CBS’ famous 60 Minutes program recently aired several segments about salmon farming, and they were actually pretty fair.
The show was a generally fair representation of salmon farming in BC. I especially liked how the segment showing the seafloor beneath a fallowed salmon farm showed the seafloor was crawling with prawns.
My only two concerns were:
- Letting Alexandra Morton get away with a bald-faced lie when she talks about the ISA virus and says, “There’s nobody actually looking at the wild fish carefully.”
This is COMPLETELY false and it’s a shame 60 Minutes did not challenge her on this lie.
There were thousands of wild fish tested in Alaska, BC and Washington specifically for this virus in the past four years.
Maybe she doesn’t think that thousands of properly-conducted scientific tests are “careful” compared to her method of sampling sick and dying spawned-out fish off riverbanks.
The problem with this is that as soon as Pacific salmon return to freshwater to spawn, they start to die. Their bodies rot around them. Their goal is to live long enough to reproduce.
Spawning fish will be infected with all sorts of things, many of which have similar symptoms. Their ravaged bodies will also be a very poor source of tissue for testing purposes.
As well, Morton’s statements about virus and “genetic markers” show her willful ignorance as she chooses to ignore how virus testing actually works, in favour of telling the story she wants to tell.
- Ending with a useless interview with a lawyer who refuses to say whether or not ISA is in BC.
I mean come on. A lawyer isn’t going to say anything definitive about a scientific question. This question should have been posed to a scientist, or several scientists, who could have provided a more responsible answer.
And they have — except 60 Minutes chose not to use it.