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Morton's Migrating Salmon Scoop Stopped

by Ellen Hardy
8 April 2008, at 1:00am

CANADA - An application to evacuate wild salmon away from Broughton Archipelago fish farms has ben rejected by federal government. The move puts biologist Alexandra Morton's, who made the proposal, in a precarious position and at risk of a $100,000 fine if she chooses to carry on her quest.

According to British Columbia's Tyee newspaper. Ms Morton says that letting migrating juvenile pink and chum salmon run a gauntlet of farms will destroy them.

Hence her application to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) for a licence to transport salmon as part of a widely publicized plan to ferry young Ahta River pink and chum salmon past two fish farms operating in their migration path.

However, in a statement Paul Sprout, Regional Director for DFO's Pacific Region, said the department did not support the proposal, deeming the capture, transport and release of the juvenile fish a greater welfare hazard.

Ms Morton however is still considering breaking the law. She says her studies show that fish farming and its inherent sea lice problem is detrimental to the survival of juvenile wild salmon. Morton's desperate response to sea lice is in part based on her own research, including a December 2007 study she co-authored in the journal Science, which concluded that pink salmon in the Broughton Archipelago could face imminent extinction.

View The Tyee story by clicking here.

Ellen Hardy