Renown researcher wins prestigious aquarium award

For Immediate Release
April 20, 2006

Alexandra Morton recognized for work to protect wild salmon

VANCOUVER – The member groups of the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform (CAAR) are today celebrating the honouring of one of their own. Alexandra Morton of Raincoast Research, a CAAR member group, is being awarded the prestigious Murray Newman Award for Excellence in Aquatic Conservation.

The award, bestowed annually by the Vancouver Aquarium, recognizes the outstanding efforts of scientists in furthering research and conservation of ocean ecosystems. Previous Newman award winners include Dr. Daniel Pauly of UBC, Dr. Tom Reimchen of the University of Victoria and the Simon Fraser team of Drs. Patricia Gallaugher, Rick Routledge and Tony Farrell. Ms. Morton is the first woman to win the award individually.

Alexandra Morton devoted years to the study of whale behaviour in the Broughton Archipelago at the northern end of Vancouver Island and has authored several books, peer-reviewed scientific articles and magazine features on the subject.

In recent years, Ms. Morton’s attention was drawn to the impacts of open net cage fish farms on both the whales and the wild salmon that are the foundation of the region’s ecosystem. The Newman award is in recognition of Ms. Morton’s tireless efforts to study, publicize and act to protect the health of wild salmon and ocean ecosystems.

“This award is well-deserved,” said Dr. Daniel Pauly of the University of BC Fisheries Centre. “Alexandra’s work to document the impacts of sea lice on wild salmon populations has helped to focus public, media and political attention on this critical issue. I’m delighted she is being recognized for her dedication to good science, integrity and resolve.”

The award was be presented at a banquet at the Vancouver Aquarium Wednesday evening.

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