• We apologize for the somewhat convoluted sign-up process. Due to ever-more sophisticated attacks by chatbots, we had to increase our filtering in order to weed out AI while letting humans through. It's a nuisance, but a necessary one in order to keep the level of discourse on the forums authentic and useful. From the actual humans using WCP, thanks for your understanding!

Alex Morton Launches Petition

Join the march

Alex Morton and a group of us have decided to do a large Migration. It's called the Get Out Migration. We are walking from our homes on Malcom Island to Victoria, British Columbia (~500kms) to raise awareness to our government about the importance of wild salmon and to demand that salmon farms get off the migration routes of wild salmon, because they cause disease epidemics and pollute the nearshore habitat. We are walking from April 22 to May 9. On May 9 we'll arrive in Victoria and will walk to the Parliament building where we will be received by MP Finn Donnelly. He'll receive our petitions and celebrate wild salmon with us. It is important he sees the efforts of the walk, but also on the internet and around the world.

The whole point of this is to stand up and be counted - whether that is electronically, in written form or in person. People across Vancouver Island (and the world) are being amazing - inviting us into their homes, planning their own Migrations to join up with us, booking community halls for Salmon Celebrations...it's going to be two intense but beautiful weeks on the road and on-line.

the march
the petition
the science
An excerpt from a letter in the Courier Islander today:
So how does one tell good, solid science from "pseudo-science?". Well, good science should be published and peer reviewed in a journal that is respected within the scientific community. There are all sorts of journals (also of varying levels) that papers can be published in. The most difficult journals to get published in are ones like "Science" or "Nature", as these are the most respected journals in the world. The vast majority of scientists will never dream of getting their work published in these journals; it is an extremely rigorous review process, denying thousands of submissions.
Only the very best science in the world stands a chance of being published there. For example, in Dec 2007 Martin Krkosek, PhD and Morton had their research published in the journal "Science" outlining the future collapse of wild salmon in BC in the near future due to sea lice, and yet DFO, government and industry tried to call it pseudo-science.

An older article I had not seen here
Sea lice dispute escalates into an Ivory Tower punch-up.
Five scientists who predict the extinction of pink salmon in the Broughton archipelago if sea lice associated with fish farms are not controlled have published a withering rebuttal of counterclaims by two other scientists who challenged their case

Another perspective, from First Nations here
As a carnivorous species, salmon consume 3-3.5kg of fish meal for every 1kg of salmon that reaches market (Naylor, 2000).
We must look at lower trophic level fish species that are herbivorous and require fewer resources to grow such as carp, tilapia and catfish
Royal-backed UK group calls results of salmon farming: ‘a devastating catalogue of malpractice'
The report accuses the salmon farming industry in Scotland “of precipitating an environmental disaster” and calls on government for the immediate implementation of a survival plan to save wild stocks.
Fish farming urgently needs to be reformed. That's not some radical environmental group saying that, but an organization backed by Prince Charles and The Duke of Northumberland.

Globe & Mail story on report by The Salmon & Trout Association of the United Kingdom
Gordon Moore thinks open cage aquaculture is a bad idea

Vivian Krause has stated that several US foundations have funded environmentalists in a campaign against fish farms, in an article in the Courier Islander. I tracked down the names of 3 foundations here.
Using public information sources Ms. Krause discovered that in the recent past a group of U.S. Foundations – in particular the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the Pew Charitable Trusts -- have poured more than $100 million (she says over $126) million into B.C. organizations that have campaigned against open net-cage salmon farming.
Let's look at these people/foundations:
Gordon Moore was a co-founder of Intel. He coined Moore's law. Wiki says his net worth was 3.7 billion in 2008. He has donated $800 million dollars to Caltech. Wikipedia

David Packard was a co-founder of Hewlett-Packard, was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan, and left $4 billion to the Packard Foundation. Packard gave $68 million to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Wikipedia

