Atlantic salmon, caught in Skagit 8 months after escape from pen, had eaten a fish – Seattle Times

For years, we’ve heard the assumptions from NOAA scientists and the supporters of the Net Pen industry, claiming there was no way an escaped Atlantic salmon could survive and posed “no threat” to native salmon. I have heard the representative from Taylor Shellfish berate me in front of the Marine Resources Committee as well as attack Kurt Bearsley for this just two months ago in front of a room full of people at the Jamestown S’Klallam Red Cedar House in Blyn at a gathering of the Puget Sound Partnership’s Strait LIO meeting, over the “fact” that these Atlantic salmon “couldn’t survive”. Well, once again, their made up stories to support their own industry turned out to be just so much B.S. I’d expect aquaculture P.R. people to make up anything to further their own industry. But shame to the NOAA scientists who seemed to have been bought by the industry over the last three decades. Your names are on the ‘studies’ you claimed were scientific.

Upper Skagit tribal fishermen caught a lively Atlantic salmon more than 40 miles up the Skagit River Tuesday, eight months after Cooke Aquaculture’s Atlantic salmon net pen collapsed at Cypress Island and sent more than 300,000 Atlantics into the home waters of Washington’s Pacific salmon. The Atlantic caught Tuesday had bones in its stomach, indicating it had eaten some kind of fish. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)
Atlantic salmon, caught in Skagit 8 months after escape from pen, had eaten a fish

Washington state House votes to ban Atlantic salmon farms – KUOW

This has been a wild ride to try and keep up with the various bills in the House and the Senate and whether they are in or out as of this moment as to banning Atlantic salmon farms. Here’s 8PM on Feb 14th’s latest report:

The Washington House of Representatives has voted to phase out farming of non-native fish in state waters, drawing the end of Atlantic salmon farming in Puget Sound one step closer.

Lawsuit Claims Commercial Salmon Farms Harm Native Fish In Puget Sound – KUOW

Finally, someone decides to question (and challenge) the prevailing assumption that having lice ridden net pens (and dumping antibiotics to protect the salmon from them) of Atlantic salmon in the midst of an endangered run of wild salmon is a good thing. It’s not. It’s a recipe for disaster. We, the taxpayers, are funding millions of dollars to save our wild stocks. Supporting an industry that is known to have problems as a vector for disease and lice is counterproductive. If you wish to help support this lawsuit, even with $10, contribute to The Wild Fish Conservancy. 

The Wild Fish Conservancy is suing federal environmental and fisheries agencies for inadequately monitoring the impact of commercial salmon farms in Puget Sound. The lawsuit filed Wednesday says commercial farms pose many risks to wild salmon. In 2011 the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Marine Fisheries Service found the opposite. They concluded that commercial salmon farms are unlikely to harm wild salmon. Kate O’Connell Walters (KUOW)

Kuterra aquaculture by ‘Namgis First Nation raises hope for wild salmon— and some hackles – National Observer

An update on the attempt to create a financially viable closed-containment aquaculture in BC. Ramifications for the Olympic Peninsula because of the push to bring open water net pens to the Straits and expand use in the Sound continues.

The ’Namgis First Nation, with advice and support from a large number of groups, including Tides Canada, conservation groups, and funding agencies, has launched Kuterra, a land-based, “closed-containment” aquaculture project that keeps their Atlantic salmon out of contact with the larger marine ecosystem.

Alexandra Morton Web Site now up and running

Alexandra Morton, Canada’s leading activist and researcher into the effects of Atlantic Net Pen aquaculture on the environment, has finally created her own web site. It’s listed to the left, and also here.

In addition, the web site of the Salmon Alert (found here is the clearing house for all scientific literature on research into the effects of farmed salmon.

And is there an alternative to in-water (in the same waters as our wild salmon)? Yes.

Alexandra Morton – What We Accomplished in 2013

Alexandra Morton is the leading independent researcher into net pen salmon and the diseases these fish are carrying to the wild stocks on Vancouver Island. She is standing in front of a juggernaut industry that has bought the Canadian government’s approval. Here is an overview of what she accomplished last year, and an appeal to those of us who worry that this nightmare is heading our way, to help fund her efforts. It will only happen if we do it folks. The average person out there does not even know of this threat, and continues to eat farmed salmon. Why is this important? Because there are hundreds of millions of dollars being spent to restore wild stocks, and the farmed salmon industry is buying it’s way forward, regardless of consumer demand, government concerns or scientific research that shows incredible threats to the wild stocks.

Watch her short overview, and help if you can, even if all of us only gave $10 a piece, we could get enough to help Ms. Morton move keep up the good work.

Alexandra Morton – What We Accomplished in 2013

Study confirms farmed fish can spread virus to Pacific herring–Herring Conservation Society

Experimental infection studies demonstrating Atlantic salmon as a host and reservoir of viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus type IVa with insights into pathology and host immunity.

Lovy J, Piesik P, Hershberger PK, Garver KA.
Herring Conservation & Research Society, 1-5765 Turner Road, Suite 403, Nanaimo, BC V9T 6M4, Canada; Pacific Biological Station, 3190 Hammond Bay Road, Nanaimo, BC V9T 6N7, Canada. Electronic address:

In British Columbia, Canada (BC), aquaculture of finfish in ocean netpens has the potential for pathogen transmission between wild and farmed species due to the sharing of an aquatic environment. Viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV) is enzootic in BC and causes serious disease in wild Pacific herring, Clupea pallasii, which often enter and remain in Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar, netpens. Isolation of VHSV from farmed Atlantic salmon has been previously documented, but the effects on the health of farmed salmon and the wild fish sharing the environment are unknown. To determine their susceptibility, Atlantic salmon were exposed to a pool of 9 isolates of VHSV obtained from farmed Atlantic salmon in BC by IP-injection or by waterborne exposure and cohabitation with diseased Pacific herring. Disease intensity was quantified by recording mortality, clinical signs, histopathological changes, cellular sites of viral replication, expression of interferon-related genes, and viral tissue titers. Disease ensued in Atlantic salmon after both VHSV exposure methods.

Fish demonstrated gross disease signs including darkening of the dorsal skin, bilateral exophthalmia, light cutaneous hemorrhage, and lethargy. The virus replicated within endothelial cells causing endothelial cell necrosis and extensive hemorrhage in anterior kidney. Infected fish demonstrated a type I interferon response as seen by up-regulation of genes for IFN_, Mx, and ISG15. In a separate trial infected salmon transmitted the virus to sympatric Pacific herring. The results demonstrate that farmed Atlantic salmon can develop clinical VHS and virus can persist in the tissues for at least 10 weeks. Avoiding VHS epizootics in Atlantic salmon farms would limit the potential of VHS in farmed Atlantic salmon, the possibility for further host adaptation in this species, and virus spillback to sympatric wild fishes.

Published by Elsevier B.V.

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