I am a registered professional biologist.
I moved to a remote archipelago in British Columbia, Canada in 1984 to study sound production in a particular pod of orca. It was the perfect place because the whales frequented the area, called the Broughton Archipelago, and there was a small community called Echo Bay with a one room school for my son.
In 1987, the first salmon farm appeared and I thought it was a good idea. I hoped it would help bring more people to the area and keep the little town alive. But from the beginning there were problems. First, the government put the farms where they promised us they would not. Then the farmers used underwater sounds that drove the whales I was studying away (Morton and Symmonds 2002). Then there were bacterial epidemics (furunculosis), toxic algae blooms (Heterosigma), escaped Atlantic salmon (Morton and Volpe 2002) and then the sea lice epidemics began (see references below).
From the beginning, I expected government to recognize the problems and explain how they would remedy them, but I was naive. Today, Echo Bay has no school and very few residents. There are 27 Norwegian fish farms operating and the companies are loosing money. They do not hire local people and use drugs to try and deal with their pathogen problems with no notification to the local people who fish for food in the area.
Salmon farms are feedlots which release all of their manure into public waters. I have seen the progression of their impact and I have published my findings in scientific journals around the world. At times I have received funding and at other times I have not. I will continue to try and bring reason to this situation simply because I love these waters that have become my home.
Morton, A. B., 1986. Sound and behavioral correlation in captive Orcinus orca. In: Kirkevold, B.C. and Lockhard, J.S. (eds.) Behavioral biology of killer whales. Alan R. Liss, Inc. New York. Pp. 303-333.
Morton, A.B. 1990. A quantitative comparison of the behaviour of resident and transient forms of the killer whale off the central British Columbia coast. Report of the International Whaling Commission. (special issue 12): 245-248.
Morton, A.B. 2000. Occurrence, photo-identification and prey of Pacific white-sided dolphins (Lagenorhyncus obliquidens) in the Broughton Archipelago, Canada 1985-1997. Marine Mammal Science. 16(1):80-93.
Morton, A.B. and Symonds, H.K. 2002. Displacement of Orcinus orca by high amplitude sound in British Columbia, Canada. ICES Journal of Marine Science. 59: 71-80
Morton, A.B. and Volpe J. 2002 A description of escaped farmed Atlantic salmon Salmo salar captures and their characteristics in one Pacific salmon fishery area in British Columbia Canada, in 2000. Alaska Fishery Research Bulletin, 9: 102-109.
Ford, J.K.B., G. Ellis, L. Barret-Lennard, A.B. Morton, R. Palm and K.C. Balcomb. Diet Specialization in two sympatric populations of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in coastal British Columbia and adjacent waters. Canadian Journal of Zoology. 21: 603-618
Morton, A.B., and Williams R . 2003 Infestation of the sea louse Lepeophtheirus salmonis (Krøyer) on juvenile pink salmon Oncorhynchus gorbuscha (Walbaum) in British Columbia, Canadian Field Naturalist, 117: 634-641
Morton, A.B., Routledge, R., Peet, C. and Ladwig, A 2004 Sea lice, Lepeophtheirus salmonis, infection rates on juvenile chum and pink salmon in the nearshore marine environment in British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science, 61: 147-157.
Blaylock, R. B. Overstreet, R.M. and Morton, A.B. 2005 The pathogenic copepod Phrixocephalus cincinnatus (Copepoda: Pennellidae) in the eye of arrowtooth flounder, Atherestes stomias, and rex sole, Glyptocephalus zachirus, from British Columbia. The European Association of Fish Pathologists, 25: 116-123.
Ford, J.K.B., Matkin, D.R., Balcomb, K.C., Briggs, D. Morton, A.B., Killer whale attacks on Minke Whales: prey capture and antipredator tactics In Press, Marine Mammal Science 21: 603-618.
Morton, A.B., Routledge, R, and Williams R. 2005 Temporal patterns of sea lice infestation on wild Pacific salmon in relation to the fallowing of Atlantic salmon farms. American Journal of Fisheries
Management. 25: 811-821
Krkosek, M., A. Morton, and J.P. Volpe. 2005. Nonlethal Assessment of Juvenile Pink and Chum Salmon for Parasitic Sea Lice Infections and Fish Health. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. 134: 711 716
Morton, A. B. and Routledge (2006) Mortality rates for juvenile pink and chum salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha and keta) infested with sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) in the Broughton Archipelago. Alaska Fisheries Research Bulletin. 11:2, 146-152.
Morton, A.B. and Richard Routledge (2006) Fulton’s Condition Factor: Is it a valid measure of sea lice
impact on juvenile salmon? North American Journal of Fisheries Management. 26,56–62.
Krkosek, M., Lewis, M.A., Volpe, J.P., & Morton, A.B.. 2006. Fish Farms and sea lice infestations of wild juvenile salmon in the Broughton Archipelago - A rebuttal to Brooks (2006). Reviews in Fisheries Science. 14: 1-11.
Morton, A.B. and Williams, R. 2006. Response of the Sea Louse Lepeophtheirus salmonis infestation levels on juvenile wild Pink, Oncorhynchus gorbuscha, and Chum, O. keta, salmon, to arrival of parasitized wild adult salmon. Canadian Field Naturalist. 120:2
Krkosek, M., Lewis, M. A., Volpe, J.P. and Morton, A.B.. 2006. Fish Farms and Sea Lice Infestations of Wild Juvenile Salmon in the Broughton Archipelago—A Rebuttal to Brooks (2005). Reviews in Fisheries Science, 14: 1-11
Krkosek, M., Lewis, M., Morton, A. Frazer, N., and Volpe, J. 2006. Epizootics of wild fish induced by farm fish Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 103: 15506-15510.
Krkosek, M., Ford, J. S., Morton, A.B., Lele, S., Myers, R.A., & Lewis, M.A., 2007. Declining wild salmon populations in relation to parasites from farm salmon. Science. 318, 1772-1775.
Krkosek, M., Ford, J. S., Morton, A.B., Lele, S., & Lewis, M.A., 2008. Response to comment on 'Declining wild salmon populations in relation to parasites from farm salmon'. Science. 322, 1790-1791.
Krkosek, M., Ford, J. S., Morton, A.B., Lele, S., & Lewis, M.A., 2008. Sea lice and pink salmon declines: A response to Brooks and Jones. Reviews in Fisheries Science. 16, 413-420.
Morton, A.B., Routledge, R. and Krokosek, M. 2008. Sea lice infestation of wild juvenile salmon and herring associated with fish farms off the east central coast of Vancouver Island, BC. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 28, 523-532.
Krkosek, M., A. Morton, J. Volpe, & M.A. Lewis, 2009. Sea lice and salmon population dynamics: Effects of exposure time for migratory fish. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B. In press.
Morton, A.B. 1991 Siwiti – A Whale’s Story. Orca Books, Victoria
Morton, A.B. 1993. In the Company of Whales, from the Diary of a Whale Watcher. Orca Books Victoria,
Morton, A.B, 1998. Life Among the Whales. In: Intimate Nature. Chapter. Ballantine Books New York
Morton, A.B. and Bill Proctor. 1998. Heart of the Raincoast. Horsdal and Schubart , Victoria
Morton, A.B. 2002 Listening to Whales, Random House, New York April 2002
Morton, A.B. 2004 Beyond the Whales Heritage press Victoria
Morton, A.B. et al. 2005 Stain Upon Sea Chapter Harbour Press