Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The making of a documentary...

Come to find out, SO MUCH MORE, goes into a making of a documentary than I ever dreamed! Having zero experience with movie-making and going on a whim of my friend/director, it all seemed like a great idea three years ago. There are a few things I didn't consider before agreeing to this project, but mainly what a huge character building experience this would be.

1) I've never argued more in my life, or witnessed more crazy arguments,  than with the friends of mine who are working on this film. We are all passionate and dramatic people, with a flare for being stubborn and a know-it-all. What a test to our friendship!  I cannot thank them enough for their ability to stay in there with me and complete this film! Hopefully, when it's all wrapped up pretty in a nice DVD, we'll still call each other friends. Seriously though, they are awesome people. We've shared some hilarious moments and have been able to experience this incredible opportunity and journey together.
Tea at the Empress Hotel, Victoria British Columbia
2) I absolutely HATE asking people for money, and this entire film has been funded by sympathetic people whom I've begged and harassed. Some are actually interested in the topic of stopping evil open-net fish farms, but most are just kind enough to throw some cash my way to get me off their back. Regardless of why people have donated, I could never thank them enough for their support. It is remarkable that these generous donors believed in me enough to trust me to deliver a documentary worth spending their money on. (I'm still raising money, by the way! You can click here to donate.)

3) I am learning that it's hard for the creative and brilliant people working on this film to stick to deadlines when I keep sending changes AND they're working for just the hope that they will one day get paid.  (hard to understand)  But, the good news is that A Fishy Tale is slowly coming together and there is a building confidence that it will be done very soon. Despite the million changes I keep sending the editor and basically being a bit neurotic and overbearing - progress is being made! Here is a true statement, "If I CAN MAKE A DOCUMENTARY, so can you!"

4) I have had more sleepless nights than I can count stressing over this project. It has consumed me! My poor husband has dealt with every emotion from me  - sobbing, venting, anger, elation, impatience, and depression. I cannot wait until it is over. Neither can he. Neither can my team. We're all going to find the biggest bottle of champagne ever made and toast to surviving it all and making an awesome documentary!
Picketing in Washington D.C. against NOAA
Having said all of that, I can honestly say that I am super proud of A Fishy Tale. What a testament to an underdog fighting the giant! I've flown all over North America getting interviews, picketing, visiting fish farms, speaking at community events, filming fishing communities - anything and everything I can do to help educate the public about the cost of allowing open-net fish farms in America.
Jerry Vantrease and I discussing the importance of wild salmon to Alaska
Someone told me yesterday that they were a supporter of fish farms because it placed less of a demand on wild salmon. I can understand his point, (barely) but we have got to change the way fish farms are currently going about their business. If we truly MUST farm salmon to meet the world demand, we have got to go about farming in an environmentally sound way. We have to insist on closed containment systems. We must be assured the fish are fed a healthy diet. We must demand a change in the poisons and toxins given to the fish to help stop the spread of disease among the fish.

We are a LONG WAY from being able to farm fish responsibly - not even close to doing it in a sustainable way, despite the crazy advertisements we see coming from the fish farm marketing campaigns. As long as they are farming in the ocean and as long as they are feeding fish toxins, we're not only killing our wild salmon and the entire ecosystem surrounding the fish farms, but we are slowly killing ourselves.
Grossing out over the fish farms
A Fishy Tale is my story of taking a stand against the insanity our federal government insists on. The odds of making a change are practically nil.  But I'm not standing quietly by while watching our oceans and our prized wild salmon be destroyed.

You can help my fight by calling your Congressman to help support Alaska Congressman Don Young's Bill HR 574 - To prohibit the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Commerce from authorizing commercial finfish aquaculture operations in the Exclusive Economic Zone except in accordance with a law authorizing such action.

And, of course, you can always donate to the cause and help me finish this film and pay the folks who so desperately need paid!   :)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Please support A Fishy Tale




As you may know, I am making a documentary called, A Fishy Tale, which exposes the dangers of fish farming and the devastation it causes to our oceans and wild salmon. All filming has been completed and we are now in the editing phase. However, a film of this magnitude and level of importance needs the funding to get the attention it deserves.

