PhD David Groman stated the sockeye salmon tested were juvenile specimes, not adult ones. (Photo: upei.ca/Stock File/FIS)
Report on ISA in BC salmon disputed
Wednesday, October 19, 2011, 23:10 (GMT + 9)
The salmon farming industry is fighting back against the Simon Fraser University (SFU) study which states that scientists have detected infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) in wild sockeye salmon in the waters off British Columbia (BC).
According to (SFU) fishery statistician Rick Routledge, ISA was observed in two of 48 sockeye smolts tested recently. Scientists, including Routledge, are warning that the results are “potentially enourmous ones.”
But David Groman, PhD, Section Head of Aquatic Diagnostic Services at the Atlantic Veterinary College in Prince Edward Island (PEI), got in touch with FIS to dispute these points.
“My impression from both looking at the image associated with the story (spawning wild adult sockeye salmon) and reading your statement that a virus has been found in wild sockeye salmon, was that fish were dying from clinical disease and that the ISA virus had been isolated and confirmed as positive,” Groman wrote in his email.
He clarified that the samples which had been tested were from healthy juvenile smolt sockeye salmon, not from adult specimens as it was suggested. He also highlighted that no virus had been isolated.
"The basis for all the reporting has been due to findings using real-time PCR testing, with no complete sequencing of the PCR products to do any strain typing of the virus,” he claimed.
Previously, the BC Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA) released a statement saying the development “is of concern to BC's salmon farmers.”
“Our members are actively following up with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The CFIA is reviewing the validity of these publicized but as yet unconfirmed results,” the group wrote.
“The BC Salmon Farmers Association has not yet been able to review the findings,” the statement stresses.
The infection was diagnosed by Dr Fred Kibenge of the Atlantic Veterinary College, who sent the news to the CFIA, The Canadian Press reports.
- ISA virus found in wild BC salmon
By Natalia Real