While this news article reports, "Root causes are habitat loss and water extraction" I cannot believe there is no mention of Salmon Leukemia and Infectious Salmon Anemia viruses.
In the 1990s DFO found a new disease in the chinook salmon farms off Campbell River, they called it Salmon Leukemia. They found it infected 100% of the wild chinook that were exposed and killed most of them. They reported it also killed up to 100% of the chinook in the farms prompting the industry to switch largely to Atlantics. However, using vaccinations for related diseases, such as BKD, chinook salmon farming continues along both sides of Vancouver Island and the symptoms of this virus persist in the farm salmon records. When Dr. Miller (DFO) found evidence that Salmon Leukemia is killing massive numbers of sockeye and also chinook, DFO muzzled her. DFO never identified the specific virus and this means it is impossible to test for. Scientists did report the public was not keen on a potentially cancer-causing virus in farm salmon. Miller will hopefully figure it out despite DFO. It is unconscionable no one is even mentioning this disease, despite all the evidence pulled out through the Cohen Commission. I cannot possibly believe a virus infecting 100% and killing most chinook, pouring out of facilities in the narrow channels of Campbell River is not having a population affect!
Also at the Cohen Inquiry we learned DFO hid research that found ISA virus in 55% of the Chinook tested off eastern Vancouver Island. This is the most dangerous salmon virus known and it is following the Atlantic salmon farming industry worldwide. Nova Scotia is reeling from diagnosis a few weeks ago. During the Cohen Inquiry, DFO specifically instructed co-researchers “I do not give permission to submit this work…” Dr. Simon Jones DFO. Fortunately an independent scientist felt ethically bound to inform the Cohen Commission and the Canadian public and the paper was released, but no one has noticed. I don't think anyone is serious about protecting chinook salmon. Everyone is so afraid of even saying "salmon feedlots" nothing is ever done about this biological contamination of the biggest wild salmon migration route in the world.
Samples I am taking and sending to international labs found ISA virus in 50% of chinook tested although we only have results from two Fraser River system chinook salmon.
The CFIA has stepped in and taken ISA virus away from DFO because the international market apparently does not want ISAv infected salmon for human consumption. The CFIA testified about this at the Cohen Inquiry last December:
My sense is people love saying "Save the Salmon," some make it a lifestyle. We have enormous foundations like the Pacific Salmon Foundation and others with massive budgets creeping around in the weeds afraid to look this issue in the eye. No one, absolutely no one with any influence is taking a clear-eyed hard look at the two viruses ripping through wild chinook salmon. All I can do is keep collecting the evidence, bringing it to you, giving you the papers, the quotes from DFO and CFIA, but I can't save your fish.
If you want to believe habitat loss is the primary impact and completely ignore these lethal chinook salmon viruses - I can't help you. If you want to take a stand on these viruses I will do everything I can to give you the evidence that viruses from salmon feedlots are killing wild salmon. I suspect this will not reach public understanding and action until it is publicized in a manner that is far beyond my means and expertise. I am up against an industry spending millions on advertising, a federal government bent on selling farm salmon to the world and a provincial government that is so out of touch they don't realize they are the landlords of this industry. They could simply stop leasing our major migration routes to this industry. All the evidence is clear, we will lose our wild salmon if these viruses continue to pour over them every time they pass Campbell River.
Contributions to the testing can be made here
Scientific Papers by DFO on Salmon Leukemia/Plasmacytoid Leukemia, these are large files please be patient during download;
Experimental Transmission of a Plasmacytoid Leukemia of Chinook Salmon, (DFO) "Ten weeks after exposure, plasmacytoid leukemia was observed in all of the sockeye salmon and chinook salmon" all of the sockeye and most of the Chinook died. "...The disease continues to be widespread in net pen-reared chinook salmon..." Download Transmission experiment 1990 copy.pdf (1464.5K)
The Effects of changing demographics on the distribution of marine anemia in farmed salmon in British Columbia "..Evidence supporting the hypothesis that marine anemia is a spreading, infectious, neoplastic [tumour causing] disease could have profound regulatory effects on the salmon farming industry... The apparent spread of the disease outside the southern region was first detected during government sponsored disease surveys in 1990." Download MA demographics copy.pdf (3208.5K)
A Retrovirus in Chinook Salmon with Plasmacytoid Leukemia and Evidence of the Etiology of the Disease "...has caused mortalities in chinook salmon in seawater netpens in western British Columbia since 1988...We are tentatively calling this virus salmon leukemia virus" (DFO) Download Eaton and Kent SLV copy.pdf (5734.1K)
Descriptive epidemiology of marine anemia in seapen-reared salmon in southern British Columbia "...mortality as high as 80% to 100%...a threat to the economic viability of the salmon farming industry in BC...We later found cases of marine anemia [Salmon Leukemia] in all but 1 of the 23 farms...intensive aquaculture may have facilitated the emergence of marine anemia [salmon leukemia]" Download Descriptive SLV Stephen, Ribble, Kent 1996 copy.pdf
Somehow the now ex-DFO scientist who did most of the research on Salmon Leukemia reported to Justice Cohen that even though Salmon Leukemia virus was 100% lethal to sockeye and nearly as lethal to Chinook salmon it posed "low risk" to Fraser sockeye
Infectious Salmon Anemia in BC?
DFO found evidence of the most deadly salmon virus known, ISA virus, in 100% of Cultus Lake sockeye and 55% of east Vancouver Island Chinook and never informed the Cohen Inquiry, or the public of BC. It was finally given to the Commission by an independent scientist involved in the testing. “I do not give permission to submit this work…" Dr. Simon Jones DFO
Download Exh 2045 - 29. CCI001528.pdf (2183.9K)
Gregory McDade's Final Arguments to Cohen regarding ISA virus "Supression and Denial" Download 08 - Aquaculture Coalition Submissions re ISAV-corrected.PDF (249.8K)