APRIL 11, 2011
Dear MP Candidate Gail Shea:
As you are aware, there are serious questions about how the lethal salmon virus, known as ISAV, is spreading worldwide in marine salmon feedlots. When I wrote you in January 2009, asking that you consider protecting the North Pacific by closing the BC border to Atlantic salmon eggs, 260 First Nation chiefs, scientists, tourism operators, fishermen and others co-signed with me (below). In your reply, March 11, 2009 (below) you assured us that measures were in place to protect BC from this virus, but you stated “there is no strong evidence that ISAV is transmitted” in eggs.
I wrote you again this year (early post on this blog)
You have chosen to ignore a scientific paper from Norway suggesting the ISA virus traveled in Atlantic salmon eggs to contaminate the coast of Chile.
A big farm salmon egg producer called Aqua Gen, filed a complaint against the three Norwegian scientists who wrote that paper. Last week, the decision was handed down by the Norwegian Council of Research Ethics. They ruled paper is valid, the conclusions stand.
Aqua Gen is owned in part by the Norwegian companies Cermaq and Marine Harvest , which are the biggest salmon feedlot operators in British Columbia and have presumably imported Atlantic eggs into BC.
Gail Shea, during your term as Minister of Fisheries you allowed over a million Atlantic salmon eggs into British Columbia. In doing so we now know so you have risked BC and Alaskan wild salmon with a highly infectious virus.
When DFO muzzled their own scientists and let the cod crash, rather than correct policy – no one was held accountable for the massive social impact that resulted in eastern Canada. We do not want the same treatment here.
Candidate Shea, you did not use the Precautionary Principle to alter policy in the face of scientific evidence and your decision to ignore the science has been found wrong. You are ultimately responsible for what happens in the North Pacific if ISAV has been introduced.
What is your response?
January 26, 2009
Att: Department of Fisheries and Oceans;
Dear Honorable Premier Gordon Campbell:
We are requesting that if B.C. is still importing live farm salmon products (all species) (broodstock, milt and eggs) that the border be closed immediately to protect BC from the spread of Infectious Salmon Anemia.
On January 12, 2009, the fish farm industry publication Intrafish posted an article asking “How long can B.C. avoid ISA?” ISA (Infectious Salmon Anemia) is a virus that has spread to every major salmon farming region in the world except B.C. Intrafish states that it is only a matter of time before ISA arrives in B.C.; and the literature reveals B.C. salmon farmers are engaging in activities considered responsible for the spread of ISA across the North Atlantic and into the south Pacific. The literature also suggests the virus can adapt and spread to negatively impact Pacific salmon, rainbow trout, herring and halibut.
Specifically the following activities in B.C. are known to aggravate and spread ISA
1.) importing of live embryos and broodstock from ISA infected regions
2.) increasing the number of farm salmon and the number of farm sites
3.) allowing movement of personnel from ISA infected areas
4.) placing farms where wild fish are exposed and become carriers
Given that ISA, like the flu-virus, mutates and spreads readily, we the undersigned believe the introduction of ISA to the North Pacific would have catastrophic consequences for the health of wild and farmed salmonids compromising the integrity of coastal economies and ecosystems and should be avoided at all costs.
Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) is a foreign disease of Atlantic salmon. It is an orthomyxovirus very similar to the flu family capable of mutating and evolving rapidly by recombination of genetic elements (USDA, APHIS, Veterinary Services). ISA is spread via water, mucus, feces, waste, sea lice, fish farm staff, equipment and movement of farm salmon. There is no cure and no region, once infected, has achieved lasting ISA – free status. The only tools that slow the spread of ISA are: restriction of the movement of fish and eggs from ISA positive areas, sanitation, lowered farm fish density, surveillance, containment, disinfection, fallowing, containment of blood and farm water and eradication of the diseased population.
ISA can infect coho, chinook, rainbow trout, herring, halibut and other Pacific species. While Oncorhynchus spp. are relatively more resistant than Atlantic salmon, there is recognized potential for ISA to adapt to Oncorhynchus spp. ISA can replicate in Oncorhynchus spp. and therefore spread via these species. ISA has been identified in freshwater.
ISA infected fish are contagious weeks before they show visual signs of infection. Chilean ISA virus belongs to the EU genotype. There are no natural hosts or reservoirs for ISA in Chile. The close relationship between contemporary ISA virus strains from farmed Atlantic salmon in Chile and Norway suggests recent transmission from Norway to Chile via embryos. In Chile the virus has infected large areas; in response they are demanding lower farm salmon density and larger distances between the farms.
