Salmon Virus Found Killing In BC

New York Times writers Cornelia Dean and Rachel Nuwer reported on Oct. 18, 2011 that "a lethal and highly contagious marine virus has been detected for the first time in wild salmon in the Pacific Northwest, researchers in British Columbia said on Monday, stirring concern that it could spread there as it has in Chile, Scotland and elsewhere."


Called infectious salmon anemia (isa), the virus, which has its origin in Europe, has devastated fish net-pen farms in Chile, but until now it had never been detected on the West Coast of North America, despite the rapid growth of net-pen aquaculture in British Columbia and the importation of millions Atlantic salmon eggs by the aquaculture industry over the past 25 years, primarily from Scandinavia and Iceland. The virus was detected in two young sockeye in  a study of juvenile sockeye salmon in Rivers Inlet, B.C., undertaken following a decline in young sockeye there. Richard Rutledge, an environmental scientists at Simon Fraser University who leads the study, said he believes the virus spread from the aquaculture industry and that it could have "a devastating impact" not just on the region's farmed and wild salmon but on the many species that depend on them in the food web, like grizzly bears, killer whales and wolves. He said "No country has ever gotten rid of it once it arrives." He said that no connection has been made between the imported salmon eggs and the two infected sockeye young (captured some 60 miles from the nearest net-pens) but the isa virus discovered in them was of the European strain.

Alexandra Morton, a research scientist and activist who has specialized in studies on the threatening impacts of net-pen aquaculture on native wild-salmon fisheries in British Columbia (Ross Purnell's story in the Feb/March issue 2012 issue of Fly Fisherman) , and who collected the Rivers Inlet sockeye samples, called the isa  discovery "a cataclysmic threat" to both salmon and herring, which can also contract it.  James Winton, leader of the health research group at the Western Fisheries Research Center in Seattle, an arm of USGS, described the isa discovery as a "disease emergency" and called for immediate research on how far the virus may have spread. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention isa morphed from a benign form in nature into a "novel virulent strain" when salmon stocks entered Norway's densely packed salmon farms. Rather than getting picked off by a predator, a sick fish would undergo a slow death in a crowded pen, shedding virus particles.


On March 27, 2008 The New York Times reported  that isa had killed "millions of salmon cultivated for export by Chile's salmon-farming industry." The report said that since July, 2007 the Norwegian company Marine Harvest had closed 14 of its 60 Chilean fish-farming centers and laid off 1,200 workers. Isa has been found in farmed salmon from Puerto Montt south to Aysen Province. In an attempt to halt the spread of isa, Chilean fish farms have increased their use of antibiotics, in some cases to from 70 to 300 times the amounts used by Norwegian fish farmers to produce one ton of salmon. Fish farming in Chile has few regulations compared to Norway, where Atlantic salmon farming began in the 1970s in the 51,500 miles of coastal shoreline, and where science-based regulations have multiplied, including stiff licensing requirements that include a 97.5% swim area per netpen. Nevertheless, environmental critics point out that the spread of isa to North America likely came from Norway in eggs sold to fish-farms here. The virus has been found in fish farms from Norway to the Faeroe Islands and Ireland. Over 35 million salmon were being raised in fish farm nets in Chile by 2007 and the industry had a meteoric eightfold growth since 1990, employing as many as 50,000 perople


The reports and reactions by fish scientists have caused a firestorm of "I told you so" accusations from sports writers, environmentalists, scientists, and sport and commercial fishermen around the Northwest. The following links contain examples of the concern and opinions that the isa discovery has generated:

"Deadly salmon virus raises concerns in US, Canada" (Business

Week/Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 19th October): http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9QF0NBG0.htm and

http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Deadly-salmon-virus-raises-concerns-in-Wash-2224582.php

"Ottawa must close all open-pen salmon farms" (The

Daily News, 19th October): http://www.canada.com/Ottawa+must+close+open+salmon+farms/5572035/story.html

"Salmon farm installs netting to limit need to shoot invading animals"

(Vancouver Sun/Times Colonist, 19th October): http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Salmon+farm+installs+netting+limit+need+shoot+invading+animals/5572572/story.html

"Norwegian salmon banned from Russia" (Barents Observer, 19th October):

http://www.barentsobserver.com/norwegian-salmon-banned-from-russia.4974518-16175.html

"$500,000 for two nets at farm sites" (The Courier-Islander, 18th

October): http://www.vancouversun.com/business/nets+farm+sites/5572084/story.html

"Infectious Salmon Anaemia: hear from a researcher who found a new and

potentially devastating disease in Canadian salmon" (CBC, 18th October): http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/Radio/Local_Shows/Maritimes/Information_Morning_(NS)/2035075335/ID=2156340633

"Scientists to survey Northwest waters for alarming salmon virus" (NPR,

18th October): http://www.kplu.org/post/scientists-survey-northwest-waters-alarming-salmon-virus

"Des saumons du Pacifique infectés par un virus de souche européenne"

(CBC Radio Canada, 18th October): http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/science/2011/10/18/004-saumon-pacifique-virus.shtml

"Deadly Flu-Like Salmon Farm Disease Jumps to Wild: Lethal and

devastating disease detected in wild Pacific Northwest salmon for the first

time" (Take Part, 18th October): http://www.takepart.com/article/2011/10/18/deadly-flu-salmon-farm-disease-jumps-wild

"New

Democrats call for answers on salmon virus" (NDP, 18th October): http://www.bcndpcaucus.ca/en/new_democrats_call_for_answers_on_salmon_virus?mid=5080512

"Question Time: ' What is the government doing to investigate this

serious threat to our salmon fishery?'" (Hansard: Fin Donnelly MP in the House

of Commons in Canada, 18th October): http://www.findonnelly.ca/

"Deadly salmon virus

raises concerns in US, Canada" (ABC News/Associated Press/Washington Post/CBS,

18th October): http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/deadly-salmon-virus-raises-concerns-us-canada-14765021

"Aquaculture Follow: a second opinion on whether fish farms can be

linked to salmon diseases. B.C. fish pathologist Gary Marty clarifies his own

research" (CBC, 18th October): http://www.cbc.ca/informationmorningns/2011/10/18/acquaculture-follow/

"Wild

Fish Conservancy Response to ISAv Detection in B.C." (Wild Fish Conservancy/Fly

Rod & Reel, 18th October): http://www.flyrodreel.com/blogs/tedwilliams/2011/october/conservancy-detection

"Deadly salmon virus raises concerns in Wash."

(Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 18th October): http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Deadly-salmon-virus-raises-concerns-in-Wash-2224582.php

"Red flags raised over yellow salmon" (Chilliwack Progress, 18th

October): http://www.bclocalnews.com/news/132061188.html

"Is

the company behind GMO salmon the next Solyndra?" (Grist, 18th October): http://www.grist.org/food/2011-10-18-is-the-company-behind-ge-salmon-the-next-solyndra

"Senators Begich and Murkowski take action against 'Frankenfish'"

(Alaska Native News, 18th October): http://alaska-native-news.com/article/Breaking_News/Breaking_News/Senators_Begich_and_Murkowski_Take_Action_Against_Frankenfish/23456

"Feinstein signs on to bill banning Frankenfish" (Indy Bay Media, 18th

October): http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/10/18/18694085.php

"Salmon poisoning case slips through the net" (The Shetland Times, 18th

October): http://www.shetnews.co.uk/news/1984-salmon-poisoning-case-slips-through-the-net.html

"Legal action against Shetland fish farm abandoned: Scottish Government

drops a legal claim against Hoganess Salmon after more than 20,000 fish died

suddenly" (STV, 18th October): http://news.stv.tv/scotland/highlands-islands/275189-legal-action-against-shetland-fish-farm-abandoned/

"Deadly

Human-Instigated Virus Now Found In Wild Salmon" (The Gothamist, 18th October):

http://gothamist.com/2011/10/18/deadly_human-instigated_virus_now_s.php

Including a parliamentary question in the House of Commons in

Canada yesterday from Fin Donnelly MP (NDP Fisheries Critic) to the Minister of

Fisheries Keith Ashfield:

"Mr. Speaker, infectious salmon anemia has

been diagnosed in sockeye smolts in the Pacific. This is the same virus that

infected and wiped out almost 70% of farmed salmon in Chile. We do not know the

long-term effects on wild salmon or how long this virus has been present in the

Pacific waters. What is the government doing to investigate this serious threat

to our salmon fishery?"

And the non-reply from the Minister of

Fisheries:

"Mr. Speaker, our government understands the importance of

salmon for British Columbia economically, historically and culturally. That is

why the Prime Minister established the Cohen Commission of Inquiry in 2009. I

encourage the member to support the work of Justice Cohen and the Cohen

Commission"

And from Wild Fish Conservancy in

Washington:

"Halt and fallow net pen aquaculture farms in British

Columbia until the testing results are known. Current fish production at sites

that test positive for ISAv should be humanely destroyed to prevent transfer of

the virus to other stocks and species of native fish"

Listen to

CBC with an interview with Professor Rick Routledge of Simon Fraser University:

http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/Radio/Local_Shows/Maritimes/Information_Morning_(NS)/2035075335/ID=2156340633

Listen to NPR radio featuring Dr. Jim Winton of the Western Fisheries

Research Center lab in Seattle: http://www.kplu.org/post/scientists-survey-northwest-waters-alarming-salmon-virus

For more background on the global spread of ISA read "ISA: Diary

of Disease Disaster" and "Fish Farmageddon: The Infectious Salmon Aquacalypse":

http://www.wildsalmonfirst.org/fish-farmageddon-infectious-salmon-aquacalypse

The official report of ISA in British Columbia, by Dr. Fred Kibenge at

the OIE Reference Laboratory at Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of

Prince Edward Island, is now available  online here <http://www.wildsalmonfirst.org/sites/default/files/files/OIE%20report%20by%20Kibenge(1).pdf>

Watch "Scotland's Fishy Secrets" (in the UK

only so far): http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b016435r/BBC_Scotland_Investigates_2011_Scotlands_Fishy_Secrets/

Best

fishes,

Don

Business Week/Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 19th October

2011

Deadly salmon virus raises concerns in US,

Canada

By

PHUONG LE

<http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Deadly-salmon-virus-raises-concerns-in-Wash-2224582.php#next>

Scientist technician

Laurie Niewolny places kidney and spleen samples from a chinook salmon into a

centrifuge as she preps them to be tested for viruses at the Washington Dept. of

Fish and Wildlife virology and bacteriology lab Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011, in

Olympia, Wash. Scientists in Washington state are concerned about a deadly,

contagious virus recently detected in wild salmon in British Columbia.

