British Columbian salmon populations face a troubling future due to the cesspool that is commercial salmon farming. Currently, piscine reovirus, a deadly disease that can spread very quickly through populations of salmon, is infecting wild, Canadian salmon. Also, when farmed salmon escape their enclosures, a somewhat frequent occurrence, the identical genetic makeups of farmed salmon pose a life-altering threat to the varying genetic codes of wild salmon. The Canadian Government is actively trying to curb the effects of salmon farming by responding to Native American Tribes’ claims and implementing new policies.

I don’t know the exact data, but does it not make sense that a fully restored and healthy salmon population would be more productive than a farmed population? I view a fully restored Pacific salmon run as providing a significant and sustainable food source and positively impact the respective, regional economies.

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First Nations protest of Marine Harvest Fish Farm at Swanson Island, British Columbia. Lead by Chief Ernest Alfred in small boat at right. Our flotilla circled the farm, while farm staff hid inside. First Nations are leading the fight for wild salmon, and removal of fish farms on their lands which are full of diseased fish and polluting the waters -Michael Reppy

Taking matters into their own hands the first nation and other protestors occupied the Marine Harvest Fish Farm in British Columbia for over 290 days.

Hopefully sound research and proper legislation will help rebuild and protect the wild salmon populations before its too late.

For more on how this virus is affecting wild salmon, check out Chris Kalman’s article in the Revalator http://therevelator.org/british-columbia-wild-salmon/.

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Photos Courtesy of Michael Reppy

Also, check out these related Flylords’ stories: A Win for Pacific-Northwest Salmon Coming from Washington DCHydroelectric Project on Washington’s Skykomish River Cancelled, and  Save Bristol Bay.