Category Archives: Salmon in the headlines

Vancouver Sun article: “Why was iron dumping [in North Pacific] a surprise?”

An interesting series of articles running in the Vancouver Sun on iron dumping in the North Pacific last year and what the Federal government knew or didn’t know. Classic case of the left hand and the right hand… not knowing what each other are doing. (or not caring…)

By Zoe Mcknight, Vancouver Sun September 4, 2013

Federal officials were aware of the Haida Salmon Restoration Co.’s ‘rogue science’ plans to dump iron dust at sea long before last summer’s seeding project went ahead. So why was Ottawa caught by surprise? Officials say they thought they had deterred the group with legal warnings. Yet the company was upfront about its plans in public meetings on Haida Gwaii.

When the Haida Salmon Restoration Corp. spread 100 tonnes of iron sulphate and 20 tonnes of iron oxide in the northwest Pacific in the summer of 2012, government officials scrambled to distance themselves from the project.

Yet there is plenty of evidence officials knew what the Haida Gwaii company was considering long before the dumping took place.

In October 2012, Peter Kent, then the environment minister, told the House of Commons that his department never received an application for the project and did not approve “this demonstration of rogue science.”

The government line has since been that Environment Canada staff met with the company in Victoria on May 7, 2012, when the company was warned of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act’s disposal at sea legislation.

On Aug. 29, 2012, officials learned the iron dumping had happened in international waters west of Haida Gwaii. They began an investigation the next day. Kent said he personally was informed in late August as well.

But according to documents released under an Access to Information request, “Environment Canada first became aware the proponent was considering ocean fertilization in 2011″ and contacted the corporation’s representatives on several occasions to advise them of the national and international provisions surrounding disposal at sea.

An information flyer was provided to the company, “due to the contact already made on the issue.”

Then the 120 tonnes of iron were released into the Pacific between July 14 and Aug. 3 last year, causing international uproar.

The Vancouver Sun has learned that another federal department was earlier willing to spend government money on the project.

According to documents filed in Federal Court in Vancouver, Industry Canada approved two funding proposals submitted by the Haida Salmon Restoration Corp. under the Industrial Research Assistance Program and the National Research Council.

Approvals were given in March and July 2012, before the dump, but were revoked in November 2012, after the project incited a media storm. Haida Salmon company representatives applied for a judicial review of the decision to terminate the funding, arguing they were “undertaking research that was fostered by the existing government of Canada program, and in particular the IRAP funding process for ocean science.”

The application asks for the reinstatement of an undisclosed amount of money as well as a statement of reasons for revoking the government funds. None were given, according to the court documents, which were filed in December 2012.

According to Haida Salmon director and operations manager Jason McNamee, the funding was in the $75,000 range and was to be applied to a summer student and the development of low-cost marine instruments that could be used in future projects.

Haida elder and vocal opponent Gloria Tauber was horrified by the iron dumping proposal from the beginning, calling local politicians, writing letters to the editor of the Queen Charlotte Observer and phoning representatives from various government agencies. Tauber, who has lived on the island all her life and only rarely uses Internet, faxed pleas and background information to government representatives at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans as well as Environment Canada as late as May 2012, three months before the dump.

Nobody was listening, she said.

“I felt like what I was doing wasn’t making a difference,” she said.

Once the news broke, she became one of the most outspoken critics of ocean fertilization, which has been banned since the 2008 London Convention of the International Maritime Organization, a United Nations body.

The plans for iron dumping were made very clear on the islands of Haida Gwaii, also known as the Queen Charlottes.

The Council of the Haida Nation distanced itself from the project, but a series of public meetings was held in the community of Old Massett back in March 2011. That spring, less than 200 people cast a ballot in a public vote on spending the band’s money on the $2.5-million project, with 57 voting against it. About 700 people live in Old Massett.

An update appeared in the Old Massett Village Council newsletter in late February 2012, saying “we are on track to head offshore in about three months.”

“(The Haida Salmon Restoration Corp.) is always telling the world the ‘Haida people’ support them,” Tauber said. “It’s the Old Massett Village Council that goes along with it … it isn’t the ‘Haida people’ they’re representing.”

Officials with the provincial Crown corporation Pacific Carbon Trust also met with Haida Salmon Restoration Corp. representatives before the iron dump, even visiting their chartered fishing boat when it was still docked in Victoria on July 12.

While the primary Haida Salmon Restoration Corp. goal was to cause a surge in plankton, and indirectly boost salmon stocks, the company has argued the process leads to plankton pulling carbon dioxide from the air. The company argued the process should be eligible for those seeking to buy carbon credits.

“We advised them on July 30 that we didn’t think the project was eligible,” said Hope Hickli, Pacific Carbon Trust’s spokeswoman.

She was unable to divulge the details of the application, but said it was rejected for carbon credits because the iron bloom would be in international water.

“Pacific Carbon Trust conducted a review of the project, and with government, determined the project would not meet the requirements of the B.C. emission offsets regulation,” she said. The technical description of the project was received by the Trust, and said it would “replenish ocean mineral micronutrients … using natural, iron ore mineral compounds.”

The Canadian Centre for Ocean Gliders in Sidney, which lent two robotic underwater measuring devices to the project, has a collaboration agreement with the federal government and access to equipment at the Institute of Ocean Sciences, a Department of Fisheries and Oceans marine science facility, also in Sidney.

Staff at the institute were aware of the company, if informally, said Paul Lacroix, director of the ocean glider centre. Well-known scientific maverick Russ George and other Haida Salmon Restoration Corp. representatives visited the institute on several occasions, sometimes after hours, to learn how to calibrate the gliders.

“There’s no conspiracy. The Haida (company) approached me, they wanted to use a glider for a scientific project. It’s in our mandate,” Lacroix said.

“They weren’t hiding (their intentions). I wasn’t hiding anything. Nobody was hiding anything,” he said, adding no government resources went to the project.

George (who is no longer with the Haida Salmon Restoration Corp.), along with the summer student hired on the promise of Industry Canada funding, chemist Craig Mewis, attended a conference at the Pacific Biological Station, a DFO research station in Nanaimo in March 2012.

They attended under the company name and were referred to as “a First Nations ocean research group” in the conference report, which also said the workshop was “timely for the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation (financed by the First Nation government) to help develop plans for their upcoming cruise to evaluate the health of Haida Gwaii marine ecosystem.”

The conference was hosted by government scientist Andrew Edwards.

The company was upfront about its plans, McNamee said.

“Anybody who Googles Haida Salmon Restoration Corp. – and everyone was well aware Russ George was one of the directors – and then Googles Russ George, and knew we were working at sea, you can’t tell me you don’t know what we’re doing. It was well known,” he said.

The Haida Salmon Restoration Corp. has filed an application in B.C. Supreme Court to set aside the search warrant that was executed on March 27 by Environmental Protection Act enforcement officers, arguing the basis of the search warrant, the 2008 London Protocol against ocean dumping, is not legally binding in Canada.