Researchers in British Columbia announced Monday they had found the influenza

virus in two juvenile sockeye salmon on the province's central coast, the first

time in the Pacific Northwest. Photo: Elaine Thompson / AP: http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Deadly-salmon-virus-raises-concerns-in-US-Canada-2224582.php#ixzz1bEafXkVF

<http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Deadly-salmon-virus-raises-concerns-in-US-Canada-2224582.php#ixzz1bEafXkVF>

Seattle - Scientists in Washington state are working to improve

testing of a deadly, contagious marine virus as a precaution, after the virus

was detected in wild salmon for the first time on the West

Coast.

Researchers with Simon Fraser University in British

Columbia and elsewhere announced Monday they had found the influenza-like virus

in two juvenile sockeye salmon collected from the province's central coast. The

virus, which doesn't affect humans, has caused losses at fish farms in Chile and

other areas, and could have devastating impacts on wild salmon in the region and

other species that depend on them, the researchers said.

"This is potentially very big. It's of big concern to

us," said John Kerwin, who supervises the fish health unit at the Washington

state Department of Fish and Wildlife. Even though the virus was detected in

salmon collected hundreds of miles away, at Rivers Inlet in British Columbia,

the virus could pose a threat because "fish don't have any boundaries in the

ocean ... and salmon species stray," he said.

The state tested about 56,000 hatchery and wild fish

last year and hasn't found signs of the virus -- infectious salmon anemia,

Kerwin said. But Monday's news sent Kerwin scrambling on Tuesday to work with

other agencies to find ways to beef up current testing methods. If the virus is

ever detected in Washington, the state would follow containment plans that could

include killing fish, he said.

<http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Deadly-salmon-virus-raises-concerns-in-Wash-2224582.php#next>

Scientist technician

Laurie Niewolny adds macerated kidney and spleen samples from a chinook salmon

into a test tube as she preps it to be tested for viruses at the Washington

Dept. of Fish and Wildlife virology and bacteriology lab Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011,

in Olympia, Wash. Scientists in Washington state are concerned about a deadly,

contagious virus recently detected in wild salmon in British Columbia.

Researchers in British Columbia announced Monday they had found the influenza

virus in two juvenile sockeye salmon on the province's central coast, the first

time in the Pacific Northwest. Photo: Elaine Thompson / AP

"It's a disease emergency," said James

Winton, who directs the fish health section of the U.S. Geological Survey's

Western Fisheries Research Center in Seattle.  Officials on both side of the

border should increase surveillance and research to understand how broadly the

virus is distributed, in what species, how fish are infected, among other

questions, he said. "We don't have enough information on what this strain will

do today and what it will do in the future," he said.  "We're concerned. Should

it be introduced, it might be able to adapt to Pacific salmon," added Winton,

who is not connected to the British Columbia study.

The virus was found in two of 48 juvenile sockeye salmon

collected as part of a long-term study of sockeye salmon led by Simon Fraser

University professor Rick Routledge. "It is certainly possible that this disease

may be benign for Pacific salmon, but I still don't rest easy because it was

initially benign for Atlantic salmon and it mutated," he said

Tuesday.

Researchers said Fred Kibenge of the Atlantic Veterinary

College at the University of Prince Edward Island, confirmed the presence of the

virus in two fish and noted it was a European strain of the

virus.

Routledge and biologist and wild-salmon activist

Alexandra Morton suggested Monday that the source of the virus is Atlantic

salmon farms in British Columbia, which has imported millions of salmon eggs

since 1986.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency was informed of the

suspect case over the weekend and will run its own tests and analysis at a

federal laboratory in New Brunswick, said Dr. Cornelius Kiley, a veterinarian

with the agency. It may be weeks before that's complete, he said

Tuesday.

"It's very important to ensure that the test was carried

out properly and done under the proper condition," Kiley said. "If you can

repeat it, then your level of confidence will increase."

Morton on Monday called for the removal of Atlantic

salmon from British Columbia salmon farms. And the Washington-based Wild Fish

Conservancy on Tuesday called for a halt to more net pen salmon aquaculture on

the West Coast. It also wanted widespread testing of wild and hatchery salmon

and a halt to fish farms in British Columbia until those results are

known.

But Kiley said, "We have no indication at this time that

there's any involvement with the aquaculture industry."

In

Washington state, Kerwin said one company raises Atlantic salmon in western

Washington and has not detected the virus.

John Kaufman, a fish biologist with the Oregon

Department of Fish and Wildlife, said he wasn't as concerned, partly because the

virus seems to affect Atlantic salmon the most and Oregon does not raise

Atlantic salmon off its coast.

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9QF0NBG0.htm and

http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Deadly-salmon-virus-raises-concerns-in-Wash-2224582.php

This article also appeared in over 100 other newspapers

around the world including:

MSNBC: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44952384/ns/us_news-environment/

USA Today: http://yourlife.usatoday.com/fitness-food/safety/story/2011-10-18/Deadly-salmon-virus-raises-concerns-in-US-Canada/50819320/1

San Francisco Chronicle: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/10/18/national/a152833D43.DTL

CBS: http://moneywatch.bnet.com/economic-news/news/deadly-salmon-virus-raises-concerns-in-us-canada/6317101/

Las Vegas Sun: http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2011/oct/18/us-salmon-virus-washington/

Bellingham Herald: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2011/10/18/2233548/deadly-salmon-virus-raises-concerns.html

Winnipeg Free Press: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/business/breakingnews/washington-state-scientists-worried-about-salmon-killing-virus-found-in-british-columbia-132110048.html

Arizona Daily Sun: http://azdailysun.com/news/national/deadly-salmon-virus-raises-concerns-in-us-canada/article_77755228-ae71-5278-bdf9-7b45ff06951b.html

Anchorage Daily News: http://www.adn.com/2011/10/18/2126243/deadly-salmon-virus-raises-concerns.html

The Nation (Pakistan): http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Entertainment/19-Oct-2011/Lethal-European-fish-virus-found-in-Canada

Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/industries/washington-state-scientists-worried-about-salmon-killing-virus-found-in-british-columbia/2011/10/18/gIQApfjPvL_story.html

The Daily News, 19th October 2011

Ottawa must close all open-pen salmon

farms

Re: 'Salmon test positive for "lethal" virus linked to

fish farms' (Daily News, Oct. 17)

Surprise surprise - after years of rumours, infectious

salmon anaemia has finally been confirmed here in B.C.  Despite the salmon

farming industry's smoke and mirrors the smoking gun leads straight back to the

Norwegian-owned companies who control 92% of B.C.'s salmon farms.

The industry cannot ignore the fact that the ISA virus

detected in Pacific sockeye salmon is the European strain.  Genetic testing will

soon be able to identify the company responsible for spreading ISA and the

floodgates to legal action will inevitably be opened.

ISA is a "listed" disease reportable to the World

Organization for Animal Health alongside other deadly diseases such as rabies,

BSE, foot and mouth, swine flu and avian influenza.  How an exotic disease of

Atlantic was allowed to enter the Pacific and infect wild sockeye salmon is a

case study in negligence and malfeasance.

The government's role in this sorry saga must come under

the microscope along with farmed salmon.  A policy of allowing more 29 million

Atlantic salmon eggs to be imported into B.C. since 1985 - despite scientific

evidence showing ISA could be transmitted via infected eggs - is the antithesis

of the precautionary principle.

The government must immediately close the border and

close the net on open net pen salmon farms.

Don Staniford

Sointula

http://www.canada.com/Ottawa+must+close+open+salmon+farms/5572035/story.html

See

also "Fast action needed on salmon disease" (The Times Colonist, 19th October):

http://www.timescolonist.com/health/Fast+action+needed+salmon+disease/5572619/story.html

Vancouver Sun/Times Colonist, 19th October 2011

Salmon

farm installs netting to limit need to shoot invading

animals

<javascript:void(0);>

The largest salmon farming company in

B.C. is installing thick netting around its fish farms in an effort to reduce

the number of marine mammals killed.

Photograph by: Kristie M. Miller, Photo

Handout

VICTORIA — The largest

salmon farming company in B.C. is installing thick netting around its fish farms

in an effort to reduce the number of marine mammals killed.

Marine

Harvest Canada is using winter predator guards, made of high density

polyethylene with a stainless steel core, around farms in areas such as Quatsino

Sound, where the number of seals and sea lions killed jumped dramatically this

year.

The nets, which cost $250,000 each, will encircle entire

farms.

"While we need to prevent damage to our nets and the potential

risk of escapes, these unusually high lethal interactions with marine mammals

cannot continue," said James Gaskill, MHC production director.

Shootings

and accidental drownings at fish farms were made public for the first time last

month by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Critics were shocked by the

numbers.

Marine Harvest killed 124 animals — including two Steller sea

lions — during the first three months of the year and 92 in the second

quarter.

Salmon farmers are allowed to shoot seals and sea lions that try

to get into net pens. The company says the figures represent a twofold increase

over last year and fourfold increase over 2009, probably because of an enormous

increase in the number of marine mammals in areas such as Quatsino

Sound.

A complaint by environmental activists from five countries, asking

the U.S. to ban imports of salmon from farms where marine mammals are killed, is

being reviewed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric

Administration.

"NOAA will respond to the organizations who wrote the

letter. It would not be appropriate to discuss the response before it has been

officially provided," said spokeswoman Christine Patrick.

The U.S Marine

Mammal Protection Act prohibits the intentional killing of marine mammals in

commercial fishing operations, including fish farms.

Last year, NOAA

Fisheries said it was looking at establishing standards to determine which

commercial fish products comply with the act's import provisions.

The

proposed rules are now being reviewed and will go for public comment before

being finalized.

Mary Ellen Walling, B.C. Salmon Farmers Association

executive director, said reducing the number of marine mammals killed is a high

priority for salmon farmers and the request to the NOAA from environmental

organizations does not look at the whole picture.

"While interaction

numbers for Canadian wild fisheries or other food producers aren't reported

publicly, as they are for salmon farmers, they are (reported) in the U.S. and we

see they are facing similar challenges," Walling said.