To this date, we have raised $19,000 but spent $28,000. With that, we have visited Washington D.C. and interviewed two U.S. Congressmen. We flew to British Columbia to interview marine biologist experts and film the fish farms there.  We’ve interviewed Alaska’s own politicians, we’ve been out to Bristol Bay, across the Kenai Peninsula and down to Halibut Cove to interview Alaska fishing experts. We’ve covered it all and told our story, but we need money to finish the final editing and get it distributed.  We need an additional $20,000!

We’ve all heard about the environmental threats of oil, coal & gas companies, but few ever talk about the greatest overlooked environmental threat of our time – FISH FARMS.
There is no place since the beginning of fish farming, that fish farms haven't harmed and destroyed the wild fish stock. FACT: Everywhere there is fish farming, wild fish are rapidly depleting, and in many places - gone.[1]

I’m sure you already know, that in addition to the elimination of our wild fish, our oceans are being destroyed by fish farms. Massive amounts of toxins kill everything that lives below these open net cages. In open net-cage farming, the use of mesh nets means there is no way to prevent waste feed, which are laced with antibiotics and pesticides, and fish feces from passing directly into the ocean.

NOAA, (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), the same government agency we trust to protect our oceans, is giving a green light to aquaculture (fish farms) off the Gulf of Mexico and the coastal regions in Alaska are prime locations for salmon farms.  In fact, NOAA recently released a report in December 2013 entitled, Coastal ocean aquaculture can be environmentally sustainable, [2] which basically gives the thumbs up for fish farming in America. NOAA, it seems, has become the fish farmers own public relations firm.


Our Alaska Congressman Don Young has introduced Bill HR 574: Protecting our Oceans, Coastal Communities, and Consumers from Factory Fish Farms.  It is very important this bill gets heard and passed in Washington D.C. but it has only a small chance unless awareness of this issue is brought to the public. Congressman Young clearly states in the film, “NOAA wants to eliminate the fisherman.”

In A Fishy Tale, Clem Tillion, probably our states foremost fish expert, explains how federal waters merge into much of Alaska’s fishing waters and would be devastating to our wild salmon fishery. Alaska does have a ban on fish farming, but the U.S. government can put fish farms in it’s own federal waters, which would likely devastate our wild salmon.

British Columbia residents are currently in the fight of their lives, trying to stave off the increasing amount of fish farms that are surrounding their coasts. The fish farms have devastated their wild salmon fishery. In most places, their wild salmon are gone.  Unfortunately, the Canadian government sees the enormous amount of money fish farming brings to their overall economy and has opted to trade wild salmon, and the livelihoods of the fisherman, for the dependability of farmed salmon.

The United States is following their lead and has set an aggressive goal of increasing aquaculture to 1.1 million metric tons per year of fish in America - The U.S. currently produces from aquaculture 340,000 tons of fish per year.[3]  They want a 70% increase!

NOAA claims a compelling case can be made for growing more seafood in the United States. While the worldwide amount of wild-caught seafood has stayed the same year to year, there is a dramatic increase in the amount raised through aquaculture. The United States is the leading global importer of fish and fishery products, with 91% of our seafood originating abroad – half of which is from aquaculture. Driven by imports, the U.S. seafood trade deficit has grown to over $11.2 billion annually.[4]

“Encouraging and developing the U.S. aquaculture industry will result in economic growth and create jobs at home…Sustainable domestic aquaculture can help us meet the increasing demand for seafood and create jobs in our coastal communities,” [5]  - NOAA

Unfortunately, as we have shown in our film, fish farming does not create jobs, nor does it grow the local economies. It wipes out coastal villages and takes away the livelihood of lifelong fisherman and depletes the prized resources the First Nations people depend on.

