Science vs social media: Alexandra Morton’s own words

December 22, 2017

What do you do when another one of your prophecies turns out to be false?

Why, rewrite history, of course!

Activist Alexandra Morton has done an about-face on the risks posed by the IHN virus, also known as the “sockeye disease” because it’s naturally found in sockeye salmon. This week she dismissed a report from DFO showing that the virus poses little to no risk to wild salmon from salmon farms.

Her response?

On the same day the report was published, (December 20, 2017), Ms. Morton responded that “IHN is a sockeye virus, they have some immunity to it. Atlantic salmon die easily from IHN virus and Fraser sockeye carry it, so infection pressure is likely greater from the wild to the farm salmon. So thanks for the update DFO, please get back to us on the other viruses.”

She used to think it was important and dangerous. In 2012 she claimed that “...the decline in productivity of Fraser sockeye is alarmingly correlated with massive IHN outbreaks from salmon feedlots."

In 2016, she pulled the alarm again, stating  “It seems apparent that IHNV is exceptionally contagious, that Fraser River Sockeye Salmon are at times migrating through narrow passages infused with the virus as it is shed from Atlantic Salmon farms and processing plants, and that this exposure occurs during the Sockeye Salmon's most susceptible marine lifestage. The evidence suggests that farm-origin IHNV presents a greater than minimal risk of serious harm to Fraser River Sockeye Salmon.”

Then on December 20, 2017, 39 experts conclude, after a comprehensive risk review, that “there are minimal risks to the wild Fraser River sockeye salmon populations due to the transfer of IHNV from Atlantic salmon farms in the Discovery Islands. Current fish health management practices such as vaccination and eradication of infected fish, help to minimize the risk. The advice in the report was developed by consensus. The peer review group was made up of 39 experts from various disciplines selected for their expertise and knowledge. The participants included scientific expertise from DFO, provinces, academia (Canada and International), Indigenous peoples, and stakeholders.”

So, again, Ms. Morton is proven to be wrong. She had attempted to scare people (with some great success) with speak of “mutating viruses” and claimed that “wild salmon infused with the IHN virus from farm salmon, and this correlates with decline in Fraser sockeye.” But when the evidence confirms she is wrong, she essentially responds with "Yah, whatev. I have many more viruses to scare people with."

Lovely lady.

Check out these clear examples of how Ms. Morton makes stuff up on social media. We’ve provided examples of her fear-laden comments on social media, and compared them to science papers she has published on the same subject (but the peer process required to publish a science paper limited her ability to lie).

Read more here: