Salmon Confidential

Salmon Confidential

2013, Environment  -   78 Comments
Ratings: 8.75/10 from 202 users.

Salmon Confidential is a new film on the government cover up of what is killing BC's wild salmon.

When biologist Alexandra Morton discovers BC's wild salmon are testing positive for dangerous European salmon viruses associated with salmon farming worldwide, a chain of events is set off by government to suppress the findings.

Tracking viruses, Morton moves from courtrooms, into British Columbia's most remote rivers, Vancouver grocery stores and sushi restaurants.

The film documents Morton's journey as she attempts to overcome government and industry roadblocks thrown in her path and works to bring critical information to the public in time to save BC's wild salmon.

The film provides surprising insight into the inner workings of government agencies, as well as rare footage of the bureaucrats tasked with managing our fish and the safety of our food supply.

More great documentaries

78 Comments / User Reviews

  1. george oh

    When you have a government covering for an industry, you end up with Fascism and dead fish.

  2. Ian MacLean

    I wonder if the present Scottish government is trying similar tactics here in Scotland and covering up what Norwegian and Canadian fish farm owners are getting away with here in Scotland?

  3. Sameha Mahat

    Big profits...….Kill everything...….Make our board members happy.

  4. Lanni Johnson

    Has anything changed in BC? Does the government still allow these diseased fish and the fish feed lots?

    1. Isabelle E Jarrott


  5. op

    Great work. Thank you for your great research information. thank you for your resilience. There is much danger in any government's censuring people in order to control the lives of its citizens. And sadly, this type of behavior is happening everywhere.

  6. James Grant

    Sure sounds like a total lack of regard4children to me. And we all know where that stems from. Professional code of conduct of the players in our justice system.

  7. Kyle

    yeah i agree with Norman McKinnon just move the farms off sea/river it might be more expensive but they already charge a ton for salmon maby they can put those profits toward inland pools for farming. But in the same way will the inland fish be the same or will they evolve into some sort of still water hybrid?

  8. John C. Mason, Ph.D.

    DFO is full of self-adulating bureaucrats mostly ignorant of science...they constitute an additional virus affecting Pacific salmon and other fisheries. Their self-assured arrogance was well-illustrated during the Vancouver hearingson the Fraser sockeye which were a scientific farce and an embarrassment to dedicated scientists in fisheries.

  9. Iain Palmer

    As I was posting my comment the following message appeared "Your comment is awaiting moderation.", does this mean comments are being censored?

  10. Iain Palmer

    The real problem lies with each of us, in that we elect officials who are/get corrupted. We must make individuals responsible in everything and by this I mean the buck stops somewhere and where it does then the individual becomes accountable. Truth in advertising is a start, I just read this advert (next to this article) "AprèsFlex®: Has effectively helped with joint pain for thousands of years, relieving soreness especially in the knees". Does anyone even censor this crap? We need to change our political systems and alleviate money from the game, entirely. In British Columbia we just made a giant step in removing big money from political activity. More will come but truth is worth fighting for and we all must demand responsibility and accountability.

  11. bobby

    Soulless corporations are the beasts which find soulless people to serve them for money. I wish I could say we will see an end to this but I can't. We are killing ourselves in the name of money. And this comment will have no effect.

  12. Damien

    Thank you sincerely to these honest researchers. 10 years ago a European documentary demonstrated that dangerous agricultural pesticides were being tipped into salmon farms in Norway to sustain the fish farms, hence tipped directly into the marine environment with observed consequences. Now this! When will this sort of fish farming be banned.. and its fad, fatty product become just a bad memory?

  13. Bob Murkle

    For the people saying that the conditions in the parking lot were not sanitary, did you miss the point? She had no choice... she is not allowed in the government labs. Look at the lengths she is having to go through, all in an attempt to get to the truth. It is appalling that the people on the boards to "protect" us are more interested in protecting those businesses (the salmon farmers). One person had a great comment... Can't there be an effort to simply separate the farmed salmon from the wild, as in more inland, out of the wild salmon path?

