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Operation Virus Hunter update

by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society 1 Sep 2018 14:53 UTC
Operation Virus Hunter © Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

The crew of the RV Martin Sheen continues to investigate and expose the dangerous effects of the salmon farms in British Columbia. Early in the month, the British Columbia Courts ruled that only Alexandra Morton can continue sampling close to the salmon farms.

As a result, Marine Harvest lost their bid to keep Morton away from their farms, but in a shocking omission the judge failed to recognize the rights of First Nations.

After testing samples from the first five farms investigated, it was discovered that 100% test positively for piscine reovirus. This is extremely concerning. A large portion of wild Frasier sockeye salmon is currently migrating past these infected farms, putting them at great risk of contraction.

A paper published in the journal FACETS2 earlier this year describes how PRV invades and bursts the blood cells of Chinook salmon causing organ failure, severe jaundice and release of the virus into marine habitats.

Chinook salmon are the primary source of food for British Columbia's critically endangered southern resident orca whales. The preliminary results reported here suggest salmon farms could be having significant impact on Chinook salmon and the southern resident orca.

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