Thank you!!!!! to the Ecojustice team
Savannah Carr-Wilson, Lara Tessaro, Margot Venton, Morgan Blakley, Dyna Tuytle
On May 6, 2015 The Honourable Mr. Justice Rennie handed down the decision that DFO has been unlawfully allowing the salmon farming industry to transfer farmed salmon into marine net pens that are carrying diseases with the potential to 'severely impact' the wild fishery at an international level .
He ruled that DFO is abdicating its legal responsibility to protect and conserve wild fish by handing off decisions about transferring fish with diseases to the salmon farming industry .
Most BC farmed salmon are infected with piscine reovirus. Many scientists in Norway have published research showing that piscine reovirus causes the disease, HSMI, which is known to damage salmon hearts to the point that fish can barely move.
The problem for the BC salmon farming industry is that most of the fish in their pens are infected with this virus. It is critical to them to be allowed to use piscine reovirus infected fish, because they don't have enough uninfected fish to be profitable.
However, since these infected farm fish are being placed on our wild salmon migration routes, by the millions the potential impact of this virus on wild salmon is critical to Canadians.
In my view government has tried to perpetuate a dangerous myth that this disease is no threat to BC's wild salmon.
The Honourable Justice Rennie on piscine reovirus
Justice Rennie made it clear that it is not really up to the courts to arbitrate on science, however, since the issue of whether pisine reovirus causes the disease HSMI was raised in this case that it had to be considered.
While it would seem a simple matter to just do the science to test this, let me just say it is not. It could be simple, but it is not.
Justice Rennie informs us that in his view, the science is convincing that PRV causes a disease that may be harmful to wild salmon and that it would be unreasonable not to expect that disease to follow the salmon farms industry into BC
...the weight of the expert evidence before this Court supports the view that PRV is the viral precursor to HSMI. 
...the evidence, suggests that the disease agent (PRV) may be harmful to the protection and conservation of fish, 
...it would be an unreasonable inference to draw from the evidence that it will not appear in farmed Atlantic salmon on the Pacific Coast. 
The evidence, suggests that the disease agent (PRV) may be harmful to the protection and conservation of fish, and therefore a “lack of full scientific certainty should not be used a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation” 
These are welcome words as we stand in a world facing critical degradation by ill-thought out human activity.
The judge had strong words for DFO:
The Minister of Fisheries pleaded that she was "guided by expert advisors" and that the licence conditions were based on "scientific criteria," but Justice Rennie noted that the Minister had said nothing about the science and furthermore he said:
The Minister sheltered behind Marine Harvest's evidence 
The point is that assertions made in order to bolster the reasonableness of the Minister’s exercise of discretion cannot be made without evidence. 
What the Minister cannot do is make unsupported statements of science.
What a powerful statement that is. Not just an "unsupported statement", but an "unsupported statement of science." What is science that has no supporting material? The very definition of science is a systematically organized body of knowledge. Science without supporting evidence is junk, it is not science.
What does all this mean?
Because the weight of evidence suggests PRV causes disease , and because “there is no question that (HSMI) is a threat to aquaculture operations” , that the law prohibits such transfers.
This would mean the salmon farming industry has to either find disease-free fish or has to stop transferring the diseased farmed salmon into ocean net pens.
What actually happens next is anybody's guess, hopefully it will not mean that we are not allowed to know if farmed salmon are diseased or not. The Province of BC already considered passing a Bill with this power. How far will our federal and provincial governments go to protect this industry instead of Canadians? We have a ringside seat.
You can help by signing and SHARING this petition
And by donating to reach out to the farmed salmon consumers
Meanwhile the sea louse infestation of BC's wild salmon continues after a lull of seven years where the salmon farmers kept their lice under control. Something has gone very wrong today. As usual they are denying they are at fault. Globe and Mail May 7, 2015
more on this later.....