  14. hawkenfox

    Sometimes the wrong people are on the wrong platform. Is there some law we can write to remove and vote these people off the board with immediate effect?

  15. BewareOfHumans

    It's extremely infuriating knowing that everything revolves around money.

    Human beings are the worst thing to happen to the universe.

  16. KC

    I love the use of out of the box thinking to find sick farm raised fish in the grocery store. Just to show that there is always more than one way to get around a rule, still the scientists should not need to resort to such measure.

  17. 3diot

    There should be an kickstarter like site on wich you can give money to people like this. I think that if we the people choose where our money goes instead of giving it to taxes then our money will really get spend on stuff that matters and by people that really do their job with passion. Not some goverment employee that actually does not give a damm

  18. DrGraceG

    This is happening, because Monsanto wants people to have only THEIR Franken Fish as a choice. I wouldn't put anything past these mongrels.

    The politicians, (regardless of country) are being paid big, huge money to protect and support Monstranto. Of course they will protect their life styles and wallets, not the fish and safety of our food supply. I hope they realize sooner than later, that it will affect them and their families as well in the end.

  19. Jana Frazier

    My suggestion to all is to do some independent research on your own and use more than one source. I've watched the documentary and have concerns that they sent in "samples" of fish purchased in supermarkets and cut the samples from those fish in the parking lot under less than controlled or clean conditons. There were other comments made and stated as fact, such as the virus was found but no info or comment on what lab, etc., is reporting the samples as having tested positive or where the fish was from...a supermarket? Farmed fish? Someones backyard project? And the scene that shows
    an eagle 'dropping' a fish it took from the fish farm? How convenient. Research people, research.

    1. sta8ce

      what does any of it matter? apparently the government can't be bother'd with sterile, proper samples in it's "official" lab to begin with.
      all that you've mention'd IS a backyard project - to show just how widespread this is. the major tests that needed to be done were done, and the government can't be bother'd with those specific results as they arent' from hapers appointed lab.
      this isn't a conspiracy, just a documentary based on something extremely precious...

    2. DrGraceG

      sounds to me like you are defending the people who are the cause of the problem. Of course, this has been and still is Monsantos (and any one who gets paid by them) strategy from the start, discredit the truth and anyone who gets it out to the public. People are waking up. We won't be fooled by your bs any more.

    3. Jana Frazier

      I am absolutely NOT defending anything. What I said and will say some independent research and THEN make a decision. The virus is real and it is in salmon, that point has been proven by many who work in the salmon industry and/or study the fish. The issue is whether or not the farmed fish "caused" and then spread the virus. some independent research.

    4. Marten Dekker

      Norway developed infected wild stocks that became seriously declined, 70 to 90% in some rivers after the introductions of salmon farming.
      The evidence is in. Also, an awake person can pick up on the fact that many of the government spokespeople and scientists in this doc, are emotionally and factually dishonest.

    5. KayaZie

      Cutting the samples from the fish in a uncontrolled unclean area isn't going to cause a false positive for ISA(What is important is getting the sample as fresh as possible), so I doubt that was their concern. They handled it in the best way they could. And congratulations to people who put themselves out there for what is right even when it costs them their own time and money.

    6. Jana Frazier

      ANY good researcher or scientist will ALWAYS want clean and uncontaminated samples. Gathering fish samples in the parking lot is not, in any way, controlled. I have my doubts about the veracity of several "truths" presented in the film. While in Southeast Alaska, I worked closely with both the Sitka Sound Science Center AND commercial fishermen and I have seen salmon stocks decline and rebound for over 30 years. Pathogens, viruses, bacteria, etc., are out there and they have and will impact fish populations. What I have said, what I am now saying, what I will continue to say IS DO SOME INDEPENDENT RESEARCH before you swallow ANY thing hook line and sinker.

