Mark Anderson, American Free Press Article

By Mark Anderson, American Free Press


An Orillia, Ontario resident who worked for the Ministry of Natural Resources says that revolutionary “closed-loop” fish hatchery technology that he helped develop—which uses one-tenth of the groundwater than that used by government hatcheries—has long been ignored and suppressed by those in big corporate media and government, much to the detriment of human health, the food supply and the economy.


But John Devine, along with his son, Mark, are persevering to raise awareness of this alternative system—especially to address the fact that, at a time when droughts have been particularly severe, typical “open” (water in, water out) fish hatcheries extract a whopping 2,000 gallons of water per minute from aquifers.


“It’s important to note that hatcheries need clean ground water; you cannot use surface water,” John Devine said, due to surface water’s manmade and naturally occurring pollutants, as well as the temperature variations of surface water.


The closed-loop system draws water from the aquifer at a much slower rate, since 90 percent of what is taken in is carefully cleaned and recycled back to the fish, so they can continue to thrive.  “One thing is that the water goes through a settling system where the water slows down and the fish solids fall to the bottom,” Devine said. These solids are the fish excretions (bodily waste).


The outcome: The oxygen in the water is replenished, the ammonia from the fish excretions is stripped, the solids are removed as noted, and any remaining harmful bacteria are killed. Bio-filters and ultraviolet technology are incorporated to help accomplish this overall result.


The 10 percent of fresh water needed from the aquifer is “make-up” water to offset the mere 10 percent which is discharged into the environment, having been cleaned to the point where the outside environment will be unaffected.


Devine noted that while some “recycling” hatcheries clean the water before discharging it, their treatments do not lessen aquifer impact. And the typical open systems that dump raw discharge into the environment pose a major hazard.


“Every Ontario government fish hatchery has a polluting factor of (that is, affecting) 20,000 people,” Devine said, referring to an assessment by biologist Gary Chapman, formerly with Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources.


Devine left his government post in 1985. He then networked with others, improved the closed-loop technology and established a business called Fisherman’s Cove. But Canadian authorities colluded with tribal interests who wanted to build a new facility called Casino Rama. The wide highway paved expressly for the new casino vivisected Devine’s land in a manner that destroyed the business.


Ever since, Devine has been laboring against often-hostile corporate, government and media forces in his quest to educate the public about this water technology—which could be improved upon even more to bring much healthier fish to dinner plates, while drastically reducing both groundwater usage and the discharge of foul pollutants into the environment. In a world where “water is the new oil,” large corporate interests want to control water, no matter what impact such control may have on people and the environment—such as water bottling companies like Nestle that put enormous strains on Michigan aquifers to bottle water, something that ought to be free, and sell it to a population whose tap water is laced with chlorine, fluoride and other highly questionable additives that make the water essentially unfit for human ingestion.


Those such as Mr. Devine, however, have answers that benefit everyone but often collide with the heavy hand of government-corporate collusion that seeks to suppress individual initiative and innovation.


He added that widely used baitfish, such as minnows, could be raised in such closed-loop fish farms instead of being massively extracted from the environment by wholesalers and stored in holdings systems with a high mortality rate, which means having to net even more baitfish to sell to recreational fishermen. Environmental imbalances are all but inevitable.


The government, said Devine, hatches gamefish to put into the lakes and rivers—instead of responsibly farming baitfish, populating the waters with them, and allowing existing game-fish populations to find their natural balance. Meanwhile, gamefish raised in government farms are often fed with baitfish netted en masse from the oceans—all of which risks causing grave imbalances, shortages of fish (a major human protein source), and sharp price increases.


“To make a pound of [edible] fish, you need one and one-quarter pounds of baitfish,” Devine said.


See, or write to: 20 Lewis Dr. Orillia, Ontario, Canada L3V 7S3. Email:


The writer is roving editor for American Free Press, an American national weekly newspaper. See for more information. To contact the writer, email Hear Mark’s radio show, “When Worlds Collide,” at on Mondays from 9 to 11 p.m. Eastern time.