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alexandra morton Blog
Echo Bay
I was a registered professional biologist who was living in a remote archipelago studying whales when the fish farmers came to my town
Recent Activity
On Friday, the day before the BC Day long weekend and just before the anticipated election call, Minister Letnick announced that BC waters will get FOUR more salmon farms. The BC Liberal government just can't hear us. 110,000 people asked them not to do this. Fraser River Nations asked that the be consulted before salmon they have rights and title to were made to pass through more Atlantic salmon farm effluent and pathogens, but the BC government just plugged their ears and obeyed the four foreign companies that use the BC coast to grow salmon in pens. Yes, all these... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2015 at alexandra morton
On June 5, 2015 the federal government of Canada and Marine Harvest appealed our precedent-setting Federal Court decision that struck down aquaculture licence conditions allowing private companies to transfer fish infected with viruses into net pens in our ocean. This is so disappointing and speaks to the depravity of the situation. I am prepared to go back to Court to defend wild salmon and fight this appeal. With DFO and Marine Harvest trying to resurrect unlawful licence conditions to allow transfer of infected fish into the major wild salmon migration routes of this coast, it certainly begs the question: Is... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2015 at alexandra morton
The Premier of British Columbia believes she is good for business, but BC businesses are signing a letter asking that the sa lmon farming industry not be allowed to expand in British Columbia, Canada. Incredibly the Tofino-Long Beach Chamber of Commerce has signed. They have 21 salmon farms and 2 processing plant. If ever there was a town who should love salmon farms it is Tofino - but apparently they too don't want to see expansion. When the Premier flag-waves for the salmon farming industry - she is standing all by herself, with the people who are paid by the... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2015 at alexandra morton
Today we are delivering 108,842 signatures to the Premier of British Columbia Dear Premier Christy Clark: Please do not issue Licences of Occupation to the salmon farms trying to expand in British Columbia. Wild salmon are much too important to the world to risk for a dirty industry that refuses to contain its waste and pollutes our oceans. Living Oceans, David Suzuki Foundation, Watershed Watch and Clayoquot Action have joined me in putting out a press release on this petition. Another letter is being sent from businesses, a municipality and environmental organizations throughout British Columbia, signatories continue to flow in... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2015 at alexandra morton
Just when we thought it was safe for our young wild salmon to enter the ocean, farm salmon sea lice are back! They are eating young wild salmon to death. We were wrong to think this was the one thing the salmon farmers could fix. After I discovered the sea louse outbreak on wild juvenile salmon near salmon farms in 2001, enormous effort by First Nations, other scientists, environmentalists and the public forced the salmon farmers to delouse the farm salmon 2-3 months before our young wild salmon entered the ocean. This was expensive for the industry, but we won... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2015 at alexandra morton
Thank you!!!!! to the Ecojustice team Savannah Carr-Wilson, Lara Tessaro, Margot Venton, Morgan Blakley, Dyna Tuytle READ DECISION - Download T-789-13 - Judgment and Reasons copy.pdf (1038.2K) 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 [72]. He ruled that DFO is abdicating its legal responsibility to protect and conserve wild fish by handing off decisions about transferring fish with diseases... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2015 at alexandra morton
THE SEA LICE ARE BACK. WILD SALMON NEED YOUR HELP! Norway - recall this industry from Canada Help me educate consumers because government is missing in action As spring comes to the BC coast, young wild salmon are leaving the rivers where they were born and entering the ocean. Our pink and chum salmon take an exceptional gamble - they don't spend a year in fresh water, they leave their rivers right away, tiny slips of silver weighing less that 1/2 a gram. These two species salmon are a gift to our rivers. Adult pink and chum salmon deposit tons... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2015 at alexandra morton
The following is my speech at the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans on March 24, 2015. Check Against Delivery Thank you inviting me to testify a 2nd time. You have come face to face with the challenge of weighing what the salmon farming industry needs against what Canadians might lose by granting this industry unprecedented rights in Canada. Salmon farms grow as many animals as possible, in as small a space as possible, on an artificial diet - they are feedlots. Feedlots have profound and dangerous affect on diseases that have become a serious threat to health and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2015 at alexandra morton
On March 24 at ~2pm Pacific time I will be testifying for a second time in front of the Senate Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans. It will be broadcast live at: This Senate Committee is studying the regulation of aquaculture, current challenges and future prospects for the industry in Canada This senate committee is reviewing aquaculture regulation in Canada. On the list of considerations is whether to remove section 36 of the Fisheries Act , which prohibits release of substances that kill fish. The salmon farming industry is struggling with drug resistant sea lice. In Norway sea lice... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2015 at alexandra morton
Petition to Divest Dirty Salmon - Click Here Petition to Divest Dirty Salmon - Click Here On February 20, 2015 I launched a DIVEST DIRTY SALMON petition directed at Norway, a country of high moral standards that is the birthplace and engine behind a very dirty industry - salmon farming. Imagine, an industry waltzes into other countries and runs an open sewer from its feedlots into the most valuable wild salmon habitats in the world. It's bad enough that Canada is so eager to please Norway that we trade food sovereignty and the much larger wild salmon economy for a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2015 at alexandra morton
Dear citizens of Norway please divest from DIRTY SALMON. Sign the letter: Norway recently divested its enormous sovereign wealth fund from dirty coal and oil. What about dirty salmon? Most of the BC salmon farming industry has its head offices in Norway. We are asking Norwegians to divest from these companies to inspire this industry to mature and clean itself up. Norway is a country of high moral standards, they choose the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates. Norwegians are trying to protect their wild fish from this industry too. People from France, Denmark, Canada, Sweden and Norway are signing and... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2015 at alexandra morton
