Another court victory for local defenders of Chinook salmon
The Federal Court has struck down the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans' policy on lethal virus infecting local chinook salmon.
Piscine orthoreovirus or PRV, is highly contagious and highly prevalent in fish farms off the B.C. coast, many of which are positioned along wild salmon migration routes.
For years, marine biologist, Alexandra Morton has battled the courts, trying to convince the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to test farmed salmon for the virus before they're allowed to be placed in pens in the sea. But she says the problem is that once these diseased fish are screened and tagged, supply of farmed fish would be greatly reduced.
"If the Minister of Fisheries follows the law of Canada and screens these fish and does not allow the infected ones to go into the water, I don't think the fish farm industry has enough fish to keep farming in these waters, and I think that is the crux of the problem."
The Federal Court found DFO's policy not to screen farmed salmon, inconsistent with its mandate to use the precautionary principle.
The court has given DFO four months to comply with the decision.