B.C. Boat and Sportsmen's Show
Salmon Farms refuse to release disease information if the province of BC makes fish farm disease public
Eighteen years of secrets, the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands and Gordon Campbell

(May 28, 2010 Sointula) In July 1992, IHN virus broke out in Atlantic salmon smolts as they were put in salmon farm in Okisollo Channel. Okisollo is within the Fraser sockeye migration route. Even though the Fraser sockeye were migrating through the area, no one called for the IHN infected farm salmon to be culled. The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) kept this epidemic secret from the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks (MELP) even though there was a disease sharing protocol in place. When MELP heard “rumors” of this IHN outbreak three months later, MAFF still refused to give them the details of the outbreak. The policy in enhancement hatcheries is to destroy IHN infected smolts to prevent spreading to wild salmon.

Today, MAL is misinforming the public about the extent of past IHN outbreaks on their website and in a recent legal decision all BC salmon farming companies state they will refuse to reveal disease records if their reports to MAL are made public.

Note: MAL and MAFF are the same agency and MELP and MOE are the same.

1992 memos - a trail of secrets and disregard for wild salmon health

October 5 1992 Don Peterson at MELP : “Our fish health staff report …. rumours of an IHN virus outbreak in Atlantic salmon… Please provide …information …..IHNV is easily transmitted to trout and Pacific salmon species and we need to make an assessment of risk to wild stocks please respond ASAP.”

October 8, 1992 Don Peterson, MELP: “Had a call from Al Castledine (MAFF3) ….There has been an outbreak….DFO doesn’t want this to become an issue at this time, Al specifically asked that we not make a media issue of this – at least not until DFO has their act together.” This was 4 months after the outbreak began

October 28, 1992 the Minister of MELP John Cashore to MAFF: “IHN virus is lethal to trout and steelhead. These wild fish inhabit the marine environment where this farm is located… my Fish Culture staff only learned of this incident very recently …. There is … a protocol agreement that is intended to alert each of our agencies when problems such as this arise….the breakdown in communication could have potentially serious consequences for fish stocks….”

November 12, 1992 Harvey Andrusak MELP to MAFF: “The recent outbreak of IHN virus in Atlantic salmon smolts owned by BC Packers causes considerable concern for the Fisheries Branch of MELP….I request your cooperation.”

November 19, 1992 J. E. Fralick MAFF to MELP “results are considered proprietary by our Animal Health Branch and cannot be released. I firmly believe…the IHN outbreak poses very minimal risk to wild stocks.”

November 27, 1992 H. Andrusak, MELP to MAFF “I am disappointed with your response….when MAFF is asked for information…we are referred to DFO, when we ask DFO, I am referred to you. This is unacceptable….fish health is the responsibility of DFO … and MELP….why is MAFF involved in fish health at all?”

December 17, 1992 G.R.Armstrong MELP “Prior to the IHN outbreak, fish health scientists believed that IHN was transmitted only in fresh water. The significance of the outbreak is that it apparently occurred in sea water…Atlantic salmon farms are now a potential vector for transfer of IHN.”

January 5, 1993 G.R. Armstrong MELP to MAFF “I do not understand how the Department of Fisheries and Oceans can have little concern for IHN simply because it is endemic to wild salmon…. Atlantic salmon in pens are now a potential vector.”

While the 100,000s of Atlantic salmon in the IHN infected fish farm were left in the ocean on the Fraser salmon migration route, 300,000 trout were culled in a provincial hatchery in 1991 due to IHN. B.C. Environment, Lands and Park – Information Issue 92-35

When Gordon Campbell took office in 2001 he cancelled MELP and so the BC public lost the only team of bureaucrats who were fighting to protect our wild salmon from corporate salmon.

MAL website today - inaccurate

Have things improved, No.

While the MAL website acknowledges there have been IHN outbreaks in Atlantic salmon farms, it grossly misinforms the public about the timing and location of the outbreaks.

