Friday, July 8, 2011

Concerns Mounting Over BC Salmon Virus

With the Cohen commission on a summer hiatus and a critical August testimony looming on disease in the Georgia Basin, there is increasing concern that disease could be playing a major role in declining Fraser Sockeye. DFO researcher Kristina Miller recently published a paper in the Journal Science which implicated a viral pathogen in killing large numbers of migrating adult sockeye in the Fraser. DFO was later discovered to have known about the virus for almost 5 years without taking action and evidence has suggested that the disease, believed to be salmon leukemia, is also infecting juveniles and adults of other species.

Furthermore, poor fish culture practices and a long standing practice of denial has led many to wonder if it is simply a matter of time before ISAV (Salmon Anemia) spreads to BC. The disease which has long been associated with open containment fish farms has ravaged the industry in Chile as well as Europe and would have a devastating effect on wild salmon in BC. Thus far the government regulators have refused to block the import of salmon eggs from Europe the only way to keep the disease from reaching BC. More information in the Tyee:

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