Friday, October 7, 2011

100,000 Dead Sockeye in the Fraser

This year an alarming trend of extremely high prespawn mortality for Fraser River Sockeye has continued and since August local biologists estimate as many as 100,000 Harrison River sockeye have died before spawning. Large numbers of Coho and Pink salmon have also been found dead, having failed to successfully spawn. Prespawn mortality is a fact of life in salmon and steelhead populations however the number of fish which make it back to the Fraser only to die before spawning is an order of magnitude higher than it should be and there is strong evidence to suggest that salmon on the Fraser are dying from disease.

This year DFO biologist Kristina Miller identified a viral pathogen as the likely cause of recent spikes in prespawn mortality on the Fraser. Most believe the disease to be Salmon Leukemia yet she took the witness stand earlier this summer for the Cohen commission, Miller had not been allowed to speak publicly about her findings. Despite the huge implications of Millers work she has not been funded to test fish farms for the disease and managers appear unwilling to explore the link between aquaculture and disease in Fraser salmon.

More information on Alex Morton's blog:

http://alexandramorton.typepad.com/alexandra_morton/

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Where's the Canadian George Hayduke?