An endeavor of this size is impossible without financial support of friends. This message is too important for it not to be heard. I've started a new online fundraising campaign with GoFundMe to help pay the last of the editing fees I need to finish the film. You can donate by clicking the link at the top of this post.

Please give what you can - Even $20 will help make a difference!  Or, if you own a company and are interested in corporate sponsorship, we have great opportunities for you to get involved.  

Thank you!!



[1] http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070919225321.htm
[2] http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2013/20131218_aquaculture.html
[3] http://davehakes.com/weblog/wp-content/uploads/2007/06/10_year_plan_for_the_noaa_aquaculture_program.pdf
[4] http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/aquaculture/aquaculture_in_us.html
[5] http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2011/20110609_aquaculture.html

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Fukushima fears relieved!

Glad to read this following post today - let's hope we can put this fear behind us and trust that our oceans and seafood are safe!  (Click HERE to read the story in it's original form or read it below) Only time will truly tell the impacts caused by Fukushima, but as for now, it seems there is no need to stop buying Wild Alaskan Seafood Woohoo!!    - Sara Pozonsky


Half-Lives And Half-Truths Discovering the truth about five of the most widespread myths of the Fukushima disaster  

By Dan Fumano, The Province

The Japanese earthquake and tsunami of March 2011 is still being discussed three years later, particularly in relation to the catastrophic meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Faced with a lack of available official information on Fukushima and its effects, millions have tried to educate themselves on the Internet. People's Facebook feeds are suddenly awash with alarming news and confusing YouTube videos. Some have even sworn off seafood. Almost three years after the meltdown, there has been a recent tidal wave of Fukushima stories - some true, some half-true and some outright falsehoods. Stories of men with Geiger counters strolling radioactive beaches in California, fearful warnings from respected public figures and toxic fish tales are spreading around the globe like plumes of radiation on the currents of social media. Are you freaked out by Fukushima? Are you not sure what to think? Neither were we, so we went to the people who should know, to separate the science from the science section.
Here are five Fukushima fears you may be wondering about, answered by the experts - including nuclear physicists, oceanographers, marine biologists, a public health expert, an internationally renowned energy analyst and a couple of sushi chefs.

1.THE MAP OF DOOM
You may have seen this arresting image online. You may have even shared it on Facebook.
Wave map
This map, supposedly showing radiation spreading across the ocean from Japan, was one of the most widespread pieces of Fukushima (mis) information — it was also one of the easiest myths to debunk. We just went to the source.
The map was produced by the U.S. government's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, and spokeswoman Keeley Belva confirmed the map doesn't show the spread of radiation.
According to their website: "This image was created by NOAA's Center for Tsunami Research and graphically shows maximum wave heights of the tsunami generated by the Japan earthquake on March 11, 2011.
"It does not represent levels of radiation from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant." The map has become "an oceanographer's in-joke," according to Robin Brown, manager of ocean services for Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Two months ago, Brown gave a seminar to 40 oceanographers and showed a slide of the infamous NOAA map with the headline, "West Coast Fried by Radiation." The room burst out laughing, Brown said, but their chuckles were "tinged with a bit of sadness."
"I felt so sorry for NOAA," he said. "It's a bit of a cautionary tale about how your good work could possibly show up in a place you didn't expect."
The bottom line: Yes, it's a real map, but it doesn't show radiation.

