Salmon Evolution chairman: Don’t discount land-based flow-through aquaculture –

As this blog has advocated for many years, there is  no real good reason not to move aquaculture upland. Now, the CEO of a Norwegian salmon farming business, says it.

“The industry must expand, and to do that, land-based is the future. It will not be easier to find places to farm. On top of that, regulations will become harder and harder,” he said, referencing the ban the U.S. state of Washington placed on salmon net-pen aquaculture that goes into effect in 2025.

Reiten added that the company’s plan to pull water from the “deep sea” will help it prevent sea lice infestation at its new facility – sidestepping another major environmental problem facing net-pen salmon producers.

Read the whole story at:


Genetically engineered salmon is fit for dinner, FDA says in first decision of its kind – LA Times

Sometimes government agencies get it wrong. This is one of those times. Now we, the consumers, have to continue to just say no to farmed salmon, and demand wild fish. Only consumers can stop the industry, which has apparently manipulated through it’s lobbying efforts the highest levels of the FDA. This is a bad decision, for the environment, for consumers, and for fish. Why? It’s not that you might keel over by eating this fish. It’s about the entire ecosystem that is created to support this new animal. Have long term studies been done? I’ve not seen any. Has anyone questioned whether the feed and antibiotics that may be needed to support this creature are passed through to diners? Or what their effects on the environment might be under the pens that raise these? NOAA, which has certified these pens, only looks at the short term effects of the pens on the bottom directly under the pens. The science behind this is skewed in the favor of the farms, not the environment or the consumer. 

Perhaps that last breed does not evoke images of ancient and frigid headwaters in Alaska or Arctic Canada, where wild salmon spawn every year, or even the humble hatcheries that produce less expensive species consumed by millions of people. But on Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration announced that the AquAdvantage salmon — developed using growth hormone from Chinook salmon and a gene from an eel-like ocean fish that makes it reach market size twice as quickly as other salmon — has become the first genetically engineered animal approved for American consumption. AquaBounty Technologies Inc., the Massachusetts company that created the fish, calls it “the world’s most sustainable salmon.” Opponents call it “Frankenfish.” The FDA, which was accused of delaying the decision for years amid public concern, now says you can call it dinner. William Yardley reports. (LA Times)

Wild Fish Conservancy intends to sue EPA, NMFS over farmed salmon in Puget Sound

Very glad to see the Wild Fish Conservancy take this preliminary action to begin the notification of their intent to sue Federal government agencies over their evaluations of the endangered species act. If you want to see farmed salmon banned in Puget Sound, you might want to donate to the Conservancy to help their lawsuit.

Tuesday August 25, 2015- Today, Wild Fish Conservancy sent a 60-day Notice of Intent to sue the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for violations of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) associated with the agencies’ evaluation of the harmful effects to threatened salmonids from commercial salmon farming in Puget Sound.

In 2008, EPA consulted with NMFS under section 7 of the ESA on the effects of revisions to Washington Sediment Management Standards intended to enable commercial salmon farms in Puget Sound to be permitted under the Clean Water Act.  Despite the known harm and significant risks these facilities pose to wild salmonids, NMFS determined that EPA’s action is not likely to adversely affect protected species. The ESA consultation thus concluded without preparation of a biological opinion that would fully evaluate the effects of salmon farms and impose monitoring and other requirements designed to protect wild salmonids.

Wild Fish Conservancy challenged the 2008 consultation as insufficient under the ESA.  The Court found the 2008 consultation inadequate and set aside EPA’s approval of the revised Sediment Management Standards and further ordered EPA and NMFS to reconsider whether preparation of a biological opinion is required.

EPA reinitiated ESA consultation with NMFS in 2010.  Remarkably, NMFS again determined that the Puget Sound commercial salmon farms are not likely to adversely affect threatened salmonids and declined to prepare a biological opinion.
IHN Bainbridge
In May of 2012, there was a major outbreak of the infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus(IHNV) at the commercial salmon complexes near Rich Passage at the southern end of Bainbridge Island.  The outbreak occurred at a time when juvenile salmonids were migrating through the nearshore environment near the commercial salmon facilities. It can hardly be disputed that this disease outbreak adversely affected threatened salmonids—or, at a minimum, demonstrates that commercial salmon farms in Puget Sound may adversely affect ESA-listed species.

