by Larry Lack. See the entire article at The Working Waterfront
Controversy about deltamethrin and the way the fish will be dosed with it in this summer's experiment heated up shortly after June 8 when Cooke Aquaculture (which owns the most of the cage sites that will be treated with the insecticide) announced that it has received "Certified Quality Salmon Eco-Certification" from Seafood Trust for the salmon that its True North marketing division sells in Canada. Seafood Trust uses International Food Quality Certification (IFQC) standards to assess companies that apply for its certification.
Environmentalists, consumers and fishermen have raised questions about how Cooke's salmon can meet IFQC's key standard which requires "maintenance of a pristine quality marine environment" if its salmon and the bays in which they are raised are dosed with deltamethrin.
Dale Mitchell of Deer Island fishes lobster and scallops, operates herring weirs and serves on the board of directors of the Fundy North Fisherman's Association as well as that of the Fundy Weir Fishermen Association. "A lot of us who fish," Mitchell says, "just don't think the aquaculture industry should be using these chemicals in the water where we're fishing. We don't necessarily believe they're safe, and even if they are, we don't think the aquaculture people can be trusted to use them safely."
Reid Brown of Deer Island, who also serves on the Fundy Weir Fishermen Association board, says he is "very concerned about this experiment. We can't understand why they have to do this in so many cages. Well, we do, really - it's because they have the lice getting out of control in those cages, but they don't want people to know too much about that."
Dr. Vladimir Zitko, a chemist and former head of toxicology at the Fisheries and Oceans Canada biological station in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, now retired, is concerned about the planned release of deltamethrin into marine waters. "Deltamethrin is a very toxic insecticide," Zitko says, "very similar to cypermethrin, the chemical that killed the lobsters in Back Bay in 1996. It's extremely toxic to aquatic animals and I'd be very hesitant to use it this way in the ocean. It's strongly acid and I think it should at least be treated with something alkaline to help neutralize it and then disposed of in a toxic waste facility."
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