“Far from coming under control the virus continuously eludes preventative measures, passing through the safety net of the most stringent control measures in the world” (The Fish Site Jan 2009). http://www.thefishsite.com/articles/598/the-global-spread-of-infectious-salmon-anaemia Clearly screening imports is not working.
We respectfully request that B.C. immediately prohibit the importation of live farm salmon material (all species) (broodstock, milt and eggs) to protect BC from the spread of Infectious Salmon Anemia. We request that you, the Province of BC and DFO respond to this request as soon as possible
David Suzuki, David Suzuki Foundation
Chief Bob Chamberlin, Kwicksutaineuk/Ah-kwa-mish First Nation
Chief David Walkem, Cook’s Ferry Indian Band
Chief Fred Sampson, Siska Indian Band
Hereditary Chief Robert Mountain, Mamalilikulla
Andrea Sanborn, U’mista Cultural Centre
John Caton, Clayoquot Wilderness Resort
Larry Dill, Simon Fraser University
Richard Routledge, Simon Fraser University
Don McQueen, Emeritus Research Professor, York University, Adjunct Professor Simon Fraser University
Craig Murray, Nimmo Bay Lodge
John and Evelyn Dawson, Early Spring Fishing Ltd.
Kevin Smith, Maple Leaf Charters
John Reid, Knight Inlet Lodge
Andrea Kavanagh,, Pew Environment Group
Ruby Berry, Georgia Strait Alliance
Ian McAllister, Pacific Wild
Don Staniford, Pure Salmon Campaign
Mike Willie, Councilor, Tsawataineuk First Nation
Catherine Stewart, Living Oceans Society
Corey Peet, David Suzuki Society
Geoff Senichenko, Wilderness Committee
Jeff Jones, LLB Port McNeill, BC
Kathleen Cooper, RN CHN, Sointula
Steve Strand PhD.
Malcolm James, Sto:lo Education Centre, Chilliwack BC
Gay Kelly, Sto:lo Education Centre, Chilliwack, BC
Sam Archie, Sto:lo Nation
Gloria Beshara, Chilliwack Senior Secondary, Chilliwack, BC
Kurt Beardslee, Wild Fish Conservancy
Lindsey Pattison, Tide Rip Tours
Robert Field, Artist – Sointula
Donna and Bill Mackay, Mackay Whale Watching
Craig Orr, Watershed Watch
Jackie Hildering, Earthling Enterprises
Neil Frazer, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Bob Rezansoff, B.C. Vessel Owners Assoc.
Brendan Connors, Simon Fraser University
Barb Horricks and Nick Orton, Sointula Wild Seafoods & Smokehouse
Rick Snowdon, Spirit of the West Adventures
Ann Prendergast, Commercial salmon gillnetter
Richard B. Michelson, Island Fishing Ltd
Wendy Thompson, Pearse Island BC
Jeremy Brown, Bellingham, WA USA
Bill Herbert, Pearse Island, BC
Clayton Lloyd-Jones, Terrace, BC
Warren Bailey MD, Qualicum Beach BC
David Upper, Bowser, BC
Ana Santos, Squamish Streamkeeper, BC
Lester Quitzau, Pender Island, BC
Elizabeth Borek, Victoria, BC
Steph Davis, Victoria, BC
Howard Garret, Orca Network, WA, USA
Mae Moore, Pender Island, BC
Barbara Watson, Mariner
Anissa Reed, Ocean Aura Design Inc.
