After months of reputedly being muzzled, DFO scientist Kristi Miller testified at the Cohen Inquiry. DFO head of molecular genetics Dr. Kristi Miller may have found the so-called smoking gun that is killing sockeye in the Fraser River. Miller and her colleagues have concluded that many sockeye are entering the Fraser in a weakened state, possibly because of viral infections, which may be caused by salmon leukemia, or a contagious virus. Miller said that fish with the genomic sequence she has identified are generally more susceptible to death in rivers and are clearly ailing before reaching freshwater rivers. More here

Dr. Miller created a stir at the hearing on Wednesday when she said the parvovirus “could be the smoking gun” in the disappearance of millions of Fraser sockeye in 2009. One day later, she tried to pour cold water on that statement and cautioned a lot more work is needed. “What I really meant was that this could be a major factor, not the major factor, because I also agree with others that there is no major single factor. I did put a lot of ifs, ands, or buts at the time I made that statement. The main one is that we have to be able to demonstrate that we have an infectious disease, that it causes mortality.” More here

On Thursday, it emerged that Dr. Miller's husband is a "major shareholder" in a B.C. aquaculture company that raises farmed shellfish, and that she has served as "chief scientific advisor" to the company's U.S.-based parent, Ocean Smart Inc.

TAGS: fisheries, sustainable, Fraser River, sockeye salmon, viral infections, salmon mortality, Cohen Commission, Kristi Miller

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Last Updated ( Friday, 26 August 2011 12:59 )