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Old 26-07-2011, 18:11   #1
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Canadian Government Muzzles Fisheries Scientist

Kristi Miller runs a salmon genetics project as part of the Vancouver Island Canadian federal Pacific Biological Station [wikipedia], and published a report in the journal Science which may explain part of why salmon populations on the west coast of North America are crashing.

The government of Canada, over-riding its own fisheries department, quashed interviews with the scientist, and the press release about the research. Miller is still not allowed to talk about the research.

The research found genetic markers predicting higher mortality in salmon populations possibly related to a virus. One possible conclusion is salmon mortality rates are related to a viral infection.

Vancouver Sun: Feds silences scientist over salmon study
Journal Science: Genomic Signatures Predict Migration and Spawning Failure in Wild Canadian Salmon (abstract)
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Old 26-07-2011, 18:25   #2
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Re: Canadian government muzzles fisheries scientist

It's the same BS in New Zealand. The Norwegian government stood up to the Farmed Salmon industry and now all the Salmon farm in NZ are being bought up by Norwegian companies. The Ag minister was just in Norway with his hand out for more cash!
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Old 26-07-2011, 18:27   #3
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Re: Canadian government muzzles fisheries scientist

It seems a series of governments have overridden scientists working on Pacific salmon.

I wonder which lobby group wins on this? Commercial fishermen? Natives? It certainly is not the sports fishermen.

This has infuriated me for years and I am disappointed that the Harper government has done the same as the Liberals before.
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Old 26-07-2011, 18:33   #4
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Re: Canadian government muzzles fisheries scientist

Was listening to a Scientist (Alexandra Morton) on Ideas a few weeks ago and she feels the gov't. would just love to kill off all the wild Salmon. She feels they are way to expensive, in the gov'ts. view that is, because of anti-pollution measures needed, restrictions on logging, etc., etc.

An interesting show for anyone interested in the oceans.
CBC.ca | Ideas | Saving Salmon
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Old 26-07-2011, 18:46   #5
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Re: Canadian government muzzles fisheries scientist

This information shouldn't surprise anyone. Big business governments have little regard for the environment, they just don't "get" that protecting indigenous species to sustainable levels - which means land based farms -would result in continued economic gains in the future. It is all about short-term gains. The same Norwegian who "ran the show" in B.C. is now in The Philippines, pushing the fish farm concept to all who will listen. It makes my skin crawl.
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Old 26-07-2011, 19:44   #6
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Re: Canadian government muzzles fisheries scientist

This is pretty amazing - I would not have believed it without the references to the Vancouver Sun article and Science. I have, through most of my life, admired the efforts of Canadian scientists and government (except for maybe that Farley Mowat thing about Never Cry Wolves, and maybe A Whale for the Killing, and maybe...), but now I truly have to wonder about them - and the possible future of Western science. When did the political cadres get to Canada?

Michael
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Old 26-07-2011, 19:45   #7
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Re: Canadian government muzzles fisheries scientist

About 140 years ago, or was it earlier than that.
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Old 26-07-2011, 20:22   #8
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Re: Canadian Government Muzzles Fisheries Scientist

This study had nothing to do with fish farming (which is another topic altogether).

I just can't see who the beneficiary is of subverting discussion on the study. Not the usual suspects I think.
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Old 26-07-2011, 20:32   #9
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Re: Canadian Government Muzzles Fisheries Scientist

The study didn't have any direct relation to fish farming.

However, it documented that the crash in populations is related to an increase in disease in the local wild populations. Just as studies documenting increases in parasite infections. Both of which, coincidental, are increasing as open-net fish-farming is increasing. (The genome study documents correlative increases, while the sea lice studies found a causal relationship.)
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Old 26-07-2011, 20:57   #10
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Re: Canadian Government Muzzles Fisheries Scientist

Another chapter on the same subject perhaps?

However the OP referenced the study in relation to the political pressure put on the scientist to not discuss the study.

We must look at all aspects of the situation, IMHO.
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Old 26-07-2011, 21:40   #11
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Re: Canadian Government Muzzles Fisheries Scientist

While it is a political issue, please stick to the politics of the issue and avoid unrelated generalities. Thanks.
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Old 27-07-2011, 10:44   #12
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Re: Canadian Government Muzzles Fisheries Scientist

Quote:
"This study had nothing to do with fish farming (which is another topic altogether).
"I just can't see who the beneficiary is of subverting discussion on the study. Not the usual suspects I think."
Quote:
"While it is a political issue, please stick to the politics of the issue and avoid unrelated generalities. Thanks."
My apologies. So, if I understand, correctly, some would prefer that I address the "muzzling of scientists" issue, rather than the study & the very much related contaminants issue? Could someone then explain to me what "muzzling scientists" has to do with sailing/cruising?
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Old 27-07-2011, 11:21   #13
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Re: Canadian Government Muzzles Fisheries Scientist

Since you're quoting me I'll point out if I thought your post was off topic I would have deleted it. This whole thread is only germane to the forum in so much as the health of our bodies of water are.
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Old 27-07-2011, 11:33   #14
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Re: Canadian Government Muzzles Fisheries Scientist

Bangkaboat, why don't you address the topic you would like to see addressed, bring it back on point instead of trying to pick a fight?

The fact is that West Coast Salmon are in trouble and the topic needs to be addressed. It is a topic that interests most people who are interested in the sea, sailors especially, I would think. There is a very important study who's author is being muzzled by the Gov't. of the day. There is also an interesting and informative talk with someone who has spent 40 plus years studying the West Coast Orca and now Salmon. The lives of those species are closely intertwined. Endanger one species, endanger the other and probably many more, possible including man.

The links posted above will take anyone who is interested to the subjects being discussed here.
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Old 27-07-2011, 11:40   #15
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Re: Canadian Government Muzzles Fisheries Scientist

I would like to address one issue referenced earlier about Gov't. scientists. Most of these people are caring, dedicated and hard working individuals and very knowledgeable in their fields and in (sticking to the topic) overall marine biology. But they work in a bureaucratic system that puts a great deal of restrictions on them. I'm sure that it must be terribly demoralizing to see informed decisions being overridden by short sighted politicians who have a different constituent in mind.
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