“Outbreaks of this disease (IHN) in Atlantic salmon farms in British Columbia occurred in 1992, 1995, 1996,1997 and 2001. All reported cases occurred within the Campbell River area.” .http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/ahc/fish_health/IHNV.htm (website updated May 16, 2004)

In fact, there were in 12 million Atlantic salmon infected from 2001 – 2003 over 400km of the BC coast from Clayoquot Sound to Klemtu (Saksida 2006). More than 1/3 of BC’s wild salmon and many Washington State salmon use this area and were challenged with this highly infectious disease generation after generation. The BC Liberal government did nothing to stem this flow of pathogens.

February 2002 - BC Supreme Court Injunction identifies IHN risk to wild salmon

When a salmon farm in the Broughton Archipelago tried to dispose of 1.6 million IHN infected farm salmon in 2002, BC Supreme Court granted the Musqueam First Nations an injunction to prevent delivery of these fish to a processing plant in the Fraser River because these fish threatened the Fraser River’s wild salmon with IHN.

What about the other 10 million left in net pens on the marine migratory routes used by the Fraser all south coast, and Clayoquot wild salmon and steelhead?

March 1, 2010 - Ruling forces MAL to release fish farm disease information and fish farmers threaten to cease all public reporting of disease outbreaks

Four years ago the T. Buck Suzuki Foundation filed a Freedom of Information request to MAL for salmon farm disease records. MAL refused. But BC’s Freedom of Information and Privacy Commissioner ruled on March 1, 2010 that MAL could not legally conceal this information and to release it by April 12, 2010. In the decision, the fish farm companies of BC are on the record stating if their disease information is released they will never report diseases to the province of BC ever again. (see below) T. Buck Suzuki is still awaiting full disclosure.

“Mainstream flatly submits that it will not supply similar information when it is in the public interest that similar information continues to be supplied.66 Mainstream does not explicitly say there is no authority under which it may be compelled to provide data for the audit.”

“Marine Harvest submits there are “no regulations or laws” which require it to release the information it gives to Ministry veterinarians or designates during on-site visits. It states that release of the requested information would result in Mainstream no longer supplying the requested information”

“Grieg Seafoods contends there is no statutory requirement that allows the collection of audit data and that it only provides data on the understanding the data would be kept confidential. It states it will no longer submit the data if the applicant?s access request is granted”

“Creative Salmon argues that it provides audit information on a voluntary basis and if the applicant’s access request is granted it will “immediately cease to volunteer further information to the Ministry”


How can the governments of Canada and British Columbia allow this ongoing suppression of information that is clearly in the public interest and the courts have ruled threatens a resource the people of Canada and British Columbia are passionate about? Salmon farms are in the public waters of Canada, they are leasing Crown Land supposedly “to provide the greatest benefits for British Columbians” (Crown Lands BC website) and they do not legally own their fish. Will the BC Liberal government allow them to operate in secret, to the detriment of a highly valued public resource? We will all get to find out.

This has got to stop.

