Salmon Sci-fi in our back yard

How many movies can you count where an "incurable disease" threatens the worlds population? No worries if you can't think of any off-hand… they're still making them! 

Unfortunately, this old plot is a bit too close to home for our local Puget Sound salmon runs. Recent news has reported a sample of wild Sockeye in British Columbia have contracted a European strain of Salmon Anemia. Which of course, is non-curable.This fish flu has historically only affected (devastated) the Atlantic Salmon farms in Norway, Scotland, Chile, and Eastern Canada but has never shown up on the Pacific side of the world… until now. 

Like me, you may be asking what Atlantic Salmon are doing in the Pacific mixing with our own superior wild salmon species? Well, our northerly neighbors in British Columbia have been farming the Atlantic species for years now, buying the eggs from Norway (just like Chile did). Then it dawned on me that we have some aquatic salmon pens about 5 miles west of Beach Drive just inside the southern tip of Bainbridge Island inside Rich Passage.


I've motored over to the pens a few times each summer showing guests salmon splashing around and the seals begging a few get loose.  A little research revealed: "Oly Yump'n yalmon!" those are Atlantic Salmon being farmed by American Gold Seafood for buyers such as Whole Foods who sells the fish outside our local market area (it's a "socially sensitive subject" in these parts). American Gold Seafood owns and operates over 120 salmon pens in Washington waters with this villian fish yet claim superior farming methods as compared to other competing sites. They have not detected the virus.  

We've recently noticed the UW research vessel Thomas G Thompson snooping around between Beach Drive and Blake Island wondering if they're probing some of our friendly salmon or herring in their floating laboratory (place dramatic sci-fi music here).

 Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

About Scupper


  1. Scupper's Buddy says

    Atlantic Salmon Farming is one of the worst practices possible.

    Bad for the enviornment, bad for Wild Salmon, and bad for your Health !

    The problems are just now starting to hit mainstream media, but the problems have been known for years.

    One of the best articles ever written about this subject was done a few years ago and it’s predicions are now coming true for our Pacific Wild Salmon, link below:

    Unless Farmed Salmon is stopped along the West Coast, you’d better enjoy all the Wild Salmon you can while it’s still here….becasue it won’t be around for you or your kids in the not-to-distant future !!!

  2. Scupper's Buddy says

    Hey Scupper,

    Notice anything “familiar” about those sea-lice parasites in the weblink above ?

  3. Great article “Scupper’s Buddy”! I haven’t been tuned in on the threat these farms pose until now. Blows my mind that they choose from a color chart what hue they want the meat to be… I think we may need to “occupy” the pens off Manchester.

  4. Yep, those little sea-lice were tough little buggers to pry off the pinks we caught…

  5. It’s not the same ole world anymore – since March 2011 and what happened in Japan. Anemia is a side effect of radiation poisoning in people – and probably for the poor fish too (anything with blood in it)……the ocean is turning into one big toilet…

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