The next hearing in the case is expected in December.

According to a blog post written by Haida Salmon Restoration CEO John Disney, who is also the economic development officer of Old Massett, the officers “stormed” the company’s Vancouver offices, seizing lab notes, samples, hard drives, cellphones and documents during a raid that lasted overnight and into the next morning.

Disney also claimed in the blog post the officers were “fully armed and equipped with bulletproof vests and multiple support gear.” (The federal department says officers do not carry arms, but may wear body armour and carry other protective equipment such as batons.) Other sites were searched as well, including the Victoria offices of the charter fishing boat company that leased the vessel to the company last summer.

Under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, disposal at sea is prohibited without a permit, and no permit application process exists for ocean fertilization. Those projects or proposals that “do not qualify as legitimate scientific research would be regarded as disposal at sea, which is prohibited under CEPA 1999,” and any projects that will yield direct financial gain are disqualified.

“You don’t need a permit for ‘legitimate science,’ but we don’t have a process in place to consider whether your science is legitimate or not. What kind of nonsense is that?” said Haida Salmon Restoration lawyer Jay Straith.

And the Haida goal was primarily about science, he said, not carbon sequestration. Sequestration by a plankton bloom is not only unproven, but too small in this case to yield any financial gain at all. “No one’s going to get rich off 100 tonnes of iron … at best it will subsidize what (the company) is doing.”

But representatives also pointed out the contradiction between the prohibition against financial gain during scientific research and the recent public shift in focus at the National Research Council to fund only projects with a commercial application, announced this May.

Peter Kent, federal environment minister when the iron dumping took place, said in an interview last week that he thought the search warrant would stand up in court, and he continues to follow the story, even though he’s no longer in cabinet.

“Some research in this area may well be justified under very controlled circumstances by approved scientific bodies. But I think their plan had a getrich-quick aspect to it, which was selling carbon credits. That was a really irresponsible pitch on behalf of the promoter.”

“An awful lot of members of the band themselves recognized it was a pipe dream and wasn’t particularly responsible in terms of environmental precautions.”

It was possible a meeting had been held with his department’s officials as early as 2011, but he was unaware of the project until summer 2012, Kent said, calling it “very alarming and very concerning.”

In May 2012, it was “all hypothetical … the department folks didn’t think anything of it. There was nothing suspicious and nothing to be pursued because they advised the proponents what the law was and what the regulations were.”

“The enforcement folks at Environment Canada on the West Coast had a visit and basically thought they had shut down the proposal in the spring. They never heard anything else until the reports came out the dump had taken place.”

Environment Canada would not comment last week on when exactly the department knew about the ocean fertilization.

“Our government takes seriously its commitment to protect the environment. When Environment Canada became aware of an alleged violation of federal environmental laws it began an investigation,” spokesman Mark Johnson wrote in an email.

 

“There’s always the human factor…” says U.S. Coast Guard, as oil tanker hits San Fran Bay Bridge

from Silicon Valley Mercury News

from Silicon Valley Mercury News

The headline from the National Post reads: Oil tanker crashes into San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge:

An empty oil tanker caused minor damage Monday when it struck a tower in the middle of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge while navigating beneath the hulking span, officials said.

The 752-foot Overseas Reymar rammed the tower about 11:20 a.m. as it headed out to sea, according to the Coast Guard and state transportation officials. It didn’t affect traffic on the busy bridge, which is the main artery between San Francisco and Oakland, Ney said.

OSG Ship Management Inc., which is the parent company that owns the Marshall Islands-registered ship, said the vessel hit an underwater portion of the massive bridge structure.

Investigators had not yet determined the cause of the crash.

“There’s always the human factor,” Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Shawn Lansing said. “That is again what we’ll look into and see whether, in fact, it was a human error or something else and take that into consideration in the development of future regulation.”

Visibility at the time was about a quarter-mile, but officials didn’t say if that was a factor.

from Silicon Valley Mercury News

from Silicon Valley Mercury News

The Silicon Valley Mercury News reports Pilot in Bay Bridge oil tanker crash had three accidents since 2009:

…The pilot of the ship was identified as Guy Kleess, 61, of San Francisco, a former Exxon oil tanker captain who has been involved in at least three other shipping accidents since 2009.

The incident provided a stark reminder of a similar Bay Bridge collision five years ago, when the Cosco Busan, a 901-foot-long cargo ship, hit the adjacent tower of the Bay Bridge, spilling 53,000 gallons of heavy bunker fuel into the bay, fouling 69 miles of shoreline and killing thousands of birds.

That an oil tanker similar in size to the Exxon Valdez, with the capacity to haul millions of gallons of heavy crude oil, hit a bridge in San Francisco Bay alarmed environmentalists.

This last line is particularly entertaining… what exactly is an environmentalist in the eyes of these writers? Is it only ‘environmentalists’ concerned about this?

The Washington Times reports:

Monday’s mishap brought back memories of a major crash in November 2007 in which the 902-foot Cosco Busan rammed the bridge and spilled 53,000 gallons of oil into San Francisco Bay.

That accident contaminated 26 miles of shoreline, killed more than 2,500 birds and delayed the start of the crab-fishing season. Capt. John Cota, the pilot of the Cosco Busan, was sentenced to 10 months in prison after pleading guilty to two misdemeanors.

Apparently, that’s just more than those ‘pesky’ environmentalists fronting concern… I’m guessing the maybe 7 million+ residents of the Bay and surrounding area might be a bit concerned if this ship had hit the bridge with its full capacity of some 500,000+ barrels of oil which it had just offloaded.

from mercury news

from mercury news

The Silicon Valley Mercury News

Biologists for years have said that if a large oil tanker spills in the bay, the currents could carry much of it southward, where it would devastate egrets,herons, harbor seals, salmon and other species in the marshes and wetlands. Because of the weak tidal action in the southern part of the bay, the oil would take months, if not years, to remove.

The article continues with some key questions:

Among the key questions Monday: Why was the ship sailing in significant fog? After the Cosco Busan spill in 2007, the Coast Guard put in place rules limiting large ships from sailing when there is less than half a mile of visibility. Coast Guard officials said Monday that the visibility was a quarter-mile at the time of the accident.

Also, did Coast Guard officials who track ships on radar warn the vessel it was about to hit the bridge tower? [what about the ship's own radar...?]

And why did the ship or its contracted emergency response crews not deploy boom — floating barriers that protect against oil spills — until hours after the accident?

Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Shawn Lansing said the ship, which was built in 2004, had a double hull, which is required under a federal law signed by President George H.W. Bush after the Valdez spill. At a news conference Monday afternoon, Lansing said investigators don’t yet know the cause of the crash but are looking at human error as a possibility.

There it is again… ‘likely possibility’… ‘may’… and now we’re back into the circle of ‘evidence absence’ and ‘absence of evidence’… and… well…

… then the great news cycle… this accident will blow away or float away in the Bay tides in coming days and weeks.