2. IS IT SAFE TO EAT THE SUSHI?
If Vancouverites start talking about avoiding sushi, there must be something dramatic going on.
"I do get a lot of questions from customers," said Keith Allison, chef and manager of Sea Monstr Sushi in Gastown.
"On Monday, I had a customer saying, 'How's it been? How's that Fukushima thing going?'" Allison, who was born in Hokkaido, Japan, and raised in Vancouver, said he's noticed the rumours picking up recently, and when business slowed down in recent months, he wondered if Fukushima concerns could be a factor. Business is still OK, Allison said, but he's selling more vegetarian items and less seafood, even though most of the fish he uses is from B.C., not Japan.
Local scientific testing of seafood is being done. A team of scientists from Oregon State University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association tested 70 pounds of tuna caught off the U.S. West Coast and found trace amounts of Fukushima radiation, but "nowhere near enough to be concerned about food safety."
The OSU's Delvan Neville, a coinvestigator on the project, said: "To increase their normal annual dosage of radiation by just one per cent, a person would have to eat more than 4,000 pounds of the highest (radiation)-level albacore we've seen."
Dr. Erica Frank, a public health expert at the University of B.C., has heard the fears around seafood and wishes the Canadian government would do a better job communicating with the public.
"My assessment is that right now, public alarm is greater than actual public health risk," she said, adding that she has been trying to get food-testing data from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for more than a year.
The CFIA conducted special tests in 2011 and '12 for radioactive material in domestically caught seafood. All those results, which are available on the CFIA website, were well below action limits, according to the CFIA.
The bottom line: There is no discernible Fukushima-related risk in eating seafood, especially if it's locally caught. If you want to be extra cautious, avoid fish from Japan.

3. WHAT DID SUZUKI SAY?
One of the most dire and widely shared Fukushima warnings came in October from one of Vancouver's favourite scientific sons.
Dr. David Suzuki, speaking at the University of Alberta, said: "I have seen a paper which says that if, in fact, the fourth (nuclear) plant goes under in an earthquake and those (fuel) rods are exposed, it's bye-bye Japan and everybody on the West Coast of North America should evacuate," he said. "If that isn't terrifying, I don't know what is."
Suzuki's statements made waves. "David Suzuki's Fukushima Warning is Dire and Scary," read the Huffington Post headline.
The David Suzuki Foundation says the paper Suzuki cited was the 2013 World Nuclear Industry Status Report, a 140-page paper written by an international group of scientists who concluded that "the worst-case scenario" if the fuel pool of Fukushima's Unit 4 collapses again, is it could require "evacuation of up to 10 million people in a 250-kilometre radius of Fukushima." It's a frightening warning, but there's no mention of evacuating the West Coast. The Province reached out to the respected lead author of that report, France-based nuclear energy analyst Mycle Schneider.
"I'm indeed a little confused about David's statement," said Schneider. "To be very clear, I have never seen any credible source for a scenario implying the evacuation of the West Coast of North America. In fact, much of the attitude of people on the West Coast - like no more swimming in the ocean - seems utterly disconnected from reality. "I'm really, really shocked about the way it's being discussed in Canada. It's just totally insane."
Suzuki replied to The Province by email when asked to clarify his comments, saying his October statement was "an off-the-cuff response."
He said he knew his speech was being recorded, but didn't know it would end up on the Internet.
"I regret having said it, although my sense of potential widespread disaster remains and the need for an urgent international response to dealing with the spent rods at Fukushima also remains," Suzuki said.
The bottom line: According to nuclear physicists, there's never been a warning about evacuating the West Coast.

4. UNEXPLAINED OCEAN PHENOMENA
When sea stars (starfish) were found to be dying off in massive numbers off the B.C. coast, fingers were quickly pointed at Fukushima as the cause.
"Crazy talk," said Dr. Chris Mah, a sea-star expert and researcher at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. Mah first broke the story of B.C.'s mass sunflower sea-star die-off in September 2013.
He said it's not clear what's causing the "starfish-wasting syndrome," but he listed several facts that make a direct relationship to Fukushima seem extremely unlikely, including the most compelling argument: starfish-wasting syndrome was recorded in B.C. three years before the Fukushima disaster. But it's not only sea stars. People have tried to link Japanese radiation to depleted salmon stocks, deformed whales and even a spike in miscarriages in the Pacific Northwest.
Robin Brown, a Sidney-based DFO oceanographer, is familiar with people's desire to explain surprising new phenomena.
"It's a very human thing to do. We see something unusual, and we try and match it up with something else unusual that happened at the same time," Brown said.
The bottom line: It may be our nature to want to explain the unexplainable by connecting events — but that's not how science works.

