ALEXANDRA MORTON ON SALMON VIRUS: WATCH!

Hello

There is a very real viral threat to BC wild salmon underway. I can’t get government to react appropriately, so I am calling on all of you who are on BC rivers right now.  Norway has just found a highly contagious RNA virus that has been sweeping through their salmon feedlots for 10 years. While the symptoms were obvious, the virus was difficult to identify.  Norwegian salmon feedlots have been importing Atlantic eggs into BC every year. If they only just identified this virus … their eggs could not have been screen for it. The door has been wide open to infect the Pacific with this Atlantic virus.

http://www.thefishsite.com/fishnews/13500/cms-virus-identified-in-atlantic-salmon

At the same time a DFO scientist is reporting that the majority of wild salmon that travel north out of the Fraser River through salmon feedlot effluent are being killed by an unidentified virus.

Brain lesions linked to sharp drop in sockeye stocks
VANCOUVER— From Wednesday’s Globe and Mail
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/brain-lesions-linked-to-sharp-drop-in-sockeye-stocks/article1783546/

Many of you have told me about sending sockeye disease samples to DFO and never getting responses.  I would strongly suggest you contact DFO about these samples until you get an answer.

Many of you have also written to me about sockeye dying on the riverside this year full of eggs.  While this may be normal in low numbers, I am hearing extremely high numbers. Contact your local DFO officers until they come out with you and take samples and count the rate of prespawn mortality.  I have been trying to inspire action with no success, so it is over to you.

A memo circulated yesterday by the Globe and Mail
 http://beta.images.theglobeandmail.com/archive/00984/View_the_Department_984061a.pdf
reveals that senior DFO consider this “emerging disease factor” as one of the three causes of the sockeye crash last year. But they never mentioned this. They let the fishermen and First Nations take the blame. They left us in the dark, why?

Time is of the essence.  Take pictures of any prespawn mortality.  Go with your DFO community representative to take samples, open the dead fish and take pictures, particularly of their kidneys.

We all know this is up to us, but we also know your local DFO folks are almost certainly willing to help.  I have cc’d the minister in case she cares to respond.

Please send me what you find so I can keep track. 

alex

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