Disturbing news from salmon fish farms in British Columbia, Canada

DeSmogCanada reports, 23rd August 2017: Disturbing New Footage Shows Diseased, Deformed Salmon in B.C. Fish Farms.

Marinet Note: Before reading this story, we recommend you view first this 3 minute video made in connection with the story — click the Facebook link here.

New footage released to DeSmog Canada shows deformed and disfigured salmon at two salmon farms on the B.C. coast — just as British Columbia reels from news of the escape of up to 305,000 Atlantic farmed salmon from a Washington salmon pen.

Wild salmon advocate and fisheries biologist Alexandra Morton said she was shocked by the footage. “I was shocked and frankly disgusted,” Morton told DeSmog Canada. “These fish have open sores, sea lice, blisters all over their skin and a disturbing number of them are going blind.”

Morton said the footage also gives an indication of what is now travelling through Pacific waters after the escape of potentially hundreds of thousands of farmed Atlantic salmon in the San Juan Islands just east of Victoria. Atlantic salmon are considered invasive in Pacific waters. “Now you have potentially 300,000 farmed salmon travelling with wild salmon. We know that is what they do.”

The footage was shot at two salmon farms owned by Grieg Seafood and located near Broughton Island, B.C., in the traditional territory of the Musgmagw Dzawada’enuwx Nation.

The nation has been vocally opposed to fish farming in its traditional waters for 30 years and has handed out eviction notices to fish farming corporations.

“These fish are really sick,” Ernest Alfred, member of the Nagmis and Lawit’sis from Alert Bay, says in the footage. “These fish are polluting the environment that we call home.”

Greig Seafood did not respond to requests for comment.

Alfred and Awahawoo Hereditary Chief George Quocksister Jr. shot the footage while travelling to fish farms aboard the research vessel Martin Sheen, provided by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

“When I say there is disease in these farmed salmon, this is not a guess,” Morton said. “Over 80 per cent of farmed salmon are infected with piscine reovirus.” [Piscine reovirus : See Footnote].

Morton is currently fighting the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Dominique Leblanc in court to prevent more Atlantic salmon infected with the virus from being placed in B.C. waters.

Morton said the fish pens are a highly concentrated source of waste and disease that threaten other species. “From a biological point of view this footage gives you an idea of the scale of the pathogens coming out of these farms and we know that a single particle in this ocean can travel 10 kilometres in a short amount of time.”

Alfred said the window to protect wild salmon stocks in B.C. is closing. “You know, when I think about our people’s history, I think about the colonization, the stripping of our rights, the stripping of our identity, the fact that our language is disappearing, the potlatch ban, the fish is all we have left and they can’t take our fish.”

“We don’t exist here without our fish.”

 

Source: DeSmogCanada, 23rd August 2017. For the full details to this story, see www.desmog.ca/2017/08/23/disturbing-new-footage-shows-diseased-deformed-salmon-b-c-fish-farms

 

Footnote: The identity of a mysterious disease that’s raged through European salmon farms, wasting the hearts and muscles of infected fish, has been revealed. Researchers have eventually arrived at the 10-gene virus they called piscine reovirus, or PRV. The virus was described in Public Library of Science One.

“If the potential hosts are in close proximity, it goes through them like wildfire,”

Infected fish are physically stunted, and their muscles are so weakened that they have trouble swimming or even pumping blood. The disease is often fatal, and the original outbreak has been followed by 417 others in Norway and the United Kingdom. Every year there’s more of the disease, and it’s now been seen in wild fish, suggesting that farm escapees are infecting already-dwindling wild stocks

 

Source: Salmon Confidential, Canada : www.salmonconfidential.ca/science-references/pisicne-reovirus-science

 

Marinet observes: The last surviving commercial wild fish stocks are to be found on the west coast of Canada (British Columbia) and in Alaska. If the situation described here develops further not only will the natural and cultural economy of the Native Canadian die, so also will the last wild salmon stocks which have, to date, been spared and survived the impact of salmon fish farming.

As the native Canadian video at the top of this article says : “Share This Video” — that is what you can do.

 


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