5. ARE OUR BEACHES FRIED BY RADIATION?
A YouTube clip made the rounds last month in which an unidentified man claims to find "shocking" levels of radiation on a California beach using a hand-held geiger counter.
The clip has now racked up more than 700,000 views, and caught the attention of the California Department of Public Health.
In January, DPH inspectors visited the same area.
The radiation levels found were close to those shown in the video, said California DPH spokeswoman Wendy Hopkins, but added those radiation levels are "due to naturally occurring materials and not radioactivity associated with the Fukushima incident."
Dr. Krzysztof Starosta, a nuclear scientist and associate professor at Simon Fraser University, explained that a geiger counter just doesn't work that way.
"What they've seen is natural radioactivity," said Starosta. "There's no way the geiger counter on the West Coast could detect anything remotely related to Fukushima." The DFO regularly tests sea water off of our coast, sending a vessel off Vancouver Island's western coast three times a year with scientists looking for isotopes of cesium-134.
"The important thing about cesium-134 is that you can be certain that it came from Fukushima," said Brown. "Because all other sources of cesium-134, primarily from weapons testing and Chernobyl, will all have decayed."
In June 2011, three months after the meltdown, no traces of cesium-134 were found. The following year, trace amounts were detected, but only at the westernmost testing point - 1,500 km west of Vancouver Island.
By June 2013, the Fukushima radiation was detected closer to the B.C. coast, but still well below the limits of human concern.
The bottom line: Measurable amounts of isotopes from Fukushima have travelled across the Pacific. But you will receive a more substantial dose of radiation during an airplane flight - from normal cosmic radiation — than swimming off the coast of Tofino.

dfumano@theprovince.com

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Fukushima and the Death of Me

I conducted a little online poll asking folks if the news of Fukushima, and the fear of possible radiation in seafood, would deter them from buying wild Alaskan seafood this year. I got around 35 replies of people debating the idea but only 14 had an answer. 5 people said Yes - they would still buy our seafood, and 9 said No. I realize that this poll is in no way scientific, but I do think that it probably gives me a good idea of how people are feeling out there.

I am deeply frustrated the State of Alaska and our Federal Government haven't conducted testing for radiation in Alaska waters or on our fish. They say they are "actively monitoring the situation" yet the last tests by the FDA were done in June 2012 - in California - on tuna. Our own governor quickly jumps to say the same catch phrase, "we're actively monitoring", yet I wonder if he has even read a report about it.

It's hard to accept general sweeping statements of "your fish is fine" where there is no current or relevant data to support such a soothing thought. Additionally, people have lost their trust and have grown weary of any government agency. This makes it increasingly difficult to combat fears and concerns of fish eaters by handing them a prepared statement from the FDA or NOAA. People are smarter than that. They want to know and dig for answers - this does not make them whacky people filled with conspiracy theories. It makes them smarter than the mass robots roaming this planet, believing everything the government tells them.

I grew up on Alaska's waters and fell in love with Alaska's beauty and our resources at a very young age. My own little business obviously depends on the health of wild Alaskan seafood, and even a rumor that our fish is tainted can be devastating. Most of you know I've already been waiving the warning flags of the threat of farmed fisheries moving into Alaska and wiping out our wild salmon. (see A Fishy Tale for more) But Fukushima poses a threat that makes the threat of open-net farmed fisheries seem like a moot point.  Nothing can survive the poison of radiation, especially when it's added to the toxic slew fish farms create. Yes, added radiation may just be the breaking point for a hardened farmed salmon already used to swimming in toxins.

But back to my point - larger companies can handle losing some customers, but it's doubtful my small business could absorb that loss. I've fought for every customer at Wild Alaskan Salmon Company and have done my best to retain them.

I've already had to answer many questions from past customers and potentially new customers about this radiation problem. The fact is, I don't have any good information to give. I even have my own concerns and questions!

