Tag Archives: Dr Kristi Miller

Bring Salmon Farms On Land

By Roy L Hales

Canada’s $2 billion Aquaculture industry is embroiled in controversy. While there may be some debate as to whether wild salmon spread more infections to British Columbia’s penned stock or vice versa,1 there have been incidents like the Queen Charlotte Strait’s 2015 sea lice epidemic.2 On May 20, 2016, Dr Kristi Miller, from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, announced that there is “a potential Heart and Skeletal Muscle Inflammation (HSMI) in farmed Atlantic salmon samples” collected from a aquaculture facility off the coast of Vancouver Island. In Norway, where HSMI is more common, this disease is “associated with generally low mortality on farms, generally between 0 to 20%.”3 The stress (and thus mortality rate) is undoubtedly greater on wild salmon, which need to capture prey, escape predators and swim upstream to spawn. So, acting on behalf of marine biologist Alexandra Morton, ECOjustice is suing Canada’s Ministry of Fisheries for putting wild salmon at risk. Some argue the best answer is to bring salmon farms on land.

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Show 3 footnotes

  1. Marine Harvest Canada’s (MHC)studies show that the prevalence of sea lice in wild salmon stocks is unaffected by the presence, or absence, of fish farms. Katherine Dolmage, MHC’s Certification Officer, claims that wild salmon definitely spread sea lice to fish farms in the fall, but data showing that fish farms infect smolts when they swim out to the ocean, in the spring, is not conclusive. Anti-fish farm biologist Alexandra Morton emailed me that these studies are bogus, but did not explain why.
  2. In a 2015 interview, Morton conceded (starts 7:39 in podcast) that the fish farm’s delousing procedure “worked very well for seven years” prior to 2015. MHC is now beefing up their preventative measures with a 75-metre “freshwater well boat,” to give fresh water cleansing baths to their salmon twice a year.
  3.  Press release from Fisheries and Oceans Canada; According to Marine Harvest’s Integrated Annual Report 2015, from Norway, HSMI is listed third in the “Main causes of reduced survival” graph on page 68; Ironically: though HSMI is specifically mentioned in Norway’s Region West, this was also “the most profitable (fish farming) region in Norway in 2015” p 55

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 fighting for the future of BC’s fisheries is Dr Kristi Miller’s lab in Nanaimo.
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What is Killing BC’s Wild Salmon?

The ECOreport gives a distillation of evidences from “Salmon Confidential Documentary, ” What is Killing BC’s Wild Salmon?

By Roy L  Hales

Anyone simply looking for evidence that salmon farms could be infecting wild salmon will find enough five minutes into Twyla Roscovich’s documentary “Salmon Confidential Documentary.” The evidence is laid so convincingly that one is tempted to turn the video off. That would be a mistake. Salmon Confidential Documentary follows biologist Alexandra Morton, as she seeks the cause of the massive salmon die-offs before they can spawn. As she gets closer to the answer, the question becomes why is the Department of Fisheries and Oceans not doing something about it?
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