Ken Cochrane, Penticton fly-fishers, ex-Kingcome Inlet fishing lodge operator
Fritzi Olsen, Florida, USA
Martha Reynolds, Toronto, ON
Norma Koning, The Netherlands
Terry Anderson, Wild Salmon Alliance
Barb, Dennis Beattie, Coquitlam, BC
Dan Schubart, Port Alberni, BC
Anna Roberts, Russell ON
April Johnston, North Vancouver, BC
Bonnie and Jim Hines, Bellingham, WA USA
Neil Remmem, Halfmoon Bay, BC
Bruce Kay, Whistler, BC
George Stonehouse, Hornby Isle Salmon Enhancement Society BC
Harold Tinling, Nanaimo BC
Burk and L. Quintrell, Quathiaski Cove, BC
Leanna Boyer, Mayne Island, BC
Mark Lauckner, Mayne Island, BC
Diana Manson, Manons Landing, BC
Edwards Kathryn Lightheart, Nanaimo, BC
Dr. Jaya Chauchan, Edmonton, AB
Norma Clark, Victoria BC
Susan Clark, Victoria BC
Jennifer Clark, Victoria BC
Mathieu Marleau, Orleans
Jeremie Lamadeleine, Ottawa. ON
Tom Major, Delta, BC
Diane Kkastel, Wheaton, Il
Susan Pond, Vancouver, BC
Stephen Pond, Emeritus Earth and Ocean Sciences UBC
Denise Carefoot, Vancouver, BC
Robyn Heaslip, Vancouver, BC
Ben Keoughan, Sechelt, BC
Rich & Feryll Blanc, High Rock Fisheries Alitak Bay AK
Heidi Soltau, Area A Director, Regional District Mt. Waddington
Kim Itkonen, San Diego, CA, USA
Jim Bradshaw, Blue Mountain Kanaka Creek Conservation Group, Maple Ridge BC
Kathy Horst, Kamloops, BC
Andrew Bateman, Cambridge University, UK
Stan Hislop, Abbotsford, BC
Kathleen Martin, Victoria BC
Mark Holland, BC Hydro BC
Granville Airton, Courtney, BC
Gary Thomas, Streamkeepers, Tofno, BC
Claudia Maas, Mainland Enhancement of Salmonid Species, Echo Bay, BC
Donna Ziner, Courtney, BC
Carol Harris, Sherbrooke Quebec
Jan Padgett, Powell River, BC
Emanuel and Catherina Meyer, Cumberland BC
Stella Dodge, North Vancouver, BC
Abby Schwarz, Langara College, Dept. Biology, Vancouver, BC
Judith Seedhouse, Burnaby, BC
Boudreau and Don Bourdeau, Cortes Island, BC
Bob Wyche, Gabriola Island, BC
Nic Dedeluk, Alert Bay, BC
Brian McKinlay, Silversides Fishing Adventures, Vancouver, BC
Tom Brown, PhD. Emeritus Simon Fraser University BC
Laurie Bloom, Sechelt, BC
Bruce Elkin, Victoria, BC
Doug Taylor, Qualicum Beach, BC
Greg Rebar, Fisheries Technician, Whistler, BC
Anne Mosness, Go Wild Campaign, WA, USA
Lorraine Wood, Native Food Fisher, Vavenby, BC
Michelle McEwan, Lethbridge, AB
Nicole Mackay, Mackay Whale Watching, BC
Judy Sturgis, Gardnerville, NV USA
Phil Magistro, Go Wild Expedition, CO USA
Apryle Craig, Go Wild Expedition CO, USA
Ivan Doumenc, Vancouver BC
Tawnya Bruce, Garibaldi Highlands, BC
Betty Nuse, Victoria, BC
Julie Thomson, Victoria, BC
Wade Irwin, Norfolk, VA USA
Paula Sawadsky, Vancouver, BC
Breanne Quesnel, Quadra Island, BC
John Waibel, Quadra Island, BC
Jean Fulton, Maple Ridge, BC
Andy Sinats, Director BC Environmental Network, Victoria, BC
Mark Spoljaric, Friends o Clayoquot Sound, Tofino, BC
Dianne Eddy, Bowser, BC
Karen Hansen, Prince Rupert, BC
Stan Hutchings, Prince Rupert, BC
Gil Sampson, Qualicum Beach, BC
Gil Sampson, Qualicum Beach, BC
Bill Dunlop, Calgary, AB
Jardine Lloyd Thompson, Calgary, AB
Claude Crider, Waleska, GA USA
Bill Stonehouse, Salmon troller Areas H&F, Powell River, BC
Stephen Chessor, Vancouver, BC
Patrick Renaud, Ottawa, ON
Cory Lagasse, Burnaby, BC
Terry and Diana Fright, Comox, BC
David Shipway, Cortes Island, BC
Paul Spong PhD, Pacific Orca Society/OrcaLab, Alert Bay, BC
Helena Symonds, Pacific Orca Society/OrcaLab, Alert Bay, BC
Marilynn King, Delta BC