Japan is deeply negligent in preparing for this kind of disaster as their own builders of the radiation tanks for the Fukushima nuclear plant have admitted to poor workmanship. This admission has made me infuriated. I can understand unintended consequences of tragic accidents, but it's tough to accept that lazy work contributed to this horrendous mess.

As for me, I look at all my fish in my own freezer and think it's most likely safe to eat. But next year's catch? I honestly don't know, and NOBODY'S going to know without proper testing and accurate data handed out to all of us. Tons of radiation continue to dump into the Pacific Ocean everyday. It may end up being a game changer for Alaska seafood and will certainly be the death of my business. The only way to combat my fear - and for anyone else - is to start testing NOW.

For those of you who are confident the radiation levels are safe, I'd appreciate your online orders! Go to www.SEABEEF.com and check out our seafood - Seriously, we'd be thrilled. I need new business to counter the negative response. Put your money where your mouth is guys - Consider ordering seafood for Christmas gifts this year! 


For those interested, here's a picture of the Pacific Currents coming from Japan and another on the range of Alaska salmon. 
                                         

  

Friday, October 11, 2013

Alaska's hatcheries and the difference between farmed & wild salmon

There is an anonymous silly blogger that enjoys mocking me and my attempts to protect Alaska’s wild salmon. I have typically ignored the blog because it is absolutely ridiculous as their assertions and claims of fact are ludicrous (although the fact that I have gotten under his/her skin totally delights me).  Anyway, I was looking for a wild sockeye salmon chart online today and stumbled across this blog.  I was dumbfounded reading the junk they are trying to sell, (it’s kind of like reading the National Enquirer) but thoroughly enjoyed reading the comments of the readers who have painstakingly done their best to educate the blogger on the truth.

The bloggers biggest struggle seems to be understanding the difference between farmed fish and Alaska’s fish hatcheries, which they refer to as “ranching”? (makes NO sense). Hatcheries and fish farming are hardly comparable, yet as often as conscientious readers have tried to educate this blogger, he/she refuses to acknowledge the comments. Most commentators challenge the blogger as to why he/she stays anonymous and why a person should give the blog any credibility? This question is repeatedly ignored and the readers are told by the blogger to just blindly believe the blog and to question who the authors are, is not the point. (what??)  One of the readers just flat out called the blogger a MORON, which totally made me bust out laughing!

Now I don’t dismiss the concerns some Alaskan’s have about our hatcheries as they want to keep the wild salmon 100% pure, but to compare Alaska's hatchery fish to “ranching” or fish farms is extremely far-fetched. 

I have found a terrific video on Huntington Post put out by Ali Rosen, the Founder and Host of Potluck Video. She does a great job explaining the difference between the fisheries. I wish the author of this silly blog I told you about would watch this video.

This video is totally worth watching and I'm very thankful it was made - Take a look.


Buying a fish at the fish counter in a grocery store is so disconnected from the reality, that it's often hard to imagine why a wild Alaskan salmon might be so much more expensive than a similar looking farmed salmon. But head out to Alaska and take a ride on a fishing boat, and the differences become clear quite quickly. We went to Juneau to get the real story behind Alaskan Wild Salmon. Read more here

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

-->

I watched Salmon Fishing in the Yemen for the 3rd or 4th time last night. It’s a fun little romantic drama/comedy that includes a topic that really interests me - salmon fishing.

In the story, a fisheries expert, Dr Albert Jones, is recruited to help realize a dream of a wealthy sheikh, Sheikh Muhammed, who wants to make fly-fishing possible in the Yemen. In order to fulfill the sheikh’s dream, 10,000 wild salmon need to be transported from Britain’s waters to the man-made fishing waters in Yemen, which the wealthy sheikh has already successfully created. There seems to be no limit to the amount of money the sheikh is willing to spend, or barriers he’s willing to cross in order to fulfill his vision.

In a crucial part of the film (which I finally really heard last night), the Public Relations Director for England’s Prime Minister, Mrs. Patricia Maxwell, informs the Yemen fish team that wild salmon are impossible to bring over due to the fierce resistance received from the anglers in their country. She suggests farmed salmon as an alternative and the solution to this problem.

