Tag Archives: pink salmon

How much fishing experience do you have Guy Fournier?

Well, it seems as though the gang at Salmon are Sacred knew this blog post was coming.

When Guy Fournier posts a note about a pink salmon he just caught in the Squamish River that was red, had sea lice on it, was bleeding from the mouth, and had large lacerations, the Salmon are Sacred fan club was shocked and left grasping for reasons for this “unusual catch”.

 Guy Pink salmon1

Many Salmon are Sacred had never witnessed this horror before – including one lady with 57 years fishing experience.

 Guy Pink salmon5

Many wanted to pontificate on reasons for this natural disaster: someone questions if it could be radiation from Japan? Activist Alexandra Morton calls for pictures so she can try to pin this revelation on salmon farmers, of course.

 But then Lorne Parker points to the obvious (well, obvious to people that actually understand salmon biology):

Guy Pink salmon2

 Here’s a few more facts about spawning pink salmon that Lorne Parker may have missed:

  •  They have sea lice. In fact, the pink salmon that Guy was catching had lower sea lice levels than studies have shown. This study in 2004 and 2005 shows 100% of the pink salmon caught in the Queen Charlotte Strait naturally hosted between 24 and 52 sea lice
  • Salmon bleed from the mouth when they have a large hook in it.
  • Some are ugly. They have a humped back, hooked jaw and skin lacerations from getting pounded against the rocks whilst swimming up river.

 But then, like an angel watching over Sacred Facebookers, Cuba Libre cautions the gang not to jump to conclusions and misdiagnose – but only so they don’t give “them ammunition” (sorry, too late for that Cuba).

Guy Pink salmon3

Then finally, Cuba Libre slaps Claudette Bethune (a self-purported expert on everything Canadian – she lives in the USA) upside the head and reminds her that she knows very little about sea lice and salmon biology.

 Guy Pink salmon4

“…those enviro nuts don’t know what they’re talking about.” – Cuba Libre, August 16, 2013

 Have the Salmon are Sacred bunch began to critically think for themselves? Probably not. After all, the post from Anne Illerbrun about thousands of pink salmon knowingly killed and wasted by fishermen this week didn’t even earn itself a comment.  

Guy Pink salmon6

 

Here we go again: Alexandra Morton is “quitting”

Most people’s spirits are lifted as winter comes to an end, the temperature starts to rise and the days get longer. Not, apparently, the spirits of activist Alexandra Morton. As sure as the season changes and our years pass, we are once again seeing the lamenting call of throw-your-hands-up defeatism from British Columbia’s most infamous anti-salmon farming crusader.

A brief history:

In early 2004, just before the spring out-migration of wild salmon and at the height of the controversy over sea lice which she had stirred up, Morton promised to quit if her predictions of doom for Broughton Archipelago pink and chum salmon didn’t come true. They proved false – the region experienced average returns consistent with the previous 50 years of data. But Morton didn’t quit.

In spring 2009 Morton wished BC good luck and said that unless she saw a rally by the public, her work was done. We guess that she heard what she needed, because her work continued.

Then in spring 2011, news outlets mistakenly re-ran the story. No wait. It was a ‘new’ story, but included the same mournful cry. She can see no way, she told media, to possibly go on without a clear sign from the public. Like a crying girl in the bathroom of a party, she’s coaxed back into action.

Guess what. It’s spring. And it’s 2013. And therefore, she feels compelled to tell people that she just doesn’t think she’s going to be able to save wild salmon unless the public speaks up for her. No really, she says. “I really don’t think I can do it this time,” and begrudgingly admits to what a $26 million Inquiry also concluded, “there is no evidence”.

I'm wrong again

Now, the cynics in the PAA team would point out that each of these proclamations of defeat seem to be aligned with an election. Spring 2004 saw the federal Liberals re-elected, but as a minority government. In spring 2009, British Columbians went to the polls and re-elected Gordon Campbell and the BC Liberals. Of course, 2011 was the nation’s last federal election, seeing Prime Minster Stephen Harper’s Conservatives return to power. We all know what’s coming in May 2013. Could it be that Morton’s mournful cries are an effort to revive salmon farming as a hot issue for politicians? Maybe…because she’s not getting her way otherwise?

Of course, correlation does not mean causation. It is awfully suspicious though.

Maybe it’s just that her behaviour has actually come to mimic the natural fluctuations of – gasp – wild salmon stocks? Perhaps, with a few more consistent cycles, we’ll be able to forecast a “Morton is quitting” year in the way that we know alternating years are good for pink salmon.

In the meantime, here’s what we think will happen next: Ms. Morton will start to feel the love and will return, proudly inspired by the ‘warriors’ (and their donations) to again attempt to whoop-up drama. The drama will fuel another 18 months of pseudoscience and hysteria, until another election is called. At which time, she’ll feel compelled to let British Columbians know that she… simply… can’t… go… on…

                                                      THE MORTON CYCLE

Morton Cycle

Save this link as reference for 2015. It’s gonna be an election year.