Virulent ISA Found in NB Salmon Farm


N.B. reports first cases of infectious salmon anaemia since 2012

4 cages were depopulated and there hasn't been any further incidents,' says Susan Farquharson

By Connell Smith, CBC News Posted: Oct 17, 2016 7:00 AM AT

Canada's Food Inspection Agency is reporting the first New Brunswick cases of infectious salmon anaemia in four years.

Four separate incidents have been documented in the Bay of Fundy since March, the most recent on Sept. 20.

In each case a single fish was found to have the disease, according to the New Brunswick Department of Agriculture Aquaculture and Fisheries and the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association.

"In this particular case, it was four fish," said Susan Farquharson of the association. "Four cages were depopulated and there hasn't been any further incidents."

Farquharson claims it's possible no other fish were contaminated in the four cage sites involved.

"Because of the robust system we have in place and the early detection system, with the veterinarians and staff in the province, absolutely," said Farquharson.

"We don't take fish health lightly and so we immediately depopulate those cages to eliminate any further risk."

No risk to humans

According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, infectious salmon anaemia can result in death rates of "up to 90 per cent in affected populations of finfish."

The agency said the virus poses no human health concern.

In an email statement spokeswoman Tanya Greer of New Brunswick's Department of Agriculture Aquaculture and Fisheries said the department does not consider this a high number of cases.

"These cases were detected as a result of heightened surveillance by the department and during those inspections no unusual mortality was identified," said Greer.

"DAAF has been undertaking heightened surveillance since May and all sites under the heightened surveillance program have been visited and samples collected on a weekly basis."

The owners of the farms involved have not been identified.

It is not clear if they will be compensated by government for their losses.

"The industry's current situation is that fish are culled proactively without any guarantee of compensation," said Farquharson.