Post Media News
Post Media News reports that the Privy Council Office, part of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office, is refusing to allow a prominent scientist speak to the media and the public about her study on the collapse of salmon stocks on the west coast, suggesting a virus may be involved in salmon deaths, despite the fact her scientific findings have already been published in the journal Science.
Top bureaucrats in Ottawa have muzzled a leading fisheries scientist whose discovery could help explain why salmon stocks have been crashing off Canada’s West Coast, according to documents obtained by Postmedia News.
The documents show the Privy Council Office, which supports the Prime Minister’s Office, stopped Kristi Miller from talking about one of the most significant discoveries to come out of a federal fisheries lab in years….
Science, one of the world’s top research journals, published Miller’s findings in January. The journal considered the work so significant it notified “over 7,400” journalists worldwide about Miller’s “Suffering Salmon” study…
Miller heads a $6-million salmon-genetics project at the federal Pacific Biological Station on Vancouver Island.
Abstract of Miller’s paper in Science. (Subscription required for full text), Jan 14, 2011.
Long-term population viability of Fraser River sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) is threatened by unusually high levels of mortality as they swim to their spawning areas before they spawn. Functional genomic studies on biopsied gill tissue from tagged wild adults that were tracked through ocean and river environments revealed physiological profiles predictive of successful migration and spawning. We identified a common genomic profile that was correlated with survival in each study. In ocean-tagged fish, a mortality-related genomic signature was associated with a 13.5-fold greater chance of dying en route. In river-tagged fish, the same genomic signature was associated with a 50% increase in mortality before reaching the spawning grounds in one of three stocks tested. At the spawning grounds, the same signature was associated with 3.7-fold greater odds of dying without spawning. Functional analysis raises the possibility that the mortality-related signature reflects a viral infection.