A molecular biology technician testing for ISA virus. (Photo: Fisheries and Oceans Canada, DFO)
NL farm suffers ISA outbreak for third time in a year
Friday, June 07, 2013, 23:30 (GMT + 9)
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed that farmed salmon at a Gray Aqua salmon farm on Newfoundland and Labrador's (NL) south coast have tested positive for the lethal disease infectious salmon anemia (ISA).
The Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association said the CFIA confirmed the test results this week after having begun the investigation of a possible case of ISA late last month. About half a million fish live in the site, The Telegram reports.
As a result, the federal agency has issued an eradication order for the company to kill all the fish at its Hermitage Bay site in order to prevent the disease from spreading beyond this farm, CBC News reports.
Cyr Couturier, the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association's executive director, said the province’s south coast is the hub of NL's salmon farming, which has generated hundreds of jobs for locals and injected life back into about a dozen communities.
But the industry is also up against some new challenges.
The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) recently confirmed that some salmon caught at the mouth of the Garnish River on the Burin Peninsula were farmed salmon that had escaped from an aquaculture farm and into the wild, where they were cohabiting with wild salmon populations. Opponents of salmon farms fear that type of incident could threaten wild salmon stocks.
The industry is also fighting repeated ISA outbreaks.
This outbreak is the third of its kind in Newfoundland in less than a year.
In July 2012, salmon from a Gray Aqua site in Butter Cove were killed after a case of ISA was confirmed. Clyde Collier, vice-president of Gray Aqua, said back then that the affected fish would be made into fishmeal.
And in December 2012, fish at the Cooke Aquaculture plant at Pot Harbour in Hermitage Bay also tested positive for ISA.
- Minister has faith in aquaculture's success despite ISA outbreak
By Natalia Real
Photo Courtesy of FIS Member MPO - Pêches et Océans Canada - Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) (Headquarters)