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Salmon+farm+installs+netting+limit+need+shoot+invading+animals/5572572/story.html

See

also:

"US urged to act over killing of marine mammals " (Times

Colonist, 6th October 2011): http://www.timescolonist.com/business/urged+over+killing+marine+mammals/5511054/story.html

"Farmed Salmon in Firing Line: Complaint filed under U.S. Marine Mammal

Protection Act" (Wild Salmon First, 5th October 2011): http://www.wildsalmonfirst.org/boycott

Barents

Observer, 19th October 2011

Norwegian salmon banned from Russia

Article online in full via: http://www.barentsobserver.com/norwegian-salmon-banned-from-russia.4974518-16175.html

The Courier-Islander, 18th October 2011

$500,000 for two

nets at farm sites

Marine Harvest Canada says it will spend $500,000 at two

farm sites in the Quatsino area to ensure that lethal interactions with seals

and sea lions are drastically reduced, if not eliminated.

MHC said they

experienced higher than normal culls of seals and sea lions during the first two

quarters of 2011. MHC said one hundred and twenty four seals and/or sea lions

were killed in the first quarter, and 92 in the second quarter representing more

than a two-fold increase over the same period in 2010 and a four-fold increase

over 2009. This unusually high interaction with seals and sea lions was most

evident in Quatsino Sound, located on the Northwest tip of Vancouver Island,

which witnessed marine mammals move into the area at unprecedented numbers this

past winter.

Predator control authorization for salmon farms is included in

the Finfish Aquaculture License issued by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). As

detailed in this license, a farmer may only take lethal action as a last resort

against a particularly aggressive and persistent individual marine predator if

it presents imminent danger to the facility or human life and only after all

reasonable measures have been exhausted (acoustic deterrents are

prohibited).

Although preliminary third quarter numbers are far lower at

about 5 lethal interactions, MHC is taking steps to address the

matter.

"While we need to prevent damage to our nets and the potential risk

of escapes, these unusually high lethal interactions with marine mammals cannot

continue," said James Gaskill, MHC's Production Director, "and in response we

have invested in additional protector netting at high risk farms that will

reduce or eliminate these interactions."

The nets, referred to as winter

predator guards, encompass the entire farm and provide a first wall of defense

against marine predators. They are constructed of high density polyethylene and

include a stainless steel core and will cost $250,000 to outfit each farm site.

They will be in place prior to the winter season when seals and sea lions begin

to move into the area.

"Marine users such as commercial fisheries,

aquaculture, tourism and transport are all finding ways to accommodate this

increase in marine mammal interactions," said Clare Backman, MHC's

Sustainability Programs Director. "It's imperative that we take all necessary

steps to eliminate lethal interactions."

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/nets+farm+sites/5572084/story.html

CBC,

18th October 2011

Infectious Salmon Anaemia: hear from a researcher who

found a new and potentially devastating disease in Canadian

salmon

Listen to an interview with Professor Rick Routledge of Simon

Fraser Univerity: Hear from a researcher who found a new and potentially

devastating disease in Canadian salmon

http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/Radio/Local_Shows/Maritimes/Information_Morning_(NS)/2035075335/ID=2156340633

See

also a CBC radio interview with Dr Gary Marty and Dr Alexandra Morton: http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/Radio/Local_Shows/Maritimes/Information_Morning_(NS)/2035075335/ID=2155815690

NPR,

18th October 2011

Sockeye Salmon

Scientists to survey

Northwest waters for alarming salmon virus

By

Tom Banse <http://www.kplu.org/people/tom-banse>

<http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/kplu/files/201110/sockeyesalmon.jpg>

Sockeye salmon populations are facing a new

challenge.

·

Listen <http://pd.npr.org/anon.npr-mp3/148/ingest/2011/10/20111018_ingest_20431929.mp3?orgId=148&amp;ft=3&amp;f=141489677>

Federal fisheries scientists plan to survey

Pacific Northwest and Alaskan waters to determine if a harmful European fish

virus has spread here.

This week, scientists in British Columbia announced

they've found the fish-killing virus in wild Pacific salmon for the first

time.

The detection of the contagion in wild British Columbia sockeye comes

as a surprise. Infectious Salmon Anemia is not harmful to humans, but the virus

has previously inflicted heavy losses on Atlantic fish farms.

The big unknown

is how vulnerable wild Pacific salmon and herring are. The Western Fisheries

Research Center lab in Seattle plans to investigate quickly says microbiologist

Jim Winton.

"It could range from relatively severe to maybe not-so-severe

depending on the susceptibility of these stocks," he says.

Some wild salmon

advocates strongly suspect the disease was introduced to the North Pacific via

farmed Atlantic salmon. They want saltwater salmon farms in Washington and

British Columbia shut down while the outbreak is investigated.

The B.C.

salmon farm industry insists tests on their fish have found no signs of

infection.

On the Web:

·

NY Times:

Salmon-Killing Virus Seen for First Time in the Wild on the Pacific Coast <http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/18/science/18salmon.html>

·         Vancouver Sun:

'Lethal' Atlantic salmon disease found in B.C. wild <http://www.vancouversun.com/Lethal+Atlantic+salmon+disease+found+wild/5565660/story.html#ixzz1bBT5Ke1l>

·         USGS Western

Fisheries Research Center <http://wfrc.usgs.gov/index.html>

·         Diagnosing

Infectious Salmon Anemia <http://www.crl-fish.eu/Diagnostic_Manuals/ISA.aspx>

http://www.kplu.org/post/scientists-survey-northwest-waters-alarming-salmon-virus

CBC Radio Canada, 18th October 2011

Des saumons du

Pacifique infectés par un virus de souche européenne

Une équipe de

chercheurs de l'Université Simon Fraser en Colombie-Britannique affirment que

des saumons du Pacifique ont contracté l'anémie infectieuse, un virus

extrêmement contagieux qui est une menace pour la population de saumons

sauvages.

L'équipe de chercheurs, dirigée par le Dr Richard Routledge, a

décelé l'anémie infectieuse sur deux saumons sauvages dans la région de Rivers

Inlet, sur la côte du Pacifique.

Le Dr Routledge affirme que la seule

raison plausible de la présence de cette maladie est l'importation d'oeufs de

saumons de l'Atlantique par les fermes d'élevage.

Cette découverte donne

des munitions à ceux qui s'opposent aux fermes d'élevage <http://www.radio-canada.ca/actualite/semaineverte/ColorSection/peche/030817/salmoniculture.shtml>

. La biologiste Alexandra Morton croit que la présence de ce virus de souche

européenne est une preuve irréfutable du danger des fermes d'élevage pour la

santé des saumons sauvages et que cela va obliger les propriétaires à cesser

leurs activités.

Les chercheurs demandent que des tests à grande échelle

soient faits dans toutes les fermes d'élevage, où le virus pourrait s'être

propagé, selon eux.

Alexandra Morton explique qu'à l'état sauvage, les

poissons infectés sont rapidement éliminés par la sélection naturelle. Elle

ajoute que dans les fermes, les agents pathogènes se transmettent rapidement

d'un poisson à l'autre, et les poissons malades ne sont pas mangés par leurs

prédateurs, ce qui facilite la contagion.

L'Association des fermes

d'élevage de saumons de la Colombie-Britannique prend cette nouvelle au sérieux,

mais elle maintient que ses poissons sont en bonne santé et qu'aucun d'entre eux

n'est infecté par ce virus. Elle précise également que les poissons infectés ont

été découverts dans une région loin des fermes d'élevage.

http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/science/2011/10/18/004-saumon-pacifique-virus.shtml

Take Part, 18th October 2011

Deadly Flu-Like Salmon Farm Disease Jumps to

Wild

Lethal and devastating disease detected in wild Pacific

Northwest salmon for the first time

By Max Follmer <http://www.takepart.com/author/max-follmer>

Sockeye salmon, also known as red salmon, migrating

upstream to go spawn. (Photo: Getty Images).

Infectious salmon anemia (ISA), a highly contagious

flu-like virus that can kill up to 70 percent of fish on infected farms, has

been found <http://www.sfu.ca/pamr/media-releases/2011/lethal-atlantic-virus-found-in-pacific-salmon.html>

in the wild off the West Coast of North America for the first time ever,

researchers in British Columbia announced on

Monday.

Already, experts are warning that the disease, if left

unchecked, could devastate Pacific salmon stocks, with one researcher

calling <http://www.sfu.ca/pamr/media-releases/2011/lethal-atlantic-virus-found-in-pacific-salmon.html>

ISA a "cataclysmic threat," and a fisheries expert in Seattle warning <http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/18/science/18salmon.html>

of a "disease emergency."

ISA first emerged in Norway in 1984 when scientists

detected a new, more virulent strain of a disease that had long existed in

salmon. Experts link the emergence of the new strain to the rapid development of

aqualcuture — fish farming — because infected fish shed the virus in packed salmon

pens, rather than being consumed by predators in the wild.

"The potential impact of ISA cannot be taken lightly,"

said <http://www.sfu.ca/pamr/media-releases/2011/lethal-atlantic-virus-found-in-pacific-salmon.html>

Prof. Rick Routledge, whose lab at Simon Fraser University led the study that

discovered ISA in the wild. "There must be an immediate response to assess the

extent of the outbreak, determine its source, and to eliminate all controllable

sources of the virus — even though no country has ever eradicated it once it has

arrived."

Experts suspect the

virus jumped to the Pacific Northwest when Atlantic salmon eggs were imported

from Europe to be used in the region's salmon farms.

"The European strain of ISA virus can only have come

from the Atlantic salmon farms. European strain ISA infected Chile via Atlantic

salmon eggs in 2007," said Alexandra Morton, another researcher who participated

in the study.

According to The New York Times <http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/18/science/18salmon.html>

:

The only barrier between the salmon farms and wild fish

is a net... No vaccine or treatment exists for infectious salmon

anemia.

Researchers at Simon

Fraser found the virus on two of 48 wild sockeye salmon being studied as part of

ongoing research into the collapse of Rivers Inlet sockeye populations.

The team is calling on the Canadian government to halt

the flow of Atlantic salmon eggs to the Canadian salmon farms, and for greater

testing in the region to determine the extent of ISA infection. They point out

that ISA has cost the Chilean salmon industry more than $2 billion since it

began ravaging salmon in 2007.

And they note ominously at the end of their release

announcing the discovery that the virus is "prone to mutating into increasingly

virulent forms."

http://www.takepart.com/article/2011/10/18/deadly-flu-salmon-farm-disease-jumps-wild

NDP,

18th October 2011

New Democrats call for answers on salmon

virus

VICTORIA — New Democrats are calling on the Liberal

government to release any and all information and reports they have received

about a virus that is threatening wild and farmed salmon in British Columbian

waters.

