For the past month people have been telling me that Grieg Seafood is emptying salmon farms, due to a lice epidemic that cannot be controlled with drugs. The public is increasingly coming to me, not government with their concerns.
In this case, the federal government seems immobilized and the provincial government seems unconcerned, assuring me there is “no evidence of drug resistance”, even though their own graphs indicate otherwise.
An remarkable group of local people decided to ground-truth the reports and we have been to Nootka and followed these farm fish as they are taken for processing. They dove down 90’ to the plant outfall pipe, took a sample and sent it to me. The province insists these lice are not drug-resistant, are not surviving in the trucks carrying them across Vancouver Island and are not able to escape into Discovery Pass. We found otherwise and this is a threat to the Fraser sockeye.
If these lice are indeed drug-resistant it is too late to stop their spreading, but we will continue to track them.
The film of our investigation to date is on my bloghttp://alexandramorton.typepad.com/
Like every fish farm problem that arises in BC, drug-resistant sea lice are already a serious problem in Norway. Just last week the ex-Attorney General of Norway issued a warning to Canada about this, and strongly suggests we get Norwegian salmon farms off our wild salmon migration routes before it is too late. See my blog for this.
I (ALEXANDRA MORTON) will be speaking at the Ladner Community Center on Tuesday Feb 23 at 7 pm