Except maybe in places where people are contemplating the ‘human error’ risk factors present in shipping oil, bitumen, fuel and otherwise in areas where collisions between land, and land-based structures could be absolutely disastrous – as the Exxon Valdez and numerous other accidents demonstrate.

Here’s an image from the Vancouver Sun of the community of Kitimat and the Douglas Channel stretching west:

Vancouver Sun image

Vancouver Sun image

And a more complex view of the Douglas Channel from the Dogwood Initiative website;

from Dogwood Initiative website

from Dogwood Initiative website

And the Bay Bridge… pretty darn tough to see that thing…

Fog City

Double-hulled, triple hulled, highly trained pilots, radar, Coast Guards, regulations (current or future), policies, judicial reviews, ministerial imperatives, etc. … it don’t matter when it comes down to old faithful “HUMAN ERROR“…

It’s not a matter of ‘if’… it’s only a matter of ‘when’… that is… when we’re talking shipping, ships, and oil.

Risk… Reward?

[Remember this post from almost exactly one year ago today: Proposed Northern Exit-gateway Pipeline: Accidents happen because of human error… and are not averted due to elaborate statistical anlayses…  [or elaborate regulations... which may not be followed anyways... as in this case and half mile visibility and big bridges]

Enbridge Northern Exit-way II

Enbridge Northern Exit-way II

 

Beware the “weak kneed skeptics” that criticize the gutting of Canada’s Fisheries Act – what a sham

What…?! fish don’t actually need habitat in a ‘conservative’ world…

The undoubted sign of a society well under control or in decline is that language has ceased to be a means of communication and has become instead a shield for those who master it…”   -John Ralston Saul, Canadian thinker.

Wow, where did these folks come from…(see photo above)? …Oh, wait, I think I can tell you… but i’ll leave that to my inside voice.

Let the gutting of Canada as you know it… Begin.

Maybe the Harper Conservatives/Reform didn’t watch the crash and burn of Danielle Smith’s girls gone Wild-rose party earlier this week in Alberta.

Even Canada’s “heartland” folks that some might say lean towards the right side of the spectrum and maybe a little tinge of crimson on the back of the neck… were not ready for ‘gays will die in hellfire’ and ‘white folks make better candidates’-type comments coming from folks wanting to be elected to government in AB.

…And a leader that said “gee, shucks, that’s just their personal views, don’t worry those won’t affect their politics…”

Or…maybe… just maybe… was it a crash and burn, or, simply completely blown polling results… who’s to know really…

But then we have Harper and his crew.

Take the picture above, straight off the “Fisheries and Oceans Canada” website: Harper Government Commits to the Responsible Protection and Conservation of Canada’s Fisheries.

The Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, announced that the Harper government will introduce changes to protect the productivity of recreational, commercial and Aboriginal fisheries. This means focusing protection rules on real and significant threats to these fisheries and the habitat that supports them while setting clear standards and guidelines for routine projects.

And there it is… a point made many times on this salmonguy site… The Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans has the mandate to conserve and protect fish and fish habitat.

NOT… “responsible protection and conservation of Canada’s fisheries”…

Someone… pardon the pun… is missing the boat.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

From the Vancouver Sun yesterday:

Fisheries Act changes introduced amid debate over new law’s intent

OTTAWA — The Harper government unveiled a massive omnibus budget implementation bill Thursday that includes Fisheries Act amendments that will strip the term “habitat” from the most crucial section of the law.The government’s intent, according to a spokeswoman, to assist “everyday Canadians” in their dealings with federal fisheries bureaucrats.

And the official said allegations that the government is giving in to demands from energy and mining lobbyists are false.

“These are changes being made in our department that are designed to help Canadians — everyday Canadians: landowners, municipalities, farmers – be able to undertake activities on their properties without obtrusive interference by our department,” said Erin Filliter, spokeswoman for Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield.

Hmmm… interesting…  this is about everyday Canadians… says Ash-field.

But… but… I thought it was about “Responsible Protection and Conservation of Canada’s Fisheries

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The Vancouver Sun the day before yesterday:

Minister admits Fisheries Act changes could help speed project approvals

The quote in the first paragraph from the article cracks me up:
The federal government’s planned overhaul of the Fisheries Act may reduce the regulatory burden companies such as Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. face in getting approval for major projects, Fisheries Minister Keith Ash-field said Tuesday.
Yes, that’s not a typo on my part, it’s a direct quote… He’s Mr. Ash-field… hmmm. someone trying to say something at the Sun…?

But Ashfield rejected opposition accusations that the federal government’s plan for a “more sensible and practical” Fisheries Act was a result of corporate pressure from the energy and mining sectors. “It certainly hasn’t influenced me in any way shape or form. I have never sat down with [or] had any discussions with Enbridge,” he said in an interview.

Ashfield said farmers, municipalities and even some conservation groups in Canada support the government plan to shift regulatory enforcement focus away from general fish habitat and toward specific fish and fish habitat that are of “vital” importance to the recreational, commercial and aboriginal fisheries.

Oh yea… what about scientists, researchers, and streamkeeper groups? What about the 100,000 plus or so BC’ers that spend time cleaning creeks and streams and looking after fish and fish habitat?

Ashfield drew attention to groups outside the mining and energy sectors backing the changes, including the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, Ducks Unlimited Canada and the Canadian Federation of Municipalities.

What horseshit, last time I checked, Ducks Unlimited wasn’t really a fish conservation organization…  doesn’t it work on protecting wetlands so that there’s more ducks to potentially shoot…?

And of course the federation of municipalities is going to go for it…

The bullshit that elected officials will spew out in the name of marketing and PR is astounding.

But Ashfield acknowledged his proposals could reduce Enbridge’s requirements under Fisheries Act habitat protection rules for the estimated 1,000 waterways its Northern Gateway pipeline will cross. “It could be determined that some of these waterways may not necessarily be vital waterways,” Ashfield said.

The government announcement stressed that the current fisheries law, which bans activity that results in the “harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat,” has been too broadly enforced.

Too “broadly enforced”!?

Show me all the frigging fines and convictions then.

You can’t, because there were only two in 2008.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

The Globe and Mail also ran an article on this issue the other day:

Tories to overhaul Fisheries Act

…But critics argue the government is looking to reduce the regulatory burden on energy and mining companies, and the changes will jeopardize rivers, streams and lakes that are part of broad and important ecosystems.

“This announcement does indicate an intention to compromise for some of Canada’s lakes, rivers and streams – whichever the government officials deem to be not vital,” said Lara Tessaro, staff lawyer with the Vancouver-based EcoJustice group.

“In the context of environmental protection, it is a really bizarre approach to have government officials handpick which lakes are not important. … What fish need to survive is healthy and productive habitats, from spawning grounds to rearing grounds to habitats for their entire food chain.”

