Tag Archives: Dr Kristi Miller

SRD protests DFO’s failure to consult

The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) board has joined the growing number of local governments protesting the DFO’s failure to consult before ruling that the Discovery Island fish farms must be phased out by June 2022. 

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The Canadian Government has until December 18th to decide: 18 salmon farms

Two months have passed since Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s (DFOannounced that “nine peer-reviewed, scientific risk assessments” find that salmon farms pose a ‘minimal risk’ to salmon migrating through the Discovery Islands. This finding is important because the Canadian Government has until December 18th to decide whether to renew the licenses of the 18 salmon farms operating in that region

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Are DFO scientists too dependent on funding from industry?

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) unleashed a storm of protests, when they announced that salmon farms pose a minimal risk to migrating wild salmon. One of the most telling criticisms came through an interview that the Globe and Mail had with Kristi Miller-Saunders, head of the department’s molecular genetics laboratory at the Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo. Dr. Miller-Saunders is troubled about the assessments and the fact department scientists are depend on funding from industry.

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Bring Salmon Farms On Land

By Roy L Hales

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Canada’s $2 billion Aquaculture industry is embroiled in controversy. While there may be some debate as to whether wild salmon spread more infections to British Columbia’s penned stock or vice versa,[1] there have been incidents like the Queen Charlotte Strait’s 2015 sea lice epidemic.[2] On May 20, 2016, Dr Kristi Miller, from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, announced that there is “a potential Heart and Skeletal Muscle Inflammation (HSMI) in farmed Atlantic salmon samples” collected from a aquaculture facility off the coast of Vancouver Island. In Norway, where HSMI is more common, this disease is “associated with generally low mortality on farms, generally between 0 to 20%.”[3] The stress (and thus mortality rate) is undoubtedly greater on wild salmon, which need to capture prey, escape predators and swim upstream to spawn. So, acting on behalf of marine biologist Alexandra Morton, ECOjustice is suing Canada’s Ministry of Fisheries for putting wild salmon at risk. Some argue the best answer is to bring salmon farms on land.

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Fighting for the Future of BC’s Fisheries

As many as 70 million sockeye salmon  may return to the Fraser this year. These numbers have not been seen for decades and are quite a stark contrast to 1.6 million catch that sparked the Cohen commission a few years ago. That was when Dr Kristi Miller, head of Molecular Genetics at the Department of Fisheries and Ocean’s (DFO) Pacific Biological Station, testified that a  ‘viral signature’ of a disease  was contributing to as high as 90% pre-spawn mortality in returning Fraser sockeye. One of the reasons there is so much hope for this year, is the returning 2010 run were not infected. But, according to biologist Alexandra Morton, the real key to fighting for the future of BC’s fisheries is Dr Kristi Miller’s lab in Nanaimo.

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