Alex Morton Launches Petition

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by canoecat, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. ken_vandeburgt

    ken_vandeburgt Paddler

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    Something to consider:

     
  2. canoecat

    canoecat Paddler

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    KenB, your comments started with a complaint about the political nature of my post. Now it's because there are false statements, so you claim.

    I am sure you will not hesitate to point these out.

    Alex's letters and the accompanying petition are directed at getting the BC Supreme Court decision enforced. She does not want "to eliminate an entire industry", but does want the open net pens moved from the migration routes and a viable closed containment industry to replace. She well recognizes that sea lice are not the only problem with the pink runs, but that run does start with sea lice infestation. Moreover, the transition to closed containment needs much more government will than it is receiving.

    I haven't noticed any effort to reduce the problem to one cause. Any reasonable discussion I have read or listened to has always considered many of the other impacts. But, taken together, combinations of factors, in different proportion, of course, etc. If we are not to act until we know exactly how great an impact a particular threat poses, when do we start? How many significant figures before we decide. For people who like to stay plopped in the middle, large, larger, more, less, greater than, will never be enough.

    But the impact of sea lice on migrating smolts is now quite well documented, and the infection is not due to the sticklebacks. As a researcher, Alex has had to focus on an issue that could be established and this has been done. In addition, she has managed to document the overall impact on the pink runs since the introduction of the fish farms in that area. She has documented the impact of location, i.e., in the migration routes. This is based on some relatively hard data, some will always be of poorer quality, with many confounding factors that will never be eliminated, no matter what the conclusion.

    We should be grateful for her efforts. She works without secure funding, or much of it, and has no public relations department. As a researcher, she has had to focus, and often research demands a quite narrow focus. She has been forced to do this over and over in order to get acceptance, not because of flawed method, but because of unwillingness to accept the bad news. Considering her limited resources, she has done some remarkable work.

    The issue is truly political because local politicians believe firmly that the only option left is to encourage more fish farms. They must be responsive to the electorate, and in these resource industry based towns, often accepting something you don't really want is presented as the only option. Marine Harvest is a very big presence in Mount Waddington RD and they have an excellent PR person, Clare Backman, very hardworking. Just on the wrong side. The fish processor Hardy Buoys depends heavily on the farmed harvest, buying 450k pounds from Marine Harvest, 60k from the commercial fishery and processes another 500k from the sport fishery. And so on.
     
  3. ken_vandeburgt

    ken_vandeburgt Paddler

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    This ruling has implications for us as sea kayakers.

    The constitution clearly states that coastlines and the sea are a federal responsibility. There has in the past been at least tacit agreement to allow the Province to act in areas that are grey zones, such as fish farms, in sheltered waters; essentially administering the resources from point to point instead of following the shoreline.

    That has implications for marine parks and the water column surrounding marine parks. Examples are the voluntary closure at Robson Bight Ecological Reserve that was set aside for Orcas and the Checleset Ecological Reseve that was set aside for sea otters.

    It means that we could see Fisheries and Oceans apply the Oceans Act to set aside Marine Conservation Areas more liberally. There is a Marine Conservation Area in Lake Superior that is managed by National Parks. And we've seen what happens when a Provincial Park becomes a National Park in the Gulf Islands.
     
  4. Ken B

    Ken B Paddler

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    Very good post canoecat.

    I am plopped in the middle of a few issues...I guess it's my nature to be inquisitive, and I do not apologize for it.

    Have I ever settled on one side of an issue?
    Yes.

    My issue is not with what you and Alexandra stand for...I read most everything that is publicized.
    I make myself informed of both sides of any issue.
    My issue is when the facts get twisted to suit an agenda...on either side.
     
  5. Ken B

    Ken B Paddler

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    Oops...hit the submit button before I was done.

    I wanted to add...
    What issues boil down to is, hopefully both sides put out the facts...and the majority will decide on one direction.

    Cheers.
     
  6. Monster

    Monster Paddler

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    I spent a good three weeks paddling the Broughton Archipelagos, and even got invited onto a fish farm for lunch. At the time I was paddling with a prof from the University of Ottawa and she was far more familiar with Alexandra Morton and her public policy efforts on the issue of salmon farming than I was, even though I live here.

    It seems Alex has got quite a name for her self in Canadian academia and, at least by most, is respected for the research she's done.

    All this to say that I applaud WCP's decision to allow this topic here as I too believe it is very relevant to us paddlers (thats right you yackers! This is a PADDLING site... not simply a kayaking site!)