"If the Liberal

government received information describing classic infectious salmon anemia

(ISA) like lesions on salmon samples gathered in our waters, the public deserves

to know what steps were taken to investigate this grave threat to our wild

salmon and the ecosystems that depend on them," said New Democrat environment

critic, Rob Fleming.

Fleming and New Democrat agriculture critic Lana

Popham have written to the Liberal minister of Agriculture, asking for the

government to come clean with British Columbians about any previous knowledge

they had of this threat to our wild and farmed salmon.

The virus, which

was detected by Canada's ISA reference lab, is the European strain of ISA, the

same virus that devastated the Chilean fish farming industry, causing $2 billion

in losses, and ending more than 25,000 jobs.

"If we do have an outbreak

of infectious salmon anemia here in British Columbia we need to act quickly to

assess the spread of this disease and come up with strategies to contain it,"

said Popham. "Anything less than decisive action could spell disaster for wild

Pacific salmon."

Fleming said that Adrian Dix and the New Democrats will

hold the government to account on its stewardship of the environment and

protection of wild salmon.

http://www.bcndpcaucus.ca/en/new_democrats_call_for_answers_on_salmon_virus?mid=5080512

Fin

Donnelly MP, 18th October 2011

New Democrat Fisheries Critic, Fin

Donnelly (New Westminster — Coquitlam) today challenged the Fisheries Minister

on the Government's inaction on the serious problem of salmon anemia in BC's

fish stocks.  Donnelly also criticised the Government's cuts to the Department

of Fisheries and Oceans and their silencing of departmental scientists.

Question Period — Tuesday, October 19, 2011

Mr.

Fin Donnelly (New Westminster — Coquitlam, NDP): Mr. Speaker, infectious

salmon anemia has been diagnosed in sockeye smolts in the Pacific.

This

is the same virus that infected and wiped out almost 70% of farmed salmon in

Chile. We do not know the long-term effects on wild salmon or how long this

virus has been present in the Pacific waters.

What is the government

doing to investigate this serious threat to our salmon

fishery?

Mr. Fin Donnelly (New Westminster — Coquitlam, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, the government's silence on fisheries is deafening. Instead of

providing answers, there is no communication from the department and scientists

remain muzzled. Conservatives are gutting the DFO and cutting funding to

fisheries conservation councils. Their policy seems to be "hear no evil, see no

evil, speak no evil" and they hope these problems go away. They will

not.

When will the minister agree to a full and transparent

investigation of this serious issue and threat to our fisheries?

For

further information please contact:

Office of Fin Donnelly (New

Westminster-Coquitlam)

613-947-4456

http://www.findonnelly.ca/

Hansard, 18th October

2011

Fisheries and Oceans <http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&amp;Mode=1&amp;Parl=41&amp;Ses=1&amp;DocId=5176357#SOB-4379448>

<http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&amp;Mode=1&amp;Parl=41&amp;Ses=1&amp;DocId=5176357#SOB-4379390>

<http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&amp;Mode=1&amp;Parl=41&amp;Ses=1&amp;DocId=5176357#Int-4379411>

<http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&amp;Mode=1&amp;Parl=41&amp;Ses=1&amp;DocId=5176357#Int-4379405>

[Table

of Contents <javascript:void(0);> ]

Mr. Fin Donnelly (New Westminster — Coquitlam, NDP)

<http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/GetWebOptionsCallBack.aspx?SourceSystem=PRISM&amp;ResourceType=Affiliation&amp;ResourceID=170284&amp;language=1&amp;DisplayMode=2>

: <http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&amp;Mode=1&amp;Parl=41&amp;Ses=1&amp;DocId=5176357#Int-4379413>

Mr. Speaker, infectious

salmon anemia has been diagnosed in sockeye smolts in the Pacific. This is the

same virus that infected and wiped out almost 70% of farmed salmon in

Chile.

We do not know the long-term effects on wild salmon or how long this

virus has been present in the Pacific waters. What is the government doing to

investigate this serious threat to our salmon fishery?

<http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&amp;Mode=1&amp;Parl=41&amp;Ses=1&amp;DocId=5176357#Int-4379413>

<http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&amp;Mode=1&amp;Parl=41&amp;Ses=1&amp;DocId=5176357#Int-4379407>

[Table

of Contents <javascript:void(0);> ]

Hon. Keith Ashfield (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and

Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, CPC) <http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/GetWebOptionsCallBack.aspx?SourceSystem=PRISM&amp;ResourceType=Affiliation&amp;ResourceID=170676&amp;language=1&amp;DisplayMode=2>

: <http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&amp;Mode=1&amp;Parl=41&amp;Ses=1&amp;DocId=5176357#Int-4379445>

Mr. Speaker, our

government understands the importance of salmon for British Columbia

economically, historically and culturally. That is why the Prime Minister <http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/GetWebOptionsCallBack.aspx?SourceSystem=PRISM&amp;ResourceType=Affiliation&amp;ResourceID=78738&amp;language=1&amp;DisplayMode=2>

established the Cohen Commission of Inquiry in 2009. I encourage the member to

support the work of Justice Cohen and the Cohen Commission.

<http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&amp;Mode=1&amp;Parl=41&amp;Ses=1&amp;DocId=5176357#Int-4379445>

<http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&amp;Mode=1&amp;Parl=41&amp;Ses=1&amp;DocId=5176357#Int-4379411>

[Table

of Contents <javascript:void(0);> ]

Mr. Fin Donnelly (New Westminster — Coquitlam, NDP)

<http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/GetWebOptionsCallBack.aspx?SourceSystem=PRISM&amp;ResourceType=Affiliation&amp;ResourceID=170284&amp;language=1&amp;DisplayMode=2>

: <http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&amp;Mode=1&amp;Parl=41&amp;Ses=1&amp;DocId=5176357#Int-4379407>

Mr. Speaker, the

government's silence on fisheries is deafening. Instead of providing answers,

there is no communication from the department and scientists remain muzzled.

Conservatives are gutting the DFO and cutting funding to fisheries conservation

councils. Their policy seems to be "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil"

and they hope these problems go away. They will not.

When will the minister

agree to a full and transparent investigation of this serious issue and threat

to our fisheries?

<http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&amp;Mode=1&amp;Parl=41&amp;Ses=1&amp;DocId=5176357#Int-4379447>

<http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&amp;Mode=1&amp;Parl=41&amp;Ses=1&amp;DocId=5176357#Int-4379413>

[Table

of Contents <javascript:void(0);> ]

Hon. Keith Ashfield (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and

Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, CPC) <http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/GetWebOptionsCallBack.aspx?SourceSystem=PRISM&amp;ResourceType=Affiliation&amp;ResourceID=170676&amp;language=1&amp;DisplayMode=2>

: <http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&amp;Mode=1&amp;Parl=41&amp;Ses=1&amp;DocId=5176357#Int-4379411>

Mr. Speaker, a strategic

review was an opportunity for the department to assess performance of its

programs. It also allowed us to ensure that we were responding to the priorities

of Canadians. We have the responsibility to spend taxpayer money prudently and

where it will do the most good. We must ensure that government programs are

efficient, effective and achieving the expected results of Canadians.

DFO is

making steady progress in modernizing and improving our program and policy

approach to meet the needs of Canadians today and in the future.

* * *

http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=41&Ses=1&DocId=5176357#Int-4379407

<http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&amp;Mode=1&amp;Parl=41&amp;Ses=1&amp;DocId=5176357#Int-4379407>

ABC News/Associated Press/Washington Post/CBS 18th October 2011

Deadly salmon virus raises concerns in US, Canada

By

PHUONG LE Associated Press

Scientists in Washington state are working to improve

testing of a deadly, contagious marine virus as a precaution, after the virus

was detected in wild salmon for the first time on the West

Coast.

Researchers with Simon Fraser University in British

Columbia and elsewhere announced Monday they had found the influenza-like virus

in two juvenile sockeye salmon collected from the province's central coast. The

virus, which doesn't affect humans, has caused losses at fish farms in Chile and

other areas, and could have devastating impacts on wild salmon in the region and

other species that depend on them, the researchers said.

"This is potentially very big. It's of big concern to

us," said John Kerwin, who supervises the fish health unit at the Washington

state Department of Fish and Wildlife. Even though the virus was detected in

salmon collected hundreds of miles away, at Rivers Inlet in British Columbia,

the virus could pose a threat because "fish don't have any boundaries in the

ocean ... and salmon species stray," he said.

The state tested about 56,000 hatchery and wild fish

last year and hasn't found signs of the virus — infectious salmon anemia, Kerwin

said. But Monday's news sent Kerwin scrambling on Tuesday to work with other

agencies to find ways to beef up current testing methods. If the virus is ever

detected in Washington, the state would follow containment plans that could

include killing fish, he said.

"It's a disease emergency," said James Winton, who

directs the fish health section of the U.S. Geological Survey's Western

Fisheries Research Center in Seattle.

Officials on both side of the border should increase

surveillance and research to understand how broadly the virus is distributed, in

what species, how fish are infected, among other questions, he said. "We don't

have enough information on what this strain will do today and what it will do in

the future," he said.

"We're concerned. Should it be introduced, it might be

able to adapt to Pacific salmon," added Winton, who is not connected to the

British Columbia study.

The virus was found in two of 48 juvenile sockeye salmon

collected as part of a long-term study of sockeye salmon led by Simon Fraser

University professor Rick Routledge. "The potential impact of (the virus) cannot

be taken lightly," he said in a statement Monday.

Researchers said Fred Kibenge of the Atlantic Veterinary

College at the University of Prince Edward Island, confirmed the presence of the

virus in two fish and noted it was a European strain of the

virus.

Routledge and biologist and wild-salmon activist

Alexandra Morton suggested Monday that the source of the virus is Atlantic

salmon farms in British Columbia, which has imported millions of salmon eggs

since 1986.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency was informed of the

suspect case over the weekend and will run its own tests and analysis at a

federal laboratory in New Brunswick, said Dr. Cornelius Kiley, a veterinarian

with the agency. It may be weeks before that's complete, he said

Tuesday.

"It's very important to ensure that the test was carried

out properly and done under the proper condition," Kiley said. "If you can

repeat it, then your level of confidence will increase."