Ms. Tessaro added that the legislative amendments are unnecessary if all the government wants to do is streamline the process for minor development projects, because they are covered by policy guidelines that could be easily changed.

Great, we’re going to have salmon and other fish habitat decisions made by ‘elected’ officials in Ottawa. Yup, those elected officials that come with a great breadth of knowledge about fish and fish habitat… (in Ottawa). Just like the Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure…

…real solid fish habitat folks those ones…

This is a sham.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

See it’s language like this article out of the Globe and Mail that sum up the current governing regime:

Blasting ‘weak-kneed’ skeptics, Tories fan out to plug EU trade deal

The Harper government’s PR machine will be working overtime Friday as 40 per cent of the Conservative cabinet fans out across the country to shore up support for a free trade deal with the European Union.

Fifteen cabinet ministers, three MPs and a senator will stage 18 separate events throughout Canada to play up the benefits of further opening this country’s markets to the 27-member EU bloc.

Interesting, I thought we were in a time of great cutbacks and savings…?

Public servants and ministries are being hacked and slashed in the name of smaller government… and yet: “Fifteen cabinet ministers, three MPs and a senator will stage 18 separate events throughout Canada to play up the benefits of further opening this country’s markets to the 27-member EU bloc.”

Sounds like wise spending to me… better get out there and replace all those “weak knees”…

Oh no wait… Health care spending is also in the works…

The Conservatives kicked off the public relations campaign Friday morning with an Ottawa speech by International Trade Minister Ed Fast to the Economic Club of Canada.

“Trade is not for skeptics or scoffers. It’s not for the weak-kneed or faint of heart,” Mr. Fast told his business audience.

Who are these people in power?

Oh wait, I know…

The article on trade concludes:

The Tories can’t really complain of obstructionism in Parliament by the NDP now that the Harper government controls the Commons and, effectively, the Senate.

The Tories can use their majority powers – 166 seats – to limit and curb debate on any bill they want passed.

Nothing like bullies in power that love public relations campaign and the great spin machine.

Can only sit and watch the dismantling and then the nosedive and faceflop in the next election as Harper’s recent nosedive in the polls show.

Harper’s brand hits ‘new low’ amid robo-call, F-35 scandals: poll

As his beloved Ministers continue to be embroiled in conflict of interest scandals, spending scandals, lying about true costs of fighter jet scandals, etc… What’s next for the ‘Blue’ men group?

(And yet all of this shenanigan-ing on the Fisheries Act carrying on while Justice Cohen still deliberates on the Fraser sockeye situation… glad to see that Harper and the gang have essentially written off that $20 million process…)

“Modernization”… more: monoculture monologue masquerading as conversation…

Conformity seems like an easier, more realistic choice...

. (a shorter post than more recent posts)

B.C. writer F.S. Michaels begins her book Monoculture with a quote from Nigerian writer and poet Ben Okri:

It’s easy to forget how mysterious and mighty stories are. They do their work in silence, invisibly. They work with all the internal materials of the mind and self. They become part of you while changing you. Beware the stories you read or tell; subtly, at night, beneath the waters of consciousness, they are altering your world.

Michaels’ book “Monoculture: How one story is changing everything” is a good little read. Essentially, it lays out how the ‘economic’ story is the master narrative of our time.

The governing pattern that a culture obeys is a master story — one narrative in society that takes over the others, shrinking diversity and forming a monoculture. When you’re inside a master story at a particular time in history, you tend to accept its definition of reality. You unconsciously believe and act on certain things, and disbelieve and fail to act on other things. That’s the power of the monoculture; it’s able to direct us without us knowing too much about it.

Over time, the monoculture evolves into a nearly invisible foundation that structures and shapes our lives, giving us our sense of how the world works. It shapes our ideas about what’s normal and what we can expect from life. It channels our lives in a certain direction, setting out strict boundaries that we unconsciously learn to live inside. It teaches us to fear and distrust other stories; other stories challenge the monoculture simply by existing, by representing alternate possibilities…

… Monocultures and their master stories rise and fall with the times…

Michaels, in a well-researched, tightly woven narrative explains how the “economic story” has largely come to dominate in six areas of our world: work, relationships with others and the environment, your community, your physical and spiritual health, your education, and your creativity.

The diversity of values and stories that once sustained us in different parts of life are giving way. That loss puts us at risk. Once you lose the diversity of stories that sustained you in different parts or your life, shaping who you are and how you live, it’s hard to even think beyond the economic story, harder still to recognize how a monoculture constrains you. You struggle to make decisions that go against its tenets. Conformity seems like an easier, more realistic choice.

_ _ _ _ _ _

The pervasiveness of this ‘economic story’ really is quite remarkable.

Several posts over the last few weeks on this site have alluded to it, or just got right into it.

Look at this for example… an invite from a respected Canadian University, in which I just received this in an email, inviting Graduate-level students to a ‘connection’ conference:

The focus of the conference is Connecting Research to Industry. Graduate students attending the conference will have the ability to present their research to representatives from a variety of industries. This is a great chance to showcase your research and connect with industries that may be interested in your work—you may even land a new job!

What about policy-neutral research and science as heavily advocated by Dr. Robert Lackey and others?

This type of ‘connecting research to industry’ goes down some slippery slopes, such as having major oil companies sponsoring University Research Chair positions into things like water sustainability and ecosystem reclamation. That’s a problem.

A slope lubed with tar sands bitumen… one might say…

It’s also part of the ever-growing, pervasive “economic story”. So deeply buried in society and culture now, that it’s largely unquestioned and simply accepted ‘as the norm’…

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

There has also been the fine work of the Conservative/Reform Party of Canada in their most recent efforts to apparently “modernize” many of Canada’s federal legislation and Ministries.

Here’s just a few recent stories running the media, discussing this great ‘modernization’ occurring in Canada.

Environmental assessment report slammed as ‘fictitious’

A report from the Commons environment committee has government MPs calling for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act to be “modernized” and the opposition dismissing the committee’s work as a fiction.

Ashfield talks fisheries modernization in Halifax

Federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Keith Ashfield tried to reassure Nova Scotia’s nervous inshore fishery Friday when he met with his regional counterparts to discuss the modernization of the commercial fishery.

Ashfield said Ottawa’s upcoming modernization of the commercial fishery is not imminent.

But the fate of policies that have protected inshore fisheries from corporate takeover remains uncertain.

“I’m in listening mode. That’s what I’ll be doing for quite some time now to see where we should go in the course of time,” Ashfield said.

His department has touched off widespread fears in coastal communities.

Its discussion paper on modernizing the fishery omits policies that have protected inshore fisheries from corporate takeover, in particular the owner-operator policy, which requires a licence holder to catch the fish.

_ _ _ _ _ _

Yea… uh huh… “I’m in listening mode…”

If you’re in it now… then what the hell were you (and your colleagues) doing in the six years previous…?