    Anyway, also pleased to see that the one fellow who felt this topic shouldn't have been allowed here for being too "political" has been one of this threads most conscientious participators.

    Remember, to engage is to enrich your self... never mind that it is only ever the wrong side of any given issue that has an interest to stifle, censor or ban important and relevant topics from public discussion.
     
  7. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    source

    But you don't have to believe this article: a google search with keywords "norway" and "sea lice" will show that sea lice is a problem in Norway. Many methods have been tried to control the problem. You can also find articles that show that sea lice are closely monitored by the Norwegian government ... so why do you suppose the Norway aquaculture companies operate in Canada ... could it be because Canada has no sea lice standards?
     
  8. Ken B

    Ken B Paddler

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    LOL...how true Monster.
    When I read the initial post, I knew if Dan didn't pull it I was going to engage.

    "There was no sea louse monitoring in the Broughton prior to the decision to locate fish farms in the area. Natural background levels for sea lice on wild fish in areas without fish farms can range from 3 to 8%. The Forum conducted research in areas in the Bella Bella area of the central coast with a similar ecosystem to the Broughton and without farms and found that sea lice prevalence averaged 3.5%. Based on this information the Forum estimated that a precautionary estimate of natural background levels in the Broughton would be 3%."
    http://www.pacificsalmonforum.ca/final/index.php?op=final_faqs
    nootka,
    Like I've stated previously...every point has a counter-point.
    Who's right?


    Ken V,
    This scares the HECK out of me as well.
    Is there anyone here who feels the federal Gov (Fisheries and Oceans) has done a great job with fishing management on the B.C. coast the last 75 years?
    36 out of 308 MP's are from B.C.
    Going federal and we (B.C. residents) lose control.
    In my opinion, THE ONLY reason Morton pushed this direction is to get her way (she hopes).
    What...the people of B.C. can't make an informed decision?

    One should be very careful who they get in bed with...
    Anyone remember what happened in the Clayquot?
    The protesters got the first Nations onside to help save the area from logging...then the First Nations got control of the area and are now making plans to log parts of the it.

    With B.C. Off-shore oil and gas looming...I don't know about the rest of you, but I want it to be a Provincial decision.
     
  9. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    Hey Ken: I see your counter-point as being tangential to the above statement. Did you replicate my google search?
    Al

    PS: was the PM info on Nuchatlitz helpful?
     
  10. Ken B

    Ken B Paddler

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    nootka,

    No google search...I read so many articles, some I save...like that link.
    Fish-Farming, Run-of-the-River Power genaration, B.C. offshore oil and gas, logging policies, municipal issues...to name a few. I like to be informed.
    About every month I have to weed thru saved documents and cull.

    re/ Nuchatlitz info
    Yes thank you...I look forward to future meetings that we can pour over the chart(s).

    BTW...your correcting my spelling mistakes (when you quote me) has not escaped me... :lol: :wink:
     
  11. ken_vandeburgt

    ken_vandeburgt Paddler

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    This is quite a comment given the fish farm industry in BC exists because of permits issued by the BC government.

    As for the wild fishery, most of the unhappiness appears to come from fisherman being told to stop fishing. And in these cases the province has weighed in on the side of the fisherman because of loss of economic oppourtunities. So while it would be hard to give DFO a good grade they have far and away done better than the Province.

    The fishery at least should be a federal responsibility (and, according to to the constitution act, is). And we are not served well when both the feds and the province spend tax dollars at counter purposes.

    Ideally there would be one authority with control over all things fishy. The salmon fishery is one fishery that spans the west coast and includes governments from Alaska to California, and maybe Mexico too. I will concede that Glen Clarke (ex BC premier) had it right that Canadian efforts to keep the Salmon fishery viable had no value if those efforts were being undermined by the actions of other governments in allowing unrestricted fishing to go on.

    Having one authority would mean one license issuing authority for the entire coast, aboriginal fishery be damned. But there is too much money and too much politics involved to keep it fair.

    Can anyone here come up with a fishery control authority acronym like NAFTA?

    Its too bad because without a single body to control the fishery along the entire coast, including responsibility for fish habitat, fish farms, shellfish, etcetera, with an aim of keeping it viable for everyone in the long term we are all going to lose when the fishery goes.
     
  12. sushiy

    sushiy Paddler

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    Please, can someone tell me if I understand this correctly in a simple sentence? I don't have time and knowledge and English skill to read all of those study, science, theories, and politics, but I eat, sell and want to fish those salmon.

    She (Alexsandra) is not funded or favor of wild salmon fishing company.