The following dialogue takes place when Mrs. Patricia Maxwell tries to sell her idea of farmed salmon as a replacement. The response of the sheikh and Dr Jones perfectly describes my feelings of the idea of farmed salmon replacing wild salmon. And the idea of the government’s vision of farmed salmon replacing wild salmon also seems to be a scenario already taking place!

Excerpt from Salmon Fishing in the Yemen:

Mrs. Maxwell: “This guy's got four fish farms up and down the coast. Stocks all the Tescos (a grocery store chain) - Right under your nose.”

Dr Alfred Jones: “These fish were bred for the dinner table. It's barbaric…”

Mrs. Maxwell: Well, get a couple of days fishing out of it, then just re-stock or whatever the word is. Seems to be no shortage of them....In transit for the supermarkets.

Dr Alfred Jones: These fish will never run. They're just not right.

Mrs. Maxwell: Not right? Well, a fish is a fish is a fish, isn't it?

Sheikh: No. You see, Mrs. Maxwell, I have a vision. Tired, bloated pretenders
are not part of this vision.

Mrs. Maxwell: “Well, unfortunately, Her Majesty's Government also has a vision,
and that vision is farmed fish or no fish.”

Sheikh: “Then I must thank you for your precious time. And decline.”


I must also DECLINE.

We must insist on no alternatives, no tired and bloated pretenders, no diseased and toxic fish, no letting precious marine life be threatened - NO MORE ocean depraving open-net fish farms.


Always GO WILD!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Redox Potential

I'm betting you've never heard of Redox Potential.

No, it's not your potential of getting Acid Reflux and certainly nothing a Tums can cure. But apparently, according to the Head of Business Development of Inter Aqua Advance in Denmark, you're not qualified to express concerns about the environmental hazards of fish farms unless you can explain, on demand, the meaning of redox potential.

I recently posted on LinkedIn that Norwegian TV channel TV2 has reported that the country’s four major grocery chains have threatened to ban farmed salmon * unless farmers switch to closed containment facilities and can guarantee the fish are safe to eat. A remarkable story considering Norway is the MOTHERLAND of farmed salmon and now their own people are banning the fish!  

Salmon farming is worth 3 billion pounds per year to Norway so you can just imagine how dicey this situation has become for the Norwegian government!

Knowing this article would ruffle some of my fish farmer friends feathers, I posted it in hopes of reading some flavorful responses. I love to stir the pot a bit and knew this was a blow that had to hurt the farming industry.

The following response stood out as it showed the elitist and arrogant attitude the farming industry has turned to. Instead of trying to fix the problem and address the public as if we were fellow citizens, they talk to us like ignorant fools and tell us we are not justified in our concerns.
______________________________________________________________

Conversation from LinkedIn:

Mr Inter Aqua Advance:  
"Thomas (another guy in the conversation), you may have read that I asked Sara if she could provide us with just one peer reviewed report. She hasn't responded to that yet. At a meeting some years ago in Ireland, where there were protesters postulating that a proposed salmon farm would poison the whole area, I asked one of them who seemingly knew everything what redox potential he would consider acceptable - he didn't know what redox potential stood for."

My response :)  
"I can't imagine any report of which you or your "peers" would approve." (and actually I had already sent him several which he disregarded)

In regards to the postulating protestor, I don't doubt the man didn't know what redox potential was, but I also doubt he ever professed to be a scientist! It would be similar to you writing off another person as an uneducated fool if they couldn't explain to you, on demand, what quantum mechanics is in 30 seconds or less.

But since you asked: The redox potential is a measure (in volts) of the affinity of a substance for electrons — its electronegativity — compared with hydrogen (which is set at 0).
Substances more strongly electronegative than (i.e., capable of oxidizing) hydrogen have positive redox potentials. Substances less electronegative than (i.e., capable of reducing) hydrogen have negative redox potentials.  Link to a discussion of electronegativity.