Morton on Monday called for the removal of Atlantic

salmon from British Columbia salmon farms. And the Washington-based Wild Fish

Conservancy on Tuesday called for a halt to more net pen salmon aquaculture on

the West Coast. It also wanted widespread testing of wild and hatchery salmon

and a halt to fish farms in British Columbia until those results are

known.

But Kiley said, "We have no indication at this time that

there's any involvement with the aquaculture industry."

In

Washington state, Kerwin said one company raises Atlantic salmon in western

Washington and has not detected the virus.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/deadly-salmon-virus-raises-concerns-us-canada-14765021

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/industries/washington-state-scientists-worried-about-salmon-killing-virus-found-in-british-columbia/2011/10/18/gIQApfjPvL_story.html

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/10/18/ap/business/main20122243.shtml

CBC, 18th October 2011

Aquaculture follow

A

second opinion on whether fish farms can be linked to salmon diseases. B.C. fish

pathologist Gary Marty clarifies his own research.

Listen online (also

includes Alexandra Morton) via: http://www.cbc.ca/informationmorningns/2011/10/18/acquaculture-follow/

Wild Fish Conservancy, 18th October 2011

Wild Fish Conservancy Response to ISAv Detection in

B.C.

WILD FISH CONSERVANCY

PO Box 402 Duvall, WA 98019 ·

Tel 425-788-1167 · Fax 425-788-9634 ·

info@wildfishconservancy.org

Contact: Todd Sandell, Wild Fish Conservancy,

206-707-2979

Dr. James Winton, U.S. Geological Survey - Western Fisheries

Research Center, 206-526-6587

Dr. Fred Kibenge, Atlantic Veterinary College

- University of Prince Edward Island, 902-566-0967

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, October 18,

2011

News that Infectious Salmon Anemia Virus (ISAv) was

detected in coastal British Columbia sockeye salmon is greatly alarming. The

results were reported by the laboratory of Dr. Fred Kibenge at the Atlantic

Veterinary College, which serves as the World Organization for Animal Health's

ISAv reference laboratory. The presence of this virus, never before detected in

the Pacific Northwest, poses a serious threat to native salmon species that are

already in decline or endangered. The discovery was referred to as a disease

emergency with "global implications" by Dr. James Winton, fish health section

chief of the U.S. Geological Survey's Western Fisheries Research Center. The

virus is not infectious to humans.

Although previous research indicated that ISAv was not

as virulent for Pacific salmonids as for Atlantic salmon, the virus can readily

mutate and was recently implicated in widespread mortalities among farmed coho

salmon in Chile and is likely involved in the recent declines of sockeye salmon

in British Columbia. The strain of ISAv detected is of European origin,

suggesting that the virus was introduced to western Canada via the importation

of infected Atlantic salmon eggs by the salmon aquaculture

industry.

Assurances that these fish did not harbor ISAv, voiced

by both the source countries and the aquaculture industry, were inadequate and

misleading; given the findings of the recent Cohen commission, it also appears

that oversight of the aquaculture industry in B.C. has been compromised.

Immediate steps need to be taken by both Canadian and U.S. officials to ensure

that the spread of the virus is contained and to carefully investigate the

extent of the threat. The Wild Fish Conservancy recommends the following steps

be taken as soon as possible:

Points of Action:

1)

Immediately halt plans to allow additional net pen salmon aquaculture,

particularly for non-native salmonids, on the west coast of North America. As

stocking of non-native species can no longer be justified, production of

Atlantic salmon at hatcheries should also cease.

2)

Immediately test freshly-collected and frozen, archival samples for ISAv in

sockeye and other Pacific salmonids of wild, hatchery, and net pen origin, as

well as marine species that may act as a reservoir for the virus. As this issue

poses a threat to U.S. and Canadian salmon populations, the testing needs to be

conducted by impartial U.S. and Canadian labs, using accepted fish health

protocols. We recommend that Dr. James Winton be given oversight of this process

and an independent scientific advisory panel be established whose members are

not limited to governmental organizations. Emergency funding to conduct this

investigation needs to be set aside by both the Canadian and U.S.

government.

3)

Halt and fallow net pen aquaculture farms in British Columbia until the testing

results are known. Current fish production at sites that test positive for ISAv

should be humanely destroyed to prevent transfer of the virus to other stocks

and species of native fish.

4)

The Department of Fisheries And Oceans, which assumed oversight of aquaculture

operations in 2010, needs a mandate that focuses on the preservation of a public

resource (wild salmon) rather than one that focuses on developing the

aquaculture industry.

5)

Both the U.S. and Canadian governments need to develop and implement better

oversight of both land- and sea-based aquaculture, with a focus on pathogen

transfer and risks to native species.

6)

Future aquaculture operations should be land-based, where the escape of

non-native species can be successfully prevented and the effluent from such

operations (which can allow for the transfer of pathogens) can be sterilized if

great care is exercised. Although this will raise the cost of product, the

increase will reflect the true cost of doing business in an environmentally

responsible manner.

In

response to this news, the salmon aquaculture industry will herald that they

brought much needed jobs to rural British Columbia. While jobs are clearly

needed in such difficult economic times, it is important to recognize that the

net pen aquaculture of non-native species presents a threat to the survival of

wild salmon populations and the fishing-related jobs which have benefited the

region for generations. These corporations seek to extract a profit from

non-native salmon aquaculture while endangering a public resource and a way of

life for First Nations people. It is time that this practice is

stopped.

###

Wild Fish Conservancy is a non-profit organization

dedicated to the recovery and conservation of the Northwest region's wild-fish

ecosystems, with over 2,500 members. Wild Fish Conservancy's staff of over 20

professional scientists, advocates, and educators works to promote technically

and socially responsible habitat, hatchery, and harvest management to better

sustain the region's wild fish heritage. For more information, visit us at

wildfishconservancy.org or follow us on Facebook at

facebook.com/wildfishconservancy.

http://www.flyrodreel.com/blogs/tedwilliams/2011/october/conservancy-detection

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 18th October 2011

Deadly salmon virus raises concerns in Wash.

PHUONG LE,

Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) —

Scientists in Washington state are concerned about a deadly, contagious virus

recently detected in wild salmon in British Columbia.

Researchers in

British Columbia announced Monday they had found the influenza virus in two

juvenile sockeye salmon on B.C.'s central coast, the first time in the Pacific

Northwest. The virus has caused devastating losses at fish farms in

Chile.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's John Kerwin <http://www.seattlepi.com/?controllerName=search&amp;action=search&amp;channel=news&amp;search=1&amp;inlineLink=1&amp;query=%22John+Kerwin%22>

on Tuesday said his agency wants to refine its testing methods to improve

detection of the virus. The state tested about 56,000 fish last year and so far

has not found signs of infectious salmon anemia.

U.S. Geological Survey

scientist James Winton <http://www.seattlepi.com/?controllerName=search&amp;action=search&amp;channel=news&amp;search=1&amp;inlineLink=1&amp;query=%22James+Winton%22>

calls the news a disease emergency. He says officials on both side of the

border should step up research, surveillance and testing.

http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Deadly-salmon-virus-raises-concerns-in-Wash-2224582.php

Chilliwack

Progress, 18th October 2011

Red flags raised over yellow salmon

This yellow chinook raised the red flag for a local

angler.

SUBMITTED PHOTO

By Jennifer Feinberg - Chilliwack

Progress <mailto:jfeinberg@theprogress.com?subject=Chilliwack%20Progress%20-%20Red%20flags%20raised%20over%20yellow%20salmon>

Yellow-tinged salmon carcasses showing up in local rivers this fall

are raising red flags.

Longtime Chilliwack angler Chris Gadsden said he was

shocked to find a yellow coloured chinook salmon recently in the Vedder Canal <http://www.bclocalnews.com/news/132061188.html>

'‹.

"I'd never seen one like that before, in my 30 plus years of fishing the

Vedder," he said.

He was so concerned, he sent some samples to DFO by

Greyhound bus for analysis.

Gadsden, 68, has a growing number of questions

about what he found, especially in light of biologist Alexandra Morton's

decision to sound the alarm on yellow salmon recently, suggesting they may be

suffering from a form of jaundice.

But the yellow colouring of the carcass

found in the Vedder is "not particularly" unusual, according to Lara Sloan, DFO

media spokesperson, in an e-mailed response to the Progress.

"Even live fall

or white Chinook have variation including gold and reddish colours," she

said.

DFO technicicans regularly "assess and collect various biological

information" from Vedder River <http://www.bclocalnews.com/news/132061188.html> '‹

chinook carcasses, from the hatchery to Keith Wilson Bridge. Included in those

details would be evidence of prespawn mortality.

"We will also collect

carcass condition, lengths, scales, otoliths and heads for CWT purposes," Sloan

reported. "The crew just started on Tuesday and have seen very few

carcasses.

"There have has been no reports of anything unusual at this

time.

Gadsden said he started asking questions after hearing that Morton had

been in the Fraser Valley recently looking into reports of pre-spawn mortality

of sockeye and coho in Fraser River tributaries feeding into the Harrison River.

Dr. Morton reported on the yellow salmon she found on Oct 5.

"I am now

examining the brains of these dying salmon myself, because I have lost all

confidence in DFO," wrote Dr. Morton on her blog last week. "On my trip up the

Fraser River two days ago I also found four yellow pink salmon.

Even the

cartilage inside the fish's head was yellow.

Dr. Laura Richards, DFO's

director general of science for the Pacific region, was asked some very specific

questions in an open letter by Morton to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, about

links between the dying salmon and a disease in farmed salmon caused by a type

of salmon leukemia.

"I want your report on these jaundice farm salmon and the

jaundice pink salmon that DFO must be aware of — why are they yellow, why are

there so many of them, is this the Chilean virus Dr. Marty notes and how would

such a virus get here?

"We know some of the fish farmers in B.C. also have

operations in Chile," wrote Morton. "Funding provided by the public is currently

being used to study jaundice that is killing farm Chinook salmon. Please send a

progress report to us."

Morton asserted that contrary to DFO's reassurance,

that "there's something very wrong here."

"I am forwarding this letter to the

over 20,000 people on my mailing list and we want your report on what DFO is

doing and who is doing it.

"We want the diagnosis on the yellow salmon. We

want to know if we a getting a side order of brain tumour in the salmon we are

eating," Morton added.

