On the stand on Friday was Kerra Hoyseth Senior Aquaculture Biologist, Environmental Operations DFO.
In July 2008, I contacted DFO to report oily gas bubbles rising to the surface close to a salmon farm called Cecil Island in the Broughton Archipelago, which is my home.
I was told at the time that it was just bubbling from the mussels falling away from the nets. However, on the stand evidence quite to the contrary came forward.
On September 24, Ms Hoyseth received an email from a provincial biologist that a a large pipe used to suck up dead farm salmon was lying on the bottom "full of dead fish," right where the bubbles had been reported.
I wrote Ms Hoyseth in December 2010 to ask about the final outcome of this investigation, she answered:
"During the three visits we collectively undertook, there were no further bubbles seen, nor any information we could find to explain your observations" email from Hoyseth to Alexandra Morton December 13, 2010.
Everyone knows rotting causes gas. I suspect Hoyseth's first instinct was to be more truthful, but I think this painfully illustrates DFO's relationship with fish farms. How can I believe anything DFO says about salmon farms after this? Hoyseth did not tell me the truth. I feel badly for her, because I suspect this was what was expected of her. How many others in DFO are doing the same thing just to keep their job?
When shown the email above Ms Hoyseth answered: I have no idea if the bubbling that as observed by the community member had anything to do with this mort pipe. I don't know if they had any connectivity at all.
We the taxpayers paid for the province of BC and DFO to investigate bubbles and they conclude rotting fish and bubbles are unrelated.... There is no honour in evidence here.
Next the lawyer for the BC Salmon Farmers took the Cohen Commission's attention away from the fate of the Fraser sockeye to ask the the panel what they thought of me going near the fish farms in my speed boat:
Andrew Thomson - Director General Aquaculture - DFO - I have heard that on several occasions - I can't say for sure it was Ms. Morton, but I've certainly heard on several occasions of individuals coming close to farm sites and sampling.
Mr Blair (fish farm lawyer) said the RCMP were trying to come to grips with some jurisdictional issues around biosecurity, he brought up concern that I visit multiple fish farm sites on the same day, he raised the question of "unwanted trespass"
Andrew Thomson DFO - It certainly is an issue that continues to be raised, the RCMP is occasionally involved as to their advice around legal issues, and of course industry has raised it to us, you know, they have concerns, around potential impacts on their stocks, as such they are seeking relief from government as to what can be done to better protect their biosecurity for their stock.
This is warning! The law of this land allows us to travel over the ocean freely. I don't need permission to walk around the city of Vancouver. If someone doesn't like what you or I are doing, THEY need to cite a law. But they can't. Because there isn't one. The burden of proof is ON THEM. How dare these Norwegian corporations suggest "unwanted trespass"!!!! If we do not stand up to this now, they will erode our freedoms until we are all serfs of the corporations. The ocean waters of Canada are not the private property of anyone! The chiefs of the Broughton have given me their blessing to travel freely through their territories. I rarely get angry anymore - it takes too much energy to stay in this fight - but this is so fundamentally wrong it needs strong opposition. I do understand the salmon farm industry finds the water from their facilities so toxic they dip their boots in chemicals when they leave their sites, but they are only protecting their fish. If they need that level of biosecurity, well they should go somewhere they can have it - but the ocean is not one of those places
I will be on the stand on Wednesday and Thursday - it will be live-streamed via Rabble.ca People are coming from as far as Ireland to hear this. The wild salmon people will be there in support www.salmonaresacred.org