So many people are contacting me, because I fell silent over the winter, and so I thought I would write a blog today, on Earth Day, when thousands of my colleagues are becoming activists for science around the world. Certainly the "enemies" of the truth about salmon farms have only grown stronger. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency recommends government not even speak with me.
I continue to work with an incredible team of scientists that I am so honoured to collaborate with. There has been so much skulduggery and effort to undermine our work while presenting what are in my view are firmly "alternative facts" that I have learned to remain silent until the works are published.
Marine Harvest is still suing me for trespass for the time last summer when I shot the video below. Approximately 60 people were on this farm at the time, but they are just suing me. I have a wonderful lawyer, Greg Mcdade, who I have enormous confidence in and if this is how Marine Harvest wants to interact with me, well then so be it.
DFO and Marine Harvest dropped their appeal of the lawsuit that I won with Ecojustice regarding the precautionary principle and testing farm salmon before putting them in the marine pens, however, DFO continues to refuse to test for piscine reovirus. Clearly they don't want to know if the farm salmon are infected or not. They want to remain ignorant to this threat to wild salmon.
DFO scientist Dr. Kristi Miller, co-authored a new paper on piscine reovirus. The paper not only confirms that PRV does cause the disease HSMI in BC salmon farms, similar to Norway, something other DFO and Provincial scientists have denied quite vigorously, but this paper also sheds chilling new light on the virus.
Piscine reovirus enters the salmon's red blood cells and uses them to make copies of itself. As the virus co-opts the cells, the cells may have reduced capacity to transport oxygen to muscle tissue. This raises the question, can an infected salmon get away from an orca, or jump up a waterfall? Worse, when the fish is stressed, the virus takes a shot at the heart, damaging it and grinding salmon to a halt... like the fish in the video above, thin, motionless and staring outside the nets.
I have filed a second lawsuit with Ecojustice - THANK YOU ECOJUSTICE!!! to continue working to stop DFO from allowing piscine reovirus infected farm fish from entering marine pens. Sadly, DFO actually invited Marine Harvest and Cermaq to join in the case and now DFO sits quietly while the two Norwegian-run companies do their best not to have to test for this virus. How is it the Trudeau government does not get how bad this looks. I am guessing they don't care? Whatever it takes in servitude to Norway? Someday we will understand the deal behind this, but for now it just looks increasingly suspicious.
I have crew out counting sea lice for the 17th year in Musgamagw Dzawadenuxw territory (Broughton Archipelago). I joined them yesterday. Once again the tiny pink and chum salmon are being infected with sea lice at the farms. The body of the tiny salmon below is pinching inward around the louse that is eating it. It's little belly is drawn up instead of round and fat. Horrifying really.
I have seen this every year since 2001, when a friend and neighbour brought me two little salmon like these.
On another note, I am starting a small business to keep myself in this fight. I am selling fish prints that I make - you can visit my Etsy site and have a look clink here
And if you are so inclined please donate to Pacific Coast Wild Salmon Society for the lawsuits or Raincoast Research Society for the research only Raincoast Research can give you a tax receipt. TO DONATE CLICK HERE
Thank you all for your kind words on the street, emails, facebook and letters. I really can't believe our federal and provincial governments can't see this is a dirty industry that is going to destroy itself and the wild fish with disease and that there is such a brilliant solution to this - visit my new website and check out Blueprint for Wild Salmon
Don't give up hope, there is a glimmer of light at the end of this tunnel... but like I said, I have learned to be quiet...
Fish print by Alexandra Morton website