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

http://www.bclocalnews.com/news/132061188.html

Grist,

18th October 2011

Is the company behind GMO salmon the next

Solyndra?

by Tom Laskawy <http://www.grist.org/people/Tom+Laskawy>

</SPAN

Business Week/Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 19th October

2011

Deadly salmon virus raises concerns in US,

Canada

By

PHUONG LE

<http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Deadly-salmon-virus-raises-concerns-in-Wash-2224582.php#next>

Scientist technician

Laurie Niewolny places kidney and spleen samples from a chinook salmon into a

centrifuge as she preps them to be tested for viruses at the Washington Dept. of

Fish and Wildlife virology and bacteriology lab Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011, in

Olympia, Wash. Scientists in Washington state are concerned about a deadly,

contagious virus recently detected in wild salmon in British Columbia.

Researchers in British Columbia announced Monday they had found the influenza

virus in two juvenile sockeye salmon on the province's central coast, the first

time in the Pacific Northwest. Photo: Elaine Thompson / AP: http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Deadly-salmon-virus-raises-concerns-in-US-Canada-2224582.php#ixzz1bEafXkVF

<http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Deadly-salmon-virus-raises-concerns-in-US-Canada-2224582.php#ixzz1bEafXkVF>

Seattle - Scientists in Washington state are working to improve

testing of a deadly, contagious marine virus as a precaution, after the virus

was detected in wild salmon for the first time on the West

Coast.

Researchers with Simon Fraser University in British

Columbia and elsewhere announced Monday they had found the influenza-like virus

in two juvenile sockeye salmon collected from the province's central coast. The

virus, which doesn't affect humans, has caused losses at fish farms in Chile and

other areas, and could have devastating impacts on wild salmon in the region and

other species that depend on them, the researchers said.

"This is potentially very big. It's of big concern to

us," said John Kerwin, who supervises the fish health unit at the Washington

state Department of Fish and Wildlife. Even though the virus was detected in

salmon collected hundreds of miles away, at Rivers Inlet in British Columbia,

the virus could pose a threat because "fish don't have any boundaries in the

ocean ... and salmon species stray," he said.

The state tested about 56,000 hatchery and wild fish

last year and hasn't found signs of the virus -- infectious salmon anemia,

Kerwin said. But Monday's news sent Kerwin scrambling on Tuesday to work with

other agencies to find ways to beef up current testing methods. If the virus is

ever detected in Washington, the state would follow containment plans that could

include killing fish, he said.

<http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Deadly-salmon-virus-raises-concerns-in-Wash-2224582.php#next>

Scientist technician

Laurie Niewolny adds macerated kidney and spleen samples from a chinook salmon

into a test tube as she preps it to be tested for viruses at the Washington

Dept. of Fish and Wildlife virology and bacteriology lab Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011,

in Olympia, Wash. Scientists in Washington state are concerned about a deadly,

contagious virus recently detected in wild salmon in British Columbia.

Researchers in British Columbia announced Monday they had found the influenza

virus in two juvenile sockeye salmon on the province's central coast, the first

time in the Pacific Northwest. Photo: Elaine Thompson / AP

"It's a disease emergency," said James

Winton, who directs the fish health section of the U.S. Geological Survey's

Western Fisheries Research Center in Seattle.  Officials on both side of the

border should increase surveillance and research to understand how broadly the

virus is distributed, in what species, how fish are infected, among other

questions, he said. "We don't have enough information on what this strain will

do today and what it will do in the future," he said.  "We're concerned. Should

it be introduced, it might be able to adapt to Pacific salmon," added Winton,

who is not connected to the British Columbia study.

The virus was found in two of 48 juvenile sockeye salmon

collected as part of a long-term study of sockeye salmon led by Simon Fraser

University professor Rick Routledge. "It is certainly possible that this disease

may be benign for Pacific salmon, but I still don't rest easy because it was

initially benign for Atlantic salmon and it mutated," he said

Tuesday.

Researchers said Fred Kibenge of the Atlantic Veterinary

College at the University of Prince Edward Island, confirmed the presence of the

virus in two fish and noted it was a European strain of the

virus.

Routledge and biologist and wild-salmon activist

Alexandra Morton suggested Monday that the source of the virus is Atlantic

salmon farms in British Columbia, which has imported millions of salmon eggs

since 1986.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency was informed of the

suspect case over the weekend and will run its own tests and analysis at a

federal laboratory in New Brunswick, said Dr. Cornelius Kiley, a veterinarian

with the agency. It may be weeks before that's complete, he said

Tuesday.

"It's very important to ensure that the test was carried

out properly and done under the proper condition," Kiley said. "If you can

repeat it, then your level of confidence will increase."

Morton on Monday called for the removal of Atlantic

salmon from British Columbia salmon farms. And the Washington-based Wild Fish

Conservancy on Tuesday called for a halt to more net pen salmon aquaculture on

the West Coast. It also wanted widespread testing of wild and hatchery salmon

and a halt to fish farms in British Columbia until those results are

known.

But Kiley said, "We have no indication at this time that

there's any involvement with the aquaculture industry."

In

Washington state, Kerwin said one company raises Atlantic salmon in western

Washington and has not detected the virus.

John Kaufman, a fish biologist with the Oregon

Department of Fish and Wildlife, said he wasn't as concerned, partly because the

virus seems to affect Atlantic salmon the most and Oregon does not raise

Atlantic salmon off its coast.

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9QF0NBG0.htm and

http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Deadly-salmon-virus-raises-concerns-in-Wash-2224582.php

This article also appeared in over 100 other newspapers

around the world including:

MSNBC: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44952384/ns/us_news-environment/

USA Today: http://yourlife.usatoday.com/fitness-food/safety/story/2011-10-18/Deadly-salmon-virus-raises-concerns-in-US-Canada/50819320/1

San Francisco Chronicle: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/10/18/national/a152833D43.DTL

CBS: http://moneywatch.bnet.com/economic-news/news/deadly-salmon-virus-raises-concerns-in-us-canada/6317101/

Las Vegas Sun: http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2011/oct/18/us-salmon-virus-washington/

Bellingham Herald: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2011/10/18/2233548/deadly-salmon-virus-raises-concerns.html

Winnipeg Free Press: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/business/breakingnews/washington-state-scientists-worried-about-salmon-killing-virus-found-in-british-columbia-132110048.html

Arizona Daily Sun: http://azdailysun.com/news/national/deadly-salmon-virus-raises-concerns-in-us-canada/article_77755228-ae71-5278-bdf9-7b45ff06951b.html

Anchorage Daily News: http://www.adn.com/2011/10/18/2126243/deadly-salmon-virus-raises-concerns.html

The Nation (Pakistan): http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Entertainment/19-Oct-2011/Lethal-European-fish-virus-found-in-Canada

Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/industries/washington-state-scientists-worried-about-salmon-killing-virus-found-in-british-columbia/2011/10/18/gIQApfjPvL_story.html

The Daily News, 19th October 2011

Ottawa must close all open-pen salmon

farms

Re: 'Salmon test positive for "lethal" virus linked to

fish farms' (Daily News, Oct. 17)

Surprise surprise - after years of rumours, infectious

salmon anaemia has finally been confirmed here in B.C.  Despite the salmon

farming industry's smoke and mirrors the smoking gun leads straight back to the

Norwegian-owned companies who control 92% of B.C.'s salmon farms.

The industry cannot ignore the fact that the ISA virus

detected in Pacific sockeye salmon is the European strain.  Genetic testing will

soon be able to identify the company responsible for spreading ISA and the

floodgates to legal action will inevitably be opened.

ISA is a "listed" disease reportable to the World

Organization for Animal Health alongside other deadly diseases such as rabies,

BSE, foot and mouth, swine flu and avian influenza.  How an exotic disease of

Atlantic was allowed to enter the Pacific and infect wild sockeye salmon is a

case study in negligence and malfeasance.

The government's role in this sorry saga must come under

the microscope along with farmed salmon.  A policy of allowing more 29 million

Atlantic salmon eggs to be imported into B.C. since 1985 - despite scientific

evidence showing ISA could be transmitted via infected eggs - is the antithesis

of the precautionary principle.

The government must immediately close the border and

close the net on open net pen salmon farms.

Don Staniford

Sointula

http://www.canada.com/Ottawa+must+close+open+salmon+farms/5572035/story.html

See

also "Fast action needed on salmon disease" (The Times Colonist, 19th October):

http://www.timescolonist.com/health/Fast+action+needed+salmon+disease/5572619/story.html

Vancouver Sun/Times Colonist, 19th October 2011

Salmon

farm installs netting to limit need to shoot invading

animals

<javascript:void(0);>

The largest salmon farming company in

B.C. is installing thick netting around its fish farms in an effort to reduce

the number of marine mammals killed.

Photograph by: Kristie M. Miller, Photo

Handout

VICTORIA — The largest

salmon farming company in B.C. is installing thick netting around its fish farms

in an effort to reduce the number of marine mammals killed.

Marine

Harvest Canada is using winter predator guards, made of high density

polyethylene with a stainless steel core, around farms in areas such as Quatsino

Sound, where the number of seals and sea lions killed jumped dramatically this

year.

The nets, which cost $250,000 each, will encircle entire

farms.

"While we need to prevent damage to our nets and the potential

risk of escapes, these unusually high lethal interactions with marine mammals

cannot continue," said James Gaskill, MHC production director.

Shootings

and accidental drownings at fish farms were made public for the first time last

month by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Critics were shocked by the

numbers.

Marine Harvest killed 124 animals — including two Steller sea

lions — during the first three months of the year and 92 in the second

quarter.

Salmon farmers are allowed to shoot seals and sea lions that try

to get into net pens. The company says the figures represent a twofold increase

over last year and fourfold increase over 2009, probably because of an enormous

increase in the number of marine mammals in areas such as Quatsino

Sound.

A complaint by environmental activists from five countries, asking

the U.S. to ban imports of salmon from farms where marine mammals are killed, is

being reviewed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric

Administration.

"NOAA will respond to the organizations who wrote the

letter. It would not be appropriate to discuss the response before it has been

officially provided," said spokeswoman Christine Patrick.

The U.S Marine

Mammal Protection Act prohibits the intentional killing of marine mammals in

commercial fishing operations, including fish farms.

Last year, NOAA

Fisheries said it was looking at establishing standards to determine which

commercial fish products comply with the act's import provisions.

The

proposed rules are now being reviewed and will go for public comment before

being finalized.

Mary Ellen Walling, B.C. Salmon Farmers Association

executive director, said reducing the number of marine mammals killed is a high

priority for salmon farmers and the request to the NOAA from environmental

organizations does not look at the whole picture.

