Sunday, 30 August 2015

BC Residents Don't Vote Conservative - No to Stephen Harper and Marine Harvest, Cermaq and Grieg Seafood

British Columbia residents voted in high numbers against fish farms, more than 100,000 signing a petition to stop expansion, and to get fish farms out of out pristine ocean. See:

The Conservatives, the Harper Government, did the opposite of what British Columbians want: they issued four more sites to fish farms in BC; they weakened the already weakened laws by bringing in new fish farm regs (See: my article on the recent Blacklock article:;postID=3089477178877178483;onPublishedMenu=posts;onClosedMenu=posts;postNum=6;src=postname; and they issued licences in BC for 9 years.

All of these actions are against what British Columbian voters want: we want DFO and the government to get on with saving wild Pacific salmon, and protecting the environment by putting fish farms on land.

Of the other federal parties, the Green Party has a specific policy against fish farms and will get them out of the water immediately after the election. See:

Please note that as of September 1, 2015, neither the Liberals nor NDP have stated policies to eliminate fish farms from BC waters. Those who support wild salmon, do not vote Liberal nor NDP.

In a province with 99.8% of all the wild salmon in Canada - some 73 million before fisheries in saltwater - salmon are an important issue, providing along with freshwater fishing $2.52 Billion, and with another $200 Million if the Georgia Strait chinook and coho stocks are brought back. In other words, $2.72 Billion. See my Pacific Salmon Foundation Salmon Steward editorial: This post gives you links to all the references I used to derive these figures.

By comparison, fish farms, provide only $469 M revenue, or only 17 percent of what we receive from BC wild fish. Their sewage is a $10.4 Billion cost to BC taxpayers and voters. The Liberals and NDP need to get out in front of this issue by publicly stating policy to get fish farms out of the oceans.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Stephen Harper and the Conservatives Don’t Get BC – Atlantic Salmon Poster

As you can see from this Conservative Party election ad, Stephen Harper and the Conservatives don’t get BC. The salmon leaping on the ad is an Atlantic Salmon, not one of the five species of Pacific Salmon. All this ad does is make British Columbian’s angry, and confirm that DFO and the Conservatives don’t get BC.

As mentioned previously, virtually all British Columbians are against farmed Atlantic Salmon in BC. Some 110,000 citizens have signed a petition to stop fish farm expansion and to get fish farms out of our pristine ocean and put them on land where they belong. See: But Stephen Harper and the Conservatives will not do what we want.

Instead, Harper has thrown $15Million in the BC pot for habitat restoration. You will know from many posts in the past few months that with the environmental laws weakened and scientists fired, DFO isn’t doing much on other fronts, either.

Now, there is some good news and some bad news about the $15Million. The good news is that it was given to the Pacific Salmon Foundation in BC. The PSF leverages such money between 4 to 7 times with contributions from BC residents and businesses.

The bad news is that it is a drop in the bucket. My estimate of money needed for habitat is $500 Million, and, by comparison, last year’s money spent on Vancouver Island was a measly $200,000.

If you look at the cost of a recent project, the Clay Bank on the Cowichan River, for instance, that 400 yards of earth removal cost $1.5 Million. When you consider that there are 70,000 culverts, and this is only one kind of damage that prevents fish passage for feeding or spawning in BC, it is easy to see that $500 Million will get used up pretty quickly.

Just so you know, my figure for pre-fishery, in-ocean BC salmon is 73 Million in an average year. But there are only 170,000 in-ocean adult Atlantic Salmon in more than half the country, some six provinces.

In other words, BC has 99.8% of the salmon in Canada. Harper doesn’t seem to get this. So much for John Duncan on Van Isle.

Friday, 21 August 2015

DFO and CFIA Testing of Diseases in Farmed Salmon

Here is a letter I received today about DFO not testing farmed salmon for PRV (Piscene Rheovirus aka HSMI, the Norwegian heart and skeletal muscle inflammation).

1. The point is that DFO and the CFIA are in conflict with the fish farm industry. The Cohen Commission told the federal government to end the conflict for DFO and take from it supporting farmed salmon, and get on with its duty to protect wild Pacific salmon.

2. The CFIA were shown to be only interested in the export dollars from farmed salmon, not wild Pacific salmon.

3. When the CFIA tested for ISA in Pacific salmon, they were shown to be testing for the Atlantic Canada variant of ISA. They found no ISA which is not surprising because it is the Norwegian variant of ISA that has been transported to BC. You will note AM's point that the samples kept were kept in RNA and thus are of no value.
4. DFO should not be appealing the decision that said all farmed smolts to be transferred needed to be tested. That is standing against wild Pacific Salmon.
5. I would be surprised if PRV was endemic as it is the virus associated with HSMI in Norway.
6. The CEO of Marine Harvest recently stated that they have 90 scientific studies going to find a solution to lice, which he said was the biggest problem in Norway. Sea lice are a problem wherever farmed salmon are allowed.