  20. Ken Barnes

    Myopia is the greatest disease threatening wild salmon stocks. Given all the science and all the knowledge that we have about the interconnection of species it is simply staggering that bureaucrats and politicians continue to jeopardise an entire ecosystem for the sake of trade. Being 'nice' Canadians, nobody in the film is willing to call anyone a liar or really corner the bastards and demand the truth. Still, the message is clear. Truth is dying as fast as the wild salmon.

  21. gonnamakeachange

    Why in the hell don't people wake up and see how bad money is for them. I mean farmed fish...... Or maybe I meant greed......

  22. castoropollux

    Scarey Movie did not have to be made. The cold reality overthrows every fantasy of a threat. This is a lesson in how corruption works when a lot of money is involved.. How about the health aspect of selling poisonous food... How about that this is repeated in every industry? Bad food and living conditions produces sick animals... History and foodindustry release the sequels to the public...

    And I haven't even mentioned Moooonsantoooooooo

    1. Lis666

      I totally agree with you 100% your are right in everything (:

  23. DigiWongaDude

    Very interesting documentary [edit...or not, read on]. Such a beautiful place...amazing what a few bad eggs [people] can do.

    ...but it would appear that not all is what it seems here (the comments in @Concerned's link are slamming Alexandra Morton. Her uncle founded Scientology!! (and much more) ??

    "After different Member Countries pointed out questionable diagnostic results emanating from an OIE Reference Laboratory for Infectious Salmon Anaemia located at Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC) in Canada, the OIE decided to conduct an audit of the Reference Laboratory with independent OIE experts from 31 July to 2 August 2012." - OIE website (27th Nov 2012)

    Look at those dates - it was audited (1st of two) before this was released, since there was a reference in the documentary to Nov/Dec 2012.

    Perhaps more than a few half truths going on? I wonder if 10 million salmon really did vanish?

    1. sta8ce

      no, 10 million didn't just vanish, they died off somewhere along their spawn run.

    2. Marten Dekker

      Ask the fishermen if the wild stock is way down... hint: they aren't imagining it.

  24. TheJunkyardClown

    Best find a nice spot back in the wood's free of it all...Free youself...

  25. John Michael Defalque

    The capital city of Victoria's raw sewage is also killing our salmon. Vicky City needs to amalgamate and grow up so we can afford these big infrastructure projects. The 13 independent little fiefdoms that make up the CRD can't afford anything on their own. Pollution and traffic are regional problems-we need a Bombardier/SNC Lavalan subway system too.

  26. bumpercrop

    I think we should put a moratorium on all science that does not specifically deal with restoring the health of our planet. I am weary of
    science that is rooted in ego. Science for the sake of money is what will destroy most species now alive.

    1. Matt Sevely

      Including us humans.

    2. a_no_n

      he says as he taps on a computer connected to the internet, powered by electricity...neither of which he would have if all science were banned except the stuff his superstitious mind will allow.
      Hell, using your special rules we wouldn't even be allowed to develop bronze age technology,

    3. bumpercrop

      I did not say ban science. All science should now largely focus on efforts to restore the health of our planet. Unless the goal is to replace humans with robots that can survive on a dead planet.

  27. morsie2

    Right that's me, no more salmon. Also going to research into other farmed fish.

  28. Cracker122049

    The governments of all countries have one distinguishing characteristic it seems,they all are a lying bunch of parasites for corporate whores!Now apply that to both State and county government and you get the real picture of what is really taking place.See the need for the tyrannical police state they have been assembling to control the citizens.It has not one thing to do with protecting any one but THEM!

  29. Jennie Logsdon-Martin

    Alexandra Morton is my new hero. I adore her and what she is doing.
    I need to meet this woman. I would give my life for this purpose!!!! Cried thru the whole thing!
    Jennie Logsdon Martin

  30. thingsthatmakeyougom

    gross, never eating bc salmon again! anyone tried whale?

  31. Carl Hendershot

    Talk about corruption in a government... Traitors of the people should be taken out and shot publicly.