Bruce Paterson, Canmore, AB
Brock Ramshaw, Vancouver, BC
Jack Cooley, Squamish Streamkeepers, Brackendale, BC
Carlton Wilkinson, ASct Victoria, BC
Jeff Childs, Parksville, BC
Tania McMartin, Heriot Bay, BC
Amy McConnell, Simon Fraser University
Bonnie Thompson, Pender Island, BC
Brian Scott, Edmonton, AB
Edward Henderson, Vancouver, BC
Tom Watts, Bellvue, CO USA
Joan Graham, Coquitlam BC
Aaron Baxter, Victoria, BC
Sheila McConnell, North Vancouver, BC
Dorothy Neilson, Delta BC
Vicki Huntington, Delta BC
Terry Pettigrew, Victoria, BC
George Hamilton, Victoria, BC
Pat Roberts, Chilliwack, BC
Vic Booth, Nanoose Bay, BC
Ron Hardwicke, Coquitlam, BC
Jennifer Reid, West Vancouver, BC
M. Adams, University Victoria, BC
Maire Kathryn Stonehouse, Comox, BC
Roland Alcock, PhD, Sooke BC
Linda Williams, Tuwanek Ratepayers Association, Sechelt, BC
Nora Layard, Skipping Stone Beach B&B Saltspring Island, BC
David R. Boyes, Courtney BC
Kevin Bowen, Abbotsford
Chris Yeomans, Nanaimo BC
Mark Dodd, North Saanich, BC
Alexandra Creighton, North Saanich, BC
Mira Malatestinic, fish boat owner, Vancouver, BC
M. C. Warrior, Nanaimo, BC
Lorne Avery, North Saanich, BC
Sue Dazey, Washington Trollers Association
Geraldine Patterson, Gibsons, B.C.
Bob Sklapsky, member Rod & Gun Club, Williams Lake, B.C
Dave and Ruby Palmer, Naramata, BC
Jonesy J.R. Jones Montana, USA
Don McKinnon, Galiano Island BC
Paul Kershaw, President -Area D Gillnet
Brian Gunn, Wilderness Tourism Association
BC River Outfitters Association
Richard Miller, Parksville, BC
Katie Fullerton, Toronto, ON
Fabien Jennings, Edmonton, AB
Dawn Cowie, Environmental Technician, Prince George, BC
Keith Douglas, North Coast Steelhead Alliance, BC
Allison Schein, Vancouver, BC
Sinclair Philip, PhD, Sooke Harbour House, Sooke, BC
Gretchen Harlow, Civil Servant, Vancouver, BC
Richard Dohmeier, Bowen Island, BC
Debra J. Wolstein, PRS Guitars, MD USA
Jane Newman, Banff Center for the Arts, AB
Michelle Boender, Canadian Federation of Ocean Kayak Educators, Squamish BC
Magnus Macnab, Victoria, BC
Eileen Wttewaall, Salt Spring Island, BC
Ron Wakita, Reliable Guide and Charter, Kitmat, BC
Geraldine June Cannon, Tsolum River Restoration Society Board, BC
Debbia Pagnoni, Tahsis, BC
Jock Bray, fisherman, Delta, BC
Anita Goddard, Vancouver, BC
Pierce & Anita Clegg, Babine Norlakes Management Ltd.
Paul Phillips, President Lonely Loon Flyfisher's, Kelowna
Paul Kershaw, President Area D Gillnet
Murray and Karen Reiss, Salt Spring Island BC
Rose Weaver, Victoria, BC
Celia Brauer, Vancouver BC
V Rovers, Richmond BC
Colin Funk, Victoria BC
Sarah King, Victoria, BC
Eleanor Brownlee, Pender Island, BC
Rudy Spies, Nakusp, BC
Mary Russell, Port hardy, BC
Chris Acheson, President Canadian Sablefish Association, BC
Andrea & Gary Block, Area H troller, Cortes Island, BC
Lynne Wells, Pender Island, BC
Bruce Orchiston, BC
S. Geue, Halfmoon Bay, BC
Jay Vanderpas, Vancouver, BC
Dave Haddad SFAC...Terrace B.C
Jeff Vermillion, Steelhead Valhalla Lodge, Suskeena Lodge, Lower Dean River Lodge
Steve Hidber Oscar's Source for Sports, Smithers
Jack Mussey, San Francisco, CA USA
Inka Milewski, Conservation Council, New Brunswick
Fred Watts, Totem Flyfishers, BC Federation of Fly Fishers
Gary Flagel, Prince George BC
Stan Hutchings & Karen Hansen, MV Hawk Bay. Prince Rupert
Pierce and Anite Clegg, Babine Norlakes Management Ltd. Smithers, BC
Steve Otto, Tualatin, Oregon, US
Patricia Furrie Surrey B.C.
