On May 7, 2013, Ecojustice filed a lawsuit on my behalf against the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Harvest for the transfer of juvenile Atlantic salmon infected with the piscine reovirus (PRV) from their hatchery in Sayward into net pens on the Fraser sockeye migration route across from Port Hardy. Now we need your help.
While controversy exists around this virus and its relationship to a disease (HSMI) known to weaken salmon to the point they likely cannot reach their rivers (Garseth et al 2013), the scientific literature is making unusually strong warnings specifically about the virus found in Marine Harvest's fish and the associated disease (HSMI):
“it is urgent that measures be taken to control PRV … due to the potential for transmission to wild salmon populations.” (Palacios et al 2010)
“If the potential hosts are in close proximity, it goes through them like wildfire,” said Lipkin. http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/07/salmon-disease-identified
Kristofferson et al 2013, recommends removing HSMI diseased salmon farms to stop the spread of the disease, which may spread 50km from a site.
These are unusually strong and consistent warnings for scientists to make. I think they should be heeded if we want wild salmon.
I am writing to ask if you would consider helping Ecojustice with their legal bills to argue this case. If we win, the salmon farming industry could no longer use EU virus-infected fish. In this long drawn out battle to protect wild salmon, this would be extremely significant to the wild salmon of the eastern Pacific. Most farm salmon are now infected with this virus. Reoviruses do infect humans, though it is unknown if piscine reovirus is capable of this.
If we don't remove PRV - infected Atlantic salmon we can expect to be eating it in wild and farm salmon and we will learn first hand whether it stops wild Pacific salmon from reaching their rivers. But if the answer is yes, it will be too late.
You can donate to Ecojustice please identify that your donation is for this lawsuit.
Or you can donate directly to me, and again identify that you want the funds to go to this.
I will be contacting you every month on specific actions you can take to protect and restore wild salmon to British Columbia. I met and was inspired by many of you on the Salmon Confidential tour.
We can do this! We are thousands strong. If you have any ideas please let me know. In closing, this quote is from a scientific paper on HSMI in farm salmon:
“At a time when humans are being encouraged to eat fish to help combat … coronary disease, it seems somewhat ironic the heart disease seems to be such a problem in the fish themselves.”(Ferguson et al 2005)