Posted on Sunday 3 August 2008
Adopt a salmon fry and help protect BC’s wild salmon!
By adopting a salmon fry for $20 you are helping the movement to protect BC wild salmon from salmon feedlots.
Wild salmon feed our world nurturing life, cultures and the economy of BC. Salmon farms are harming wild salmon worldwide, because when disease and parasites get into the net pens nothing but drugs can suppress the resulting epidemics that flow out into the marine environment. I have worked to bring reason to this situation for 20 years.
I have co-published 20 scientific papers in top scientific journals on the impact of salmon feedlots on wild salmon and received an Honourary Doctorate in June 2010 for this work from Simon Fraser University. But government refuses to heed the scientific evidence and won’t separate farm and wild salmon, even though it is common practice to keep chicken and beef feedlots quarantined from the wild.
Through Adopt-a-fry I took the provincial and federal government to BC Supreme Court and won in 2009. Provincial management of the salmon feedlot industry was not legal and allowed disregard of the far-field impact of the waste and pathogens of the industry.
In May 2010 a small group of us realized the government needed to hear directly from the people and we formed Salmon Are Sacred and led the largest rally for the environment in the history of British Columbia traveling 500 km by foot and boat through the communities of Vancouver Island. Five thousand people showed up to walk the last 30 km with us to the BC Parliament Buildings. We relied on volunteers and let government know British Columbians want their wild salmon and that salmon feedlots have to get out of the ocean. First Nations welcomed us as we passed through their territories.
The 2010 sockeye return was spectacular and informed us that the Fraser River can still make millions of salmon. But the pattern of boom and bust is a warning there is something new and unstable in the system that is driving these populations. I think it is the salmon feedlots, because only the Fraser sockeye that migrate through the feedlot zones are disappearing. The industry has refused for a decade to reveal their disease history. Until they release this information we won’t know if they are harming the Fraser sockeye
In October we were loaned 10 voyager canoes and 100 people spent a week paddling the lower Fraser River kindly hosted by First Nations every night on the river bank. Hundreds more joined us in torrential rains to walk to the opening of the sockeye inquiry in Vancouver to support Justice Cohen in demanding full disease reporting from every salmon feedlot the Fraser sockeye are exposed to. Justice Cohen honoured this request in December.
First Nation chiefs, elders, MPs, MLAs, singers, artists, fishermen, wilderness tourism operators, scientists, professors and many we don’t know have gone should to shoulder with us to make it clear wild salmon must come before privately – owned salmon.
Unlike many environmental issues this one is acute, not chronic, it can be solved. It is a new, Norwegian industry facing backlash from the environment itself as it unleashes disease epidemics it cannot contain worldwide. Thousands of people have our call to remove salmon feedlots from the ocean. Everybody Loves Wild Salmon Don’t They?
We are not insensitive to the workers in this industry but there are so few we feel government can help them transition. We are extremely close to bringing reason to this situation, but as this issue reaches crescendo we are running out of resources. It is crucial that we don’t lose momentum over the next 12 months we are making a difference.
Thank you and warm wishes ,