Morton has spent over 20 years studying whales and salmon on the B.C. coast. That led her, inevitably, into conflicts about the fish farming industry. She has argued, on the evidence of her own research and others’, that farming Atlantic salmon is destroying B.C.’s native wild salmon.
After a vote taken last week by the Strathcona Regional District, it looked as if Morton and the supporters of wild salmon had sustained their worst defeat yet.
Morton isn't giving up -- but she is demanding that British Columbians take serious action if they really do want to save the salmon.
Last weekend Morton sent a letter to members of several newsgroups, setting out the problem. Excerpts from that letter:
"On June 25, 2009, the Strathcona Regional District rural directors opened the door to fish farming on the jugular of the B.C. coast. Every other fish farm has been sited among braided waterways, but this Grieg application is for one of the biggest fish farms on the B.C. coast to be lodged where 1/3 of all Canada's Pacific salmon pass on their voyage back to us through Johnstone Strait.
'Wild salmon are failing'
"A Norwegian corporation has become gatekeeper to the Fraser, East Vancouver Island, and south coast Mainland rivers, and our fish are their market competitors.
"I have tried to bring reason to the B.C. fish farming industry for 21 years. My community has been lost. The science is done. The courts ruled the way it has been regulated is unconstitutional. The people of the B.C. coast are aware of the issue now.
"Wild salmon are failing and sea lice, diseases, and massive schools of salmon predators parked in pens every few km along their migration routes are clearly not helping. Anyone who looks can see that.
"And yet every level of government from federal to regional favours farm salmon over wild salmon. Since this is a democracy, I have to assume at this point that B.C. has made its choice.
This is sickening, and yet the BC Green Party remains mute, as do other environmental groups who are getting their pockets filled by corporate interests, and perhaps the BC Liberals. And of course EMe would never broach any other topic other than herself...