Health Canada has approved Salmosan (active ingredient azamethiphos) under emergency registration for use on salmon farms in Atlantic Canada days before the opening of lobster season. Salmosan is approved for use from November 4, 2010 to November 3, 2011. Salmosan has been used on and off on salmon farms since 1995. The last round of “emergency” approval of Salmosan expired October 15, 2010. Like Alphamax, Salmosan is bath treatment; it is applied directly to the water in tarped cages or is used in wellboats.
Matthew Abbott, with Fundy Baykeeper said, “Following on the heels of the recent Alphamax approval, this approval of Salmosan highlights the lack of meaningful regulation of the aquaculture industry in our shared waters. This sea lice outbreak has been caused by aquaculture industry practices like growing too many fish per site and having too many sites in the same area. Instead of ensuring the aquaculture industry operates in a sustainable manner, government regulators seem content to simply add to the cocktail of pesticides being used in our bay.”
Inka Milewski, Science Advisor with CCNB said, “Studies published by DFO scientists over the past 10 years reveal that azamethiphos can kill lobsters and affect their spawning at concentration 10 times lower than the treatment dose. Just because Salmosan has been in use since 1995 does not make it safe. Repeated exposure to Salmosan has been found to increase the likelihood of negative impact on lobsters.”
The emergency approval of Salmosan leads Milewski to ask “Where is DFO on this issue?” “By allowing the use of these chemicals, DFO is playing favourites. They are threatening lobsters and the lobster fishery for farmed fish.”