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CFIA testing for ISAV in British Columbia - acceptable?

June 24th, 2016

In the ongoing saga of what I view as a coverup of the effect of farm salmon disease on wild salmon, I have written to Canada's newest Minister of Fisheries. Recent internal CFIA emails reveal that the agency only wants only one lab in all of Canada to test for ISA virus in BC farmed salmon and that lab is shrouded in controversy due to its chronic inability to find diseases and pathogens that other labs are reporting. This is not acceptable and threatens not only wild salmon, but Canada's reputation, again. I think there is reason to believe that this Minster could be brave enough to look the salmon farming industry in the eye and finally make an honest evaluation of the risk to Canada and take the steps required to protect wild salmon and aquaculture. I hope I am not wrong. We will see - so far he does not acknowledge my correspondence to him. June 24, 2016 Dear Fisheries Minister LeBlanc Thank you for your words of commitment to ensure healthy oceans and fisheries for Canadians. We share your sense of duty, and are writing to alert you to recent actions undertaken by federal government...

Wild Salmon: A sampling expedition to the Discovery Islands

June 10th, 2016

I spent this past weekend examining young wild salmon migrating through the Discovery Islands off Campbell River. These young salmon are leaving the mighty Fraser River to start their lives out in the open ocean as they have done for thousands of years, but today they have to swim through fish farm pollutants. I am studying how this pollution of viruses, bacteria and lice affects...

Briefing - First Nations can stop diseased farmed salmon

May 27th, 2016

Briefing: Significance to First Nations - DFO announces new farmed salmon disease May 23, 2016 Lawsuit that triggered the announcement June 2015 - Federal Court struck down conditions of licence permitting Marine Harvest to transfer farmed salmon infected with disease into open net pens. The court ruled this activity was harmful to the protection of fish and unlawful according to the Fisheries Act. Both DFO and Marine Harvest immediately appealed...

DFO confirms heart disease is present in BC farmed salmon

May 20th, 2016

In a technical briefing was held by phone-in only Dr. Kristi Miller of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. They confirmed for the first time that the disease Heart and Skeletal Muscle Inflammation (HSMI) was diagnosed in farmed Atlantic salmon in a farm in the Johnston Strait area of British Columbia. This is a very important finding because the virus associated with this disease, piscine reovirus (PRV), is widespread...

Case Adjourned! DFO Blinks.

May 19th, 2016

On Friday the 13th, the lawyer for Fisheries and Ocean wrote to my lawyers at Ecojustice asking if the appeal against me could be adjourned until some time in October. This took everyone by surprise, because only a few weeks ago the same lawyer was in such a hurry that we could not wait for a court date in Vancouver and the hearing date was...

Why is DFO taking me to court?

May 6th, 2016

Last year I won a legal decision (thank you Ecojustice) prohibiting further transfer of farmed salmon carrying diseases into marine net-pens on the BC coast. While common sense suggests putting diseased Atlantic farm salmon in the Pacific ocean is a bad idea, the Harper government and Marine Harvest appealed the decision. We came to expect this kind action from Harper, but here's the shocker....

"Legislate the removal of caged salmon from our oceans"

April 12th, 2016

On March 29, 2016 a landmark Petition to the Government of Canada was sponsored by Canadian Liberal MP Bernadette Jordan. While our new Minister of Fisheries is beginning to repeat the meaningless statements of the previous Ministers who brought this industry to this country, Member of Parliament Bernadette Jordan has given us the opportunity to set the record straight on how we feel about other...

Open Letter to the Honourable Minister Hunter Tootoo

April 6th, 2016

April 5, 2016 To the Honourable Minister Hunter Thank you for your response of April 5, 2016. I am sorry that you won’t meet with me. I would like to better state my case. Indeed, you have been given an excellent mandate, but I have reason for concern that the bureaucratic structure you inherited may be having difficulty making the transition. As a result, I...

BC Salmon Farmers dodge responsibility for sea lice

February 24th, 2016

The Jan 2016 BC Salmon Farmers (BCSFA) report on sea lice[1] attempts to make the case that salmon farms are not the cause of sea louse infection on juvenile wild salmon in BC and that sea lice do not impact juvenile wild salmon. Their report has no name, there is no author, it is not published and there are substantive flaws. To achieve their conclusions, the...

Discovery of a new strain of ISA virus in BC

January 9th, 2016

On January 6, 2016 my co-authors and I published on a new variant of the Infectious Salmon Anaemia virus (ISAV) in BC. Included were the results we released back in 2011, but now we have tested 1,105 salmon and one sea louse. We never found the whole virus, but we found fragments. We are not the only scientists to detect ISAV in British Columbia, but...