What’s going on in Ottawa these days from:

  • “modernizing” the Criminal Code (e.g. get tough on crime… even though crime rates have been falling nationally for years), and yet, also, decisions like today:

Judges must consider history when sentencing aboriginals: Supreme Court

.(that pesky Supreme court thing, just keeps getting in the way of the Reformers…and their ‘modernization plans’)

  • “modernizing” Environmental Assessment processes (e.g. ‘streamlining’),
  • “modernizing” the Fisheries Act and Canada’s ‘commercial fisheries’,
  • “modernizing” our trade with Communist, human-rights questionable China,
  • “modernizing” our free-trade agreements (e.g. sending job somewhere cheaper), and
  • even “modernizing” how we do elections such as the insidious robo-calling (e.g. what us? no… we don’t do those dirty U.S.-style election tactics…).

Suppose it just has to wait until next election until Canada’s federal government gets “modernized”. For example, putting the “Canada” or “Canadian government” back in where it belongs and ripping out the “Harper”.

As pointed out before, the current regime is little more than a name-change of the old “Reform” party… a.k.a. ‘modernize’ to our reform version of the economic story…. they say.

Otherwise known as the ‘invisible hand of the market’…

Suppose the message might be clear when the very visible hand of the Canadian public slaps this ‘modernizing regime’ right off their ‘modernized’ perch…

change is afoot and maybe ‘the story’ will change with it…

DFO Shitshow planning on going sneaky… Some folks seem to forget: ‘NO HABITAT, NO FISH!’

one might wrongly assume that "deterrence" is the reason...

.

It has been a little while since I’ve had to do two posts in one day… however the news on the wire today regarding the Harper Government assault on fish, fisheries, coastal communities and so on — is impressive.

The graph above comes from information presented at the Cohen Commission into Declines of Fraser River sockeye.

It also comes from a press release put out today by Otto Langer an over 30-year DFO staffer, and even longer-time award-winning, fish biologist.

The full press release can be downloaded here: Otto Langer Press Release on Harper gutting Fisheries Act

Here are some lowlights of the apparent Harper Conservative plan to sneak a gutting of the Fisheries Act on to the back of the upcoming Budget Ombnibus Bill.

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Langer's Fisheries Act historical summary

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Here’s the current reading of Section 35 of the Fisheries Act — pretty clear and to the point, yet still challenging to prove in court…:

current Section 35 of Canada's Fisheries Act.

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Here’s the new weasel-word, bumpf-filled, ambiguity-laced — giving Ministerial fettering to everything — language that is trying to be sneaked in without consultation with anyone:

New Reform... ahhh... i mean Conservative government weasel words proposed for Fisheries Act.

.

As Langer points out in his press release:

The newly drafted provision [35(1) above that takes out 'habitat' and adds 'fish']  legislation is not intended to protect fish habitat in any matter whatsoever.

Langer’s anecdote to this is great… he remembers a time when DFO used to hand out pens at conferences and such that said:

NO HABITAT, NO FISH!

Fitting close to the press release:

nothing like a 'neutering' to ruin your day...

.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

In closing this pathetic state of affairs and ongoing shitshow at DFO… (and other areas of Canada)…

One could look at the graph above and suggest to Mr. “tough-on-crime” Harper that it seems crimes are going down everywhere… even in the destruction of fisheries habitat.

Look at this wonderful graph proving the ever effective crime-fighting tactic of: DETERRENCE.

Must be that Fisheries Act violations have just got so nasty and onerous for polluters that the need for investigations is dwindling, and deterrence is working….

…hmmmm….

Somehow I doubt it.

48 convictions in 1998 down to 1 conviction in 2008.

This is called a gutting of staff, balls, and teeth — and most sadly, destruction of fish habitat, especially wild salmon’s, at an alarming rate.

This also means an enforcement and compliance division within DFO that probably feels about as proud of their job as a child labourer putting together those blue jeans you’re wearing…

Nothing like job security, meaningfulness, and pride to really make a Ministry sing with glee…

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Goal for Harper and his Reform buddies… 0 [zero] convictions, under the Fisheries Act.

Let’s get tough on crime, everybody…

(or fish, i suppose, depending on which way you look at it).

Plus, I was just wondering (in reference to the ‘proposed’ amendments) … ummm…

…which “fish” does not have an “ecological value“?

And could somebody please show me the legal definition of “ecological value” or even ‘economic’ or ‘cultural value’ for that reason.

That’s the point.

This is about as gray, fuzzy, and blurry as that Hawiian highway was for Gordon Campbell back in the early 2000s. [oh right, it was his personal holiday... not government business]

Translation…. 0 convictions.

(and tarsands expansion, and pipelines rammed down BC’ers throats, and more fracking, and so on and so on.)

Hold on to your hats, here comes George W. Bush Canadian-style. (sans the required apology… “oh sorry, excuse me new NDP leader” says PM-bully Harper…)

(NOT).

Think the Fisheries Act is going to get neutered… well… this ain’t nothing yet (under this ‘majority)… going to be a whole lot of current legislation losing their balls… going to be an all out choir fest.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

And just to really ruin your fishy day… take a look at most recent post at Alex Morton’s website:

ISA virus in BC Supermarkets and Vedder River

She had Atlantic salmon tested that she bought at 3 B.C. supermarkets (most likely Vancouver Is.)

Five of them tested positive for ISA [infectious salmon anemia].

Yet, the Feds, DFO, the Province and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency continue to deny that ISA exists on the BC coast.

_ _ _ _ _ _

Oh wait… I can hear the response from Harpers PMO office…

“ohhhh…. you mean thatISA… we thought you were talking about a different ISA…(like the cartoon character from Dora the Explorer… or something..)”

ISA from Dora the Explorer

…oh yeah, we’ve actually known that that ISA… that nasty salmon thingy…has actually been here for decades… probably since the last Conservative majority (the real Conservatives… think Mulroney, and Clarke and stuff…) …sorry for the confusion, everyone…”

[Harper (whispering): "hey Ashfield, somebody go muzzle a scientist or audit an enviro-terrorist organization or something..."]

 

department of fisheries and oceans… (DFO)… rhymes with ‘shitshow’…

 

latest page on site...

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Quite entertainingly… if you do a web search of the term “shitshow” there are some similarities in definitions, mainly:

n. A messy situation, especially involving drunkenness and partying.

There’s another good one that provides the use of the term in a sentence:

Things can’t possibly be so bad at work that you’d volunteer for another trip to this shitshow.

_ _ _ _ _ _

I actually had intentions of doing a post on the apparent Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO/shitshow)  ‘modernization plan for Canada’s commercial fisheries.’

This was intended to be a follow-up to two previous posts on this disaster of a document:  The future of Canada’s schizophrenic Fisheries Ministry… called into question. (And DFO gets another new name.) which ended out being quite a popular post after looking at stats for this website.

The other: The future of Canada’s schizophrenic Fisheries Ministry… Politicians of Canada: time to get a frigging grip.

