Post edited August 27, 2012.
There was a second outbreak of the IHN virus in July at Mainstream Canada’s Millar Channel salmon feedlot here in the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
The salmon farming industry claims that they are very concerned about fish health. A video produced by the BC Salmon Farmers Association states that “we vaccinate the fish to ensure that the endemic diseases which are prevalent in the open ocean do not affect our stocks”. Watch video.
However, according to Gary Marty, a veterinarian and fish pathologist for BC’s Ministry of Agriculture, Mainstream Canada did not vaccinate fish at their Clayoquot Sound farms. Read story.
Mary Ellen Walling, executive director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association stated in the Times Colonist newspaper that some companies have been reluctant to use the vaccine as it has not yet been proven in real-life settings and because it is extremely expensive. This seems to contradict the “fact” in the industry video. Read story.
Mainstream Canada is currently applying for a new open net-cage salmon farm at Plover Point, on the shore of Meares Island, just 12 kilometres northeast of Tofino. The environmental assessment has been completed by Department of Transport. On pages 38 and 39 of their report we find this: “In the proponent’s HMP [Health Management Plan], there will be specific measures to mitigate risks of transfer of disease…which include the following…vaccination to protect against infectious disease agents that the fish will be exposed to in the environment…”.
Clearly IHN virus is one of the infectious disease agents Mainstream’s fish may be exposed to at their proposed Plover Point feedlot. They state in their application that they would vaccinate against such ‘agents’. Yet they clearly didn’t vaccinate against IHN virus at Dixon Bay and Bawden Point.
It is time to end this madness. The solution is simple: get these salmon feedlots out of the ocean and into closed containment on land.
In the meantime, Plover Point must not be approved. Please sign our petition asking Christy Clark to not approve the seabed lease for Plover Point. Sign petition here.
by Dan Lewis, Executive Director, Friends of Clayoquot Sound