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August 16, 2011

Farmed Salmon Confidential Part 1

ISA and the Cohen Commission

This past year, the Norwegian-controlled salmon farming industry spent $1.5 million on a glitzy advertising campaign in BC, which essentially denied the impacts of open net cage salmon farms on wild fish and the marine environment. The ads left viewers with the impression the industry’s critics are nothing but a bunch of raving conspiracy theorists.

At the same time, unbeknownst to the public, the salmon farmers were facing their toughest hurdle to date – and it was no longer about sea lice, as it has so often been in the past. The subject matter was of a much smaller but infinitely more damaging nature – the possibility that viruses connected to their operations were not only devastating their own farmed fish in places like Chile, but could potentially be linked to mysterious crashes of iconic wild salmon runs on Canada’s west coast. What’s worse, it’s now clear the industry knew about these problems and has done everything in its power to keep them from the public.
ISA and Salmon Leukemia
Largely thanks to the Cohen Commission into collapsing Fraser River sockeye stocks, significant new information has been trickling out over the past year, which – when one assembles the pieces of the puzzle – reveals a coordinated cover-up by the industry of this damaging information, aided by both the BC and Canadian governments. As the aquaculture portion of the Cohen Commission in late August and September draws near, The Common Sense Canadian will attempt through a two-part feature this week to connect the dots and reveal the nature of this cover-up to our readers.

There are two different viruses at issue here – the first, Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) was responsible for decimating up to 80% of the farmed salmon industry in Chile throughout 2008 and 2009 and has affected Norway, Scotland and the East Coast of Canada. While it isn’t known officially to affect wild Pacific salmon yet, the concern is that it may mutate (or may already have done so – more on that later), with catastrophic results for our wild fish.

The second is known as Salmon Leukemia and results in brain lesions which are likely already affecting BC’s wild salmon stocks. Research on this virus is newer than with ISA and the potential of a connection to salmon farms requires immediate further investigation.

Salmon Leukemia was the subject of a recent paper published by DFO scientist Dr. Kristi Miller – whose muzzling by officials connected to the Prime Minister’s office has made headlines. The world’s most prestigious journal, Science, called Dr. Miller’s paper some of the most significant new salmon research in a decade, and yet she was barred from speaking with any media following its publication in January of this year. (More on that in Part 2 of this series).

Read the rest of the first part of this VERY interesting and scary article by clicking HERE it will take you directly to the Common Sense Canadian website.

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