The last post commenting on:

Who’s responsible for this mess?

Producing hundreds upon hundreds of pages of documents and then labeling them nice boutique-y names like a “suite of policies” — does not a plan make…

Last thought… of which future posts will delve into…

At the moment, research and statistics suggest that just under 50% of Canadians do not have the literacy required to meet day-to-day life demands.

This means, 50% of Canadians have literacy levels below the International Adult Literacy rate survey rating of Level 3 — which is approximately the level that someone graduating from high school reads at.

Yet, Minister Ashfield carries on about:

It is estimated that 80,000 Canadians make their living or a portion of their living directly from fishing and fishing-related activities. But current practices and regulations, along with a challenging global market, are increasingly restricting the ability of Canada’s fisheries to contribute to Canadian prosperity in a changing economic climate.

Well… if close to 40,000 of those Canadians do not possess the literacy skills required to meet day-to-day demands of life — then how the hell are they going to wade through the hundreds and hundreds of pages, PowerPoint slides, pathetic YouTube videos of PowerPoint slides, and webpages to adequately “comment” and be adequately “consulted” on an issue that affects Canadians from coast to coast to coast?

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

And as mentioned in that post, I was going to expand on this issue of low literacy in Canada, and true democracy.

You know that ‘democracy’ espoused by so many ‘western’ politicians these days that has its roots in the ancient Greek meaning of the word:

from Greek demokratia “popular government,” from demos “common people,” originally “district” + kratos “rule, strength”.

Good ‘ol, government rule for the people, by the people and so on and so on…

_ _ _ _ _ _

I was then going to do a little map for the sheer number of documents that one would need to read in relation to this apparent ‘modernization’ plan, simply to be able to adequately comment on how all the pieces apparently fit together…

… in other words, translate the ‘bumpf’ and bureaucratic-speak…

BUTTTT…

When I went back to the DFO website to try and find all of these documents, I found this:

Ooops... how embarassing... "not found"...

Gee… is the DFO website in this area crashed because of the sheer number of people visiting the day before the apparent… slash that… the second try at a deadline for comments, which is apparently tomorrow, March. 14, 2012??

Oddly, this is still at the DFO website (this is another screenshot):

still there... no links to actual document...

But there’s no documents available anymore, no links…

… other than links to the “consultation” page.

One can still go provide their comments on the ‘modernization plan’, which isn’t actually on the website anymore, in the little defined, limited boxes:

consultation on a non-existent document...?

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

So I guess DFO subversively blocked my webpost today…

I was going to ask the question: how does consultation occur with the ‘people’ that comprise ‘democracy’ if close to 50% of them do not have the literacy they require for day-to-day life and jobs — let alone commenting adequately on hundreds if not thousands of pages of DFO documents and proposals?

_ _ _ _ _ _

But… today, a day before the deadline for comments… ummm… literacy is not the issue…

… as there’s no document to read.

It’s gone.

… slipped into the electronic ether… or just pulled off the site by DFO?

Oooops.

I’ve provided an edited cover though…

do a web search with the title of this document in it: “the future of Canada’s commercial fisheries”…

from east to west on Canada’s coast, people are pissed off.

Hmmm… wonder if that has anything to do with the mysterious document disappearance?

the DFO shitshow

.

maybe the songwriters or poets out there can gets started on a catchy diddy on this one:

Hey, ho… we’re DFO… we don’t know,cuz we’re a shitshow. Hey ho, what do you know,about the DFO shitshow.consultation… blaahhh.modernization… yeehaaah.

(or something like that…)

“Wild Salmon Are Not Holding Up, Study Finds” – New York Times

Really… is this type of result all that surprising?

NY Times photo from article

Wild Salmon Are Not Holding Up, Study Finds

Since 1964, the Mokelumne River Fish Hatchery in California has supplied the watershed with four to 10 million juvenile Chinook salmon each year. The hatchery began the practice as a way of countering the effects of dams that block migration and making sure that the salmon population remained viable. But recent research shows that the massive influx of hatchery-raised fish is masking the fact that wild fish populations are not holding up.

“Without distinguishing hatchery from wild fish, the perception is that we have healthy salmon surviving in a healthy river,” said Rachel Johnson, a fish ecologist affiliated with the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the lead author of a new paper published in the journal PLoS One.

[this is a problem across western North America where wild Pacific salmon roam]

Most hatchery-raised fish are unmarked, but Dr. Johnson and her colleagues navigated past this obstacle by using a new technique that measures sulfur isotopes deposited in salmon ear bones, or otoliths. Chemical elements from food and the environment accumulate in otoliths over a salmon’s lifetime, giving scientists a way of determining an animal’s origins and movements.

In this case, Dr. Johnson differentiated between wild and hatchery-reared salmon by detecting traces of a domestic diet in the latter population’s otoliths. After adult fall-run Chinook salmon returned to the river and hatchery to spawn, the researchers collected otoliths from over 1,000 carcasses.

Wild fall-run Chinook salmon typically stay in freshwater for three to six months after birth and then migrate out through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and into the ocean, spending up to three years there before returning to their native river to spawn. Hatchery-born fish, on the other hand, are usually trucked to the bay, bypassing obstacles like freshwater pollution, low water levels and predators that their wild counterparts consistently contend with.

While a set number of hatchery fish make it to sea each year, Dr. Johnson says she suspects that wild population dynamics vary from year to year, depending on conditions.

Those population dynamics were surprisingly skewed for the 2004-5 season, when the researchers carried out their work. Of around 12,000 fish that returned and spawned in the Mokelumne watershed, most were hatchery fish that went directly to the hatchery. About 1,500 fish spawned in the Mokelumne River itself, but just 10 percent were actually born there. All in all, only 4 percent of the total spawning population were of natural origin.

Researchers are unsure exactly why natural populations have such low survival rates, but they suspect that water degradation, pollution and overfishing all contribute. Hatchery fish themselves could be having an impact, too: recent studies have found genetic and behavioral differences in hatchery-born and wild salmonids. Hybrid offspring of hatchery and wild fish may have a lower chance of surviving and reproducing than purely wild offspring do.

Artificial propagation aimed at aiding the recovery of endangered or threatened species is a controversial topic in ecology. Researchers and policymakers debate whether simply producing more animals of a dwindling species is an acceptable means of sustaining populations. “The ultimate goal for habitat restoration is that we are helping fish rebuild in a natural environment, not intervening in such an extreme way,” Dr. Johnson said.

[Salmonguy note: "restore" habitat...? is that really possible at this point in time? 'restore' to what? "restore" salmon runs... restore to what?]

Fall-run Chinook salmon are listed as a species of concern, but this label results largely from a lack of data on their their populations. Although managers set a goal of doubling the numbers of wild salmon in the Mokelumne River, until now it has been impossible to estimate how many naturally occurring fish are present.

