Biologist Alexandra Morton and the 'wild salmon people'

Today the Cohen Commission opens hearings on the effects, or lack of them, of fish farms on wild salmon stocks here in BC. This is a huge issue and the fish farming industry is spending millions on a propaganda campaign designed to soften up opposition to their dubious industry. Their advertising campaign centers on the 34 million sockeye of the Adams River run that showed up this year and gave us a $500 million fishery. Alexandra's blog gives a great explaination, in layman's terms, of the biology behind her continued concerns about the calculas of wild and farmed salmon.

Quoting her blog: "Eighteen years ago in July 1992 a salmon farm in the narrowest marine corridor used by the Fraser sockeye was stocked with IHN virus-infected salmon. IHN is lethal to sockeye. Government was secretive about this and let the infected salmon stay in the ocean. As a result, the disease spread to 13 salmon feedlots (9 million farm salmon) over three years in a 20 km radius exposing 6 generations of wild salmon to extremely high and unnatural levels of virus. This is exactly when Fraser sockeye productivity began to fail. "

"A second IHN epidemic raged in the feedlots for 3 years from Campbell River to Bella Bella via their smolt transport vessels. Again DFO did nothing to protect our wild salmon and the Fraser sockeye continued their decline. I think fish farmers cleaned up temporarily in 2008 and that is why we got so many sockeye back this year.”

Alexandra's website Salmon Are Sacred is a moving and well written appeal to us all. Her intelligent and throughly researched conclusions have disturbing implications for the future of both wild salmon and the Salish Sea. Her passion has inspired many people here and around the world to look more deeply into this issue and those larger ones that frame it.

Morton calls 'all wild salmon people' to Vanier Park on October 25 - Biologist Alexandra Morton has invited “all wild salmon people” to join her at Vanier Park on Monday, October 25, when she and her companions complete their paddle down the Fraser River.