Oxidations and reductions always go together. They are called redox reactions.
When electrons flow "downhill" in a redox reaction, they release free energy.
Discussion We indicate this with the symbol ΔG (delta G) preceded by a minus sign.

It requires an input of free energy to force electrons to move "uphill" in a redox reaction. We show this with ΔG preceded by a plus sign.

The electronegativity of a substance can also be expressed as a redox potential (designated E)

The standard is hydrogen, so its redox potential is expressed as E = 0.
Any substance — atom, ion, or molecule — that is more electronegative than hydrogen is assigned a positive (+) redox potential; those less electronegative a negative (−) redox potential.

The greater the difference between the redox potentials of two substances (ΔE), the greater the vigor with which electrons will flow spontaneously from the less positive to the more positive (more electronegative) substance.
The difference in potential (ΔE) is, in a sense, a measure of the pressure between the two. ΔE is expressed in volts.

If we bring two substances of differing E together with a potential path for electron flow between them, we have created a battery. Although it may be in a mitochondrion, it is just as much a battery as a the lead-acid storage battery in an automobile.
The greater the voltage, ΔE, between the two components of a battery, the greater the energy available when electron flow occurs. It is, in fact, possible to quantify the amount of free energy available. The relationship is:

ΔG = − n (23.062 kcal) (ΔE)
where n is the number of moles of electrons transferred and
23.062 is the amount of energy (in kcal) released when one mole of electrons passes through a potential drop of 1 volt.

Cellular Respiration

For every molecule of glucose respired, 24 electrons travel down the respiratory chain to the final acceptor: oxygen molecules.
Discussion
Carbon reduced to the extent occurring in carbohydrates like glucose (only partially reduced) has a redox potential of approximately − 0.42 volt.
Oxygen, as the most electronegative substance in the system, naturally has the largest E: + 0.82 volt

The difference (ΔE) is thus 1.24 volts. Allowing 24 moles of electrons to pass through this potential gives us a free energy yield of − 686 kcal:

ΔG = − (24)(23.062)(1.24) = − 686 kcal
Photosynthesis
To synthesize a molecule of glucose by photosynthesis,

24 electrons must be removed from water molecules where they have been held by the redox potential of oxygen (+ 0.82 volt) and pumped "uphill" to
carbon atoms which they partially reduce to carbohydrate with a redox potential of − 0.42 volt.

Once again, the difference is 1.24 volts, so

ΔG = + (24)(23.062)(1.24) = + 686 kcal

ΔG is positive here because electrons are moving against the gradient (from positive to negative) instead of with it as they do in cellular respiration. Thus energy (from light) must be put into the system.

Everyone knows that. So the guy in Ireland was obviously an idiot."

_____________________________________________________________________

HOPEFULLY you didn't spend time reading all that nonsense about redox potential and my point was made. It's ridiculous to assume that the common man does not have sense enough to know when something has gone wrong. Evidence from all over points the dangerous impacts that fish farming is having on our environment and to our health, yet the only response we get from the farming industry is to insult our intelligence?

The most laughable part of the article is even after their own citizens and grocery chains ban farmed salmon in fear for their health and the environment, the farmed salmon industry still insists that their salmon is 100% healthy. Ya right. If it's so healthy, why are the people closest to farmed salmon fleeing in droves?

I have never professed to be a expert scientist but someone who is deeply concerned about open-net fish farms. If open-net fish farms are not responsible for the devastating decline of wild salmon wherever the fish farms appear, THEN WHAT IS?? I've shown you evidence, from all over, which says the same thing time and time again - fish farms are dangerous to our wild salmon, our environment and to our health. Farmed fish are being tested and are regularly found with problems and sickness. It's not a natural fish - its another man-made attempt to speed up a natural process. Whenever that happens, you just get really bad side-effects.

No need to memorize the redox potential or understand quantum mechanics, that's just common sense.

 (*If that link doesn't work click here for the article I found it on and scroll down near the end to the TV Channel link and let Google translate the article for you.)

Share it