[also a real problem across western North America where wild Pacific salmon roam]

Dr. Johnson, who is currently based at the Bay Delta office of the federal Bureau of Reclamation, emphasizes that she is not anti-hatchery, but that more awareness and monitoring of the salmon situation is needed to determine why wild salmon stocks are not replacing themselves and whether salmon populations can survive if the hatcheries are (hypothetically) shut down.

Mass marking of all hatchery fish — like clipping a fin — would make this job easier, and many hatcheries in the Pacific Northwest are already doing this.

Globally, the number of hatchery-produced fish of salmon and other salmonids has skyrocketed over the past 20 years,” Dr. Johnson said. “Even though this study was done on the Mokelumne River, I think it’s a broader issue for salmon conservation.”

You bet, Dr. Johnson, you bet…

And only set to grow if Russia is able to put their $2 billion in cash to work in building salmon hatcheries in the far east of that country on the Pacific side. Japan is already pumping out over 95% of their annual commercial catch as hatchery salmon… And Alaska’s billions of “salmon ranching”… and Canada’s 600 million or so hatchery salmon…

Old Vitus Bering & George Stellr are probably rolling in a grave somewhere… (early European ‘explorers’ and naturalists working for Russian Navy in 1700s — you can see their ‘graphiti’ all over the North Pacific)

As if DFO’s disasterly ‘management’ of North Atlantic Cod and Pacific salmon and… and… weren’t bad enough

Herring spawn along Alaska coastline -- Bristol Bay

An article running in the Vancouver Sun, and a vitally important fishery-fish issue:

Winter fishery may put inshore herring stocks at risk: scientists

“DFO recognizes that there are ‘resident herring’ that remain in the Strait of Georgia stock assessment area throughout the year, but scientific evidence does not support the notion that these are separate stocks,” DFO scientists wrote in an email interview. “A number of tagging and genetic research studies examining herring stock structure do not provide evidence to support the existence of a local resident herring population in the Strait of Georgia.”

But not all scientists agree.

University of British Columbia fisheries scientist Tony Pitcher said that B.C.’s bays and inlets were once home to unique inshore herring stocks that returned to spawn in the same places year after year, in much the same way that salmon return to the spawning grounds on which they were born.

“Local herring stocks aren’t exactly resident, but they are quasi-resident, because they joined the big migratory stock for summer feeding but returned in the winter to their spawning areas and stay there through the winter and spring,” said Pitcher.

Where commercial fishing has damaged inshore herring stocks, recovery has been slow and in some cases the fish have never returned.

“It looks like the Skidegate stock has never come back, despite efforts to try to protect it,” Pitcher said.

First nations up and down the coast are convinced that past mismanagement of the herring fishery has resulted in the extinction of local resident stocks that used to support their ancient marine economy.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

So where is the burden of proof supposed to be in these types of issues?

DFO purports to be about “conservation” first.

As well as operating under the ‘precautionary principle’ — so if there’s doubt on this issue then why open herring fisheries?

So, why take the risk?

Aren’t herring one of those crucial components of the food chain? — e.g. for endangered Fraser and East Coast Vancouver Is. Chinook salmon, which in turn are an essential food source for endangered resident Orcas in the Salish Sea (Georgia Strait). (Cull the endangered Orcas?)

How does this make sense?

Simply because some ‘scientists’ at DFO have decided there’s not enough information to label these ‘resident’ stocks — they they are fair game for fisheries?

Where’s the sense in this?

Is this not a ministry that needs a fundamental overall? Should there not be a process similar to the many calls for change, and actual change occurring within the RCMP — for example, independent reviews by citizens?

There is a fundamental problem when the same ministry that opens fisheries for commercial economic benefit is also fundamentally responsible for ‘conserving’ fish stocks.

The simple definition of ‘conservation’ and ‘preservation’ do not jive with the act of removing indigenous organisms from ecosystems — especially organisms as crucial to the food chain as herring.

Time for a fundamental overall… as opposed to these expensive judicial/public inquiries and endless court cases against a ministry that is broken, lost, and flailing.

SALMONGATE: ‘Joe’ at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency says: “It is clear that we are turning the PR tide to our favour… and we will win the war, also.”

This is the Canadian Food Inspection Agency: responsible for your food safety!

“Concentrate on the headlines — that’s often all that people read or remember” says Cornelius Kiley at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Well, ‘Joe’ & ‘Corny’ (and other CFIA and DFO staff) this headline goes out to you…. cheers, salmonguy.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

“It is clear that we are turning the PR tide to our favour… and we will win the war, also” says ‘Joe’ [Joseph Beres] the BC manager of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

How are you feeling about the safety of your food now?

And to think that Joe and Corny and others included in the email (including Stephen Stephen from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans) are most likely in the high $100,000+/year wage scale. Take a look at the wage scales in the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for the highest executive levels…

Performance Pay – Levels EX-05
Effective Date Minimum Maximum
From: Effective April 1, 2010 $163,100 $191,900
Effective April 1, 2011 $166,100 $195,300
Effective April 1, 2012 $168,600 $198,300

 

If the Canadian Food Inspection Agency top staff and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (and the BC Government) think that it’s about headlines and winning PR wars… what does that say about the safety of our food in Canada?

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

It’s been said on this blog a lot: “marketing is everything and everything is marketing”

It seems quite clear that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans fully agree — and add in the Privy Council Office that answers directly to PM Harper (but then we know that they fully subscribe to the “marketing is everything, everything is marketing” school-of-thought. [Hence, why one of PM Harper's main staff people moved over from one of Canada's oil companies...]

CBC is running an article on this issue today:

Government email makes waves at salmon inquiry

“It is clear that we are turning the PR tide in our favour, and this is because of the very successful performance of our spokes at the tech briefing,” CFIA B.C. manager Joseph Beres wrote.

“One battle is won, now we have to nail the surveillance piece, and we will win the war, also.”

“Spokes” most likely refers to spokespeople. [that's so cute]

But then… what well paid public/civil service employee then sends out an email like this, knowing full well that it can be accessed through Freedom of Information (FOI) or government sponsored judicial/public inquiries?

Along with the 400 pink slips being handed out to DFO employees, maybe there’s another one coming to this group of CFIA employees and to Stephen Stephen at DFO (no that’s not a typo, that’s his real catchy name).

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

The CFIA home page states:

Welcome to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Dedicated to safeguarding food, animals and plants, which enhances the health and well-being of Canada’s people, environment and economy.

[So I'm wondering 'Joe' and 'Corny' and Stephen Stephen at DFO -- how does farmed salmon from the BC Coast laced with both ISA and heart and skeletal muscle inflammation virus (or HSMI) ENHANCE the health and well-being of Canada's people (let alone the environment and economy)?]

&

Accountability

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) continuously strives to be transparent and accountable in how it does business.

The CFIA is accountable to Canadians and reports to Parliament through key documents.

