)

- Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis (IHN)

- Viral Haemorrhagic Septicaemia (VHS)

- Cardiomyopathy Syndrome (CMS)

- Heart and Skeletal Muscle Inflammation (HMSI)

- Plasmacytoid Leukemia (Marine Anemia)

- Parvicapsulosis (Parvicapsula pseudobranchicola/ Paranucleospora theridion)

- Bacteria Kidney Disease (BKD)

- Myxobacterial Infection (Piscine Tuberculosis)

- Spironucleosis (Spironucleus salmonicida)

- Francisella (Francisellosis)

- Yersinia ruckeri (Yersiniosis/Enteric Redmouth/ERM)

- Flavobacterium psychrophilum (Bacterial Cold Water Disease/Rainbow Trout Fry Syndrome)

- Vibriosis (Cold Water Vibriosis/Hitra Disease)

- Moritella Vicosa (Winter Ulcer)

- Hemorrhagic smolt syndrome (HSS)

- Mad Fish Disease

- Botulism (Clostridium botulinum)

- Parasitic Meningitis

- Costia (Ichthyobodo species)

- Tapeworm (Diphyllobothriasis)

- Microsporidian encephalitis

- Nephrocalcinosis (urolithiasis)

- Malignant Intestinal Tumours

- Desmozoon lepeophtherii (Paranucleospora theridion) & Autumn Disease

- Salmonella

- Aquacalypse Tomorrow: Salmon Skeletons in the Closet?

Appendix: Diseases reported in British Columbia (2003 – 2010):

Chapter 1:

Fish Farmageddon A plague of Biblical and bubonic proportions is salmon farming’s very own ‘Farmageddon’.

For decades, salmon farming has left a trail of disease-ridden farmed salmon and death in its wake all over the world.

Photos: Maggot-infested disease-ridden farmed salmon in Scotland Photos: Dead farmed salmon known as ‘morts’ in Chile and Canada Salmon feedlots are seen as ‘A Stain Upon the Sea’ and weeping sores on the face of the blue planet. Or as Scientific American reported in 2010: “Farm-raised salmon has long been the poster child of unsustainable aquaculture practice”.

Research on the environmental and public health impacts of salmon farming has quite literally been done to death with reports including: ‘Industrial Disease’, ‘Nightmare in New Brunswick’, ‘Containing Disaster’, ‘Farmed & Dangerous’, ‘Net Loss’, ‘Super Un-Natural’, ‘In Too Deep’, ‘A Big Fish in a Small Pond’ and ‘Salmon Piranha Style’. As Salmon Are Sacred says, “the science is in on salmon farms”. However you cut it, the unsavory side of farmed salmon leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

Photo: Sea Lice Damage and Mouldy Farmed Salmon The sickly salmon smorgasbord laid out in this report (read in full via Chapters 2 & 3)


- Listeria monocytogenes (Listeriosis): contaminating smoked farmed salmon and considered by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as “a poisonous or deleterious substance” and one which may be “injurious to health”.

- Kudoa thyristes (‘Soft-Flesh Syndrome’): a parasite which develops as white cysts in the flesh of farmed salmon and causes softening (myoliquefaction) into a jelly-like consistency like salmon flavoured blancmange or ‘milk jelly’.

- Tapeworms (Diphyllobothriasis): parasites which are “on the attack” and can cause a nasty surprise for lovers of raw fish like sushi and ceviche.

- Botulism (Clostridium botulinum): “the most poisonous substance known” which can cause life-threatening illness and a fatal form of food poisoning.

Deadly diseases, viruses, bacteria, pathogens and other infections afflicting factory farmed

salmon also include:

- Sea Lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis): a blood-sucking parasite which literally eats baby wild salmon alive and leaves the victim with ‘death crown’ scars (think of the Death-Eaters and Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter and you get the picture).

- Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA) and Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis (IPN) which have been dubbed “The hoof and mouth disease of the salmon farming industry” and “Salmon farming’s foot-and-mouth”.

- Pancreas Disease: described as a “sleeping monster” caused by an alphavirus known as salmon pancreas disease virus (SPDV).

- Paranucleospora theridion: a microsporidian parasite whose rounded spores are causing mass mortalities on Norwegian salmon farms.

- Yersinia (Yersinosis): The Black Death or bubonic plague was caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis: in salmon farming it is the pathogen Yersinia ruckeri which results in septicaemia, blood spots in the eye and a slow lingering death.

- Piscichlamydia (also known as Ephitheliocystis or Prolferative Gill Inflammation): Fish Chlamydia (or Fish Clap) leads to haemorrhage and tissue necrosis in the gills.

