Virus samples. (Photo: www.al.gov.bc.ca/FIS)
IHN detected at another Mainstream Canada farm
Wednesday, August 01, 2012, 02:00 (GMT + 9)
The infectious haematopoietic necrosis (IHN) virus was detected last week after routine monitoring at one of Mainstream Canada's fish farms in the Tofino area on the West Coast of Vancouver Island.
"Unfortunately, our Millar Channel farm has tested positive in qPCR tests for the IHN virus," stated Fernando Villarroel, the company's managing director. "We are waiting for results from confirmatory tests."
Mainstream Canada has been monitoring its Clayoquot aquaculture sites closely ever since the Dixon Bay farm saw an IHN outbreak last May and led the company to empty the facility.
Millar Channel is the nearest farm site, located 6.5 km away from Dixon. The fish at Millar Channel are small, weighing approximately 400 g each on average.
Late last week, Mainstream was notified that the qPCR test results from the Provincial Animal Health Lab showed the presence of the virus at Millar.
Following protocols set in place after the Dixon outbreak, Mainstream immediately isolated the farm site and is now following strict protocols to impede the spread of the virus.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has been notified and will follow up with its own investigation.
There have been no increased fish mortalities reported at the Millar farm thus far and any further actions by the company will be in cooperation with Canadian authorities, according to Mainstream.
The company is at the moment harvesting another site in the area that is negative to IHN virus and this harvest will be completed by the end of the week. After that, Mainstream Canada will have no other populated sites in this area.
Because of the length of time between the cases and strict biosecurity measures implemented, the company believes that it is highly unlikely the virus at Millar Channel originated from Dixon Bay farm, which experienced an outbreak in May. Instead, the firm believes that migrating wild salmon, natural carriers of the virus, are a more likely source of the latest virus detection.
After authorities detected the presence of the IHN virus in fish samples collected during a routine health disease screening at Dixon on 14 May, a Grieg Seafood farm has announced that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) identified a "low positive result" for the same virus in coho salmon samples in Sunshine Coast.
- IHN outbreak may be spreading
By Natalia Real