Dear Marine Harvest Shareholders:
We have found Piscine Reovirus associated with HSMI, as well as, the Infectious Salmon Anemia virus mutations HPR5 and HPR7b in fresh Atlantic salmon purchased in British Columbia, Canada. A wild salmon from the Vedder River has tested positive for ISA virus and HPR5 was sequenced. Both of these mutations of ISA virus have caused large mortalities in salmon. While the BC Salmon Farmers Association and Federal Government Canada deny these viruses are present in BC - they must be in someone’s farms because we are finding them in the supermarkets. Has Marine Harvest informed you of the potential risk of an ISAv outbreak in BC and the strong negative reaction that the people of British Columbia will have to this?
There is a sequence of events you should be aware of:
• In 2003 Marine Harvest requested salmon eggs from an Icelandic hatchery that did not meet Canada’s Fish Health Protection Regulations. Permission was granted.
• In 2009, Marine Harvest began requesting multiple tests for ISAv from the Provincial salmon veterinarian, and never imported eggs from Iceland again.
• In 2010, Marine Harvest, Cermaq and Grieg signed a Memorandum of Understanding to share information about viruses with each other, while at the same time refused to allow the Province of BC to audit the health of their fish any longer.
• In 2004, Fisheries and Ocean Canada got ISAv positive tests in 100% of the most endangered Fraser sockeye stock (Cultus Lake) and never revealed this to the Stò:lō Nation, or the Cohen Commission into the Decline of the Fraser Sockeye
• Your public relations manager for British Columbia, Mr. Clare Backman testified under oath at the Cohen Commission that:
The level of surveys done in the country of origin and then again, the quarantine and follow-up sampling here in British Columbia has been successful in preventing any exotic disease, including this particular one, ISAV. (Cohen Commission, testimony Sept. 7, 2011, page 37)
• And yet we are getting positive results for Norwegian Piscine reovirus in nearly 100% of the Atlantic salmon we have purchased in supermarkets and positive tests for ISA virus.
We are writing to put your shareholders on notice British Columbia, Canada is the only region in the world where Marine Harvest is raising Atlantic salmon amongst abundant wild Pacific salmon. You can expect a much stronger reaction here to an ISA virus epidemic than anywhere else in the history of Marine Harvest.
In a recent survey of your salmon feedlots in BC, many are empty, amid reports of a large number of dead Atlantic salmon being shipped to composting facilities
This picture was taken outside one of your feedlots today, called Glacier Falls. These are juvenile wild salmon suffering from sea lice - a problem Canada denies, but surely you are familiar with this in Norway. For seven years you had an agreement with several BC environmental companies, but they withdrew from that deal recently