Category Archives: Fish

Ian Roberts’ Response To Anti-Salmon Farm Critics

By Roy L Hales

screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3-43-47-pmIn 2002, the number of pink salmon returning to the Broughton Archipelago was only 3% of normal.  Alexandra Morton subsequently co-authored a study reporting that 68 – 98 % of the fish tested in this area had the sea louse “L. salmonis.”1 A University of Toronto study links the 2015 sea lice epidemic to fish farms in the same area. The article that follows is based on Marine Harvest Canada’s (MHC) Ian Roberts’ response to anti-salmon farm critics.

Continue reading Ian Roberts’ Response To Anti-Salmon Farm Critics

  1. S. Saksida et al, Population ecology and epidemiology of sea lice in Canadian waters, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Table 3: Reported sea lice levels on juvenile wild salmon in the Pacific.

Good News About BC’s Fishing Runs

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMAside from the incredible run of 2010, reports of the Fraser River’s sockeye salmon tend to be glum. I believe there is only one Cortes Island based fisherman still working the Johnston strait and recently learned this is the second year he did not receive an opening to fish sockeye.1 Though the culprits were last year’s drought and a culvert (close to my home), most of the chum returning to Basil Creek in 2015 were killed before they could spawn. These were just a few of the stories that prompted me to seek out evidences of the impending demise of what was previously one of our province’s leading industries. Instead, I found good news about BC’s fishing runs.

Continue reading Good News About BC’s Fishing Runs

  1. Roy L Hales interview with Thea Block, daughter of said fisherman

Hard Evidence From The Inside

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMWildlife biologist Alexandra Morton has been wanting to get a close look at the salmon inside a fish farm for years. She got her opportunity on August 23, when the  Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw nation boarded the Marine Harvest Midsummer farm in Kingcome Inlet, BC. The video below shows what Morton found after lowered a Go Pro camera into the pens for ten minutes.  She calls this hard evidence from the inside.

Continue reading Hard Evidence From The Inside

Forcing EPA To Protect Salmon

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMThere have been salmon die-offs since the mid-1990s. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was on the verge of addressing this issue more than a decade ago. Vested interests objected.  The idea was shelved until last year’s drought. After water temperatures rose 4 degrees above the lethal ceiling (68 degrees F), 96% of the returning adult sockeye died before they could pass beyond the Lower Granite dam. Now a coalition of environmental groups  is forcing EPA to protect salmon in the Columbia and Snake rivers.
Continue reading Forcing EPA To Protect Salmon

The Drought’s Latest Victims

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1California’s drought spread across most of the West Coast this year. There have been reports of record high temperatures, water shortages and increased ravages from wildfires. The Drought’s latest victims are salmon.

Continue reading The Drought’s Latest Victims

Pressure Against BC’s Fish Farms is Mounting

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1After two years of legal proceedings, on May 6 Federal court ruled that the government cannot delegate its responsibilities, to protect BC’s wild salmon stocks, to the province’s fish farms. According to the Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans, as many as 120 licenses, due for renewal this year, could be affected. Ecojustice filed on behalf of biologist Alexandra Morton in May 2013, after learning that salmon infected with infected with the piscine reovirus (PRV) were put into an open pen fish farm in Shelter Bay, BC. The owners, Marine Harvest Canada, claim “there no evidence” the fish they transferred were unhealthy. Morton has evidence to the contrary and, since her legal victory, the pressure against BC’s fish farms is mounting.

Continue reading Pressure Against BC’s Fish Farms is Mounting

BC’s Salmon Farms could face Multiple Legal Threats

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1BC’s Salmon farms could face Multiple Legal Threats . Ignoring the Cohen Commission’s recommendation for a freeze on net-pen salmon farm production along the Fraser sockeye migration route until 2020, the Federal Government has issued licenses. This has prompted the First Nations Wild Salmon Alliance to call upon the Harper Government to immediately implement Cohen’s recommendations. NAFTA is considering a full investigation of Canada’s failure to enforce section 36 of its federal Fisheries Act by allowing salmon aquaculture operations in British Columbia to release “deleterious substances” into waters frequented by wild salmon. Meanwhile Alexandra Morton’s long awaited suit against the Department of Fisheries and Oceans opened in Vancouver today. Morton’s lawyer filed the suit after learning that fish allegedly infected with the piscine reovirus (PRV) had been transferred into an open-pen fish farm operated by Marine Harvest along the Fraser River sockeye migration.
Continue reading BC’s Salmon Farms could face Multiple Legal Threats

Fighting for the Future of BC’s Fisheries

By Roy L Hales

As many as 70 million sockeye salmon  may return to the Fraser this year. These numbers have not been seen for decades and are quite a stark contrast to 1.6 million catch that sparked the Cohen commission a few years ago. That was when Dr Kristi Miller, head of Molecular Genetics at the Department of Fisheries and Ocean’s (DFO) Pacific Biological Station, testified that a  ‘viral signature’ of a disease  was contributing to as high as 90% pre-spawn mortality in returning Fraser sockeye. One of the reasons there is so much hope for this year, is the returning 2010 run were not infected. But, according to biologist Alexandra Morton, the real key to unlocking British Columbia’s incredible potential is Miller’s lab in Nanaimo.
Continue reading Fighting for the Future of BC’s Fisheries

EPA moves to protect Bristol Bay fishery from Pebble Mine

Press Release from the EPA

(Washington, D.C.—Feb. 28, 2014) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is initiating a process under the Clean Water Act to identify appropriate options to protect the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery in Bristol Bay, Alaska from the potentially destructive impacts of the proposed Pebble Mine. The Pebble Mine has the potential to be one of the largest open pit copper mines ever developed and could threaten a salmon resource rare in its quality and productivity. During this process, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cannot approve a permit for the mine.
Continue reading EPA moves to protect Bristol Bay fishery from Pebble Mine