    1. a_no_n

      because nothing says fairness and balance like a facist junta

  32. mycial

    I'm very sad, this about the salmon. Now GMO salmon is up for sale I stopped eating salmon because I did not know if it was GMO or not. Now catfish is farm raise now what do we do I need to find wild catfish to eat. Thank you for this documentary it has Opened my eyes to ocean life. They do not care if they kill us all Just make the money That's the bottom-line!

  33. Cathy Furlotte

    Most of the comments here are missing the main message IMO, the Canadian government, i.e. the Conservation "Harper" Government is deliberately silencing Canadian Scientists to promote its own corporate agenda and prevent anyone or anything from harming the international salmon exporting industry and the privately owned salmon farming industry. Harper has too much control and power over the Canadian people and its time we woke up and SPOKE UP. Bottomline: DO NOT buy salmon in your supermarket that is farmed, unless of course you want to eat salmon infected with the ISO virsus.

  34. Erik de Vries

    When the wild salmon are all gone, we'll simply move on to other marine species. There used to be "Salmon Festivals" on our coast, particularly in Campbell River and Port Alberni. Now we have "Spot Prawn Festivals" in Vancouver, Cowichan Bay and this year, Victoria.

    Let's just keep on mining the ocean at full speed until we have "Barnacle Festivals". It's the way we are heading, and fast.

    1. Harry Nutzack

      yep, gotta be the fault of the "evil nets". can't have anything to do with changing water temps, seasonal cycles like "el nino", industrial pollution, residential garbage dumping in the oceans, agricultural runoff, or the dumping of septic sludge... nope, gotta be "the nets". maybe you should look into WHO paid for all the propaganda that made net draggers villains in the public eye. maybe you should take a peek at WHO made up those "august learned bodies" that condemned the practice. i know, i know, that would require a modicum of effort, and pointing a finger because somebody told you "them bad" requires MUCH less

    2. 1concept1

      One hundred years ago there where 1.5 billion people on the entire Globe. Today there are 7 billion people on the Globe. Because of the advent of ddt, modern plumbing and vacs., we are living longer. The population is up 500%, in a hundred years!!! It requires much more of the the things we love so much and the things we love so much are finite. Does some one out there think maybe this could be part of the problem? A consumption rate increase of 500%. When we put it like that, Oh Gosh! and a pollution rate increase of 500%!!! Nature can't handle the imposed burden placed on it by one species rapped expansive needs. Nature designed the system or it evolved in balance, that all animals follow the NATURAL food supply. Once WE damned up the system by domesticating the plant and animal as food we stepped out of the loop, so it would appear! The ramification of our actions are now coming to fruition. Nature does it like this, ONCE YOU IN THE LOOP YOU IN FOR LIFE! And see we treat the wild salmon as one of our farm animals that we raise. the problem with that is we do not replenish the salmon just deplete them, 500%, faster then we use too.

    3. terrasodium

      And Walmart will sell you boxer briefs and a package of pink slime meat to grill for your hot dog buns on the weekend, and toyota now sells electric cars to get you to the ball-game, Thomas Malthus would be chuffed to bits that you carry his torch, do you think that people should be forced to be spade or neutered or should we (like yourself undoubtedly) volunteer for the mass culling?

    4. Paul Gloor

      What about when the barnacles are gone ? Plankton maybe ?

  35. Harry Nutzack

    everybody wants their fish, everybody is convinced commercial fisherman are some evil force destroying nature pell mell. yeah, the north atlantic fishery was indeed overfished, and lots of area was destroyed by gear that is now illegal. but the loss of much of the area to fishing has numerous other causes too. using that example, those folks that fed half the worlds population for centuries are now "evil". newsflash kids: those cans of salmon on the shelves of the supermarket, those pricey salmon dinners at chic eateries will NEVER be supplied by anglers. make villains of everybody with a net, and the fish farmers pick up the slack. they could care less about the genetic stock, they just care about maximum weight per dollar spent. so they make their "frankenfish" cross breeds. follow up newsflash kids: fish farms don't exist in a vacuum. fish escape them all the time. governments use those hybrids to "stock waters" to attract tourists with pockets full of dough and dreams of "catching a big one". either give up eating salmon, or make up your d*mned minds. it's not like any of this was done secretly. it's not like you had to be in the industry to know about it, you just had to give a d*mn, ideally BEFORE the native species were put at risk of contracting non native disease. but hey, nobody was using a net to drag a waterway, so it HAD to be "environmentally friendly".