    She is not opposed to salmon farming.

    She want to regulate salmon farming with more strict guidance so it dose not affect wild ones.

    She understands over harvesting wild salmon caused the decline of wild one and promoted less than parfect farming.


    Does anyone who is working with her ( I mean, not just agreeing with her but really working with her ) on this issue trying to put pressure on wild salmon harvesting? Does she agree with regulating wild harvest harder?

    To me, regulating both sounds more effective to protect wild fish. I can't see totally eliminating wild harvesting works well unless everyone agrees on it. Pesonally, I can go without wild one for next 4 years if I can eat and fish it after that, but I would not sign on it knowing someone will suffer out of it.

    Just curiouse.

    From someone not so inteligent every day person on the bottom of the society without so much education, but still have right to chose whom I will agree with.
     
  13. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    Sushiy: Here is a google search for you to look at. Note that the earliest article on sea lice is 1999. Which means that paddlers have been aware of this issue for 10 years.
    google search at wavelength.com
     
  14. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Just received an e-mail from Alexandra Morton (I'm on her e-mail list). Looks as though her petition is gaining momentum as there are now over 7,000 people who have responded to it. If you support Alexandra's efforts, please do visit the link below to the petition form and add your name to the list.

    Following is a copy of the e-mail that I received.

    *****



    Dear Folks

    Our letter has become too big to send to all of you, I will try to post it later today on www.adopt-a-fry.org. This email below and the letter went to the Minister and the Premier a few minutes ago.

    Please see the Globe and Mail article below. I believe we will need 2-3 times the signatures we have now to move government to do the right thing.

    My deepest thanks to all of you

    alexandra



    Dear Minister of Fisheries the honourable Gail Shea and Premier Campbell:

    As noted in the Globe and Mail this morning, I have been sending you this letter for a month with no reply. What began with 100 signatures from local fishermen has grown to 7,309 signatures from around the world, but predominately British Columbia (5,785).

    Premier Campbell, your government has allowed this industry to expand in the face of the most alarming wild salmon declines we have ever seen on this coast.

    Minister Shea, this is not a situation of your making, but you have the opportunity to bring reason to this mess.

    I will continue to take signatures to help you move past status quo and bring salmon “farming” into compliance with the laws of Canada. BC Supreme Court ruled they are no longer “farms,” they are a fishery. There is debate now as to whether Marine Harvest and the other salmon “farming” companies actually own their fish when they put them into Canadian waters,

    All we are asking is for the Fisheries Act to be applied to this industry. As wild salmon decline all the other related fisheries have been increasingly restricted.....except the marine feedlot fishery.

    This is a threat to our coastal communities and the economy of British Columbia.

    Standing by,

    Alexandra Morton

    To sign the petition to apply the Fisheries Act to fish farms the way it is applied to fishermen please click on the link below.


    http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform ... nBwQmc6MA..


    The Globe and Mail
    Fisheries ignored 500 names. Can it ignore 5,000?
    by Mark Hume
    March 23, 2009

    VANCOUVER -- The form letter that Premier Gordon Campbell and federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea keep ignoring is just getting longer.

    In circulation for only a few weeks, it already has nearly 5,000 signatories, and more names are being added daily as it circulates on the Web.

    When it first went to the politicians, 500 names were affixed. It was ignored, so it went back into circulation and soon was resubmitted with 2,000 names, then with 4,000. It's making the rounds again this week, and is still growing.

    Started by research scientist and fisheries activist Alexandra Morton, the letter asks the government to take decisive action to protect wild salmon from the threats posed by salmon farms.

    One of the key requests is that salmon farms be moved away from wild salmon migration routes because of the transmission of sea lice from caged fish.

    The people who signed the letter worry that salmon farms are an unacceptable risk to wild stocks.

    And that fear is about to be heightened by a study being released today that shows juvenile sockeye from the Fraser River are encountering fish farms at an alarming rate.

    Michael Price, a biologist with Raincoast Conservation Foundation, and Craig Orr, executive director of Watershed Watch, studied 800 wild sockeye collected in 2007-08 in northern Georgia Strait.

    About 70 per cent of those fish had one to 20 sea lice attached to them. And the fish caught near farms were the most likely to be infected.

    "The lice levels appear to be higher near farms," said Mr. Price, who is still analyzing the data.

    Past studies by Ms. Morton have documented the spread of lice from farms to wild pink and chum salmon in the Broughton Archipelago, an area off Vancouver Island's northeast shoulder.

