DFO's "Shoddy Science" Revealed at Cohen Inquiry
An internal DFO memo from 2003, finally made public today by the Cohen Commission, provides a damning verdict on DFO's sea lice science and Dr. Dick Beamish's integrity and scientific credibility in particular.
"This really is shoddy science," wrote DFO's Dr. Brent Hargreaves in an internal memo following a meeting with the BC Salmon Farmers Association.
Dr. Hargreaves wrote that he agreed with criticisms of DFO's sea lice science in the scientific community and the public media. "I think to a large degree it was the inadequacies of Beamish's research and conclusions that led to the lack of public confidence in DFO science," wrote Dr. Hargreaves. "There is no acceptable or legitimate excuse for Beamish's behaviour."
The memo went on to describe Dr. Beamish's scientific research as "unethical", "unprofessional" and a "'lapse' in judgment".
Download in full via the Cohen Commission's web-site: Memo from B Hargreaves re Nov 20 2003 Meeting with BC and BCSFA on Preliminary Sea Lice Results, undated - CAN386274 (Exhibit #1342 - from 8th July).
Or click online here.
In his testimony to the Cohen Inquiry last week, which saw his career flash before his eyes like Klingons off the starboard bow of the Star Trek ship 'The Enterprise', Dr. Beamish said: "Maybe it's aliens" before adding unbelievably: "Obviously I don't believe in aliens".
Dr. Beamish certainly doesn't believe that sea lice from salmon farms are killing wild salmon and spent his career staunchly defending the Norwegian-owned salmon farming industry. At last year's 'Sea Lice 2010' conference in Victoria, Dr. Beamish refused to answer questions on sea lice from salmon farms. This was even more incredible since Dr. Beamish was the plenary speaker in a session on 'Wild/Farmed Interactions'.
The audience in the public gallery at the Cohen Inquiry last week were left in no doubt which side Dr. Beamish was on when he greeted Mary-Ellen Walling, executive director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association. "My inspiration," he gushed as he hugged her like an old flame.
"This is bad science?" asked lawyer Greg McDade as he ripped apart Dr. Beamish's scientific work. Thankfully, Dr. Beamish recently called last orders on his career with the DFO. His future scientific credibility would be in jeopardy otherwise.
Read more background via "Beamish Me Up Dicky"