Nature X: If Salmon Could Speak, What Would They Say?

Bateman Foundation Gallery of Nature

September 26 2019

6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

After 100 years of trying unsuccessfully to build and restore wild salmon, we finally have the tools to hear what they have to say to us. These tools will allow us to strategically get out of their way, and ask them every year: did we make it better for you?

A close-up photo of a crowded salmon farm, showing many salmon behind nettingAlexandra Morton found a remote archipelago in 1984 to initiate a long-term study on communication in killer whales. When the salmon farming industry moved in, local fishermen brought their concerns to her and she began writing letters to government on their behalf. Today, Alexandra has devoted her life to protect BC’s wild salmon from the Atlantic salmon farming industry using science, law and activism. Through this process she has pulled together everything we know about wild salmon, the most recent advances in science, and has built a plan to restore the fish in partnership with First Nations, people throughout BC, and the fish themselves. She calls this the Department of Wild Salmon. It is time to use everything we know to keep wild salmon on our coast.

This free presentation will begin with a drinks reception at 6:30 p.m., generously hosted by Spinnakers Brewpub. The talk will begin at 7:15 p.m.

A Alexandra Morton is an independent biologist. At the start, she thought conservation would be a distraction from her research and was determined not to engage. However, she soon learned that was not possible. Learning from the natural world today invariably leads to the stark realization that critical natural processes are breaking down and intervention is essential – a common experience for biologists worldwide. Morton has published extensively on the science of impact of salmon farms, turned her home into a research station, engaged in activism, met with the Queen of England and has been featured in the New York Times and on 60 Minutes. Today, she sees the re-emergence of ancient indigenous governance and new and extraordinary scientific tools that allow salmon to speak to us as the only path forward.