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Mark Leiren-Young makes waves with our guests, and shares news about Orcas and oceans. Produced by Rayne Ellycrys Benu.

Alexandra Morton on fighting for sea-life, fighting against sea lice and the beauty of dancing, spawning salmon

Eco-warrior, Alexandra Morton, on her fight to save wild salmon, being gaslit by the Canadian government and her adventures in Green politics. She also dares people to sue her over her essential new book Not On My Watch:  How a renegade whale biologist took on governments and industry to save wild salmon.

“The salmon farming industry is harming wild salmon, is harming whales, is causing algae blooms and really needs to be controlled.”

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Significant Quotes:

“The salmon farming industry is harming wild salmon, is harming whales, is causing algae blooms and really needs to be controlled. I mean, at first I thought they just had to get off the wild salmon migration routes, but now I realize they just have to get out of the ocean completely, and if they want to continue, build a tank and get in it and operate from there.”(8:18)


“Doing all this damage was part of how they were making such a phenomenal amount of money. It’s really insidious.” (12:38)


“I cannot believe I have spent my whole adult life fighting salmon farms. It just seems ridiculous. But when I look at it from a global perspective I realize I’m part of a huge army across the planet that is trying to protect life on earth.” (12:55)


“When you have a corporation involved, they don’t really care how many fish there are. They just want that share price to go up. And so this is deadly, because it really is a cancer model. They need to grow, they need to grow, they need to grow, with no mind to the fact that they’re killing the very body that they’re in, which in this case is the ocean. I mean, they’re going to kill themselves off. They are killing themselves off in the process of following their business plan. It’s really deranged. It doesn’t make sense and it has to stop.”  (15:31)


“Nobody wants to buy fish that have killed off whales, never mind everything else.” (19:00)

 

“There’s nobody whose position in DFO is the health of wild salmon. There’s no director of wild salmon.” (24:48)


“We have the biggest salmon run in the world on the verge of extinction.” (29:29)


“I saw grizzly bears that no longer looked like Grizzly bears… they were emaciated.” (33:14)


Alexandra: I have to wonder at some level in government are people saying, “Oh my God, those fish… What?!  They’re still coming back? There’s still 20 of them?! Gosh darn it.” I don’t know. I don’t think people, I don’t think some level of government wants wild salmon at all.

Mark: That just gave me chills because I found myself asking the same question about the Southern residents.

Alexandra: I bet you do. Yep..

Mark: I feel like there are people in the federal government, you are going “Damn, there’s still 74 of them…. “

Alexandra: Yeah, and they’re having babies. ” (36:07)


“The salmon actually have the whole mating thing down. They can handle that.”  (42:30)


“And for the first time last spring, I set my big net and pulled it in and looked at the fish and, oh my gosh, they were fat and sassy. They were sparkly, blues and silvers, deep jet black eyes, not the cloudy film they get when they go by the farms and it was a feeling in my heart that I just really had to sort of stand back a minute and be like, what is that feeling? It was joy. It felt like my heart was ringing.” (48:00)

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launch of Operation Virus Hunter

Launch of Operation Virus Hunter (2016) Photo credits: Mark Leiren-Young

TIME JUMP
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Alexandra Morton
Biologist

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Alexandra Morton on fighting for sea-life, fighting against sea lice and the beauty of dancing, spawning salmon