By Jonathon Gatehouse - Friday, May 3, 2013 - 0 Comments
With the muzzling of scientists, Harper’s obsession with controlling the message verges on the Orwellian
As far as the government scientist was concerned, it was a bit of fluff: an early morning interview about great white sharks last summer with Canada AM, the kind of innocuous and totally apolitical media commentary the man used to deliver 30 times or more each year as the resident shark expert in the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). So he sent an email off to Ottawa notifying department flaks about the request, and when no response had been received by the next morning, just went ahead and did it.
After all, in the past such initiative was rewarded. His superiors were happy to have him grab some limelight for the department and its research, so much so they once gave him an award as the DFO’s spokesperson of the year. But as he found out, things have changed under Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. Soon after arriving at his offices, the scientist was called before his regional director and given a formal verbal reprimand: talk to the media again without the explicit permission of the minister’s office, he was warned, and there would be serious consequences—like a suspension without pay, or even dismissal.
By The Canadian Press - Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 6:24 AM - 0 Comments
VANCOUVER – Reports that a potentially lethal salmon virus had been found in the…
VANCOUVER – Reports that a potentially lethal salmon virus had been found in the waters off British Columbia last year drew a fast, co-ordinated response from the federal government, tied up resources of three federal ministries for months, and even required the assistance of Canadian consular officials in the U.S., newly released documents indicate.
Documents obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act detail the lengths the federal government went to try to confirm and then respond to an October 2011 announcement by a Simon Fraser University professor that infectious salmon anaemia had been found in two of 48 sockeye smolts collected from the Central Coast.
Federal officials have repeatedly reported they haven’t been unable to confirm the presence in B.C. of the virus, which can’t infect humans but poses a serious threat to farmed and wild salmon stocks because it can cause anemia, hemorrhaging and lead to death.
By Tom Henheffer - Thursday, August 19, 2010 at 9:00 AM - 0 Comments
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans needs to meet with the fishermen and BC Ferries to set up a plan
The BC Ferries’ Queen of Nanaimo smashed into a Mayne Island dock last week, splintering parts of the pier and leaving two crew members and six of its 207 passengers with cracked ribs, concussions and other injuries—all because of a Dungeness crab trap. About 4.5 m of line, with a buoy on one end and a trap on the other, got tangled in the propeller. Though an extreme case, the accident highlights a chronic—and costly—problem.
By Nancy Macdonald - Wednesday, February 11, 2009 at 9:00 AM - 15 Comments
The latest foe in the war over salmon farms? Rapacious Norwegians.
Last summer, Norway’s richest man, John Frederiksen, went fishing on Norway’s legendary Alta, one of the world’s richest salmon rivers. Frederiksen made his first fortune running oil tankers to Iran during the Iran-Iraq war. He is now the silver-haired principal shareholder of Marine Harvest, which controls 20 to 30 per cent of the worldwide salmon farming industry. An avid angler, he told the reporter who was along on the trip that he was “concerned about the future of wild salmon,” and that fish farms shouldn’t be allowed near wild salmon runs because of the pollution and disease they spread in the open ocean.
What’s bad for Norway may be just fine for B.C., however, where Marine Harvest and two other Norwegian firms control 92 per cent of the $320-million salmon farming industry. Many of the farms are situated smack in the middle of key wild salmon runs, including the Fraser River run, which, this fall, recorded a 60 per cent decline in returning fish. Over the coming decade, the firms are projected to double production in B.C. Profits are destined for Oslo.