Harmful Practices of Industrial Aquaculture

ADIMS is not opposed to sustainable aquaculture but many of the existing industry practices are harmful to the marine environment and not sustainable. These practices destroy habitat for marine birds and other marine life and result in a deterioration and loss of marine areas for other uses and values such as tourism, recreation, other fisheries (both sport and commercial), and safe anchorages.

Some of these harmful practices are:

1) Driving on the beach: This practice compacts the substrate and destroys marine life and habitat. On many of the beaches on the west side of Denman Island you can see permanent tire tracks or ‘roadways’ that even powerful winter storms don’t erase. Some of these ‘roadways’ are in the high intertidal zone where forage fish such as the Pacific Sand Lance spawn year round. This compaction destroys the habitat, rendering it unviable for forage fish spawning.

Driving on the beach destroys forage fish spawning habitat.

Driving on the beach destroys forage fish spawning habitat.

Forage fish make up 50% of the Coho diet and 72% of the Chinook diet.

Forage fish make up 50% of the Coho diet and 72% of the Chinook diet.

2) Predator Netting & Oyster Grow-Out: Predator netting is used by industry over areas seeded with clams. 61% of the critical bird habitat in Baynes Sound is covered in predator netting (Wan, P. and L.I. Bendell, 2010) and oyster grow-out. Both of these industry activities render these areas inaccessible for birds and other marine life for feeding. The netting is often not secured properly, creating a hazard to marine life and humans.

Marine Pollution Bulletin Article: an overview of the efficacy, impacts, and pollution of anti-predator netting used by the shellfish industry in the production of clams. It also suggests a possible alternate method to increase productivity.

Click Here: “Favored use of anti-predator netting (APN) applied for the farming of clams leads to little benefits to industry while increasing nearshore impacts and plastics pollution”L.I. Bendell,

Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada

61% of critical bird habitat of Baynes Sound is under netting.

61% of critical bird habitat of Baynes Sound is under netting & oyster grow-out rendering it unviable.

This netting is also a hazard to marine life and humans.

This netting is also a hazard to marine life and humans.

3) Beach Modification: Shellfish growers create berms by using heavy equipment to move beach rocks (cobble). This beach cobble is critical spawning habitat for marine life, including the Plainfin Midshipman (forage fish).

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4) Industry Debris: Industry debris constantly washes up on the shores of Denman Island. Since 2005 ADIMS, with the help of many Denman Island residents, have held an annual beach clean-up. Each year between 2-4 tonnes of debris is collected, 90% of which is from the shellfish industry. Once the clean-up is complete, the debris just continues to wash up year round. Most of the industry debris is plastics and styrofoam which are leaching toxins into the environment. What we see on our shores is just the tip of the iceberg.

For nine years ADIMS has collected 2 to 4 tons of debris at our annual beach clean-up.

For nine years ADIMS has collected 2 to 4 tons of debris at our annual beach clean-up.

90% of the debris is from the shellfish industry and it washes in constantly, year round.

90% of the debris is from the shellfish industry and it washes in constantly, year round.

5) Destruction ‘Predator’ Species: Marine species including moon-snails, starfish, and crabs, are seen as predators, and routinely destroyed or removed from beaches by shellfish industry workers. This degrades marine biodiversity.

Shellfish growers destroy marine species (moon snails, starfish and crabs) that are deemed predators by the industry – this slide shows what we call a moon snail graveyard.

Shellfish growers destroy marine species (moon snails, starfish and crabs) that are deemed predators by the industry – this slide shows what we call a moon snail graveyard.

Our Beaches Are Our Precious Heritage and Worthy of Protection!

Our Beaches Are Our Precious Heritage and Worthy of Protection!