We received the message below from marine biologist Alexandra Morton last Friday, and want to share it with our readers.
As you may recall, Ms. Morton is the co-author of recent, landmark research papers that documented a precipitous, Salmon-farm-driven decline of wild Pink Salmon in British Columbia, western Canada.
The work that Alexandra Morton and her colleagues from Canadian universities show that young Pink Salmon are being killed by unnaturally large swarms of sea lice generated by Salmon farms sited near the mouths of migratory rivers.
Pink Salmon are by far the most numerous wild Salmon species in Alaska and British Columbia.
By tracing chemical isotopes in trees and other organic matter, researchers are documenting the previously unknown, highly critical role that Pink and other wild Salmon play as providers of nutrients to the plants and animals of the Pacific Northwest's riverine and coastal eco-systems.
For the background on British Columbia's Pink Salmon crisis, see “Canada's Wild Salmon Need Americans' Help,” which includes links to past articles on this subject.
As we reported, Alexandra Morton conceived a plan to ferry young Pink Salmon past the Salmon farms, until such time as the BC government forces the offending Salmon fames to relocate, as has been in the past in Norway and British Columbia.
She still needs our support, and we thought you ought to see her latest update on the court fight to save wild Pink Salmon in British Columbia.
Alexandra Morton's Salmon update
This is an update on the Adopt-a-fry campaign to bring reason to the fish farming industry on the BC coast.
We have been given four days in BC Supreme Court starting on the 29th of September in Vancouver.
I am deeply thankful to all of you for making this possible with your donations. The judge could make a decision right away at the end of the four days, but it is more likely that the decision could take months. We might want to appeal the decision, or the other side may want to file an appeal so this could go on for a long time, longer than our fish have to survive.
Some 80% of the young Salmon leaving the Broughton Archipelago are infested with sea lice again and there were very few of them this year.
As well, young Sockeye on the Fraser River migration route were heavily infected with sea lice near fish farms. In 2005, a group of us started the study around Campbell River, the Sockeye near fish farms were infested that year too and that was the generation that never returned to spawn last fall. The infection rate around Campbell River is much higher this year.
Folks this is becoming critical as ever more significant Salmon stocks are being impacted. There are solutions but the fish farmers seem unwilling to do what is required. Fish farms must simply be removed for the areas of BC where young wild Salmon travel and congregate.
If you are willing please forward the Adopt-a-fry website to others so I can see this through the courts. The research is also continuing on sea lice and I am collecting escaped Atlantics and I have expanded the work to include bacteria research and an investigation into the mountains of farm waste on the sea floor.
We're supporting Alexandra's efforts with our donations… please consider adding your dollars, by going to the Adopt-a-fry donation page.