The Pew Charitable Trusts were founded by adult children of Sun Oil Company founder Joseph N. Pew. Wikipedia
The Trusts, with other groups, backed an effort to create marine protected areas in the Pacific Ocean, near the Marinas Islands. The protect area was officially designated in January 2009, and includes the Mariana Trench, the deepest ocean canyon in the world. Another marine protected area that the Trusts and other groups sought to protect is Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument which was protected by President Bush in 2006.
Let's assume Vivian Krause is correct, that Gordon Moore gave lots of money to environmentalists in an effort to stop open cage fish farms. Would Gordon Moore receive any financial benefit from the Alaskan fish ranchers ... I doubt it, he's already rich. Would Gordon Moore be trying to scuttle aquaculture for ego reasons ... I doubt it, he's already famous. Did I mention that he is brilliant? When a really smart guy says that something is a bad idea ... it's probably a bad idea.

My take on this story:
A brilliant, rich, and famous guy thinks open cage aquaculture is a bad idea.
Received this in my e-mail today from Ms. Morton. Good stuff.

Department of Justice lays charges against fish farm company

Unlawful by-catch of wild salmon by Norwegian fish farm company

(April 20, 2010, Port Hardy) Today, Todd Gerhart of the Department of Justice, stayed charges laid by biologist Alexandra Morton against Marine Harvest, the largest Norwegian fish farm company in the world, for unlawful possession of wild salmon. In a landmark initiative Gerhart advised the Court that on April 16, 2010, DOJ filed a new indictment against Marine Harvest, including the original charges laid by Alexandra Morton as well as new charges for unlawful possession of herring reported in October 2009. Mr. Gerhart will be the prosecutor.

Morton and her lawyer Jeffery Jones are relieved. “It is my strong opinion,” says Mr. Jones, a former Crown Prosecutor for DOJ, “that this industry was given access to the BC coast and appears to have been conducting itself as if it were above the law. Today’s decision by Mr. Gerhart and the Department of Justice confirms that no corporation is above the law. This is why private prosecutions are important democratic safeguards. Ms. Morton’s prosecution has triggered enforcement action by DOJ. I am extremely pleased by Mr. Gerhart’s decision.”

In June of 2009, young wild salmon were observed falling from a load of farm salmon being off-loaded from Marine Harvest’s vessel Orca Warrior. Some of these fish were collected and Marine Harvest admitted in the newspaper to catching the wild salmon. “By-catch” is fish caught without a licence in the process of fishing for other species. By-catch is strictly controlled in all other fisheries and in some cases causes entire fisheries to be shut down.

“For decades we have heard reports of wild fish trapped in fish farms, eaten by the farm fish and destroyed during harvest,” says biologist Alexandra Morton, “but when DFO was informed of these offenses they would not, or could not, lay a charge. Canada cannot manage wild fish like this. You can’t regulate commercial and sport fishermen and then allow another group unlimited access to the same resource. BC will lose its wild fish.”

In 1993, the Pacific Fishery Regulations exempted salmon farms from virtually all fishing regulations. Unlike commercial fishermen, salmon farmers can use bright lights known to attract wild fish. The oily food pellets they use also attract fish and wildlife. Commercial fishermen are required to pay for observers and cameras on their vessels that record by-catch, so that fishing can be halted to preserve non-targeted stocks. No such enforcement has been applied to salmon farmers, despite regular reports of black cod, rock cod, herring, lingcod, wild salmon, Pollock, capelin and other species in the pens, in stomachs of the farmed fish and destroyed at harvest time….Until now.

“This is a ray of hope that we can work through the issue of Norwegian salmon farming in BC waters. I am thankful to hand this over to the Department of Justice. Aquaculture is not the problem. The problem is the reckless way government sited it, managed it and gave it priority over the public fisheries. I call on government to protect the families now dependant on this industry as it undergoes the long overdue scrutiny of the courts, the judicial inquiry and public opinion.“

Alexandra Morton 250-974-7086
(quote from Campbell River Mirror) http://www.bclocalnews.com/vancouver_is ... 69459.html
"Krause said that since 2003, when the campaigns against farmed salmon gained momentum, many stores and restaurants have switched to sell wild salmon. And since then, she added, the value of Alaskan wild salmon sold has increased from $125 million in 2002 to $409 million in 2008."