Alex Morton aksing DFO about PRV testing:

Dear Diane Trager

In a meeting earlier this year with you and representatives of Wild Salmon Forever, I asked you the question -  is DFO testing farmed salmon smolts prior to transfer into marine net pens on our wild salmon migration routes? You said you would find out, but I have not heard back from you.

As you know I won a legal decision this year that requires DFO to make the decision, at every transfer, whether PRV-infected Atlantic salmon smolts can be transferred into BC marine waters.

Somewhat shockingly DFO has joined with Marine Harvest to appeal this decision, so the salmon farmers can make this decision without DFO. It is hard to see how that serves the citizens of Canada,  however, I want to know is DFO testing salmon farming hatcheries today, prior to smolt transfer.  If not, defacto, the industry is making this decision, if they are even testing for PRV at all.

This is a significant issue as I know from my own work that nearly all Atlantic salmon for sale in BC markets are infected with PRV.  While DFO appears to depend on Dr. Gary Marty’s opinion that PRV is benign and endemic, his views were resoundingly debunked by scientists from across Canada.  

To make that argument, Dr. Marty… has used the literature very selectively and improperly and in some cases he has misquoted or miscited information. These are cardinal sins in academia. His entire approach is very biased and presupposes the conclusion before he presents the evidence for it”  (Dr. Larry Dill, Vancouver Sun, June 12, 2015, 1st version)

This is extremely strong language and so DFO, at some level, must realize that there might be problems with Dr. Marty’s conclusions.

DFO’s preference for farmed salmon over wild salmon is shameful.  The failures are stacking up like sockeye dying in the Fraser River.  The CFIA testing for ISA virus is a sham as they stored the samples in RNALater, which prevents confirmation of the virus in Canada.  You have ignored the Cohen Commission, given the farms longterm leases, permission to use chemicals that kill fish, and DFO has done nothing to reprimand the companies involved in the shameful sea louse outbreak in the Broughton this spring that heavily infected over 90% of the juvenile out-migrating salmon.  The wild fish are a valuable public resource and yet they are treated as vermin.

DFO is allowing the industry to expand when Norway is reining them in due to their lack of ability to control sea lice, even with a wide suit of available drugs. DFO is no longer doing enumeration of wild salmon and there is no indication of response to the extreme conditions wild salmon are facing this summer in the rivers.  DFO now has a reputation of destroying scientific libraries and muzzling scientists.  

I can only conclude that DFO’s longterm plan is to closure of salmon fisheries and to let wild salmon slip into extinction, similar to how DFO presided over the demise of Canada’s cod fishery, muzzling DFO scientist, Dr. Ransom Myers who tried to inform DFO of how to protect that incredible valuable resource, one of the biggest wild food resources on earth.  But he too was muzzled, the cod collapsed and very quickly thereafter the Hibernia oil wells were affixed on the Grand Banks.  I think context is important here.

Are you allowed by your masters to answer this simple question?

Is DFO testing all farmed salmon for PRV and other pathogens prior to transfer into our marine environment.

For those of us determined to bequeath wild salmon to the next generation, we need to know.

Thank you,

Alexandra Morton

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

101 On Land Fish Farm Systems - Updated Oct 5, 2015

Go back and look at my post that summarizes the 101 on-land fish farm systems, now comprising more than 10,000 actual, on land systems around the world:

There is no need anymore for the dinosaur, old-tech Norwegian-style in-ocean fish farms that use the world's oceans as free, open sewers. If you hear a fish farm making the claim they have to be in the public's oceans, tell them it just isn't so, and they need to get out of our oceans, contain their sewage, eliminate lice problems and chemicals, avoid killing sea lions and sea birds, avoid killing wild salmon and get with the rest of the world.

Marine Harvest operates in 22 countries - dumping their raw sewage right from their cages - and along with Cermaq and Grieg Seafood need to be chastised until they come out of the ocean. Don't buy farmed fish if you don't want our oceans polluted by companies that, collectively, put out more sewage than the entire human populations of many of the countries they operate in. This includes Norway itself, Scotland and BC Canada.

Note that you should also boycott Mitsubishi products, including their cars, because it bought Cermaq earlier this year.

Also, this just in Aug 20, 2015: AKVA on-land fish farms systems (a Norwegian company) is having its highest growth ever, even in Norway. See:

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Ahousaht First Nation People Take Stand Against Cermaq Fish Farms and their own Chiefs

In an unprecedented move, the people of Ahousaht, Calyoquot Sound BC, have said they will not tolerate another fish farm in this United Nations biosphere and take action on their own to stop it.

There are already 22 fish farms and wild chinook stocks teeter on the brink of extinction at 501 fish. The Kennedy Lake sockeye run has been wiped out and not returned during the time that fish farms have been in Clayoquot Sound.

Note that these people are taking action and feel their own chiefs have let them down. These people should be supported by all British Columbians, who have overwhelmingly signed a petition of their own to get fish farms out of BC. If you have ever been to Ahousaht, you will see a town that needs major financial support by the same governments, BC and Canada, that have signed this and other new farms into existence.

Go sign the Ahousaht petition: