March 30, 2011
Minister Gail Shea
Dear Minister Shea:
Under questioning by my lawyer at the Cohen Inquiry, your Director General of Science, Pacific Region revealed you were briefed that a cancer-causing virus may be killing the majority of some runs of Fraser River sockeye. You chose not to inform us, the people who pay your generous salary.
In response, senior fisheries scientist Jeff Hutchings spoke out that your ministry also ignored its own scientists in favour of policy when they let the eastern Canadian cod collapse instead of changing policy. He knows because he was there. You are not going to let DFO do this again!
I am writing in defense of wild salmon and western Canadian communities. Your blind policy that salmon feedlots are good for us may be criminal in its scope of denial and impact.
Known as Salmon Leukemia, Marine Anemia by fish farmers, this virus destroys fish immune systems and became epidemic in the salmon feedlots at the same time the Fraser sockeye began declining in the early 1990s. When your scientist found evidence it is killing and weakening our fish you failed to tell the public. In addition to this, you refuse to acknowledge the evidence that the lethal Atlantic salmon virus, ISAV, can be imported into BC in fish farm eggs. If you weaken our fish with Salmon Leukemia and then throw a new virus at them, we will have nothing left. Please note the recent scientific papers quoted below:
“Aquaculture can offer close to ideal environments for the spread of infectious diseases.”
“The threat posed by viral pathogens is highlighted by the recent devastating effect of the infectious salmon anaemic virus (ISAV)”
“Sequence analyses of genes from Chilean ISAV isolates obtained in 2007 and 2008 suggest that these ISAV strains have a European origin and therefore must have been introduced to Chile via embryos “ (fertile eggs).
“Potential immunosuppressive conditions need to be avoided”
Are your ministry and the Norwegian fish farmers adequately insured to cover damages if we find out BC is an ISAV suspect area, no one told us and it spreads because you did nothing?
The Cohen Inquiry continues.
Salmon Are Sacred
Rimstad, E. (2011), Examples of emerging virus diseases in salmonid aquaculture. Aquaculture Research, 42: 86–89.
Robertsen, B. (2011), Can we get the upper hand on viral diseases in aquaculture of Atlantic salmon?. Aquaculture Research, 42: 125–131.
Fish Farm waste with live pathogens detected pours into Fraser Sockeye migration route