    the exact same insanity is how the south atlantic and caribbean became the new home to the asian tiger prawn, and every one of the fresh water bodies in central and northern florida became home to the african finfish species tilapia, as well as the peacock bass (native to south america). it's how we have breeding colonies of parrots and monkeys in various parts of north america. it's how we have encephalitis carrying african giant snails. it's how we got nutria here in north america. it's how we got ring necked pheasant. it's even how we got those "wild mustangs" that everybody objects to being used for dog food. it's how we got "wild hogs". never mind the "exotic pet species" and non native ornamental plant life now taking their place in our eco system. it's a record of 4+ centuries of "fail", yet still nobody ever objects until it's too late.

    1. Marten Dekker

      The Harper government is doing much of this and other "unfair trade agreements" and changing of laws in as much secrecy as possible.

  36. Fabien L

    This documentary illustrates very well how regulation agencies have now become agents of economic interests. Nowadays, lobbies can change any law and regulation that go against their interests. Our politicians and government employees aren't working for democracy and the people, they oblige to corporations and knee into the money talks.

    That situation will not change unless we do away with the political parties private financing and every tax department puts politicians on acute watch for bribes and other collateral benefits from the private sector. They can easily identify discrepancies with the declared income and the train of living for criminals, why can't they do it for politicians and high ranked government employees??? Maybe they don't do it because they are also part of that system?!?!

    1. Marten Dekker

      very good points.

  37. Paul Gloor

    Signing up for mars one is sounding more and more like a good plan. 2.5 au probably isn't far enough from this madness though.
    As I watched this I was at a loss for words... all I kept thinking were various curses and wondering who was paid how much... I can't even be proud to be human anymore, this bull$hit from cattle to chickens to fish, even plant crops has to stop !

  38. Maddestmax

    Boycott and ask your friends to think of doing the same untill this issue is resolved, aid fish don't get fish AIDS

  39. Bob Trees

    Thank you for providing this video. Looks like the industry and government in Canada is trying to operate like you would typically see in the US. Ahhh the role of world destructors is being handled quite well by us in the US Canada, help not needed!

    Man I was going to go shopping at CostCo this weekend too! :-(

  40. Guy Haratani

    Hawaii is facing the same issue with ocean tuna farms as the state is facing some serious budget issues so one guess as to how this goes.

    1. Harry Nutzack

      salt water "fish farms" operate differently. running fry and adolescent wild fish are corralled with huge purse seines, and then fed and fattened to adulthood for "harvest". the genetic problems and other health issues are due to lack of culling through predation, and other natural migratory attrition. similar results, but entirely different mechanism.

  41. Norman McKinnon

    Simple answer. Require all Salmon Farms to be located on land. separate the Fish farms from the wild environment. Disease can be controlled and eliminated by no contact with wild salmon.

    1. tomregit

      You are absolutely correct. The solution is simple but getting government to take action is the real problem. I don't know if it will help but I signed an on line petition from You can too by email to

    2. Erik de Vries

      This is a great idea, unfortunately the cost (read: energy consumption if you want) of just keeping the water cold enough for the salmon to thrive in tanks on land, would be amazing.

      i don't know what the answer will be, aside from "eating less salmon" thereby reducing demand.

    3. castoropollux

      No no. The industry itself kills the business. it does not matter were it is located. Cheap food and swift earnings consolidate bad products. Thats the sickness all of them suffer from. It is so revealing how this is protected by the corrupt government. If they were isolated we would see the same effort... In every other aspect of the environment they are playing with the species dna. The science is already sick. No wonder they produce bad food..

  42. Patrick Adrien Varencaus

    Men playing god and worshipping the god of this world $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$= DEATH!!!