On Saturday, a massive fish farm net collapsed in the San Juan Islands. This is a major accident that can cause severe prejudices. The catastrophe was connected to the unusually high and powerful waves that solar eclipse tides generated. As a consequence, authorities urge locals to report to them the moment they see any Atlantic salmon in the Salish Sea.
Conservation Groups Fear that Domesticated Salmons Might Disrupt Wild Habitats
Fisheries and Oceans Canada turned to citizens to ask them to show civic spirit in the days to come. Locals can play an important role in the solution for a serious accident among fisheries. They can help authorities by reporting to the Atlantic Salmon Watch Program the moment they catch an Atlantic salmon. The lucky ones can keep their catch, but they can also donate their specimens for research.
On Saturday, Canada-based company Cooke Aquaculture which is in charge of the fish farm near Cypress Island announced that their net pen broke. The officials are putting the blame on the strong currents and tides that appeared in anticipation of Monday’s solar eclipse.
So far, Washington state authorities have reasons to believe that the escaped Atlantic adult salmons are disease-free. On the other hand, B.C. conservation groups fear that the escaped fish could infect vulnerable wild salmons with pathogens. Even if that’s not the case, farm salmons have slim chances to survive competing with their wild siblings for habitat and food.
Authorities Interpreted the Outcome of the Solar Eclipse Tides as a Sign That Fish Farms Should Move on Land
While citizens haven’t reported to the hotline yet, local fisherpersons started catching Atlantic salmon in their nets. Authorities encourage them to catch as many as they can without a cap. Cooke Aquaculture needs to make an inventory of the fish that remained in pens and were reported. However, the process is slow.
The executive director of the B.C. Salmon Farmers Association, Jeremy Dunn, stated that farm structures are primarily tested to withstand strong storms. The process is repeated on a regular basis. However, the solar eclipse tides were no match for these protective nets. Therefore, officials believe land-based fish farms are the safest solutions to ensure comprehensive protection.
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