Not on My Watch – The History of Salmon on the Westcoast

Event Details

Produced by Upstart & Crow,

This is a wakeup call to all Canadians; a devastating indictment of government deceit, collusion with industry, regulatory failures and shoddy science, all of it posing dire threats to the health of Canadians.

It’s about salmon, farmed vs. wild—but it’s about much more than fish.

Not on My Watch is a brave, meticulous account of government corruption that lays bare multiple threats to our democracy, written by scientist-turned-activist, mother, and now author, Alexandra Morton. This is a gut-wrenching account of the effects of infestations and diseases spread by farmed salmon, and the declines of wild salmon runs to a mere trickle of what they once were.

The book—and this public event—arrive just as wild juvenile salmon attempt another out-migration to the ocean, past a gauntlet of disease-laden salmon farms. Will they survive? Or, like more that eighty per cent of world fish stocks, is our wild salmon fishery doomed to collapse entirely?

Join us for the online publishing premiere of Not on My Watch: How a Renegade Whale Biologist Took on Governments and Industry to Save Wild Salmon, in which Alex Morton is interviewed by writer and conservationist Ian Gill, followed by a panel discussion featuring coastal Indigenous leaders ƛiʔiik Tsimka Martin, Homiskanis Don Svanvik, and Galagame Bob Chamberlin.

A first-ever partnership between The Tyee, Upstart & Crow, Penguin Random House and Salmon Nation.


Alexandra Morton has been called “the Jane Goodall of Canada” because of her tireless thirty-year fight to save British Columbia’s wild salmon. With the publication of Not on My Watch, she may well become known as our country’s Rachel Carson (author of the groundbreaking book, Silent Spring). Morton came to Canada in the early 1980s to study northern resident orcas in the wild. What she witnessed, and recorded with a field biologist’s persistence and precision, was a steady contamination of coastal habitat caused by the proliferation of salmon farms. Her attempts to raise the alarm through science were thwarted at every turn, so she turned to protest — and now writing — to try to turn back the tide.

ƛiʔiik Tsimka Martin is of Nuuchahnulth, Tla-o-qui-aht and Quebecois descent. She grew up in her home territory of Tla-o-qui-aht (the southern end of Clayoquot Sound, including Tofino), where she worked for many years in Tofino’s bustling tourism scene as a cultural canoe guide, outdoor entrepreneur, and guide trainer. Tsimka enjoys participating in creative performance arts and music. Tsimka is learning and sharing her Tla-o-qui-aht heritage language, and is an advocate for the health of the birthplace of this language and culture. In October 2019, Tsimka flew to Sitka, Alaska, with a kindness of ravens, to network and elevate through kinship, and ground through a common understanding of the power of our bioregion, Salmon Nation.

Homiskanis Don Svanvik is a ‘Namgis hereditary chief and elected chief councillor of the ‘Namgis First Nation. A master carver, he lives in Yalis (Alert Bay), a small island community off the north east coast of Vancouver island. Don has been directly involved in the removal of several Atlantic salmon open net pen fish farms from the Broughton Archipelago, to create a fish farm free corridor for out-migrating young salmon. He maintains that open net pen fish farms must be put on land to eliminate negative impacts on the environment and to ensure the survival of wild salmon.

Galagame Chief Robert Chamberlin is a member of the Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis First Nation (KHFN) and served as elected Chief Councillor for several terms. He previously served as Chair of the Musgamagw-Tsawataineuk Tribal Council. From 2008, Bob also served several terms as Vice-President of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC), actively engaged in the defense of Aboriginal Title and Rights. With the assistance of the staff at the UBCIC, Chief Chamberlin established the First Nations Wild Salmon Alliance, an organization of Indigenous leaders in BC united in their resolve, determination and commitment to ensure the protection and conservation of wild salmon.

The event will be streamed on YouTube, however guests are requested to register at



This symbol is your 'view' counter. It measures the number of times the page has been seen by people using this site. It's not very scientific, but it is a lot of fun - especially when you realize how popular you can be!