- Moritella vicosa (Winter Ulcer): the plague of boils and ulcers can be chronic with wounds covering large parts of the skin of the fish including swelling and necrosis.

- Flavobacterium psychrophilum (Bacterial Cold Water Disease): causes ulcers, fin-rot and systemic infection.

- Cardiomyopathy syndrome (CMS): farmed salmon’s version of the heart attack which causes blood clots and is also referred to as “acute cardiac mortality” and “heart rupture”.

- Heart and skeletal muscle inflammation (HSMI): this lethal disease sounds like a salmon smoker’s condition destroying heart and muscle tissue wasting away the victims.

Other skeletons lurking in the salmon closet include:

- Gyrodactylus salaris: a parasitic flatworm which has a hook more lethal than Captain Hook and is often called ‘Salmon Killer’.

- Mycobacterium marinus: a form of ‘piscine Tuberculosis’ which can be transmitted to humans causing ‘fish-tank granuloma’ or ‘swimming pool granuloma’.

- Plasmacytoid leukemia (marine anemia): this retrovirus dubbed “dead fish swimming” is also known as Salmon Leukemia Virus and could be associated with pre-spawning mortality of up to 95% of Fraser sockeye (salmon are supposed to spawn and die not die before they spawn).

- Infectious Hematopoetic Necrosis (IHN) and Viral Haemorrhagic Septicaemia (VHS) are ‘Salmonid Rhabdoviruses’ and “resemble closely that of rabies virus”.

- Parasitic meningitis: a microscopic parasite which has been found in the brain vault of farmed salmon.

In view of such deadly diseases, ‘Salmon Superbugs’ and STDs, it is little wonder then that there has been a global backlash against the impending ‘Fish Farmageddon’. In Chile, salmon farming is seen by many environmental groups as a ticking time bomb and ‘Poison of the Sea’.

Photo: The Ticking Time Bomb of Salmon Pharming Photo: ‘Salmon for the World, Poison for the Sea’ In Norway, the horrors of the industry makes people want to scream and cry in equal measure.

And in Scotland, the horrors of salmon farming have appeared in the Edinburgh Dungeon.

A new documentary - ‘Farmageddon – The Unseen War on American Family Farms’ opened in the United States in July. ‘Farmageddon’ is described by Salon as an “informal sequel to the hit documentary ‘Food Inc.,’ and exposes how the “Americans’ right to access fresh, healthy foods of their choice is under attack”.

If ‘Farmageddon’ is a sequel to ‘Food Inc.,’ then this report is an informal sequel to an article by Kim Petersen in Dissident Voice in 2003. His article - “Farmageddon and the Spin Doctors” - looked at a public relations campaign launched by the salmon farming industry in British Columbia (which is 92% owned by Norwegian corporations).

Nearly a decade later, the public relations ‘battle’ escalated further in January with the launch of a $1.5 million advertising campaign by the BC Salmon Farmers Association. The global salmon farming industry may be more adept and have more money to muddy the waters with expensive PR campaigns than a decade ago but the bottom line is that this dirty industry is still a Salmon ‘Stinkbomb’ (as one Norwegian newspaper reported in August following a protest where rotten farmed salmon and fish wastes were dumped outside a trade show as a present for the King of Norway). ‘Cut the Crap’ was the simple message delivered to Norwegian companies in Canada in April and June.

Photo: ‘Cut the Crap’ campaign from Salmon Are Sacred in Canada Super Sized Salmon Pharming In the film “Super Size Me”, Morgan Spurlock stuffed his face on junk food from McDonalds. A sequel - ‘Super Sized Salmonbugs’ - should involve factory farmed salmon.

On World Oceans Day in June, McDonald’s unveiled a new ‘sustainable’ whitefish sandwich with the world’s media falling hook line and sinker for this whopper of a fish story. Less well known is the unsavoury story of McDonald’s failed attempts to promote farmed salmon.

In 1997, McDonald's were sued when “four people, including two McDonald's employees, were hospitalized after eating tainted McLaks salmon burgers at a restaurant in Lorenskog, located in the outskirts of Oslo”. McDonald's Norway confirmed that the food poisoning materialized from a ‘corrupted’ consignment of salmon fillets. “At first the McLaks tasted very good, but after some minutes my mouth and throat became numb, and I experienced internal spasms,” said Geir Sundberg, one of the four filing suit against McDonald's.

Advertising Age reported under ‘1997 Ad Follies’: “In Norway, McDonald's pulled the McLaks salmon burger off the market after four customers were treated for food poisoning.

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