Pretty damning. We're talking $284 million worth of business for Alaska Salmon fisheries as a result of the campaign against fish farms.


Just call me cynical.


  • P1020225.jpg
    59.6 KB · Views: 4,874
Government memos reveal fish farmers pressured government to keep sea lice drugs secret, six years before biologist Alexandra Morton made it public.

A series of government memos reveal a heated debate in 1995 over a sea louse outbreak on a farm salmon on the Fraser sockeye migration route (Okisollo Channel). In 1995, a salmon farm requested permission to use hydrogen peroxide to treat an extremely heavy outbreak of sea lice on their fish. When the Ministry of Environment, Parks and Lands (MELP) informed the company that their drug application would have to be released to the public, the fish farmer withdrew the request.
memo image here

Do I trust the government? NO!
Do I trust the fish farm corporations? NO!
Is Clare Backman of Marine Harvest a liar?

On page A10 of the Courier Islander Wed June 2, 2010, is a letter from Clare Backman which contains the sentence "Salmon farms are anything but secret about their businesses".

Yet Order F10-06 of the Office of the Information & Privacy Commisioner for British Columbia contains this clause on page 24:
[96] Marine Harvest submits there are "no regulations or laws" which require it to release the information it gives to Ministry veterinarians or designates during on-site visits. It states that release of the requested information would result in (Marine Harvest) no longer supplying the requested information.

Order F10-06 states that Marine Harvest wants to keep the health status of their fish a secret. Clare says they have no secrets. Who's the liar, Clare Backman or Michael McEnvoy? My money's on Clare.
Clare Backman is Director of Sustainability for Marine Harvest Canada.
Michael Envoy authored Order F10-06 and is an adjudicator with the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for BC.

If Marine Harvest is lying now, then it is not unreasonable to suspect that they have been lying all along.
More BS from Marine Harvest

More BS from Marine Harvest

On the Marine Harvest website:
Farm raised salmon are not a chronic disease risk to wild fish as confirmed through government health audit results showing 97% survival to harvest. (Mark Sheppard SCOFO testimony April 14, 2010)

Let's look at Mark Sheppard's testimony:
And when considering infectious agents or disease agents on those salmon farms, on average, the survival of the farmed salmon exceeds 97%
However, not to dismiss the question, from an aquaculture perspective, as I said, with the infectious rate in farmed salmon and the survivor rate being over 97%, I do not foresee that the aquaculture industry has an effect on the Fraser River sockeye.

Since 97% of the farmed salmon survive, there is no threat to wild salmon? What kind of BS logic is this? Farmed salmon receive vaccines in their food. Farmed salmon are large enough to survive sea lice. Don't these clowns know any science? Or are they just spin-doctors, trying to fool the average joe, just like the cigarette companies did for years?
Corporations equated to psychopaths

For those misguided persons who think Norwegian corporations care about wild fish, consider the following:

Using the World Health Organization’s checklist for personality types and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Bakan concludes the corporation is a psychopathic personality. A corporation has a callous unconcern for the feelings of others; an incapacity to maintain enduring relationships; a reckless disregard for the safety of others; a pattern of deceitfulness; an incapacity to experience guilt; failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviour. This is the institution that we allow to govern all aspects of our lives.

Watch The Corporation (2003) on youtube

Read an article with the film-makers from The Tyee
Fish-farm sea lice more widespr

Fish-farm sea lice more widespread than thought
more evidence of the evils of fish farming (scientific data in a Canadian peer-reviewed journal)