“Atlantic salmon farms pose an unacceptable health risk to ESA-listed wild salmon in Puget Sound,” said Kurt Beardslee, executive director of Wild Fish Conservancy.  “By not fully evaluating the impacts of these farms, EPA and NMFS are in clear violation of the Endangered Species Act.”

The groups are represented by Kampmeier & Knutsen, PLLC, in Seattle, WA and Portland, OR.

Court Filing: 60 Day Notice of Intent to Sue Letter, August 25, 2015

60 Minutes documents BC salmon farming

And the industry does not come off well. While the opening interview with salmon farming manager Ian Roberts paints a ‘normal’ picture of the industry, much to their credit, 60 minutes Dr. Gupta works in Alexandra Morton and her concerns, along with Alaskan wild salmon supporters. When he finally gets around to interviewing a government official, Brian Wallace, he comes off totally inadequate to the task of defending the government’s inaction in the face of real scientific concern.

Based on this, and the rest of the scientific information that we have presented here over the last years, is it any wonder why our county commissioners have fought to create a moratorium on salmon farming in our county until more science is brought to the table on this issue?

Or is it any wonder why we have been so critical of the Washington State Department of Ecology and NOAA in their bureaucratic stance that net pen aquaculture is fine, based on 25 year old science?  The recently resigned Ted Sturdevant, highlighted here just yesterday, was a typical bureaucratic supporter of the industry, and stonewalled county efforts to bring even a moratorium over the last five years.

Watch the 60 Minute segment here:

NOAA: Coastal ocean aquaculture can be environmentally sustainable little to no effects

This came out in December but was just brought to my attention. I think this officially opens a political battle. Prior to this, NOAA was pretty much not actively taking sides in this. With this campaign on their part, they appear to becoming a wing of the public relations people of the fish farm industry. To be clear: NOAA is a huge agency, with lots of different departments, and they are under the Department of Commerce, not environmental protection. This comes interestingly enough, at a time when there is a great deal of criticism of NOAA for it’s policies on net pen aquaculture here in the state.

NOAA web site on fish farming

B.C. fish farmers see opportunity as DFO lifts license freeze – Vancouver Sun

The sordid story in B.C. goes on, with the Federal government ignoring the warnings of it’s own commission. The electorate of the country needs to be the ones to act on this. The Government is clearly not going to do anything to stop the industry.

The lifting a moratorium on new fish-farm applications on British Columbia’s coast won’t lead to “a free-for-all” of new requests, according to an industry spokeswoman. Ottawa put applications on hold in 2011 while the Cohen Commission investigating the state of Pacific salmon fishery. However, Fisheries Minister Gail Shea quietly lifted the freeze several months ago.

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

Report from the Front: Alexandra Morton’s latest video

Lots of news on the farmed salmon front lately. The  world’s leading scientist working on educating the public on this threat, Ms. Alexandra Morton of Canada, has a new video covering the several disturbing bits of news regarding salmon farming. From Canada’s taking down of the Cohen Commission’s comprehensive web site (the government spent $26M on the commission!), to a new genetically modified salmon, to the EU failing to properly protect the public from high levels of toxins in Norwegian farmed salmon, this 9 minute video is worth a short break from your day.

It’s more clear than ever that saying no to farmed salmon is the right thing to do, and that their industry looks more and more like nuclear power, a failed experiment that just won’t go away because there is too much money at stake.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada looking into claims of sick herring–Times Colonist

Less than 100 miles or so north of us, the crisis of sick herring (and the disease vector that appears to be farmed Atlantic Salmon) is about to explode.  Can our fisheries be far behind?

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is trying to confirm reports from an independent biologist that herring around northern Vancouver Island have a disease that is causing bleeding from their gills, bellies and eyeballs.

Alexandra Morton wrote to DFO asking for an investigation and viral testing of the fish after she pulled up a net of about 100 herring near Sointula and found they were all bleeding.

Read the whole story at the Times Colonist:

New film on Salmon Piscine Reovirus Outbreak

While Canadian officials stonewall the publication of scientific data that shows that Piscine Reovirus in net pen raised Atlantic salmon appears to be spreading to wild stocks, Alexandra Morton and filmmaker Twyla Roscovich’s keep working to get the news out. Why  is this important? Because our Department of Ecology and Department of Fish and Wildlife do not seem to have a sense of urgency on this issue, which could easily spread down here. Over 70% of the samples of store bought salmon in BC appear to be infected by the virus.

