You may have read about DFO's new Rapid Science Response: http://policyoptions.irpp.org/magazines/october-2018/will-new-fisheries-minister-respect-salmon-science/.
And you may know this process is a radical departure from the way peer judgement works. The SRS is solely about DFO being unwilling to do anything about farmed salmon, such as put them on land.
It is too bad for BC that DFO has any responsibility for BC salmon, meaning DFO in Ottawa. It is time for BC to take over responsibility for wild Pacific salmon, with a dozen netpens, each of 2 million sterilized chinook and BC putting money into habitat restoration through the Pacific Salmon Foundation. See how badly DFO has done over the decades, managing wild salmon into extinction: http://fishfarmnews.blogspot.com/2018/05/dfo-salmon-and-killer-whales.html.
The RSR nixes the research on PRV (Piscine Reovirus) showing it causes jaundice/anemia in chinook. The same DFO lab, Genome BC, has also shown that PRV leads to the big killer HSMI. Yes, you got it right: one side of DFO is doing the research, while the other has hatched a scheme to say it is BS.
Here is the document in question about PRV that DFO is criticizing even though DFO scientists did the science: https://www.watershed-watch.org/B_Rapid_Science_Response_re_PRV-Jaundice_study_Review-3.pdf. It is De Cicco et al.
Note that the a previous post on this site, October 15, 2018, covered the law on the precautionary principle, which deals with a situation like this: http://fishfarmnews.blogspot.com/2018/10/precautionary-principle-has-defined.html. You will note that DFO refuses to use the precautionary principle and save wild salmon.
This is Dr. Brian Riddell's response: https://www.watershed-watch.org/BR_letter_re_SCA_review.pdf.
In summary he says this: "As a partner in the Strategic Salmon Health Initiative undertaken by Genome BC, DFO Science and the Pacific Salmon Foundation, I support having the best possible scientific review of our SSHI findings. However, I must address concerns over a recent internal report that presents DFO Science Advice in response to a request submitted by DFO Aquaculture Management Division. I am referring to an evaluation of the relevance of the Di Cicco et al. 2018 (1) publication to the testing and management of PRV in British Columbia; signed by yourself on June 27, 2018. My concern for this process/report is not the request for regulatory advice, but for the review process and exclusion of the primary authors or any independent reviewers."
Riddell was previously a BC DFO scientist, who subsequently spent years in Ottawa, and came back to BC as CEO of the Pacific Salmon Foundation. Dr. Kristi Miller is the well-known scientist at DFO, Genome BC, who has done good work on PRV, the Viral Signature, HSMI and other work, such as developing a system to test 46 different viruses/bacteria in a single sample. As in well respected.
Riddell goes on to say: "The study authors were not informed of this review and they were not provided the opportunity to respond to criticisms of their study methods."
So, internally DFO did not peer review the work, did not follow their SRS guidelines and their public comments have lead to tarnishing the authors "Certainly, the reports has now unfairly led to targeted comments in the media about the DiCicco et al. paper and researchers involved."
For me there is deja vu moment here, just as in Matrix with Neo seeing the cat, in the 2004 article in Science by Hites et al that showed farmed salmon in Scotland was filled with cancer-causing and other chemicals.
In response to that, the government in Scotland did not take action to stop the problem. Instead it joined industry, media, fish farm established organizations around the world, SOTA, (Salmon of the Americas) for example and so on to trash the science and eliminate any possibility of solving the problem.
See the Miller post below, which is where I came into this issue, because I found it so disturbing that government, scientists etc. destroyed the science, even though it was true. Just like DFO.
Here is my post on the Prof David Miller book: http://fishfarmnews.blogspot.com/2011/10/key-document-fish-farm-tactics.html. This post is updated to 2017, when I got in touch with Hites and he provided some graphic images you will find in the post.
Back to Riddell: "and are at odds with government commitment to open, objective and transparent science. Further, in non‐government circles, this will again be criticized as contrary to a precautionary approach."
You will know from reading this site that I have come to view science with respect to fish farming as: naive, hubris or a manipulation. I say this, even though my background is science and I favour science, but not in the fish farm world, as I follow fish farms globally, and they have been refining their techniques for 50 years, and each place they come to looks at things only with respect to their own circumstances, and thus get manipulated.
In the absence of the science view, the argument that holds the day, is the precautionary principle, and you can read my post on how the method works (link above). BC can simply move to save wild salmon and among a 'robust suite' of measures put fish farms on land.
We could eliminate the licence cost, or even offer a cash incentive to move out of the water - just like Norway where the companies are from. After all, in-ocean is a decade out of date. On-land is hot and of course, there are are those 255 on-land RAS systems around the world right now: https://fishfarmnews.blogspot.com/2016/05/152-different-on-land-fish-farm-systems.html.
Back to Riddell. He asked Di Cicco et al to comment on the RSR 'report' on their science. The rest of the response is their considered opinion. You can read it. It is science heavy, but takes 10 minutes and is worth the extra reading to understand just how well diseases are known, and the methods used to develop that knowledge.