Anti-fish farm diva gets ‘controversy’ prize

A sworn enemy of B.C. fish farming, Alexandra Morton, has been selected to receive an award for stirring up “controversy.”

A sworn enemy of B.C. fish farming, Alexandra Morton, has been selected to receive a Simon Fraser University award for stirring up “controversy.”

But, Morton’s skill at bending ocean biology to her will has isolated her in “a realm built around fear and misinformation,” say the salmon farmers she hates.

BC Salmon Farmers Association Executive Director Mary Ellen Walling says: “Because Morton works forward to prove an already-believed conclusion, rather than challenging a hypothesis to test its truth, her work is questionable to many. The fact that an academic institution like Simon Fraser University continues to reward this unethical behavior – which unduly threatens an important and responsibly-managed farm community – is disappointing.”

An SFU press release paints a much different picture of Morton and award co-winner Rick Routledge as a duo that has been “vilified” by governments, the aquaculture industry and lobbyists.

The Nora and Ted Sterling Prize in Support of Controversy, SFU says, honours work “that challenges complacency and provokes controversy or contributes to its understanding.”

Morton says  government and industry ridicule has had an ironic impact on public support. “What they don’t understand is the more we get attacked the higher our credibility rises. I simply remain dedicated to using science to measure and define the impact of farm salmon pathogens on wild salmon. My observations suggest the impact is very serious and government is afraid to do anything about it.”

Walling counters: “Morton appears to fully believe the narrative she’s developed around salmon aquaculture and, as a result, there has been no opportunity for a progressive discussion about our business with her. She is clearly very passionate about her work however … she selectively highlights information that, taken out of context, appears to support her pre-determined point of view.

“The real shame here is that she has so narrowly directed some of the public’s attention against our farmers that significant topics of concern such as habitat destruction, warming ocean temperatures, over fishing and ocean ranching are overlooked. It is the entire suite of ocean activities that needs to be discussed when we work to protect wild salmon habitat.”

After Morton and Routledge receive their SFU award next week the pair of so-called “viciously targeted authors” gets to jointly deliver their signature anti-fish farming lecture titled “Salmon Farms and Disease – The Importance of Both Academic Freedom and Community-Engaged Research.”

Just Posted

Council makes decision on tackling Pier Street parking issues

West side of Pier Street will go down to one-hour parking, enforcement likely to increase

B.C. freestyle skier wins gold

Cassie Sharpe of Comox shines in the halfpipe

Campbell Riverites get the chance to learn more about Clean Energy Vehicles

Representatives from CEVsforBC were at Saturday’s Giant Indoor Garage Sale at the… Continue reading

Campbell River’s Teal Harle finishes fifth in Olympic Men’s Slopestyle skiing

‘I’ve definitely surpassed every expectation I had for the Games’ – Harle

Pick-up truck runs into ATV pulling two logs on a trailer in Merville

A pickup truck ran into a trailer with two logs on it… Continue reading

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Parts of B.C. see record-breaking temperatures in cold snap

Sechelt, Yoho National Park were the chilliest ever Monday

Claim dimissed against RCMP over 2008 B.C. woman’s murder

Mother of Lisa Dudley, shot in her home along with her partner, had alleged negligence

B.C. cold snap prompts energy use spike

BC Hydro is reporting a 10 per cent increase in the energy demand in the last two days

Vancouver Island job market ever-evolving

Various sectors driving employment in region will be represented at Black Press career fair in Comox Feb. 8

COLUMN: Benning stands firm on Gudbranson, will keep him with Canucks until 2021

Canucks opt to not trade the 26-year-old defenseman, but sign him to multi-year deal

Students head to Florida capital to press for gun law change

Young protestors are joining a grassroots movement against gun violence in the wake of last week’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida

Liberals look at use-it-or-lose-it parental leave for dads

Liberals looking at creating a use-it-or-lose-it leave for fathers, Trudeau says

Most Read