Filmmaker Twyla Roscovich traveled to Norway to ask the remaining experts who have not been forcibly silenced on this issue.  A very disturbing report from the scientists actually doing the research in Norway.

A new short film on piscine reovirus in wild salmon


Asking Norway about the Piscine Reovirus

Scientists are divided over virus threat to Northwest salmon – Various Sources

Like mariners scanning the horizon from the crow’s nest, scientists have for years been on the lookout in the Pacific Northwest for signs that a dreaded salmon-killing disease, scourge to farmed salmon in other parts of the world, has arrived here, threatening some of the world’s richest wild salmon habitats. Most say there is no evidence. But for years, a biologist in Canada named Alexandra Morton — regarded by some as a visionary Cassandra, by others as a misguided prophet of doom — has said definitively and unquestionably that they are wrong.

Kirk Johnson reports. Scientists are divided over virus threat to Northwest salmon

See also: Fish farms allied with government, activists say

and see the free hour long video on Alexandra and her work. Very damning to the BC Provincial and Canadian Government.

Sustainable salmon farming? Maybe, if you head inland

Is salmon farming ever sustainable? For years, many marine biologists have argued that the floating, open-ocean net pens that produce billions of pounds of salmon per year also generate pollution, disease and parasites. In some places in western Canada, the open-ocean salmon farming industry has been blamed for the collapse of wild salmon populations in the early 2000s — though other research has challenged that claim. But now, a few salmon farms have moved inland, producing fish in land-locked cement basins separated from river and sea.
Alastair Bland reports.

Leading Farmed Fish Opponent on the History of the Canadian Farmed Fish Opposition

Want a short but thorough read of the history of the silencing of the opposition to farming salmon in Canada? Here it is. Alexandra Morton, the woman who has done more to educate the population to the perils of farmed salmon, has done an overview of how the Canadian government has systematically worked to silence any and all critics of salmon farming. You also have a chance to sign a petition helping to put your voice out to end the practices of this industry. If you ever wondered what the hubbub over farmed wish was all about, here’s a chance to get a quick education on the subject.

Ottawa moves against PEI lab that reported virus in B.C. salmon – Globe and Mail

This is yet another reason why the fish farming industry cannot be trusted. Now that it has been proven that the Canadian government and farming industry has been lying to the public for a long time over whether the fish were getting infected, the answer has been to go after the testing facilities for scientifically proving what they said wasn’t happening.

A lab that revealed the first evidence of an infectious virus in British Columbia salmon should be stripped of its international credentials, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. In a letter to the World Organization for Animal Health, the CFIA urges the international agency to accept the findings of an independent audit that recommends “suspension of the reference laboratory status,” of the facility. Mark Hume reports.

Ties break down between B.C. salmon-farming firm, environmental coalition

As the spread of INH virus keeps moving through BC salmon farms, the relationships that were put in place to work towards avoiding this very situation start to fray.


A unique relationship meant to reduce conflict between environmental groups and British Columbia’s largest salmon farming company has fallen apart. The Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform and Marine Harvest Canada confirmed Saturday that the project, known as the Framework for Dialogue, is officially over.

Meet the biologist who is salmon farming’s worst enemy – Seattle Times

As the IHN virus spreads from Canadian fish farms down to US farms here in the Puget Sound, and the people in Canadian government still refuse to believe the possibility of this disease affecting wild fish runs, the Seattle Times highlights the woman who has done more to keep this issue alive, Alexandra Morton. Kudos to the Times, which did a nice job of highlighting her battle. Here’s hoping that all of you are buying wild salmon. If not, start today.

BY Craig Welch – BROUGHTON ARCHIPELAGO, B.C. — She’s perched in her boat near a fish farm, talking about diseases, the kind that might escape and kill wild salmon. Then she spies a worker peeling toward her in a boat.

Alexandra Morton, bane of North America’s salmon farms, runs a hand over tired eyes and awaits a confrontation.

Deadly virus appears in Washington state salmon farm – Pacific Fishing

Pacific Fishing, 25th May 2012

A virus has infected a Bainbridge Island salmon farm, forcing the owners to begin culling and destroying infected fish.

