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Salmon Forum Questions Fish-Farm Study

CANADA - Members of the Pacific Salmon Forum are questioning a recently published report in the journal Science that argues wild-salmon stocks in the Broughton Archipelago could soon collapse because of sea lice.

The Hon. John Fraser, chairman of the Pacific Salmon Forum, told the Thursday that many of Canada’s leading fish biologists are conducting research for his organization, and their preliminary results do not support the findings Martin Krkosek, of the University of Alberta, and Alexandra Morton.

“How can we have such a disparity between this particular study and the recent results we’re getting back,” asked Fraser.

He said the forum will release its own interim research on the Broughton in early January and will likely meet with Krkosek that same month.

Sitting on the PSF’s Science Advisory Committee, he added, are academics like Dr. Al Lewis, Dr. Brian Riddell, Dr. Tony Farrell, Dr. Bill Pennell, Dr. Rich Taylor, Don Farnell and Dr. John Reynolds.

“They’re not second rate – not by a long shot.”

Appointed by the B.C. government in 2005, the Pacific Salmon Forum is supposed to fill knowledge gaps and make recommendations in 2008 that ensure sustainable wild and farm-salmon industries.

The PSF has already commissioned more than $2.5 million in research on the Broughton, said Fraser.

Earlier this week, the Pacific Salmon Forum stated in a press release that pink-salmon stocks in the Broughton appear to be doing well.