"While interaction

numbers for Canadian wild fisheries or other food producers aren't reported

publicly, as they are for salmon farmers, they are (reported) in the U.S. and we

see they are facing similar challenges," Walling said.

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Salmon+farm+installs+netting+limit+need+shoot+invading+animals/5572572/story.html

See

also:

"US urged to act over killing of marine mammals " (Times

Colonist, 6th October 2011): http://www.timescolonist.com/business/urged+over+killing+marine+mammals/5511054/story.html

"Farmed Salmon in Firing Line: Complaint filed under U.S. Marine Mammal

Protection Act" (Wild Salmon First, 5th October 2011): http://www.wildsalmonfirst.org/boycott

Barents

Observer, 19th October 2011

Norwegian salmon banned from Russia

Article online in full via: http://www.barentsobserver.com/norwegian-salmon-banned-from-russia.4974518-16175.html

The Courier-Islander, 18th October 2011

$500,000 for two

nets at farm sites

Marine Harvest Canada says it will spend $500,000 at two

farm sites in the Quatsino area to ensure that lethal interactions with seals

and sea lions are drastically reduced, if not eliminated.

MHC said they

experienced higher than normal culls of seals and sea lions during the first two

quarters of 2011. MHC said one hundred and twenty four seals and/or sea lions

were killed in the first quarter, and 92 in the second quarter representing more

than a two-fold increase over the same period in 2010 and a four-fold increase

over 2009. This unusually high interaction with seals and sea lions was most

evident in Quatsino Sound, located on the Northwest tip of Vancouver Island,

which witnessed marine mammals move into the area at unprecedented numbers this

past winter.

Predator control authorization for salmon farms is included in

the Finfish Aquaculture License issued by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). As

detailed in this license, a farmer may only take lethal action as a last resort

against a particularly aggressive and persistent individual marine predator if

it presents imminent danger to the facility or human life and only after all

reasonable measures have been exhausted (acoustic deterrents are

prohibited).

Although preliminary third quarter numbers are far lower at

about 5 lethal interactions, MHC is taking steps to address the

matter.

"While we need to prevent damage to our nets and the potential risk

of escapes, these unusually high lethal interactions with marine mammals cannot

continue," said James Gaskill, MHC's Production Director, "and in response we

have invested in additional protector netting at high risk farms that will

reduce or eliminate these interactions."

The nets, referred to as winter

predator guards, encompass the entire farm and provide a first wall of defense

against marine predators. They are constructed of high density polyethylene and

include a stainless steel core and will cost $250,000 to outfit each farm site.

They will be in place prior to the winter season when seals and sea lions begin

to move into the area.

"Marine users such as commercial fisheries,

aquaculture, tourism and transport are all finding ways to accommodate this

increase in marine mammal interactions," said Clare Backman, MHC's

Sustainability Programs Director. "It's imperative that we take all necessary

steps to eliminate lethal interactions."

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/nets+farm+sites/5572084/story.html

CBC,

18th October 2011

Infectious Salmon Anaemia: hear from a researcher who

found a new and potentially devastating disease in Canadian

salmon

Listen to an interview with Professor Rick Routledge of Simon

Fraser Univerity: Hear from a researcher who found a new and potentially

devastating disease in Canadian salmon

http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/Radio/Local_Shows/Maritimes/Information_Morning_(NS)/2035075335/ID=2156340633

See

also a CBC radio interview with Dr Gary Marty and Dr Alexandra Morton: http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/Radio/Local_Shows/Maritimes/Information_Morning_(NS)/2035075335/ID=2155815690

NPR,

18th October 2011

Sockeye Salmon

Scientists to survey

Northwest waters for alarming salmon virus

By

Tom Banse <http://www.kplu.org/people/tom-banse>

<http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/kplu/files/201110/sockeyesalmon.jpg>

Sockeye salmon populations are facing a new

challenge.

·

Listen <http://pd.npr.org/anon.npr-mp3/148/ingest/2011/10/20111018_ingest_20431929.mp3?orgId=148&amp;ft=3&amp;f=141489677>

Federal fisheries scientists plan to survey

Pacific Northwest and Alaskan waters to determine if a harmful European fish

virus has spread here.

This week, scientists in British Columbia announced

they've found the fish-killing virus in wild Pacific salmon for the first

time.

The detection of the contagion in wild British Columbia sockeye comes

as a surprise. Infectious Salmon Anemia is not harmful to humans, but the virus

has previously inflicted heavy losses on Atlantic fish farms.

The big unknown

is how vulnerable wild Pacific salmon and herring are. The Western Fisheries

Research Center lab in Seattle plans to investigate quickly says microbiologist

Jim Winton.

"It could range from relatively severe to maybe not-so-severe

depending on the susceptibility of these stocks," he says.

Some wild salmon

advocates strongly suspect the disease was introduced to the North Pacific via

farmed Atlantic salmon. They want saltwater salmon farms in Washington and

British Columbia shut down while the outbreak is investigated.

The B.C.

salmon farm industry insists tests on their fish have found no signs of

infection.

On the Web:

·

NY Times:

Salmon-Killing Virus Seen for First Time in the Wild on the Pacific Coast <http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/18/science/18salmon.html>

·         Vancouver Sun:

'Lethal' Atlantic salmon disease found in B.C. wild <http://www.vancouversun.com/Lethal+Atlantic+salmon+disease+found+wild/5565660/story.html#ixzz1bBT5Ke1l>

·         USGS Western

Fisheries Research Center <http://wfrc.usgs.gov/index.html>

·         Diagnosing

Infectious Salmon Anemia <http://www.crl-fish.eu/Diagnostic_Manuals/ISA.aspx>

http://www.kplu.org/post/scientists-survey-northwest-waters-alarming-salmon-virus

CBC Radio Canada, 18th October 2011

Des saumons du

Pacifique infectés par un virus de souche européenne

Une équipe de

chercheurs de l'Université Simon Fraser en Colombie-Britannique affirment que

des saumons du Pacifique ont contracté l'anémie infectieuse, un virus

extrêmement contagieux qui est une menace pour la population de saumons

sauvages.

L'équipe de chercheurs, dirigée par le Dr Richard Routledge, a

décelé l'anémie infectieuse sur deux saumons sauvages dans la région de Rivers

Inlet, sur la côte du Pacifique.

Le Dr Routledge affirme que la seule

raison plausible de la présence de cette maladie est l'importation d'oeufs de

saumons de l'Atlantique par les fermes d'élevage.

Cette découverte donne

des munitions à ceux qui s'opposent aux fermes d'élevage <http://www.radio-canada.ca/actualite/semaineverte/ColorSection/peche/030817/salmoniculture.shtml>

. La biologiste Alexandra Morton croit que la présence de ce virus de souche

européenne est une preuve irréfutable du danger des fermes d'élevage pour la

santé des saumons sauvages et que cela va obliger les propriétaires à cesser

leurs activités.

Les chercheurs demandent que des tests à grande échelle

soient faits dans toutes les fermes d'élevage, où le virus pourrait s'être

propagé, selon eux.

Alexandra Morton explique qu'à l'état sauvage, les

poissons infectés sont rapidement éliminés par la sélection naturelle. Elle

ajoute que dans les fermes, les agents pathogènes se transmettent rapidement

d'un poisson à l'autre, et les poissons malades ne sont pas mangés par leurs

prédateurs, ce qui facilite la contagion.

L'Association des fermes

d'élevage de saumons de la Colombie-Britannique prend cette nouvelle au sérieux,

mais elle maintient que ses poissons sont en bonne santé et qu'aucun d'entre eux

n'est infecté par ce virus. Elle précise également que les poissons infectés ont

été découverts dans une région loin des fermes d'élevage.

http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/science/2011/10/18/004-saumon-pacifique-virus.shtml

Take Part, 18th October 2011

Deadly Flu-Like Salmon Farm Disease Jumps to

Wild

Lethal and devastating disease detected in wild Pacific

Northwest salmon for the first time

By Max Follmer <http://www.takepart.com/author/max-follmer>

Sockeye salmon, also known as red salmon, migrating

upstream to go spawn. (Photo: Getty Images).

Infectious salmon anemia (ISA), a highly contagious

flu-like virus that can kill up to 70 percent of fish on infected farms, has

been found <http://www.sfu.ca/pamr/media-releases/2011/lethal-atlantic-virus-found-in-pacific-salmon.html>

in the wild off the West Coast of North America for the first time ever,

researchers in British Columbia announced on

Monday.

Already, experts are warning that the disease, if left

unchecked, could devastate Pacific salmon stocks, with one researcher

calling <http://www.sfu.ca/pamr/media-releases/2011/lethal-atlantic-virus-found-in-pacific-salmon.html>

ISA a "cataclysmic threat," and a fisheries expert in Seattle warning <http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/18/science/18salmon.html>

of a "disease emergency."

ISA first emerged in Norway in 1984 when scientists

detected a new, more virulent strain of a disease that had long existed in

salmon. Experts link the emergence of the new strain to the rapid development of

aqualcuture — fish farming — because infected fish shed the virus in packed salmon

pens, rather than being consumed by predators in the wild.

"The potential impact of ISA cannot be taken lightly,"

said <http://www.sfu.ca/pamr/media-releases/2011/lethal-atlantic-virus-found-in-pacific-salmon.html>

Prof. Rick Routledge, whose lab at Simon Fraser University led the study that

discovered ISA in the wild. "There must be an immediate response to assess the

extent of the outbreak, determine its source, and to eliminate all controllable

sources of the virus — even though no country has ever eradicated it once it has

arrived."

Experts suspect the

virus jumped to the Pacific Northwest when Atlantic salmon eggs were imported

from Europe to be used in the region's salmon farms.

"The European strain of ISA virus can only have come

from the Atlantic salmon farms. European strain ISA infected Chile via Atlantic

salmon eggs in 2007," said Alexandra Morton, another researcher who participated

in the study.

According to The New York Times <http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/18/science/18salmon.html>

:

The only barrier between the salmon farms and wild fish

is a net... No vaccine or treatment exists for infectious salmon

anemia.

Researchers at Simon

Fraser found the virus on two of 48 wild sockeye salmon being studied as part of

ongoing research into the collapse of Rivers Inlet sockeye populations.

