DFO, industry put salmon at risk

DFO does nothing while the industry remains in denial or tosses off the crisis.

So now the dread ISA virus is 99 per cent confirmed in our waters and DFO does nothing while the industry remains in denial or tosses off the crisis. Marine Harvest saying it’s not likely to affect wild Pacific salmon, utterly careless of its awful capabilities.

ISA tends to mutate into virulent new strains in stressed fish in factory farms, even as the ISA that conked Chile is a virulent strain of the ISA from Norway that brought it.

ISA could destroy our wild Pacific salmon runs and eventually our herring and ground fisheries, including sablefish. It’s a crisis of the first water the industry denies with DFO dishonorably onside.

The industry claims the more than 3000 citations of ISA symptoms in their dead farmed fish, revealed in their fish health data, does not prove the disease.

Yet it fought tooth and nail to prevent Justice (Bruce) Cohen from having access to their disease records.

No wonder — the data wrested from secrecy reveals a Pandora’s box of diseases are part and parcel of their industry.

The data shows also they ramped up testing their fish for ISA dramatically into 2010 (and) until April that year they refused the province access to their farms.

This was followed by a memorandum of understanding amongst themselves on how to contain viruses from spreading farm to farm.

Their denial that ISA is here and push to expand proves they care not a sculpin for our wild salmon and our coastal marine blessings of worth and beauty they uphold.

Absolutely no one knows ISA will not mutate to infect our wild fish. It is the nature of viruses to do so.

The precautionary principle that John Fraser (who, in 1994, was selected to head the Fraser River Sockeye Public Review Board investigating the salmon fishery) cited be the condition for any expansion of fish farms would get the farms out of our ocean immediately.

Yet DFO is doing nothing to turn this nightmare away and is in fact father of it, refusing to cease import of foreign broodstock eggs that bring it.

Our wild salmon will not survive the twain.

We the people must stand up shoulder to shoulder across the province and the country demanding our governments get the industry out of our ocean, and without delay, before it is too late.

Mary Russell

Port Hardy


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