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General · 24th September 2018
Geraldine Kenny
Saturday September 29: Sea Shepherd Operation Virus Hunter Season 3: Join Alexandra Morton for an update from the frontlines on the future of wild salmon in BC. Court decisions, indigenous uprisings, breaking science and intrigue: it’s a story almost beyond belief. This has been an epic battle for our wild salmon, the backbone of this coast. Join us to hear Alex’s firsthand account at the Community Centre. Admission is by donation, doors open at 7pm, Alex’s presentation begins at 7:30. Coffee, tea, and terrific desserts await!
History: Open net salmon farms came to British Columbia in the 1970s and began to proliferate in the late 1980s. By 2000, 90% of salmon farms in the province were Norwegian owned and contained Atlantic salmon. Since then, the salmon farming industry has grown, most notably in the Broughton Archipelago. In the mid 2000s corporate giant Mitsubishi bought Cermaq, a company operating many salmon farms in BC.
Alex Morton began to study the effects salmon farming brings to the coast of BC, particularly to wild salmon populations, which experienced major declines in the years following the introduction of salmon farms.
On May 12, 2015, Alex Morton, as Director of Pacific Coast Wild Salmon Society, released a 24-page booklet, Salmon Confidential: The ugly truth about Canada’s open net salmon farms. The booklet makes the case that the wild-salmon-focused economy of British Columbia far outweighs the contributions of salmon farms. The booklet explores the issues of sea lice, impacts on lobster fisheries, challenges to bio-security, salmon viruses, exotic species, and the local economy.
With that awareness, Alex continues to lead her own work, gratefully accepting the interest and collaboration of other volunteers when it’s available. There is very little she wouldn’t do to protect the people, animals and wilderness around her. “I deeply, deeply love this place,” she says of Canada’s west coast. “It’s really where I belong. It’s given me a real sense of home, and it’s been incredibly generous to me and I’m trying to be generous back. A lot of people ask what’s behind my motivation; it’s love. When somebody really falls in love with something, it’s one of those things that doesn’t actually need any fuel.”