Archive for the ‘Ecology’ Category

Why farmed salmon should be banned

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018

Farmed Salmon Pen

by Catherine Haug, Nov, 2018 (Photo, right by  L. Renehan/Living Oceans Society (1))

Salmon is my favorite fish (after lutefisk), probably because when I was growing up in Bigfork in the 50 and 60s, we had an amazing land-locked salmon fishery here. When I moved to the west coast for college and career, I had abundant access to wild-caught ocean salmon. But we lost our salmon fishery here, and wild-caught salmon are in decline in the waters off the west coast of the USA and Canada.

You might think that switching to farmed salmon would help our wild salmon fisheries to recover, but sadly, this is not the case. In fact, the truth is just the opposite.

It’s estimated that within the next 10 years, farm-raised fish (of all species) will make up the majority of fish consumed by humans. Aquaculture (technical name for fish-farming) sounds like a sustainable alternative to catching wild fish, but that is not true. It poses many of the same problems plaguing industrial land-based livestock operations, or concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Here’s just a few examples:

  • This $160 billion dollar industry is depleting wild fisheries because wild fish are caught and turned into fishmeal to feed the farmed fish. 20 million tons of wild fish caught in the oceans are used to make fresh meal for farmed fish, depleting wild fish even more (and making them more expensive at the market).
  • Communities near the shore around the world lose a valuable source of income when wild fish are depleted. For example, the sardinella fisheries in West Africa, and the Alaskan and British Columbia salmon fisheries are prime examples.
  • Diseases that may be rampant in fish farms are passed to wild fish through biological waste. Concentrated fecal matter along with urine and mucus is released from each salmon farms by the ton daily. Nearby wild salmon are the victims. Fisheries and Ocean Canada virologist, Dr. Kyle Garver testified at the Cohen Commission into the decline of Fraser River sockeye salmon, that a salmon farm can shed  65 billion infectious particles per hour. This is a threat to wild salmon survival.

See Mercola’s articles (2a, 2b) for lots more information.

References

  1. Photo by  L. Renehan/Living Oceans Society, from farmedanddangerous.org/salmon-farming-problems/
  2. Mercola:
  3. alexandramorton.typepad.com/racing_a_virus/

Are toxic ag-chemicals winning the battle?

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

Frankenfood

By Catherine Haug, June 20, 2018 (Image, right, from OCA, used with permission)

Three huge ag company mergers have happened in recent weeks (2):

  • Monsanto and Bayer as Bayer (effective the first week of June, 2018)
  • Dow and Dupont, as DowDupont
  • ChemChina and Syngenta as ChemChina

These three, along with the German ag-chem giant BASF, will control 70 percent of the pesticide market. While the name “Monsanto” will disappear, their toxic ag sprays like Roundup will simply be labeled as Bayer products.

There’s never been a better time for us to support Organic and Regenerative agriculture (see link below), and turn our backs on all GMO foods. This includes meats and eggs from animals fed a GMO diet.

Read on for scary statistics, and for a spark of hope. (more…)

“The Need to Grow” Documentary in Whitefish, June 16, 2018

Friday, June 8th, 2018

By Catherine Haug, June 8, 2018

Thanks to Jean H. for letting me know about this documentary. It concerns a local algae aquaculture plant on F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber Co property, that uses industrial waste, like wood chips from the lumber plant, to create electricity and nutrient-rich soil amendments. This demonstration-scale greenhouse began operations in 2009; unfortunately, a 2015 fire destroyed the main powerhouse.

Filmmaker Rob Herring and his partner, Ryan Wirick, now present their documentary about this “game-changing” technology on June 16 at 7 p.m in Whitefish at the O’Shaughnessy Center,

To watch the documentary trailer, visit theneedtogrow.com; to purchase tickets for the Whitefish showing, go to algaeaqua.ticketleap.com/the-need-to-grow-whitefish; or for all screening locations: theneedtogrow.com/screenings

For more about this film, the technology, and the plant, see Flathead Beacon’s article flatheadbeacon.com/2018/06/08/the-need-to-grow/

References:

  1. Flathead Beacon: http://flatheadbeacon.com/2018/06/08/the-need-to-grow/

All about bees, our precious pollinators

Saturday, May 5th, 2018

Honeybee

By Catherine Haug, May 5, 2018 (Photo, right, from Bug Guide (5))

I’ve written many posts about the plight of bees, and how to help our native mason bees by providing homes for them. But I’ve not written much about these amazing animals. I hope to correct that by bringing your attention to an article by a British blogger, Clive Harris, who requested I provide a link to his post: The Ultimate Guide to British Bees: How to Protect Their Declining Population (1). While he writes from Britain, we have many of the same bees including honey bees, bumblebees and other ground-dwelling bees, and mason bees. He also goes into a lot of detail about bees:

  • An amazing video about the waggle dance;
  • How do bees make honey and beeswax?
  • How do bees help the garden?
  • What’s the difference between bees and wasps?
  • 4 things you can do to help bees.

His is a long post, but full of lots of great information – share with your kids/grandkids! See Reference (1), below.

Below I include:

  • 3 videos about the waggle dance, and how scientists discovered it’s meaning;
  • List of prior articles on The EssentiaList about bees, including John Holbrook’s articles on mason bees and bee motels;
  • References

(more…)

Clever ideas for gardening and repurposing

Saturday, February 3rd, 2018

Milk Jug Hot Caps

By Catherine Haug, Feb 3, 2018; image right, from Gardening Hacks article (1)

I happened upon an interesting blog article: 19 Gardening Hacks to Become a Pro Gardener (1). Several of the hacks involve repurposing household items that would otherwise  be trash/compost. Here’s a list of the 19; check out the article for more detail on each. (more…)

Moringa: green-leafy veggie (tree) grows well during drought

Friday, December 22nd, 2017

Edible leaves of a Moringa tree

By Cat, Dec 2017 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

The leaves of this amazing tree are considered a superfood; plus the tree grows well in a warm, dry climate. Given the progression of climate change in our corner of the world here in NW Montana, this could become an important food source for us as our climate becomes more arid. Plus, its deep roots make it an amazing carbon-sequestor.

Its leaves have the texture of spinach with a radish-like taste, and are packed with nutrients. Use its leaves in salads and soups; add to smoothies or raw veggie juices. Its young seed pods are also edible, similar to green beans.

Important caution: We must be careful when introducing new, non-native species, as they can become problematic, invasive weeds.

Want to know more about this tree, and what makes it a superfood? Read on for more detail. (more…)