May 29, 2019
VANCOUVER—The Canadian government spent nearly $2.3 million fighting a marine biologist and First Nation in court in an effort to avoid having to test for a contagious virus in dozens of fish farms along British Columbia’s coast, Star Vancouver has found.
Alex Morton has been a thorn in the federal government and fish farm industry’s side for years, taking them to court twice on this issue — and winning both times.
Morton, the ‘Namgis First Nation and environmental groups say fish farms are “viral factories” for a highly contagious pathogen, Piscine orthoreovirus (PRV), that is putting wild salmon at risk.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada, often called the Department of Fisheries and Oceans or DFO, allows farms to transfer salmon from land-based hatcheries to ocean pens without testing for the virus.