This book (available here) was written by a remarkable and courageous woman, Alexandra Morton of Echo Bay, British Columbia. It has 335 pages (not including notes), but it took me a long time to get through it. That’s because it contains several stories. Two of them are Morton’s personal history, and the picture she gives of life in the remote coastal communities of British Columbia. It’s something that most people who have spent most of their lives in Vancouver and Kelowna know nothing about.
Mostly, though, it’s the story of her battle against salmon farms in the Broughton Archipelago off northern Vancouver Island. It began in 1989, and didn’t end until February, 2023.
Things started to get serious in 2001, when large numbers of wild salmon were infected sea lice. This shouldn’t have come as a surprise, because of massive sea lice infestations in Scotland and Norway. Two years later, Morton and other scientists (including one from the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans [DFO]) observed massive die-offs of pink salmon. In 2009, there was a collapse in the Fraser River sockeye salmon return. As time went on, Morton and her allies observed fish that were blind, had tumours, and were missing their lower jaws. In 2013, pink salmon and chinook turned up that were yellow all the way through.Continue Reading »