I will be walking from the village of Sointula to Victoria, (the length of Vancouver Island ≈ 500km) leaving on April 23 and arriving May 8. I am doing this to let people around the world know that we must make ourselves visible to politicians if we want to protect our wild fish from the Norwegian salmon farming industry. It is my observation that governments give top priority to this industry wherever it comes into conflict with our salmon. Wild salmon will not survive this and are in steep decline wherever there are salmon farms and thriving in areas where there are no salmon farms. After 20 years of research and negotiation and the distinct impression that government and industry are just toying with us this is the Get Out Migration.
Please check the facebook events page on our migration. People are arranging to walk roads from the west coast of Vancouver and the interior of BC via ferry to join us. People are setting up events in the towns along the way. This is a grassroots effort and depends entirely on you.
Our website http://www.salmonaresacred.org <http://www.salmonaresacred.org> is still under construction, but here’s the tentative itinerary for ‘The Get Out Migration’ – please let us know if you can help us or would like us to visit you along the way. I am writing to you from my treadmill!
22nd April – Broughton Archipelago/Alert Bay/Sointula
23rd April – Port Hardy/Port McNeill
24th April – Nimpkish Lake
25th April – Zeballos Junction
26th April – Woss
27th April – Sayward
28th April – Quadra Island
29th April – Campbell River/Courtenay/Comox
30th April – Big Qualicum River/Parksville
1st May – Port Alberni
2nd May – Nanaimo
3rd May – Ladysmith/Saltspring Island
4th May – Saltspring Island
5th May – Duncan
6th May – Bamberton
7th May – Sidney/Saanich
8th May – Victoria
9th May – Victoria
Every week is bringing much needed progress on the issue of fish farm impact on our oceans. The courts are behind us every step of the way. Now if we can just communicate to our politicians that wild salmon must be given top legislated priority over farm fish, because wild salmon are essential to our economics and ecology, supporting towns and 200 species, including us.
This week Simon Fraser University announced they are awarding me an honorary Doctoral Degree in Science! I am so happy about this. I am so hoping this helps people understand that the science I have done with my colleagues on the impact of salmon farms has the support of my peers, that it is real and valid and managers must separate farm and wild salmon.
Chile has suffered enormously from the over-stocking of closely sited salmon farms and the appearance of the Norwegian strain of infectious salmon anemia virus. This week Chile moved to tighten regulations on the salmon farming industry. British Columbia should do the same.
This week, under threat of a lawsuit by the Living Oceans Society, DFO reversed its decision to allow a salmon farm off Port Hardy to expand without a proper Environmental Assessment! It is shameful we have to threaten government to follow its own laws, but the courts repeatedly show enormous clarity on the improper relationship between government and Norwegian fish farms. http://www.livingoceans.org/media/news03161001.aspx <http://www.livingoceans.org/media/news03161001.aspx>
This same protective relationship is not extended to the Canadian fish farmers who are trying to build an industry in tanks on land and the provincial government will not even met with them.
Here in British Columbia, the province of BC still cannot explain how they can state there is no evidence of drug resistant sea lice in the Grieg Seafood salmon farms, when their own graphs suggest exactly the opposite. I have posted this conversation on my blog because drug resistance is appearing in sea lice in fish farms worldwide and is a very serious issue. It means we will have to pour increasingly toxic chemicals into our oceans to support salmon farming or lose the ability to protect wild salmon from fish farms. The Provincial Ministry of Agriculture and Lands must explain themselves. http://alexandramorton.typepad.com/
Jody Eriksson and Twyla Roscovich dove down 90’ again to check the effluent pipe where the Grieg salmon are being processed and found blood and fish guts are still pouring into the Fraser River migration route. We all know blood carries disease. It is negligent of government to allow this to continue. This week’s sample contained sea lice and a live salmon intestinal worm. Is this a factor in the collapse of our Fraser sockeye? The provincial Ministry of Agriculture and Lands is not bringing the science of epidemiology to this issue to protect wild salmon. See my blog for the new images of the effluent pipe. http://alexandramorton.typepad.com/