Samples were taken and I had them tested for farm salmon viruses. High levels of piscine orthoreovirus PRV detected. PRV is highly contagious because it can drift long distances in the water.
I provided this information to the Province of British Columbia, which responded with follow up tests. They found piscine orthoreovirus too and also levels the bacteria, enterococcus, that were so high, the tests could not accurate read the levels.
Surprisingly, a quick internet search revealed that research is underway to feed enterococcus to farm fish to achieve a probiotic effect which can accelerate growth.
Enterococcus is a human pathogen. Recreational beaches are closed when levels get too high.
Because BC salmon farms treat their fish with antibiotics an average of 1. This elevates the risk to human health.
I asked the BC Ministry of Environment, in charge of the fish processing plants, what species of enterococcus was in the farm salmon, was it antibiotic resistant and could they find out how farm salmon waste became so loaded with this pathogen? Last week more pictures were taken of the pipe and blood was still flowing into Discovery Passage.
This means the generation of wild salmon going to sea from the Fraser River were exposed. In Julythe Province of BC announced that they had investigated all the fish processing plants in BC and Minister George Heyman stated more work needs to be done to ensure the waterways are safe for all wild fish stocks.
Nice sound bite, but there is a devil in these details. They lumped wild and farmed fish processing plants together, even though farm fish are a uniquely greater disease risk.
Predators are very effective in removing sick fish from wild populations and this keeps disease levels low. Farm salmon, however, linger in a contagious state allowing their blood to become infective. They dropped all the tests for enterococcus and PRV. No data, no problem. Nothing in this report surprises me. Government has put the salmon farming industry ahead of everyone and everything since the beginning in late s. Someday, someone will uncover why but in the meantime Contact you MLA if you have any concerns.
I am on the research vessel Martin Sheen taking a close look at the salmon farms between Vancouver and Alert Bay on the migration route of the collapsing Fraser River salmon.
The use of this vessel is a welcome show of support by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to keep the research government refuses to acknowledge alive. This is where most of the salmon from the might Fraser River migrate.