    But the study by Mr. Price and Dr. Orr looks at sockeye, and for the first time uses DNA analysis to trace the infected fish to their watershed of origin.

    The researchers conclude most of the sockeye they caught migrating near salmon farms (60 per cent in 2007 and 99 per cent in 2008) came from the Fraser River.

    Sockeye are the most valuable of all salmon species because they draw a higher price on the market and because they are the fish of choice for native food and ceremonial fisheries.

    Mr. Price and Dr. Orr have now linked the most valuable fish, from B.C.'s most important salmon river, to farms and lice.

    Mr. Price said juvenile sockeye can follow three routes as they migrate through Georgia Strait on the outward leg of their journey to the Gulf of Alaska.

    "But all these routes converge before the Broughton Archipelago [at the north end of Georgia Strait] where there are a dozen farms," he said.

    "It's clear that no fish can make this journey without encountering a farm."

    Mr. Price said studies have shown that one to three lice can kill a juvenile pink salmon, so it's fair to assume sockeye are dying as well.

    Could this help explain the collapse of Fraser River sockeye stocks?

    Some people will no doubt find this an alarming possibility.

    The form letter, triggered by concerns about pink and chum, describes wild salmon as "the backbone of the B.C. Coast," and urges both Ms. Shea and Mr. Campbell to protect migrating wild stocks from fish farms.

    So far, the politicians have been able to ignore the ever-growing letter. But the new study can only ratchet up the pressure.

    Now that people know it's not just pink salmon, but Fraser River sockeye stocks that are at risk, one has to wonder how many more names will get added to that letter.
     
  15. Ken B

    Ken B Paddler

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    Seeing that wild salmon do migrate up and down the west coast...I've often wondered what the exact catch (Wild Salmon) records are for the last 10 years for B.C. and the U.S.A. (Alaska, Washington).
    Over fishing (in my opinion) got our coast in trouble in the first place...but, could it be that present (last 10 years) over-all catch numbers are contributing to suppress any rebound?
    I have tried to get the numbers in the past (albeit, not doggedly), but have been unsuccessful.
    Anyone know where one can get the numbers?

    Yes, some of the decline in salmon stock COULD be related to the effects of open-pen Fish Farms...but how much of it?

    What a minute...I thought it was only Pink Salmon that was the only species 'Confirmed' to suffer from the lice.
    OF COURSE...a Broad-Brush statement like 'Wild Salmon' sounds better! :roll:

    FACTS!...where is the study?
    Oh but of course...more hype!
    Typical!
     
  16. Andy_Ferguson

    Andy_Ferguson Paddler

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    The North American Journal of Fisheries Management might be of some use to you Ken. Lots of interesting studies there.
     
  17. Ken B

    Ken B Paddler

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    Thanks Andy.
    I'll try it.

    My point is...one study shouldn't mean it's absolutely CONCLUSIVE.
    If one side puts out a statement or claim...I like to hear what the other side says.
    I think it is a thing that is called 'Critical Thinking'.

    How about:
    «The Effect of Country Music on Suicide»
    (S. Stack and J. Gundlach; Wayne State University and Auburn University; 1992)
    "The greater the airtime devoted to country music, the greater the white suicide rate"
    According to the authors, Steven Stack and Jim Gundlach, the paper "assesses the link between country music and metropolitan suicide rates. Country music is hypothesized to nurture a suicidal mood through its concerns with problems common in the suicidal population, such as marital discord, alcohol abuse, and alienation from work. The results of a multiple regression analysis of 49 metropolitan areas show that the greater the airtime devoted to country music, the greater the white suicide rate. The effect is independent of divorce, southernness, poverty, and gun availability. The existence of a country music subculture is thought to reinforce the link between country music and suicide. Our model explains 51% of the variance in urban white suicide rates."

    It's a 'Scientific Study'...it's got to be true!
    BAN ALL COUNTRY MUSIC NOW!
    I should start a petition! :wink:
     
  18. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    I'd have no problem if country music were banned. :roll:

    Ken, perhaps it might add something positive to the discussion (i.e., indicating that you're not entirely all full of cynicism) if you were to include one or two comments that indicate that you agree with something/anything that Ms. Morton is saying instead of fixating upon a couple of points that you personally take exception to. Surely you don't think it's all a bunch of lies?

    *****
     
  19. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    In addition, I'd say it's pretty darned fair to say that Ms. Morton is doing a heck of a lot more to help the situation than you are by arguing about minute details.

    *****
     
  20. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    C'mon Ken, show us your inner tree-hugger. You know you want to :lol: