I emailed DFO Minister, Dominic LeBlanc to ask why he had to be sued to protect BC salmon from fish farms putting in PRV infected fish. He didn’t get it as it was diverted to BC staff who drafted generic mush. I drafted 5,000 minister’s letters when I worked at Finance in BC, so, I know mush.
Here are my responses:
BC DFO: Thank you for your correspondence of July 6, 2017, addressed to the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard, concerning aquaculture in British Columbia. I have been asked to respond on the Minister’s behalf.
WRONG: I asked for the Minister to respond, not someone on the west coast. I have no assurance my email made it beyond the first admin person in line who referred it to BC. See my note to LeBlanc: https://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2017/07/dfo-has-to-be-sued-to-prevent-prv.html.
I asked: why do you, Dominic LeBlanc, have to be sued to prevent diseased fish farm fish being put in BC waters? PRV causes HSMI as your scientist Dr. Kristi Miller confirmed in 2017.
Here is sad commentary on DFO science policy from Miller: http://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2017/01/key-document-dr-kristi-miller-diseases.html.
Here is Miller’s research that shows PRV is present in farmed fish and causes HSMI: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0171471.
BC DFO: The protection and conservation of wild salmon is a priority for Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), and we appreciate your concern for wild salmon. DFO is committed to ensuring that Canada’s aquaculture regulations support the health of marine ecosystems and the aquatic species they support.
WRONG: Your record on lack of laws/weakened laws has been chronicled for the past decade by many commentators, including the Royal Society of Canada. See this scandalously-long list on your weakest laws: http://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2017/04/the-strictest-laws-in-world-wrong.html.
Your Conservation and Protection Branch is chronically under funded so you can’t enforce the weak laws you do have. See Item 78 on firing staff in Port Hardy, in this post: https://skeenawild.org/news/government-is-cutting-33-of-all-dfo-habitat-staff-closing-closing-offices-i.
Your contribution to freshwater habitat restoration, the real solution, is minimal: $1.8 Million to the Pacific Salmon Foundation. You should give a minimum of $10 million per year, matched by $10 million from the BC government.
You cancelled parts of the Salmon Enhancement Program, including Salmonids in the Classroom, until the uproar from BC forced you abandon your Ottawa plan to cancel everything. See items 173 and 155 in the almost 2,000 global bad news stories I have found on the in-ocean fish farm/seafood industry: http://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2017/05/bad-news-bites-fifth-post.html. You can find fifty on your not doing freshwater habitat restoration in BC/CDN press.
BC DFO: In British Columbia, the aquaculture industry operates under some of the strictest regulations in the world. DFO’s Public Reporting on Aquaculture website outlines DFO’s regulations, management requirements, and monitoring activities, which are in place to ensure that the industry operates in a sustainable manner. The Department is also working with provincial partners, First Nations, industry, and communities on legislative reforms, including developing a federal Aquaculture Act, as recommended by the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans.
WRONG: The ‘strictest laws’ comment is fish farm communications spin used globally. Shame on you for stooping so low, or for not realizing you are using fish farm spin. Once again here is the scandalously long post on your weakest laws: http://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2017/04/the-strictest-laws-in-world-wrong.html.
Once again, you do not have adequate C&P staff to enforce the weakest laws. See the link above.
Furthermore, fish farm strategy includes claiming to be transparent, then refusing to release info. A BC example is the fish farm industry arguing through their lawyers – a common tactic – that Judge Cohen could not request the disease testing tables be released to the Cohen Commission. When he required them anyway, they trumpeted how transparent they were.
When Cohen wanted individual tables, they again sent in their lawyers arguing he had no scope to require them. Cohen required them anyway, and reopened the Commission, for the third time, to focus solely on fish farm diseases.
Another example, an FOI I made to the CFIA for the millions given to fish farms for diseased, dead fish was held up for 10 months by a fish farm injunction against the information’s release. The amount turned out to be $177 million. No taxpayer wants their money given to multi-billion-dollar, multi-national corporations.
Aboriginals are not on side with DFO on fish farms. They want fish farms out of their waters. The Musgamagw Dzawada'enuxw, has been against farms for 30 years, and served eviction notices, but fish farms are still there: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/72-hours-to-vacate-first-nation-gives-eviction-notice-to-salmon-farm-1.3728860. The UBCIC Chief, Bob Chamberlin, says 150 First Nations are against fish farms and want them out of the water. See: http://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2016/08/key-document-aboriginals-against-in.html.
The Standing Fisheries committee you cite is fractured. Fin Donnelly issued a dissenting voice, and judging from Nancy Greene’s involvement, the Senate committee was badly informed, and failed to do any of its own research into fish farms: http://commonsensecanadian.ca/nancy-greene-raine-fish-farms-wild-bc-salmon/.
Watershed Watch details the lack of resources in C&P: https://www.watershed-watch.org/2017/03/recap-of-2016-bc-salmon-fisheries/.
Your own C&P director, Randy Nelson, criticized the scandalously low C&P budget and staffing in his book, Poachers, Polluters and Politics. See my review: http://onfishingdcreid.blogspot.ca/2014/10/poachers-polluters-and-politics-by.html.
BCDFO: Regarding your comments regarding heart and skeletal muscle inflammation (HSMI) and piscine reovirus (PRV), DFO’s website has detailed and up-to-date information. I strongly encourage you to read this material, which provides the scientific and historical context of this complex issue.
WRONG: DFO and the CFIA’s lab were criticized in the Cohen Commission by the experts, Nylund and Kibenge, as not being able to find reportable diseases such as ISA. And remember that DFO, and the CFIA colluded, fraudulently, not to find disease in BC farmed fish. They concocted a scheme to use a lab that would not return a disease result, and BCMAL was chosen. This is a scandal.
Here is DFO, CFIA and BCMAL not being able to find ISA in BC, while private researchers did, a very grave finding: http://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2017/01/isav-in-bc-but-dfo-cfia-and-bcmal-cant.html. DFO, CFIA, and BCMAL went even further, to complain to Virology journal where the ISA in BC article appeared. Virology dismissed your complaints.
Here is DFO, CFIA colluding to fraudulently find no disease in BC, picking a lab that would return a negative result, BCMAL: http://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2016/09/canadian-food-inspection-agency.html. This is fraud, Dominic LeBlanc, and I strongly urge you to do something: http://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2016/09/canadian-food-inspection-agency.html.
BCMAL has said PRV is in 80% of all farmed salmon, but there is no HSMI: http://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2016/10/prv-present-in-80.html.
In addition, your website link ignores that the PRV in BC is from a Norwegian source, meaning, yet another disease, like ISA, that Norwegian fish farms have brought to BC that DFO/CFIA/BCMAL claim is not here. Both cause big time death for salmon, PRV the number 3 killer in Norway.
And, Miller’s Viral Signature work shows presence in Fraser River sockeye components of up to 90% failure to spawn. And Miller’s 2017 work confirms that PRV causes HSMI.
Here are some specific comments on the text on your site:
Under: Genomic variability, PRV has been in BC since 1989 from imported Atlantic salmon. Marty is the lab that DFO and CFIA contracted because he wouldn’t find disease.
Under: Infectivity, Garver’s papers are with Marty, the lab that DFO/CFIA contracted because he wouldn’t find disease.
Under: Infectivity, Miller’s Viral Signature work noted as high as 90% pre-spawn mortality in sockeye components of the Fraser River run, a PRV problem.
Under: HSMI, watch the video of Norwegian scientists talking about PRV/HSMI: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3scxcIDuEOo. Are Nylund, at 9:20, says the PRV is from Norway. He goes on to say, at 11:20, that it is virtually impossible to find HSMI in wild salmon; they get eaten because they can’t swim. Dominic, you need to wake up, before all Pacific salmon are dead.
Under: Association between PRV and HSMI, your own scientist, Miller, showed that PRV is HSMI in BC.
Under: Association between PRV and HSMI, Garver worked with Marty who DFO/CFIA contracted because he wouldn’t find disease. Watch the video again on PRV causing HSMI.
BC DFO: I appreciate your support for closed containment aquaculture. The Department has supported the aquaculture industry in adopting and developing technologies and best practices to enhance the environmental and economic sustainability of closed‑containment aquaculture. I have attached an appendix, which provides background on this important topic. Additional information on DFO’s research into and support of these technologies is available on our Closed Containment website.
WRONG: the industry and DFO are almost ten years out of date on on-land closed containment RAS systems. The new, on-land Atlantic Sapphire plant in Florida may well wipe out the entire Canadian industry because consumers don’t want in-ocean farmed fish and because AS is in the USA, it has production/transportation cost savings that out-of-country producers can’t match.
I would add that last year, 2016, the Norwegian industry beggared its own in-ocean operations in Canada – Marine Harvest, Cermaq, Grieg Seafood – by harvesting early in Norway and dumping the fish into the USA where they had just had a 26% tariff eliminated for… dumping fish. They did so to avoid the high cost of lice treatments that plagued Norway and Scotland last year.
DFO is a decade out of touch with on-land tech. I have a list of 189 different, on-land RAS systems around the world, comprising nearly 20,000 actual on-land farms: http://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2016/05/152-different-on-land-fish-farm-systems.html. The post has dozens of studies on on-land tech.
Norway is so fed up with fish farm pollution that it stopped selling in-ocean licences two years ago, that sold at auction for $9- $12-million, and is giving out free licences to set up on land. Because you don’t charge adequate licence fees, you are effectively giving a $9- to $12-million subsidy to each fish farm that uses the ocean as a free open sewer – in total, a $1.17- to $1.6- billion subsidy. Further, the in BC, sewage cost is $10.4 Billion. In-ocean fish farms make no environmental or economic sense. See: http://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2017/02/fish-farm-sewage-huge-cost-to-bc.html.
BC DFO: I appreciate the opportunity to respond to your concerns.
Fisheries Management Branch
WRONG: Andrew Thompson is not Dominic LeBlanc. British Columbians know many local DFO staff they respect. Not so with Ottawa DFO and its ‘any fish is a good fish’ bias as former DFO staffer, Otto Langer, put it in A Stain Upon the Sea, about the environmental damage caused by fish farms in BC. It won the BC Book Awards, Roderick Haig-Brown Award it is that good. Carrying on his work, I won the national Roderick Haig-Brown Award in 2016 for sustained environmental writing on the problems with fish farms.
Finally, I receive nearly 30 global fish farm news letters every week and am probably more up to date on global fish farm/seafood industry problems than anyone in DFO. I have found nearly 2,000 bad news stories in the past two years. See: http://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2017/05/bad-news-bites-fifth-post.html.
Here’s what I would like from you Dominic LeBlanc:
1. Why do you have to be sued to protect BC salmon from fish farm diseases?
2. What are you going to do about the fraud in your Department over testing for fish farm diseases in BC?
3. Send me the disaggregated budget for C&P enforcement and the actual FTEs attributed to enforcing laws on fish farms in BC.
4. And let’s see an original, handwritten signature from you.