Have you ever seen a bright yellow salmon before? With shock and horror, we give you one.
This photo was taken on October 5 by Dr. Alexandra Morton and wild salmon activist Anissa Reed on the banks of the Fraser river.
They found several such dead yellow Pink salmon during a recent field study. Those salmon clearly died of jaundice. And when Alex opened one fish, she found a severely diseased liver, one which appeared to be covered with tumor-like growths.
What is causing this deadly disease in so many of our salmon? Is it a virus? We don’t know. But we need to find out, right now. Fish farms, once again, appear as a prime suspect. In an open letter last week to DFO Pacific Region Director Dr. Laura Richards, Alexandra Morton asked the hard questions:
“While you testified that you have not read the salmon farm disease records, I have read every line and note that the Provincial vet Dr. Gary Marty is diagnosing a form of jaundice in farm salmon that he states is similar to a virus found in Coho in Chile, he cites a paper by P.A. Smith et al 2006.
I want your report on these jaundice farm salmon and the jaundice pink salmon DFO must be aware of – why are they yellow, why are there so many of them, is this the Chilean virus Dr. Marty notes and how would such a virus get here?”
Dr. Kristi Miller, the DFO researcher whose work has been recently published in the journal Science, has discovered a candidate virus which may be causing cancer and anemia in wild salmon. Yet last month, it was revealed at the Cohen Commission that she has been denied funding by DFO to test Atlantic salmon in fish farms for her virus. She was asking for $18,750 – a pittance in research terms. But her DFO hierarchy told her that they didn’t have the money!
Why is DFO doing this? Why is it pretending that it does not have twenty thousand dollars to conduct critical tests on salmon disease? Why would it say that, when it was also revealed at the Commission that the federal government has given $145,000 to the fish farm industry to conduct “research” on how to make farmed salmon more palatable to the end consumer?
As yellow salmon are dying on the banks of the Fraser, this DFO charade must stop. The people of this Province demand that viral tests be performed on fish farms – right now. Not next year. Not next month. Now.