Een aantal virussen waarvan bekend is dat ze problemen geven bij de zalmkweek in Noorwegen en bij Noorse bedrijven in andere landen, zijn nu ook aangetroffen bij kweekzalm in Bristish Columbia, een provincie van Canada. Er dreigt nu groot gevaar dat ook de wilde zalm- en steelheadstammen in het gebied aangetast zullen worden. Het volgende bericht is van Alexandra Morton die zich al zeer lang inzet voor het behoud van de wilde Pacifische zalm in British Columbia:
"I have given up talking to DFO or the Province of BC. Below is a letter I sent this morning.
Dear Chief Rupert Wilson and Chief Rod Allan:
I am writing to report that farm fish in your territories have tested positive for European viruses known to the salmon farming industry in Norway and elsewhere that these Norwegian companies operate. They are not known to be natural to British Columbia.
Chief Wilson on June 3, 2012, an eagle picked up a dead Atlantic salmon from a mort tote sitting on the Shelter Pass salmon farm owned by Marine Harvest. It took the salmon to a nearby island where we were able to take a small sample from the fish. This fish has tested positive for the piscine reovirus, which scientists believe causes Heart and Skeletal Muscle Inflammation. It is known to cause heart failure in salmon, it turns their hearts to soft mush. It is unknown if a salmon can swim up a river with this in her heart. This diagnosis was done in Norway at the University of Bergen. I have described and posted photographs of the extraordinary circumstances that provided this sample to us: http://alexandramorton.typepad.com/alexandra_morton/2012/06/dear-marine-harvest-shareholders-1.html.
Chief Rod Allan on March 25, 2012, we bought farmed steelhead from the Fairway market in Victoria on Quadra Street. I have received positive test results for Salmon Alphavirus from these fish. Norway is having a great deal of problems with this virus, forcing Marine Harvest to cull an entire farm right now due to this. The market told us that they bought these fish from the Lois Lake steelhead farm in your territory. West Coast Fish Culture reports they do rear Atlantic salmon in their hatchery from egg to the saltwater phase. I know they received 1,000,000 eggs in 2007 and raised them for one of the Atlantic salmon farming companies in BC. I don't know more than this. This is the first report of this virus in British Columbia, there is one other report of the disease it causes - Pancreas Disease - in Atlantic salmon in BC (Dr. Michael Kent ,ex-DFO in 1987). I have posted details here: http://alexandramorton.typepad.com/alexandra_morton/2012/06/first-detection-of-salmon-alphavirus-in-bc-farmed-steelhead-1.html.
Government and industry are going to tell you these tests are wrong. Industry swore under oath at the Cohen Inquiry into the Fraser sockeye that no exotic disease have entered BC in Atlantic salmon. I don't believe this to be true. I am using labs that are internationally recognized, have published extensively on salmon diseases and are bravely continuing this work in the face of assault on their careers for this and related work.
I am at your service to answer any questions or to discuss the next steps. I feel an enormous sense of tragedy that no one in government or elsewhere has reported these European viruses. I continue to find ISA virus - the salmon flu, but await more complete results.
Wild salmon deal with disease by dying. That is their first line of defence against epidemics, the death of the individual preserves their race. Farm salmon are simply replaced, they die, they are replaced by more, thus diseases have the opportunity to reproduce, mutate and spill by the trillions into surrounding waters, an unprecedented bio-hazard. Your fish have never faced this before salmon farming. Most of the Fraser sockeye are passing Shelter Pass as I write this. I don't think Shelter Pass is exceptional, it is simply the one place an eagle provided us with a sample."
Respectfully and at your service,
Alexandra Morton, Gwayum'dzi