Fw: [Diggers350] Disease free factory farming that's better than nature?

Alison Banville alisonbanville at yahoo.co.uk
Mon Dec 17 22:07:59 GMT 2012

Ah, I see the architects of the scheme are trying to prove their welfare credentials by stating they are in talks with the Freedom Food scheme run by the RSPCA lol! That's designed to fool only the ignorant.  The Freedom Food scheme is notorious for being nothing but a label which hides sickening conditions and the non-response of the RSPCA when informed of suffering has been well documented by investigators. 
Freedom Food has been exposed by Tonight with Trevor McDonald, Watchdog, Channel 5 News, Dispatches and various national newspapers. Hillside Animal Sanctuary's footage was used by them all as this organisation is second to none in it's undercover work. Here's some film of an RSPCA accredited farm filmed only last year: 
'Despite conditions on this RSPCA accredited Freedom Food farm being reported to the RSPCA in June 2011, Hillside Animal Sanctuary were able to film the following footage on 9 visits throughout July and August 2011. Despite the farm again being reported to the Society in mid-August, Hillside were able to continue filming the pigs living in dire conditions'
----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Tony Gosling <tony at cultureshop.org.uk>
To: Massimo <diggers350 at yahoogroups.com> 
Sent: Monday, 17 December 2012, 20:00
Subject: [Diggers350] Disease free factory farming that's better than nature?

Could Scottish salmon farming be transformed by moving to dry land?
Fishfrom plans to farm salmon untainted by 
chemicals and sea lice in a Kintyre facility run on renewable electricity


Severin Carrell, Scotland correspondent
The Guardian, Monday 17 December 2012 16.04 GMT

Fishfrom plans build a vast new warehouse on the 
west coast of Scotland where it hopes to farm 
salmon on dry land. Photograph: Murdo Macleod

Scottish salmon is facing a challenge to its 
reputation as one of Britain's best loved 
everyday luxuries, with scares over diseases and 
sea lice, heavy use of pesticides and seal 
killing raising fears about its environmental impact.

A new fish-farming company called Fishfrom 
believes it can help solve the industry's 
problem, and even partly solve future crises over 
food shortages. Its answer: take salmon farming entirely out of the sea.

It is planning to build a vast new warehouse on 
the west coast of Scotland where it hopes to farm 
salmon on dry land, cultivating thousands of 
tonnes of fresh salmon untainted by chemicals, 
sea lice and seal-control, in a self-contained 
facility run on renewable electricity.

That factory, at Tayinloan, just opposite the 
Hebridean island of Gigha, will be powered 
largely by solar panels and a small hydro scheme 
nearby, feed its salmon on its own supply of a 
specially farmed marine animal called ragworm, 
and will recycle nearly all the water it needs onsite.

"It does hit all the right parts of sustainable 
nutrition, grown by authenticated methods. We 
know that they work," said Andrew Robertson, the firm's director.

"Closed containment has got to the point where we 
can deliver a robust business model and it will 
be energy efficient. But most important, it'll 
deliver a fantastic product in a short period of 
time, with a minimal footprint compared to conventional aquaculture."

The firm argues that using farmed ragworm, a 
burrowing creature which is abundant in estuaries 
and mudbanks, will save the wild sand eels, 
anchovies and other fish currently used to feed 
conventional salmon farms from damaging 
exploitation. Even the factory's waste could eventually be used to make power.

Fishform plans to ship out 800,000 salmon a year 
from that single site, supplying retailers such 
as Marks and Spencer, Waitrose, Youngs Seafood 
and in France, Carrefour and Auchain. It already 
supplies Heston Blumenthal's Michelin-starred 
restaurant in Berkshire, the Fat Duck, with 
farmed trout fed on its inhouse fishfood.

Eventually, says Fishfrom, it hopes to open a 
vast farm four times that size nearby on the tip 
of Kintyre on the former RAF air base at 
Machrihanish and then a further plant at Port 
Talbot in Wales, next door to the fishfarm where 
it grows the ragworm. It claims its purpose-built 
"kits" can be built anywhere with the right 
supplies available, and is in talks with buyers 
in New Zealand, north America and Romania.

Fish are already being farmed in other "closed 
containment" facilities in Spain, Denmark, the 
Netherlands, Ireland, north America and China. 
They produce sea bass, catfish, and Atlantic 
salmon. There is a 1,000-tonne salmon farm 
recently opened in Denmark, and two more of a 
similar size being built in China. But nothing, say Fishfrom, on this scale.

It has huge ambitions: if all those factories 
opened, it would end up producing up to a tenth 
of the UK's farmed salmon, which stands at about 158,000 tonnes a year.

Fishform will file its first planning application 
to Argyll and Bute council in January, and hopes 
to begin production in 2014. And it is optimistic 
of success. "The council loves the idea, for so 
many different reasons but fundamentally jobs," Robertson said.

To ensure its fish are disease free, the infant 
salmon, called smoults, will be raised and 
screened on site. The maturing and adult fish 
will swim in interconnected circular ponds where 
a form of whirlpool will form a current to swim against.

Its proposals are being treated warily by the 
conservationists who are harrying the 
conventional offshore salmon farming industry 
over its impact on the marine environment.

The conservation movement has seen such hopes 
raised before: attempts in Shetland to farm 
organic cod – its future in the North Sea 
endangered by over-fishing – collapsed. Efforts 
to create much hardier GM salmon have so far failed.

Piers Hart, an aquaculture specialist with WWF 
UK, said these plants, which rely on pumps, 
filters and monitoring equipment, were expensive 
to build and to run. The Tayinloan factory will 
pump 32m litres of water an hour round the tanks.

"This is not necessarily a silver bullet," Hart 
said. "It is not going to solve all our problems 
and it has its own problems. This is new 
technology and its potentially exciting but we do 
need to be careful until it's actually put into practice."

Fishfrom's proposals for its first factory at 
Tayinloan will face close scrutiny.

It plans to build on the derelict site of a 
previous but failed attempt to farm fish on land 
in the 1970s, using a much cruder technique. But 
the new factory will be 12 metres high and 160m 
long – similar in scale to an Amazon or Tesco distribution centre.

It is also right on the boundary of one of 
Scotland's most important sites for migrating 
geese, a heavily protected site of special 
scientific interest for Greenland white-fronted 
geese, and it borders a popular coastal path, promoted to tourists and walkers.

There may be concerns too about the welfare of 
Fishfrom's salmon. There will be up to 200,000 
fish being farmed each time. To ensure it is 
economic, the vast indoor tanks of water will see 
stocking densities up to double that of 
conventional fishfarms: it will be at least 50kg 
of fish per square metre compared to 22kg of fish per square metre at sea.

But Robertson believes his fish will be far less 
stressed than those in outdoor cages: their ponds 
are interconnected, allowing the salmon to swim 
longer distances, and they will be free from 
parasites, diseases and the stresses of seal 
attacks. So, he adds, far fewer will die during production.

"The agencies involved in food production 
wouldn't accuse us of battery fish-farming here," 
he said. "What we know more than anything else, 
working through all the research we've done, is 
that the mortality rates of the fish are 
extremely low. All our fish will be kept in stress-free environments."

His firm is in talks with the Freedom Foods 
animal welfare scheme run by the Royal Society 
for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, to see 
if its strict definitions can be widened to 
include closed-containment cultivation. Robertson 
must now wait until May 2013, before he knows 
whether his scheme will get the green light.
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"Capitalism is institutionalised bribery."

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shall not be made known. What I tell you in 
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Die Pride and Envie; Flesh, take the poor's advice.
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