Jon and Jennifer Healey, Salt Spring Island, B.C.
Ross Holkestad, Summer Fishing Ltd BC
Patrick Fitzsimons, Gibsons, B.C
Tawha Fucs Barboza, Gibsons, B.C
Gary Hilton, Coquitlam, B.C.
Lois Larose Maple Ridge B.C
Cody Beasley Pitt Meadows B.C
Emma Larose Maple Ridge B.C
Heather and Rob, Quathiaski Cove, BC
Gordon Plowright and Kara Sheldon,Chilliwack B.C.
Ben Trerise, Boundary Alliance Supporter, Fort St. John B.C.
Stan Probosco, Watershed Watch, BC
Rachel Botting, Powell River, BC.
Carl & Elisabeth Gwinn, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
Alexandra Morton, www.adopt-a-fry.org
Hammell & Dohoo 2005
Jarp & Karlsen 1997
Kibenge et al. 2001
McClure et al. 2005
Nylund et al. 1995
Nyland and Jakobsen 1995
Nyland et al. 1997
Nylund et al 1999
Rolan and Winton 2003
Snow et al. 2001
Stagg et al 2001
Totland et al. 1996
Vagsholm et al. 1994
Vike et al 2008
Dear Dr. Suzuki and co-signatories:
Thank you for your recent correspondence regarding your concern over the potential spread of the infectious salmon anemia virus (ISAV) into British Columbia (B.C.).
Let me assure you that measures are in place to deal not only with ISAV but with all fish pathogens of concern. Highlights of existing measures to prevent the spread of fish diseases from other countries and other parts of Canada to B.C.'s fish farms are as follows:
* For aquaculture purposes, B.C. has a strict importation policy of fertilized eggs only for any salmonid species.
* Under the B.C. Atlantic Salmon Importation Policy, only surface-disinfected, fertilized Atlantic salmon eggs from sources certified by a Local Fish Health Officer (LFHO) are permitted for import into B.C. No live Atlantic salmon or unfertilized eggs are allowed to be imported.
* Any facility serving as a source of eggs for import into B.C. must undergo rigorous health testing under the Fish Health Protection Regulations before eggs can be provided to B.C. culture operations. This applies to all facilities whether within Canada or abroad. To import into B.C., a facility must be compliant with Canadian laws and regulations.
* Imports of fertilized eggs from qualifying facilities are held in strict quarantine and isolation for up to one year, and the resulting progeny undergo rigorous health testing before introduction to ocean farms. A condition of the import agreement is that results of the fish health testing must be reported to the LFHO on a monthly basis, while fish are in quarantine. Fish are only released from quarantine if all reports from screening come back as satisfactory. Any signs of a disease problem must be reported within 24-hours to meet import requirements.
* Upon completion of the quarantine and isolation period, the Minister issues licences for all introduction and transfers of fish pursuant to Section 56 of the Fishery (General) Regulations, and only issues licences to transfer fish in the absence of disease agents of concern that may be harmful to the protection and conservation of fish. Fish may only be transferred to sea cage pens with written approval through the LFHO and corresponding Section 56 licence.
* Site, vessel, and visitor-related fish-health protocols (including the use of foot baths and disinfection of any equipment used with fish or sediment monitoring) are in place in accordance with the industry-wide Fish Health Management Plans in British Columbia.
* With respect to ISAV, there is no strong evidence that ISAV is transmitted from adult to young via reproductive products and there is no evidence for ISAV occurring within eggs.
* In addition to surface disinfection mentioned above, all shipping materials are disinfected before disposal. The disinfectant and disinfection protocol that is used is highly effective against ISAV and other salmonid pathogens.
I appreciate the opportunity to clarify the policies and procedures in place to protect against the spread of ISAV.
Thank you for your concern for our wild salmon stocks.
Signed Original Attached
Gail Shea, P.C., M.P.
c.c.: The Honourable Gordon Campbell, M.L.A.