Dr. Gary Marty’s facts versus Alexandra Morton’s speculation

Vancouver TV show FreeTalk recently did an interesting story about salmon farming in B.C.

The initial cut of the story leaned heavily on Alexandra Morton, who  takes up about eight full minutes of the 12-and-a-half minute story with her speculations, conspiracy theories and questionable science. Dr. Gary Marty was also interviewed, but only gets one minute and 12 seconds.

We saw some complaints about the show by salmon farmers on Twitter after it aired. As well, Marty apparently called the producers to correct Morton’s incorrect speculations. The show’s hosts went back and interviewed Marty for a follow-up, which is now linked at the end of the original story.

Marty provides a lot of excellent information into the risks fish farms pose to wild salmon, points out contradictions in Morton’s sea lice research, and suggests that if people want good scientific information about fish health, they should speak to fish health professionals and veterinarians.


10 thoughts on “Dr. Gary Marty’s facts versus Alexandra Morton’s speculation”

  1. OK easy fix girls/guys: Randomly select /send samples (frozen & in-tact, examined upon receipt by an independent observer), from BC salmon farms to the official, WAHO labs for analysis (Canada & Norway).

    Upon completion of the tests publish the results for all to see.

    Marty vs WAHO labs.

    BCSFA should be confident in the results.

    End of discussion.

      1. This will be the only way to clear any disputes, and also we here in Norway are looking forward to investigate these issues. If we interpet salmonfarmscience latest comment correctly, they will provide Dr.Are Nylund with high number samples from the netpens of BC. If this is correct, it will represent a giant leap in understanding spreading of patogens to wild fish populations, and we applaud salmonfarmscience for suggesting this study.

        Rune Jensen

      2. No Rune, this is not what we meant. We are bloggers, we do not have any authority to provide samples to anyone.

        What we said is that we like Mike’s idea and would love to see something like this happen. All we can do is suggest it to the people with the ability to make it happen.

  2. To Darlene Arsenault : Please explain how a credited fish pathologist with a PhD is less qualified than some activist who changes her hat on a regular basis. Ms Morton is NOT a doctor but merely has an honorary doctorate bestowed on her for reasons that are somewhat questionable to begin with. There are numerous labs that are highly qualified to do disease and virus testing. The world recognized CFIA lab is one of them. Further to that not of the results Morton claims were confirmed by the OIE lab have ever been published on the OIE web page although confirmed cases of ISA on the East coast are. Ms Morton claims the Canadian government has a cover up. Please explain how CFIA and the Canadian government are covering up when the east coast results are confirmed on the OIE website ? Perhaps it is Ms Morton who is trying to “cover up ” her falsified confirmation claims by calling the government liars. Ms Morton has claimed to be everything from a high school dropout to a biologist to activist and now ” fish farm disease researcher ” Judging from her record she is nothing more than a wanna be trying to make a name for herself at the expense of the aquaculture industry.

  3. According to the Cohen Inquire testimony, a student of Marty developed a local ISA test that has not been qualified by either of the official labs recognised by the WAHO for testing/verifying ISA. Marty’s test is run in house and the results are not questioned.

    Morton runs no tests herself but has the official labs recognised by the WAHO do the testing.

    Morton reports the results from both official labs (Norway & Canada)and those results are disputed?

    It is not Morton’s work. Why are these official results being questioned and Marty’s not?

    1. If that’s true, and it would be great if you could provide some links and specific page numbers in the transcripts so we can verify that, it still doesn’t matter. It is our understanding that the PCR tests done in different labs using different methods are all accurate. The difference would be that Marty’s test might be 99.1 per cent accurate and Kibenge’s test might be 99.3 per cent accurate.

      Morton’s results are disputed because

      A) She doesn’t show her work and refuses to publish her lab reports which would theoretically back up her broad speculations. No data, no science.

      B) Her sample quality, traceability and methodology is highly questionable. A test is only as good as its sample.

      C) None of the initial test results from her samples have been repeatable, and neither has any virus been sequenced or cultured from those samples. That means they are not positive.

      And again, just because a lab is “OIE accredited” does not mean it is better than other labs. It merely means it has been selected as an OIE reference lab. Any lab in the country could apply for the same status, if they wanted to do the paperwork and maintain the accreditation.

    2. Wrong…..Dr. Marty work is part of the annual reports the province used to produce for fish farms which has been heavily scrutinized since the Cohen Inquiry. Morton is demanding for transparency……well….lets see a little on her end also. Doesn’t matter if the results were not generated by her. If she is getting these results and making these conclusions which are being used to criticize another party (BC Salmon Farmers) then she also has an scientific obligation (IMO) to let others look at those results and see if the conclusions match. You can’t demand transparency then do not follow your own standards.

  4. Dr Marty’s tests are questionable with his home made testing device . At least we know when Dr Morton does tests she sends them to accredited labs!

    1. Please explain how Dr. Marty’s tests are questionable, and how he uses a “home made testing device.” Pretty sure you pulled that out of thin air.

      Also, Morton is no more a doctor than the other people who received honorary doctorates the same day she did, including a former senator and the founder of McDonalds Canada. We haven’t seen Pat Carney or George A. Cohon going around claiming to be doctors lately.

      Dr. Marty on the other hand, has a real doctorate because he studied veterinary medicine. He is an expert in fish health. Whether you like him or not, his interest is motivated by scientific integrity and you can tell by what he says.

      Finally, you do not understand what “accredited” labs mean. Just because a lab is “OIE accredited” does not mean it is better than other labs. It merely means it has been selected as an OIE reference lab. Any lab in the country could apply for the same status, if they wanted to do the paperwork and maintain the accreditation.

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