General Articles All Categories
  Article Topics Date
1. Fishing the Tyee Pool in Campbell River Salmon Aug 2013
2. Jigging for Coho Salmon, Tackle Aug 2013
3. TKO ing Big Springs Salmon Jun 2013
4. Spring Fishery Updates 2013 Fishing Area Outlook Mar 2013
5. Fly Epoxy Chum Fry Flys Feb 2013
6. Best Fishing Story of 2012 Feb 2013
7. Salmon fishing outlook for 2013 Fishing Area Outlook, Salmon Jan 2013
8. Fly Tadpoles Flys Jan 2013
9. Fishing Outlook for 2013 Fishing Area Outlook, Salmon, Sturgeon Dec 2012
10. Fly Steelhead Muddler Flys, Steelhead Dec 2012
11. Fly Bacon n eggers Flyfishing, Salmon Dec 2012
12. Keeping a journal Technique Dec 2012
13. Fly Egg-sukin leech Flyfishing, Flys Oct 2012
14. Fly Steelhead Madness Flyfishing, Flys Oct 2012
15. White Lake Fishing Area Outlook Aug 2012
16. Fly Orangesicle Flyfishing, Flys Jul 2012
17. Fly Blue Morrison baitfish Flyfishing, Flys Jul 2012
18. Fly fishing the Estuary (Amundson Thompson Chaser Fly Rod Review) Flyfishing, Tackle Jul 2012
19. Sockeye Strategies Salmon Jul 2012
20. Ultimate Squid TUBE Flys Jun 2012
21. Roche Lake Flyfishing Jun 2012
22. Fly Coho Blue-zer Flys, Salmon Jun 2012
23. Flies Webflyzers Flys Jun 2012
24. Vancouver Island's Esperanza Inlet Halibut, Salmon, Vancouver Island May 2012
25. Fly Purple Peril Flys May 2012
26. Trolling for trout Trolling, Trout Apr 2012
27. Fly Blue Note Flyfishing, Flys Mar 2012
28. Fly Kalumlow Flyfishing, Flys Mar 2012
29. Fly Skeena Scar Flyfishing, Flys Mar 2012
30. Fly Polar Express Flyfishing, Flys Mar 2012
31. Sturgeon fishing in Vancouver British Columbia Sturgeon Mar 2012
32. Strategies for Catching Sturgeon Sturgeon Mar 2012
33. Fly Copper Gammarus Flys Mar 2012
34. Fly Alley Alevin Flys Mar 2012
35. Fly Hilton Boss Flys Mar 2012
36. A Guided Steelhead Trip on the River Steelhead Feb 2012
37. Fly Polar UV shrimp Flys Feb 2012
38. Egg-sukin Beaver Leech Flys Feb 2012
39. Fly Chardolas Bait Flys Feb 2012
40. Don't be afraid to try anything Steelhead Feb 2012
41. Best Fishing Story of 2011 Ryan Spannier Feb 2012
42. Best Fishing Story of 2011 by Bob Waldhaus Steelhead Feb 2012
43. Best Fishing Story of 2011 David Sandquist Kids, Salmon Feb 2012
44. Fly Reeds Spey Flyfishing Feb 2012
45. Jet Boat Maintenance Boats Dec 2011
46. Smoked Salmon Recipe BBQ and Honey Recipes, Salmon Dec 2011
47. Poached Italian Cod Recipes Dec 2011
48. Fly Blue Charmer Flys Nov 2011
49. Fly Muddy Waters Flys Nov 2011
50. Fly - The Excursion Leech Flyfishing Nov 2011
51. Herb and Garlic Crusted Halibut with oven roasted ratatouille Halibut, Recipes Oct 2011
52. The Banner Season Fishing Area Outlook Jun 2011
53. voteforsalmon Conservaton, Salmon Apr 2011
54. Votesalmon Conservaton, Salmon Apr 2011
55. Rivers Inlet Hatchery Program Conservaton, Salmon Apr 2011
56. Mayday for Wild Salmon Conservaton, Salmon Mar 2011
57. Contest 2011 Fishing Story David Sandquist Flyfishing, Steelhead Feb 2011
58. Contest 2011 Fishing Story Honourary mention Ron Gibson Feb 2011
59. Contest 2011 Fishing Story Bog Waldhaus Steelhead Feb 2011
60. Contest 2011 Fishing Story Brian Wong Salmon Feb 2011
61. Does Fish Cooking Techniques Matter Recipes Jan 2011
62. Mediterranean Fish Fillets Recipes Jan 2011
63. Virus Killing Fraser Sockeye Conservaton, Fish, Salmon Jan 2011
64. Halibut Fishery Conservaton, Hallibut Dec 2010
65. Salmon Virus watch Conservaton, Salmon Nov 2010
66. Disease Information Conservaton May 2010
67. Sea lice kept secret Conservaton May 2010
68. Catch the Dream Halibut, Salmon, Trolling May 2010
69. Oak Bay Marine Group Newsletter Salmon Mar 2010
70. Quesnel Lake Trout Jan 2010
