Monthly Archives: November 2011

Anti-fish farming activist Alexandra Morton and protestor-for-hire Don Staniford in the Campbell River

Anti-fish farming activist Alexandra Morton and protestor-for-hire Don Staniford were down on the Campbell River Nov. 10 cutting open dead and rotten fish in their quest to waste everyone’s time and money searching for a disease which doesn’t exist.

Grant Warkentin from Mainstream Canada went down to take a look and sent us these photos.

The close-up of the cutting board is particularly interesting. It appears to show a pile of rotten goo and two fish hearts on a kitchen cutting board, the blood all running together. No risk of sample cross-contamination there! How was that cutting board disinfected after each sample? Apparently it was rinsed off in the river.

The Campbell River was one of several rivers these two activists tromped through today. They started their day in Fanny Bay at Rosewall Creek, then travelled up to Puntledge River in Courtenay and ended up in the City of Campbell River, traipsing through both the Campbell River and Quinsim River.

This isn’t even bad science. This is a joke. How can anyone take this seriously? How can anyone believe this is credible, compared to nearly 5,000 tests of quality samples, collected under strict scientific controls, and submitted and tested according to international scientific protocols which consistently show no signs of ISA?

Stop wasting our time and tax dollars on this nonsense and bad science, Alex.

Reference Link:

Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) Virus – Accepted Testing Methods
Department of Fisheries and Oceans, November 2011

There are several factors which must be considered in the testing.

First, the nature of the PCR test requires the sample to be fresh or well preserved.  Fish should be collected live, moribund, or as fresh mortalities (within 24 hours).   Because both host (fish) and viral RNA degrades rapidly after death, virus detection can quickly become impossible by PCR or any other accepted test methods. Fish can be frozen to preserve the RNA, but tissue and virus degradation occurs even at -20 degrees Celsius. Storage at -70 degrees Celsius, or in a specialized storage preservative known as an “RNAlater,” is required for long term preservation.

Second, because the virus is not distributed equally in all parts of the fish, the heart and kidney are the best organs to test. Gills can also be tested. However detection in gills indicates viral particles are in the environment. It does not mean infection of the host. Finally, sample size should  be large enough for testing. A sample the size of a grain of rice allows for both PCR & molecular confirmatory tests (sequencing). Significantly larger amounts are needed for cell culture and archiving for future reference and testing.

Because RNA degrades rapidly, an extra test, called the “reference gene assay”, is conducted on the original extract.  The result of this assay indicates the level of degradation by comparing it to a well preserved sample of the same species. As mentioned, if the RNA has substantially degraded, neither a PCR nor any other approved testing method can determine the presence or absence of the virus with any degree of confidence.

Submitted by Heather Olney (not verified) on November 11, 2011 – 09:04.

Sampling dead and rotten fish for what purpase ? Guess Morton doesn’t know DFO samples fish caught in it’s test fishery. I know because I worked on DFO chum test fisheries and sorry real fish techs are a little more savvy about testing methods.They use freshly caught fish and take samples immediately the fish is brought on board still alive. Cutting open decaying fish and using rotten organs for tests is ridiculous. Time the DFO and Canadian Government put a halt to Morton touching wild salmon in any capacity other than purchasing for food. And the samples tested by Kibenge were said by Kibenge to be poor quality. I can see why.