Operation Virus HunterJuly 18, 2016
Alexandra Morton and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society have joined forces to protect wild salmon from salmon farms
Alexandra Morton and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society are working together this summer in Operation Virus Hunter. They will be tracking farm salmon viruses and auditing the salmon farms along Canada’s biggest wild salmon migration route, aboard Sea Shepherd’s research vessel the R/V Martin Sheen.
The Fraser River sockeye salmon migrate from the Fraser River near Vancouver past Port Hardy on the west coast of British Columbia (BC), through an area with numerous salmon farms (see map). Research indicates that up to eighty percent of farmed salmon in BC appear to be infected with piscine reovirus (PRV).
The research is being undertaken by renowned biologist Alexandra Morton, who in 2015 won a Federal Court of Canada decision that prohibits the transfer of PRV-infected farmed salmon into marine net pens unless the salmon farmers have ministerial permission. Her work will help to show if this legal decision is being followed. She will be joined by First Nations leaders and journalists.
Paul Watson and Sea Shepherd have generously donated the ship and her crew for the summer.