Click here to Stand Up For Wild Salmon. Comment on two new salmon farms on BC coast. Cutoff date for comment is Feb 24. Local people speak to Grieg Seafood at open house on February 10 in Port McNeill. 120 people pack the house. The trouble with these two salmon farm applications: They set precendent in allowing farms closer than 3 km, which was set by the Province of BC. They set precedent in allowing shellfish leases to be flipped to become fin fish farms. If this goes through many shellfish leases will be turned into salmon farms These farms... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2015 at alexandra morton
Despite the uproar in Norway, Norwegian companies trying to expand in British Columbia. Escaped, diseased steelhead in Norway, many have no eyes The strong reaction by Norwegian fishermen to the massive escape of diseased North American steelhead into Norway's fjords has not let up. In fact, they have inspired the Norwegian government to enact a new law that would see fines laid for letting farmed salmon escape. However, the damage has been done. On Sunday, Feb 8, Dr. Are Nylund, leading virologist at the University of Bergen, who is testing these steelhead for free because he is so concerned, reports... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2015 at alexandra morton
On January 10th a hurricane hit the southern end of Norway, near Bergen. It was forecast in the days leading up to the storm and the salmon farming industry claimed they were ready, that the chains anchoring their pens full of fish could withstand the winds, that there would be no escapes. This was important, because Norway had just informed the industry there would be zero tolerance for escapes. The science on escaped Atlantic salmon in Norway, reports that farmed salmon will breed with wild salmon and create offspring, but that these hybrids will fail to return home. Therefore, wild... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2015 at alexandra morton
The salmon farming industry has awoken from a year of slumber and is on the move. It is expanding getting more drugs and being certified as sustainable... Here is what you can do. New sites: Two new applications have been made by the Norwegian family-owned Grieg Seafood to the Province of BC. Premier Clark is the landlord of this industry, deciding where the farms are put. The Grieg family has a lot going on, salmon farming is just a small part of their wealth. These new sites are in addition, to the two new sites applied for by salmon farming... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2015 at alexandra morton
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Lawsuit takes aim at College of Veterinarians’ refusal to investigate complaint Jan 06, 2015 10:29 AM Jan 06, 2015 VANCOUVER — On behalf of their client, biologist Alexandra Morton, lawyers with Ecojustice Canada are suing the College of Veterinarians of British Columbia for refusing to investigate a complaint Ms. Morton made against a government aquaculture veterinarian. The lawsuit seeks to force the College to investigate the complaint. In 2007, a government veterinarian gave misleading advice to the B.C. government regarding threats posed by a dangerous salmon virus called Infectious Salmon Anemia virus (“ISAV”). ISAV is an internationally... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2015 at alexandra morton
2014 was a very tough year. It began with the Harper government throwing open the doors to more salmon farms in British Columbia, putting at risk everything that makes BC so beautiful and alive. However, no new farm sites were approved, that we know of. We held ground. Here is a brief overview of the year, the laws that are being rewritten to fit the industry and where I think we need to take this fight. There do not need to be any losers, but these are huge companies. Mitsubishi now owns many salmon farms throughout British Columbia. They will... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2015 at alexandra morton
I agree with you that the issue of toxins in farmed salmon needs to reach North Americans. It certainly caused a political stir in Norway, and impacted the markets in France and Russia.
Thank you Jean for your feedback I will certainly give it thought. I think it is fair to say that the industry may consider legal means to prevent discussion of farmed salmon, so that is something I also weigh carefully.
Hello It is time to talk to the people behind salmon farming - the consumer. As you know I have worked very hard for 25 years to inspire the salmon farming industry to grow up and clean up, but the science, the law and our activism together has not been enough. The Cohen Commission, Canada's $26 million federal inquiry, made fair and far-reaching recommendations to protect wild salmon from salmon farming, but they are being ignored by the very people who called the inquiry. In January as Marine Harvest rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2014 at alexandra morton
Dear Dr. Ian Alexander (CFIA): I am writing in regards to your recent announcement CFIA finds no evidence of infectious salmon anaemia on the west coast. I have 2 questions: 1 - What test did you instruct the labs to use to test for ISAv? None of your communications include this information. Because so many labs have detected ISA virus in BC, including two of the labs you used in this project, it is important that the CFIA provide detailed methods so that we can understand why these labs are no longer detecting ISA virus and previous ISAv positives have... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2014 at alexandra morton
See below for invitation to new film on salmon farms showing at Vancouver International Film Festival this weekend Does an industry that needs to release poisons into the ocean really belong here? The laws of Canada are in the process of being changed to benefit the Norwegian salmon farmers using BC to make money. Your voice is needed. Please consider writing Mr. Ed Porter by October 22, 2014, to register your opinion on whether salmon farms should be allowed to release chemicals that kill fish into the wild salmon migration routes where they are sited. Click on highlighted blue email... Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2014 at alexandra morton
After nearly two decades of steep decline, the Fraser sockeye are returning in good numbers again this year. This is very good news and if we value these fish we need to know what changed, what reversed their decline? What has stopped killing them? Clearly, something good for salmon occurred... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2014 at Fraser sockeye vs farmed salmon
With water and sediment samples carefully packed in the back of the car I left Quesnel Lake and began heading south. I stopped at the sacred fire lit along the road to Likely, at the turnoff to Imperial Metal's Mt. Polley Mine. A small group, of mostly women and children, are holding a vigil there. The mine workers wave in support as they pass them. The miners have been hurt by this as well. Many have lost their jobs and they fear the mine will close. The failure by government to force Imperial Metals to build a proper tailing pond... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2014 at alexandra morton