Farmed Salmon or Cheakamus River Toxic Spill?

Sea lice killing B.C. wild salmon

D.C. Reid
Times Colonist

Thursday, September 18, 2008

So you thought fish farm sea lice problems were restricted to pink salmon in the Broughton Archipelago? Not so. In fact, the problem is vastly worse than we have been told. New studies from the U.S.A., Canada and Norway indicate lice and the diseases they carry are killing all five salmon species in B.C. and also herring.

You may recall Alexandra Morton was the biologist who set off alarm bells that fish farm sea lice resulted in a healthy 150,000 annual pink run from the Broughton Archipelago being reduced to virtually nothing. She is now in court trying to get the memorandum of understanding that DFO signed with the province to carry the can declared as invalid, and thus that DFO will have to step in -- if they lose -- and we have to wait many years for them to clean up the industry.

Morton's new research has begun to reveal that the lice and disease problem is huge in B.C. Her research indicates that sockeye smolts migrating up Johnstone Strait from the Fraser River have been infected with lethal numbers of infected lice as they swim through the Campbell River area. Little wonder this year's run of Fraser sockeye was one of the poorest on record -- and the problem will continue unless we do something.


............, fish farms attract fry with a sheen of fish chow and lights at night. Young coho eat the weakened salmon fry and become infected themselves.
From 2001 to 2003, 12,000,000 farmed Atlantic salmon died in B.C. from the infectious haematopoietic necrosis epidemic. The first problem was more than 15 years ago in B.C. Even Canada's highly regarded -- and DFO's own scientist -- Dick Beamish, has published research showing that when Atlantic salmon are removed wild salmon smolts thrive.

So what could be worse?

CN Derailment in the Cheakamus River Kills Half Million Salmon and Trout

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) investigated this occurrence for the purpose of advancing transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

Railway Investigation ReportDerailmentCanadian NationalFreight Train A47151-05Mile 56.6, Squamish SubdivisionGaribaldi, British Columbia 05 August 2005
Report Number R05V0141

One of the findings in this disasterous spill is as follows:

TSB and the Cheekamus River Spill: Although Canadian National (CN) had prepared a Safety Integration Plan and provided informal training in DP setup and operations. However, in the absence of a formal risk assessment, CN resumed long DP train operations without adequate consideration of the value of retaining and using local knowledge and experience in the operation of long DP trains. This resulted in a lack of training and proper supervision that contributed to this derailment.


A47151-05, proceeding northward from Squamish to Lillooet, British Columbia, derailed nine cars including one load of sodium hydroxide (UN 1824), also known as caustic soda, and eight empty cars at Mile 56.6 of the Squamish Subdivision near Garibaldi, British Columbia. Approximately 40 000 litres of the caustic soda spilled into the Cheakamus River, causing extensive environmental damage. There were no injuries.


3.3 Other Findings
This occurrence was the first of four similar derailments involving long, empty DP trains that occurred on the Squamish Subdivision between 05 August and 05 December 2005. While circumstances differed, the common feature of all four derailments was derailed trains stringlined to the low rail, or inside of sharp curves. The stringlining occurred due to high lateral forces creating a high L/V ratio, wheel lift and derailment.
The multi-agency response to the incident was well coordinated and effective.

© Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada 2007 Cat. No. TU3-6/05-2E ISBN 978-0-662-46259-0

CN Rail case #49026 is back in North Vancouver Procincial Court September 24th to answer to Environmental charges as a result of this spill.

1 comment:

kootcoot said...

This is so typical. I was outraged recently when former (appointed) premier Dan Miller and Brian Tobin launched the propaganda to smooth the way for offshore drilling in BC coastal waters.

Mr. Tobin used the fact that he had once been Federal Fisheries Minister as if it were some kind of evironmental credentials. Of course it is safe to drill offshore of Newfoundland now, with no risk to fish stocks, because Brian Tobin and all the other Ministers in charge of DFO from both parties have managed to kill off almost all the fish stocks off the East Coast, so there are no fish at risk there. God forbid they get a chance to complete the devastation, well underway of west coast stocks as well!

Maybe Stephen the Holy is correct and we do need more prisons - for him and Gordo and both Brians (Mulroney and Tobin) and their ilk!