Salmon farms are spatially concentrated reservoirs of fish host populations that can disrupt natural salmonid host–parasite dynamics. Sea lice frequently infect farm salmon and parasitize sympatric wild juvenile salmonids, with negative impacts on survival in Europe and Pacific Canada. We examined louse parasitism of wild juvenile chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) and pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) from three salmon farming regions in British Columbia (Finlayson, Broughton Archipelago, and Georgia Strait). We compared sites of low and high exposure to farms and included an area without farms (Bella Bella) to assess baseline infection levels. Louse prevalence and abundance were lowest and most similar to natural baseline levels at low-exposure sites and highest at high-exposure sites in all farm regions. A significantly greater proportion of the lice were Lepeophtheirus salmonis at high-exposure sites. Exposure to salmon farms was the only consistently significant factor to explain the variation in prevalence data, with a secondary role played by salinity. Our results support the hypothesis that salmon farms are a major source of sea lice on juvenile wild salmon in salmon farming regions and underscore the importance of using management techniques that mitigate threats to wild stocks.
a summary: CBC
another summary: The Tyee
the journal: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
the publication: Evidence of farm-induced parasite infestations on wild juvenile salmon in multiple regions of coastal British Columbia, Canada

for info on the Georgia Strait gauntlet, see
Interesting article in the National Post today about sea lice and the David Suzuki Foundation:

http://opinion.financialpost.com/2011/0 ... -sea-lice/

Why did the David Suzuki Foundation remove Web pages on the dangers of farmed salmon?

By Vivian Krause

For more than a decade, the David Suzuki Foundation has run an aggressive campaign against farmed salmon. “It’s poison!” David Suzuki told a conference in Toronto. “Phone your local hospitals and find out if farmed salmon is served to patients,” said a brochure from his foundation.

The Suzuki Foundation distributed a brochure titled Why You Shouldn’t Eat Farmed Salmon. It features David Suzuki’s photo prominently on the front page. Since last February, however, that brochure — along with 20 press releases and Web pages about salmon farming — have been quietly removed from the foundation’s website. Gone.

In a recent op-ed in The Vancouver Sun, moreover, the foundation’s marine expert, Jay Ritchlin, wrote: “Salmon farming has long been a controversial issue, especially in British Columbia. But is the tide starting to turn? We think it is.” After all these years of anti-salmon-farm activism, the David ­Suzuki Foundation appears to be softening its stance. But why?

Internet archives show that last February, 16 press releases and Web pages about salmon farming were removed merely hours after I put on my blog a detailed letter to David Suzuki in which I asked questions about the funding and scientific weakness of the Suzuki Foundation’s position.

Two claims have been at the heart of the campaign against farmed salmon. One is that farmed-salmon consumption should be limited because of high levels of contaminants such as PCBs. Mr. Ritchlin now says the levels of contaminants “have been reduced.” Farmed salmon, once “poison,” is apparently not so poisonous any more.

What Mr. Ritchlin didn’t mention is that contaminant levels in farmed ­salmon were never high to begin with. But that’s another story.

My focus here is on the other Suzuki claim, that sea lice from salmon farms pose a serious threat to wild salmon. Both claims stem from studies published in the prestigious journal Science and in both cases the research has been harshly criticized and refuted within the scientific community.

Even before sea lice research began, the David Suzuki Foundation claimed that sea lice from salmon farms had decimated wild pink salmon, leading to an “ecological disaster.”

One of the biggest problems with the alarm over sea lice is that it is at odds with the excellent returns of wild salmon in recent years. In 2000, despite 13 years of salmon farming in the vicinity, the return of wild pink salmon in the Broughton Archipelago was the highest on record since the 1950s. The Broughton is ground zero in B.C.’s salmon-farming controversy. In 2009, in the very same area where extinction due to sea lice was predicted, wild pink salmon returns were so good that commercial fishing took place. In 2010, the return of Fraser sockeye was the best in nearly 100 years.

Sea lice research, partially funded and publicized by the David Suzuki Foundation, was done at the Centre for Mathematical Biology (CMB) at the University of Alberta. The lead researcher was Dr. Martin Krkosek, a graduate student. His supervisor was Dr. Mark Lewis. According to Dr. Krkosek, more than 500 news items reported the alarming conclusions of the CMB’s sea lice research.

