Local Salmon & the Salmon ISA Virus

Spawning Sockeye Salmon

Spawning Sockeye Salmon - ©ingridtaylar

I came upon Alexandra Morton through a link on a Facebook page — the Orca Network’s page. Morton is a biologist who, according to her brief bio statement, is “a registered professional biologist who was living in a remote archipelago studying whales when the fish farmers came to my town.”

Today, she posted a revealing and disheartening piece on the spread of the ISA virus found in local salmon populations. The ISA or Infectious Salmon Anemia virus — is a contagious pathogen originating in salmon aquaculture in Europe. It’s also shrouded in bureaucracy and corporate self-interest which, according to Morton, makes it difficult to challenge the issue on purely pragmatic grounds.

Morton covers the issue in depth and you’ll find additional links to her work at her site. Here’s an excerpt from today’s post, Pestilence Loosed Upon BC.

I don’t know how no one could see this coming. We are the buffalo racing for the cliff, even as we watch videos of buffalo falling off cliffs. EVERY COUNTRY WITH SALMON FARMS has taken this path. I am so exhausted with trying to explain this to Ministers, bureaucrats, streamkeepers, environmentalists, fishermen. People just don’t want to believe it. It is easier to write me off than deal with this.

Look, it is simple. Salmon farms break the natural laws and viruses, bacteria and parasites are the beneficiaries of this behaviour. If you move diseases across the world and brew them among local pathogens, in an environment where predators are not allowed to remove the sick – you get pestilence. There is no other outcome.

Related post: Climbing the [Salmon] Ladder to Success

Chinook Salmon Climbing Fish Ladder

Chinook Salmon Upstream - ©ingridtaylar

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