It’s the same disease – infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus, or IHNV – that caused a British Columbia salmon farm to destroy 560,000 fish last week. The fish ended up in a composting facility.

Another British Columbia salmon farm announced this week that it
had voluntarily quarantined itself because the disease was found in its stock.

Alan Cook is vice president for aquaculture at Icicle Seafoods,
which owns American Gold Seafoods, the operator of the Bainbridge Island salmon farm at Orchard Rocks.

“There is no human health implication,” he said. “The virus is
endemic. Wild fish have it. The disease came from wild fish to our fish, not the other way around.”

Cook said the path of the disease can be proved by DNA analysis.
Hugh Mitchell, a Seattle area veterinarian who specializes in fish, agrees. The disease “is endemic. It’s common. It’s part of the natural ecosystem.”

At the Orchard Rocks farm, diseased fish are being culled. Fish
large enough for the market are being butchered and sold, Cook said. Smaller fish are destroyed.

He declined to say how many fish were in the farm.Once the stocks are gone, the farm will be fallow for three months.
Nets will be removed and disinfected, Cook said.

The largest financial hit for Icicle will come from lost production.

“More than anything else, it’s the cost of the loss of livestock,” Cook said.

There has been a salmon farm for 30 years at that Bainbridge Island location. Never before has it been hit by IHNV, Cook said.

However, the disease was reported in salmon farms in British
Columbia about 10 years ago, Mitchell said.

The disease is part of the natural ecosystem in the North Pacific. Wild salmon species here have built some resistance to the virus. Healthy wild fish can withstand the infection.

However, Atlantic salmon used in farming have no resistance to
the disease, Mitchell said. They are made even more susceptible to disease because they live in close confinement.

“Farmed fish are way more susceptible to wild diseases,” Mitchell said.

And why did the disease made another appearance this year and
not others?

“No one knows,” Mitchell said.

Read more stories via Pacific Fishing:

Island fish farm gets rid of all its quarantined fish – Vancouver Sun

Tofino is not that far away as the water flows…


A Vancouver Island salmon farm says it has now emptied a site that was quarantined because of a virus. Mainstream Canada announced last week that tests confirmed the presence of an infectious virus known as IHN at its Dixon Bay site, north of Tofino.

Marine Anemia Cover Up in B.C.

This just in from Alexandra Morton, the leading scientist opposing net pen aquaculture. If you have any question about the safety of net pen aquaculture, or the lengths that entrenched bureaucracy will go to support the unsupportable, then not only read the info below, but follow the link to Morton’s web site and read the lurid details. It’s quite sad, actually. Fiddling again while Rome burns.

Just to be clear on Ms. Morton’s credentials before you go further: She graduated Magna Cum Laude from American University with a bachelor’s in science. Her further studies have led her to be recognized as one of the leading researchers on the planet documenting behaviors of Orca.

“Testimony at the Cohen Inquiry Aquaculture Hearings hit a new low yesterday. The lengths scientists are going to cover up the marine anemia outbreak that occurred on salmon farms in the Fraser sockeye migratory corridor is extraordinary. If DFO succeeds in disassembling Dr. Miller’s lab, the truth about this disease, its impact on sockeye and the concern voiced in the 1990s regarding its potential for health concerns will never be revealed. If these vets want to tell us all the research done on marine anemia, also called Plasmacytoid Leukemia was wrong, they are going to have to retract the papers they wrote in journals such as Cancer Research, Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, The Canadian Veterinary Journal, the Journal of General Virology and Dr. Stephen’s PhD Thesis. “

Alexandra Morton

Virus causing salmon deaths in BC?

Virus causing salmon deaths?
By ROB HOTAKAINEN; Staff writer

WASHINGTON – In Canada’s Fraser River, a mysterious illness has killed millions of Pacific salmon, and scientists have a new hypothesis about why: The wild salmon are suffering from viral infections similar to those linked to some forms of leukemia and lymphoma.

For 60 years before the early 1990s, an average of nearly 8 million wild salmon returned from the Pacific Ocean to the Fraser River each year to spawn.

Now the salmon industry is in a state of collapse, with mortality rates ranging from 40 percent to 95 percent.

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