The alleged danger of “farm-origin” sea lice is the basis of “Ingredients for Extinction,” the tag line of a boycott campaign by the David Suzuki Foundation and other environmental groups. This campaign sent more than 30,000 faxes to tell the CEO of Safeway to stop selling farmed salmon.

The David Suzuki Foundation has ­described its sea lice research as ­undeniable, compelling, irrefutable and proof. If the sea lice research from the Suzuki Foundation actually shows what the foundation claims, I would agree that salmon farms should be closed. But as I have explained in a ­series of detailed letters that I have sent to David Suzuki over the past four years, my opinion is that his sea lice ­research does not show what the foundation says it does.

The David Suzuki Foundation ­reported, “up to 95% of wild juvenile pink and chum salmon are dying from sea lice.” A huge number. But mortality in the wild was never measured and reported. Never. Hypothetical mortality estimates were computer-generated at that great salmon think-tank, the Centre for Mathematical Biology at the University of Alberta. The published mortality prediction was actually estimated at between 9% and 95%. The David Suzuki Foundation selectively highlighted the prediction of up to 95% mortality, but downplayed the fact that the study suggested that mortality could be as low as 9% or even lower.

Sea lice are found on many species of wild fish, including herring. A method to trace the origin of sea lice is under development but currently does not exist, so it is methodologically impossible to distinguish between sea lice that originate from a fish farm and those that come from other wild fish. It follows that claims about “farm-origin” sea lice are flagrantly unsubstantiatable.

Back in 2007, thanks to Google, I unexpectedly found a University of Alberta document that reported that the sea lice researchers at the Centre for Mathematical Biology had “research partnerships” with a number of organizations which included SeaWeb, a U.S. environmental organization based in Maryland. This partnership was not mentioned in scientific publications.

SeaWeb gets money from a variety of interesting sources. Since 2000, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, based in California, has funded SeaWeb as part of its marine fisheries program. This program has a focus on “the U.S. Arctic,” which presumably is Alaska. U.S. tax returns show that Packard has paid SeaWeb $23-million since 2000. That included $9-million for a marketing strategy called Seafood Choices and $6-million for Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea (COMPASS), a program that helped publicize the CMB’s Canadian sea lice research around the world.

At the same time that SeaWeb was funded to co-ordinate Seafood Choices, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation funded SeaWeb to co-ordinate an “anti-farming campaign” with “science messages” and “earned media.” The purpose of this campaign was “to shift consumer and retailer demand away from farmed salmon,” U.S. tax returns say.

When studies on both contaminants and sea lice were published in Science, the editor-in-chief was Dr. Donald Kennedy, a trustee of the Packard Foundation. The current editor, Dr. Bruce Alberts, is a trustee of the Moore Foundation.

The University of Alberta scientists reported that their sea lice research was funded by Ottawa’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the David Suzuki Foundation and other sources. What the sea lice scientists didn’t mention is that some of the funding from the David Suzuki Foundation originated from the Moore Foundation, the same foundation that paid SeaWeb for the “anti-farming campaign” with “science messages” and “earned media.” The Moore Foundation, in an email to me, has said that it doesn’t know precisely how much of a $450,000 grant to the David Suzuki Foundation was re-granted to the CMB for its sea lice research, but that this amount was “less than $100,000.”

Given that for more than 10 years, the David Suzuki Foundation has played a leading role in fostering the opinion that sea lice from salmon farms are a serious threat to wild salmon, it is not good enough for the foundation to simply and quietly remove the press releases that started the whole sea lice controversy in the first place.

My hope is that David Suzuki is big enough to admit that contrary to his foundation’s claims that were broadcast far and wide, its sea lice research never did show that sea lice originating from salmon farms cause high levels of mortality among juvenile salmon in the wild.

Financial Post
Vivian Krause is a Vancouver ­researcher and writer. Her blog is
Here's a graph showing that fish farms reduce their numbers of sea lice during the wild salmon out migration period. Fewer sea lice at the farms -> fewer sea lice on the smolts -> larger returns.

Marine Harvest graph