71. Art of Curing and Smoking Fish Smoking Jan 2010
72. Bradley's Famous Hot Smoked Salmon Smoking Jan 2010
73. Salmon fishery action suit Salmon Nov 2009
74. Save B.C. Salmon Conservaton, Salmon Nov 2009
75. Winner of the Giver on the River Free Charter Fish Sep 2009
76. Oven bbq salmon Recipes, Salmon Aug 2009
77. Poached Italian Cod Recipes Aug 2009
78. Salmon Creole Recipes, Salmon Aug 2009
79. Australia Fishing Salmon Aug 2009
80. Horseradish and Dill Butter Salmon Steaks Recipes, Salmon Jul 2009
81. Navigating a boat purchase Boats Jul 2009
82. Salmon with a Homemade Grain Mustard Crust Recipes, Salmon Jul 2009
83. Halibut with Fennel Broth Halibut, Recipes Jul 2009
84. Cedar Plank Salmon Recipes, Salmon Jun 2009
85. Islander Winner 2009 Tackle Jun 2009
86. Just Get In the Water Technique Jun 2009
87. Saltwater Night Fishing for Salmon Salmon, Technique Jun 2009
88. Steelhead & Salmon Warfare Salmon, Steelhead Jun 2009
89. Deep Running Giant Salmon Salmon May 2009
90. Salmon Scampi Recipes Apr 2009
91. Dandelion Stuffed Chaunigan Trout Recipes, Trout Apr 2009
92. Living Rivers - Georgia Basin and Vancouver Island Conservaton Apr 2009
93. Salmon steak recipe Recipes, Salmon Mar 2009
94. Chaunigan Trout Recipe Recipes, Trout Mar 2009
95. Best catch of 2008 Flyfishing, Kids, Salmon, Steelhead, Trout Feb 2009
96. The Great Chilko Bear Adventure Bears Feb 2009
97. Seasonal Outlook for 2010 Salmon, Seasons, Steelhead, Sturgeon, Trout Jan 2009
98. A Fishing Trip with REEL OBSESSIONS Vancouver Island. Salmon, Trolling Jan 2009
99. Carp fishing from a different angle Carp Sep 2008
100. Fish British Columbia With a Timeshare Accommodation Apr 2008
101. Hurt by aquaculture industry Salmon Nov 2007
102. BC wild salmon endangered by failure to contain sea lice from salmon farms Conservaton Sep 2007
103. Go Fish Aug 2007
104. Studies show harmful impact of BC coast salmon farms on wild Pacific salmon Salmon Aug 2007
105. Lynn's Fishing Adventure Sturgeon, Trout Jul 2007
106. Chilliwack River Action Committee Conservaton Apr 2007
107. Indian Candy Recipe Recipes, Salmon, Smoking Mar 2007
108. Fishing Articles and archived fishing posts Mar 2007
109. Curing Eggs Salmon Mar 2007
110. Fishing for Chum Salmon Salmon Mar 2007
111. Salmon Eating - After They Change Colour Salmon Mar 2007
112. A guides Perspective - The Fraser River Salmon, Seasons, Sturgeon, Trout Aug 2005
113. Smoked Salmon Recipe Recipes, Salmon, Smoking Dec 2004
114. Fishing in Harrison Hot Springs Aug 2004
115. Jet vs. Outboard Boats Aug 2004
116. Helpful Hints, Tips and Tricks Tackle Mar 2004
117. Uncle Wes - Farewell Old Friend Dec 2003
118. Cow Paddy Pond Trout Oct 2003
119. 12 Seasons of Fishing the Kitimat Flyfishing, Salmon, Seasons, Trout Apr 2003
120. Sara, Guardian of the Lake Jul 2002
121. Portrait of a Mountain Man May 2002
122. Carving the Salmon Pie Salmon May 2001
123. Spoon Fishing Lakes From The Bank Tackle, Trout Mar 2001
124. Vedder River Fishing “Fall options” Salmon, Seasons Mar 2001
125. Slippery Spotted Owls Salmon Jul 1998
Aquaventures Tours
Amundson Fishing Products

[ Home | Contact Us | Advertise Here | Search Engine Optimization | Resorts Lodges | Guides Charters | Fishing Clubs | Tackle Suppliers | Gear for Sale | Product Reviews | Fly Fishing | Bass | Halibut | Kids Fishing | Salmon | Steelhead | Sturgeon | Trout | Hunting | Fishing Reports | Fishing Forum | Books | Articles | Events | BC Info | Fishing Links | Gallery ]

Copyright © 2018, GetSet! Communications All rights reserved.
Page Sponsors:

Aquaventures Tours
Amundson Fishing Products