NEWS RELEASE · 6th November 2011
Recent findings of ISA in the Pacific wild salmon population by the University of Prince Edward Island is cause for great concern for British Columbia.
"If ISA is present in our wild stocks, it will devastate our industry," said Mr. Cummins. "This virus is aggressive - it spreads quickly and, as we have seen in Chile and Europe, its damage is irreparable."
Atlantic salmon and salmon roe that are imported for use in fish farms are the likely carriers of the virus. The farms are an ideal breeding ground for ISA as it thrives in areas where fish are crowded together and stressed. Proper screening and monitoring of the farmed populations, coupled with sound environmental practices, could have prevented such an outbreak.
"For over a decade the Department of Fisheries and Oceans have been warned about dangers posed by open cage salmon farming, and they refused to listen; environmental precautions were not taken and due diligence in monitoring did not happen. DFO's negligence may well be this industry's undoing."
"The virus has now been found in three different regions of the province. That should be enough to start proper, organized testing of our salmon populations."
In spite of these findings, the DFO will not be doing widespread testing. The Cohen Inquiry will hold a two day special session in December to investigate the matter further.
"This industry is vital to many communities in British Columbia. Since the DFO will not take the initiative to correct this situation on its own, I urge Premier Clark to stand up on behalf of British Columbians and demand that this industry be properly protected before it is too late."
Comment by Janice P. Robinson on 7th November 2011
All Indian politicians need to state their positions on fish farms. Your silence is their permission!
If elected to Kitsumkalum band council during our next election, I will publicize the names of every salmon farm and trap-line "owner" on Tsimshian Territory and their locations. Period. They are already public record.......fyi.
Email the so-called authorities.
Comment by Gary Edwards on 7th November 2011
I urge everyone to email both the federal and provincial ministries responsible for our fisheries. Then email your MLA, MP, tghe premier and the prime minister requesting that they immediately shut down the fish farms, all of them, until this matter is resolved. The longer stressed salmon are in the ocean contained in their nets the problem will not go away. Please Save Our Wild Salmon.