“Alexandra is a hero or a crackpot depending on how you feel about fish farms.” Her home ground is BroughtonBay and EchoBay, 300 miles north of Vancouver, British Columbia. Her enduring passion is studying orca whales. They’ve been acoustically harassed out of the Broughton Archipelago by artificial sounds as loud as jet engines.
Her reluctant passion is studying wild salmon. In 2003, Alexandra catalogued more than 800 salmon. In 2004, more than 2000.In 2005, more than 2000 again. Sea lice; sea lice; sea lice. Diseased salmon live in farms open to tidal waters. Also, Atlantic salmon escape into the wild Pacific stock.
Alex projected a collapse of wild salmon of more than 80%. The reality in Broughton matched long researches in Norway where 90% collapses have occurred.The big farmed salmon corporations, headquartered in Norway, spread their industry to Scotland, Ireland, Chile, and British Columbia. Disease; disease; disease; disease. And that’s besides things like high levels of PCBs in farmed salmon.
Diligent and outspoken, Alexandra has been largely ignored by government and denigrated by the farmed salmon industry.Industry claims she has proven no connection between farmed salmon and wild salmon issues.Government slapped her for gathering samples without a science license.Young scientists are coming to the region to fill the official vacuum in a fight that is only beginning.The crackpot isn’t Alexandra. It’s yet another industry bouncing between pathological denial and catastrophic disregard.
Fortunately, Alexandra Morton is spiritual as well as spirited. Experiencing her across decades in the film “Alexandra’s Echo” plays the bittersweet sound of a hero.