[So how is the CFIA and Parliament going to account for this accountability? -- this is a cover up, and it's shameful... more so through the arrogance of civil service employees...]

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

Scroll down a little here and you’ll see good ol’ Infectious Salmon Anemia (anémie infestieuse du saumon) tucked in between things like: “highly pathogenic avian influenza” “Foot and Mouth disease” “koi herpesvirus disease” and “lumpy skin disease.”

Nasty stuff!

And, yet Senior managers at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency figure this is a “public relations war” where we manipulate news headlines for that silly, dumb public…

embarrassing, shameful, and worthy of serious repercussions — wouldn’t you say?

Reportable Diseases Regulations

Health of Animals Act (S.C. 1990, c. 21)

SCHEDULE

(Section 2)

REPORTABLE DISEASES

 

  • African horse sickness
  • peste équine
  • African swine fever
  • peste porcine africaine
  • anaplasmosis
  • anaplasmose
  • anthrax
  • fièvre charbonneuse
  • bluetongue
  • fièvre catarrhale du mouton
  • Bonamia ostreae
  • bovine spongiform encephalopathy
  • bovine tuberculosis (M. bovis)
  • brucellosis
  • ceratomyxosis (Ceratomyxa shasta)
  • chronic wasting disease of cervids
  • classical swine fever (hog cholera)
  • contagious bovine pleuropneumonia
  • contagious equine metritis
  • cysticercosis
  • epizootic haematopoietic necrosis
  • equine infectious anaemia
  • equine piroplasmosis (B. equi and B. caballi)
  • foot and mouth disease (FMD)
  • fowl typhoid (Salmonella gallinarum)
  • Haplosporidium nelsoni
  • highly pathogenic avian influenza
  • infectious haematopoietic necrosis
  • infectious pancreatic necrosis
  • infectious salmon anaemia

  • anémie infestieuse du saumon
  • koi herpesvirus disease
  • lumpy skin disease
  • Marteilia refringens
  • Marteiliodes chungmuensis
  • Mikrocytos mackini
  • Newcastle disease
  • Perkinsus marinus
  • Perkinsus olseni
  • peste des petits ruminants
  • pseudorabies (Aujeszky’s disease)
  • pullorum disease (S. pullorum)
  • rabies
  • Rift Valley fever
  • rinderpest
  • scrapie
  • sheep and goat pox
  • spring viraemia of carp
  • swine vesicular disease
  • Taura syndrome
  • trichinellosis
  • Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis
  • vesicular stomatitis
  • viral haemorrhagic septicaemia
  • whirling disease (Myxobolus cerebralis)
  • white spot disease
  • white sturgeon iridoviral disease
  • yellow head disease

 

SALMONGATE! Testimony today and yesterday at Cohen Commission demonstrating DFO and Canada Food Inspection Agency willingly hiding salmon disease from public.

An email entered as evidence at the Cohen Commission today (#2110) from a Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) employee, Joseph Beres, states (in relation to the DFO and CFIA public relations efforts to stifle news of Infectious Salmon Anemia on the Pacific Coast in wild Pacific salmon):

 It is clear that we are turning the PR tide to our favour…one battle is won, now we have to nail the surveillance piece, and we will win the war… Concentrate on the headlines, that’s often all that people read or remember. Both the “Top Stories” and the “Related Pieces”.

This appears to be in support of a press release on the Department of Fisheries and Oceans website dated Oct. 24, 2011 stating, and this is a direct quote from the DFO press release:

 In short, there has never been a confirmed case of ISA in British Columbia salmon – farmed or wild.

It would appear that, in short, this is an absolute and complete LIE.

(aka: “An intentionally false statement.”)

I did a quick search for what it means when public service/civil service employees lie. Came across a curious quote:

Sir Henry Taylor argued that though the first principles of morality in regard to truth are plain and definite, the derivative principles, and their application in practice are not so: ‘… falsehood ceases to be falsehood when it is understood at all levels that the truth is not expected to be spoken.’

[the other mind blower in here... do public service employees not understand that emails can be requested under Freedom of Information or otherwise... are there not courses on "don't say stupid shit on email"?]

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

An article in the LA Times in early December coined the phrase: SALMONGATE.

Did Canada cover up deadly salmon virus? Report suggests yes

Call it Salmongate. The deepening controversy over who knew what and when about a deadly virus that may or may not have been detected in West Coast salmon would be obscure fodder for biologists if there weren’t so much at stake — the health of the West’s dwindling stocks of wild salmon, for one. And Canada’s $2.1-billion fish farming industry.

Testimony today at the Cohen Commission into Fraser River salmon declines — being streamed out on social media, as there is no public streaming of the hearings — as well as on an article relased on the Globe & Mail website just a little while ago, is demonstrating willful misleading of the public and international trade partners.

And not just misleading the public, but intimidating various individuals trying to get this information out to the public and into scientific circles so immediate action can be taken:

Federal agency accused of intimidation over salmon disease

Scientists who uncovered the first signs that infectious salmon anemia is present on the West Coast have found themselves shunned and intimidated by federal government officials, the Cohen Commission has heard.

Dr. Kibenge said shortly after SFU went public he was called by government officials who had questions about how his lab operated.

Dr. Kibenge told the Cohen Commission, which is inquiring into the collapse of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser River, that he initially thought the CFIA was interested in finding how his lab could work co-operatively with a DFO lab they use for ISA testing, in Moncton, New Brunswick.

But he said after officials arrived, he realized they were really more interested in finding faults with his operation as a means to undermine the credibility of his ISA virus findings.

His lab is one of only a handful certified by the World Organization for Animal Health for ISA testing and he is a recognized expert on the virus.

Mr. McDade suggested to Dr. Kibenge that had he reported negative results for the ISA virus, he wouldn’t have been subject to any CFIA scrutiny.

“I agree, yeah,” he said. “Negative findings are very easy to deal with. . .it’s the positive findings that are difficult to accept.”

Dr. Kibenge’s lab in 2007 confirmed the first occurrence of ISA in farmed Atlantic salmon in Chile, where the virus triggered a disease outbreak that killed millions of salmon.

The Cohen Commission has also heard that Molly Kibenge, Dr. Kibenge’s wife, had found evidence of the ISA virus in 2002 and 2003 while doing research at the Pacific Biological Station. But DFO denied her request to publish that research, saying her findings were in doubt because another lab failed to repeat her findings.

_ _ _ _ _ _

If heads don’t roll over this, I’ll be floored.

Infectious Salmon Anemia is listed right up there with foot-and-mouth disease, mad cow disease, and others — as diseases that need to be reported to the public and to trade partners… immediately.

Denial is not an option.

Plus, with ISA on the coast, and senior government managers purposefully misleading superiors on this issue, and then the story coming to light, and DFO and the CFIA spend their time mounting a credibility attack and public relations campaign — as opposed to immediate direct and affirmative action to act upon the disease.

Maybe there is an imminent shake up coming to a government ministry near you…