Saturday, November 12, 2011

Canadian Officials, "no confirmed cases of infectious salmon anaemia in wild or farmed salmon in BC."

A press release last week from the Canadian Food Inspection (CFI) agency stated unequivocally that ISA is not in BC, this despite previous tests both at the world reference laboratory for ISA and at an independent lab in Norway had confirmed the presence of the disease in two juvenile salmon from Rivers Inlet, BC. Since the two individuals tested positive for ISA in Rivers Inlet, independent testing on coho and chum sampled in the Lower Fraser has also confirmed the presence of ISA in BC. Yet the agencies responsible for the well being of wild salmon in British Columbia remain woefully behind the eight ball, happy to continue denying the presence of the disease.

Canadian officials have long had a close relationship with the fish farming industry but the latest turn is an egregious affront to the precautionary principle that should be guiding the management of wild salmon and aquaculture in BC, and its only a matter of time before they are exposed. The sad truth is, there is almost 100% certainty that ISA is in BC. The PCR tests administered on the samples at the world reference lab amplifies particular parts of the viral genome making false positives extremely unlikely. Until now the disease has never before been documented in the Pacific and there is literally only one place it could have come from...farmed salmon.

Indeed, US officials are so concerned about the inability of Canadian authorities to act responsibly that federal agencies are being tasked with undertaking independent sampling, expressing concerns that the Canadian government may, " have a motive to misrepresent its findings". In light of the response by the Canadian government it appears that these concerns are more than valid and it is unfortunate that there has not been an honest attempt to get ahead of the disease by rigorously sampling farmed and wild salmon around BC.

More information from a savvy Canadian blogger:

Article from the Seattle Times:

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