Two weeks ago there were suspicions of ISA outbreak at a salmon farm in Butter Cove. (Photo: Stock File/DFO)
Salmon farm ordered to kill 450,000 fish
Tuesday, July 10, 2012, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has ordered the Gray Aqua Group's fish farm in Butter Cove in Newfoundland to kill 450,000 fish after confirming that some of them are infected with infectious salmon anemia (ISA). The company is hoping CFIA will let it harvest and sell the salmon instead, according to an industry source.
Gray Aqua Group's 450,000 farmed salmon were worth about CAD 10 million (USD 9.8 million), and roughly half the fish were ready to be sold on 6 July, right when the government agency ordered the company to destroy them.
"Yes, there is that stipulation that the fish, particularly those that aren't infected at this site, could be harvested through a processing plant and could be used, and CFIA does approve of that process," said Miranda Pryor, the executive director of the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association, CBC News reports.
Although CFIA has in the past allowed aquaculture firms to sell ISA-infected fish for human consumption, the agency has not confirmed that it will allow Gray Aqua to do so.
VP of Gray Aqua Group Clyde Collier said the company does not expect the situation will have a great impact on employment at the plant because the fish in question were nearly mature, but the ISA infection is expected to affect production at Gray Aqua Group’s Hermitage facility, VOCM reports.
The fish at other farming facilities are not infected, Collier stated, and the firm is taking very strict measures to ensure these fish, located 7-8 km from the quarantined site, remain ISA-free.
“We are taking this confirmed finding very seriously and are co-operating fully,” Collier stated.
Pryor said the ISA outbreak at the farm in Butter Cove was first suspected two weeks ago, but the CFIA only confirmed it on Friday after receiving conclusive test results.
Guy Gravelle, senior media relations officer for the agency, explained that the CFIA will oversee the destruction and disposal of the affected salmon and the cleaning and disinfection of the entire fish farm, The Canadian Press reports.
Newfoundland and Labrador's Fisheries Minister Darin King said his department is now waiting for the agency's order to kill the fish.
"We're just focused on encouraging the federal government to move quickly to get the fish out of the water and to follow the proper protocols to make sure we contain this and get the situation fixed," King commented.
- CFIA quarantines fish farm in Newfoundland due to suspected ISA
By Natalia Real