The team is calling on the Canadian government to halt

the flow of Atlantic salmon eggs to the Canadian salmon farms, and for greater

testing in the region to determine the extent of ISA infection. They point out

that ISA has cost the Chilean salmon industry more than $2 billion since it

began ravaging salmon in 2007.

And they note ominously at the end of their release

announcing the discovery that the virus is "prone to mutating into increasingly

virulent forms."

http://www.takepart.com/article/2011/10/18/deadly-flu-salmon-farm-disease-jumps-wild

NDP,

18th October 2011

New Democrats call for answers on salmon

virus

VICTORIA — New Democrats are calling on the Liberal

government to release any and all information and reports they have received

about a virus that is threatening wild and farmed salmon in British Columbian

waters.

"If the Liberal

government received information describing classic infectious salmon anemia

(ISA) like lesions on salmon samples gathered in our waters, the public deserves

to know what steps were taken to investigate this grave threat to our wild

salmon and the ecosystems that depend on them," said New Democrat environment

critic, Rob Fleming.

Fleming and New Democrat agriculture critic Lana

Popham have written to the Liberal minister of Agriculture, asking for the

government to come clean with British Columbians about any previous knowledge

they had of this threat to our wild and farmed salmon.

The virus, which

was detected by Canada's ISA reference lab, is the European strain of ISA, the

same virus that devastated the Chilean fish farming industry, causing $2 billion

in losses, and ending more than 25,000 jobs.

"If we do have an outbreak

of infectious salmon anemia here in British Columbia we need to act quickly to

assess the spread of this disease and come up with strategies to contain it,"

said Popham. "Anything less than decisive action could spell disaster for wild

Pacific salmon."

Fleming said that Adrian Dix and the New Democrats will

hold the government to account on its stewardship of the environment and

protection of wild salmon.

http://www.bcndpcaucus.ca/en/new_democrats_call_for_answers_on_salmon_virus?mid=5080512

Fin

Donnelly MP, 18th October 2011

New Democrat Fisheries Critic, Fin

Donnelly (New Westminster — Coquitlam) today challenged the Fisheries Minister

on the Government's inaction on the serious problem of salmon anemia in BC's

fish stocks.  Donnelly also criticised the Government's cuts to the Department

of Fisheries and Oceans and their silencing of departmental scientists.

Question Period — Tuesday, October 19, 2011

Mr.

Fin Donnelly (New Westminster — Coquitlam, NDP): Mr. Speaker, infectious

salmon anemia has been diagnosed in sockeye smolts in the Pacific.

This

is the same virus that infected and wiped out almost 70% of farmed salmon in

Chile. We do not know the long-term effects on wild salmon or how long this

virus has been present in the Pacific waters.

What is the government

doing to investigate this serious threat to our salmon

fishery?

Mr. Fin Donnelly (New Westminster — Coquitlam, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, the government's silence on fisheries is deafening. Instead of

providing answers, there is no communication from the department and scientists

remain muzzled. Conservatives are gutting the DFO and cutting funding to

fisheries conservation councils. Their policy seems to be "hear no evil, see no

evil, speak no evil" and they hope these problems go away. They will

not.

When will the minister agree to a full and transparent

investigation of this serious issue and threat to our fisheries?

For

further information please contact:

Office of Fin Donnelly (New

Westminster-Coquitlam)

613-947-4456

http://www.findonnelly.ca/

Hansard, 18th October

2011

Fisheries and Oceans <http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&amp;Mode=1&amp;Parl=41&amp;Ses=1&amp;DocId=5176357#SOB-4379448>

<http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&amp;Mode=1&amp;Parl=41&amp;Ses=1&amp;DocId=5176357#SOB-4379390>

<http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&amp;Mode=1&amp;Parl=41&amp;Ses=1&amp;DocId=5176357#Int-4379411>

<http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&amp;Mode=1&amp;Parl=41&amp;Ses=1&amp;DocId=5176357#Int-4379405>

[Table

of Contents <javascript:void(0);> ]

Mr. Fin Donnelly (New Westminster — Coquitlam, NDP)

<http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/GetWebOptionsCallBack.aspx?SourceSystem=PRISM&amp;ResourceType=Affiliation&amp;ResourceID=170284&amp;language=1&amp;DisplayMode=2>

: <http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&amp;Mode=1&amp;Parl=41&amp;Ses=1&amp;DocId=5176357#Int-4379413>

Mr. Speaker, infectious

salmon anemia has been diagnosed in sockeye smolts in the Pacific. This is the

same virus that infected and wiped out almost 70% of farmed salmon in

Chile.

We do not know the long-term effects on wild salmon or how long this

virus has been present in the Pacific waters. What is the government doing to

investigate this serious threat to our salmon fishery?

<http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&amp;Mode=1&amp;Parl=41&amp;Ses=1&amp;DocId=5176357#Int-4379413>

<http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&amp;Mode=1&amp;Parl=41&amp;Ses=1&amp;DocId=5176357#Int-4379407>

[Table

of Contents <javascript:void(0);> ]

Hon. Keith Ashfield (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and

Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, CPC) <http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/GetWebOptionsCallBack.aspx?SourceSystem=PRISM&amp;ResourceType=Affiliation&amp;ResourceID=170676&amp;language=1&amp;DisplayMode=2>

: <http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&amp;Mode=1&amp;Parl=41&amp;Ses=1&amp;DocId=5176357#Int-4379445>

Mr. Speaker, our

government understands the importance of salmon for British Columbia

economically, historically and culturally. That is why the Prime Minister <http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/GetWebOptionsCallBack.aspx?SourceSystem=PRISM&amp;ResourceType=Affiliation&amp;ResourceID=78738&amp;language=1&amp;DisplayMode=2>

established the Cohen Commission of Inquiry in 2009. I encourage the member to

support the work of Justice Cohen and the Cohen Commission.

<http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&amp;Mode=1&amp;Parl=41&amp;Ses=1&amp;DocId=5176357#Int-4379445>

<http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&amp;Mode=1&amp;Parl=41&amp;Ses=1&amp;DocId=5176357#Int-4379411>

[Table

of Contents <javascript:void(0);> ]

Mr. Fin Donnelly (New Westminster — Coquitlam, NDP)

<http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/GetWebOptionsCallBack.aspx?SourceSystem=PRISM&amp;ResourceType=Affiliation&amp;ResourceID=170284&amp;language=1&amp;DisplayMode=2>

: <http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&amp;Mode=1&amp;Parl=41&amp;Ses=1&amp;DocId=5176357#Int-4379407>

Mr. Speaker, the

government's silence on fisheries is deafening. Instead of providing answers,

there is no communication from the department and scientists remain muzzled.

Conservatives are gutting the DFO and cutting funding to fisheries conservation

councils. Their policy seems to be "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil"

and they hope these problems go away. They will not.

When will the minister

agree to a full and transparent investigation of this serious issue and threat

to our fisheries?

<http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&amp;Mode=1&amp;Parl=41&amp;Ses=1&amp;DocId=5176357#Int-4379447>

<http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&amp;Mode=1&amp;Parl=41&amp;Ses=1&amp;DocId=5176357#Int-4379413>

[Table

of Contents <javascript:void(0);> ]

Hon. Keith Ashfield (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and

Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, CPC) <http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/GetWebOptionsCallBack.aspx?SourceSystem=PRISM&amp;ResourceType=Affiliation&amp;ResourceID=170676&amp;language=1&amp;DisplayMode=2>

: <http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&amp;Mode=1&amp;Parl=41&amp;Ses=1&amp;DocId=5176357#Int-4379411>

Mr. Speaker, a strategic

review was an opportunity for the department to assess performance of its

programs. It also allowed us to ensure that we were responding to the priorities

of Canadians. We have the responsibility to spend taxpayer money prudently and

where it will do the most good. We must ensure that government programs are

efficient, effective and achieving the expected results of Canadians.

DFO is

making steady progress in modernizing and improving our program and policy

approach to meet the needs of Canadians today and in the future.

* * *

http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=41&Ses=1&DocId=5176357#Int-4379407

<http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&amp;Mode=1&amp;Parl=41&amp;Ses=1&amp;DocId=5176357#Int-4379407>

ABC News/Associated Press/Washington Post/CBS 18th October 2011

Deadly salmon virus raises concerns in US, Canada

By

PHUONG LE Associated Press

Scientists in Washington state are working to improve

testing of a deadly, contagious marine virus as a precaution, after the virus

was detected in wild salmon for the first time on the West

Coast.

Researchers with Simon Fraser University in British

Columbia and elsewhere announced Monday they had found the influenza-like virus

in two juvenile sockeye salmon collected from the province's central coast. The

virus, which doesn't affect humans, has caused losses at fish farms in Chile and

other areas, and could have devastating impacts on wild salmon in the region and

other species that depend on them, the researchers said.

"This is potentially very big. It's of big concern to

us," said John Kerwin, who supervises the fish health unit at the Washington

state Department of Fish and Wildlife. Even though the virus was detected in

salmon collected hundreds of miles away, at Rivers Inlet in British Columbia,

the virus could pose a threat because "fish don't have any boundaries in the

ocean ... and salmon species stray," he said.

The state tested about 56,000 hatchery and wild fish

last year and hasn't found signs of the virus — infectious salmon anemia, Kerwin

said. But Monday's news sent Kerwin scrambling on Tuesday to work with other

agencies to find ways to beef up current testing methods. If the virus is ever

detected in Washington, the state would follow containment plans that could

include killing fish, he said.

"It's a disease emergency," said James Winton, who

directs the fish health section of the U.S. Geological Survey's Western

Fisheries Research Center in Seattle.

Officials on both side of the border should increase

surveillance and research to understand how broadly the virus is distributed, in

what species, how fish are infected, among other questions, he said. "We don't

have enough information on what this strain will do today and what it will do in

the future," he said.

"We're concerned. Should it be introduced, it might be

able to adapt to Pacific salmon," added Winton, who is not connected to the

British Columbia study.

The virus was found in two of 48 juvenile sockeye salmon

collected as part of a long-term study of sockeye salmon led by Simon Fraser

University professor Rick Routledge. "The potential impact of (the virus) cannot

be taken lightly," he said in a statement Monday.

Researchers said Fred Kibenge of the Atlantic Veterinary

College at the University of Prince Edward Island, confirmed the presence of the

virus in two fish and noted it was a European strain of the

virus.

Routledge and biologist and wild-salmon activist

Alexandra Morton suggested Monday that the source of the virus is Atlantic

salmon farms in British Columbia, which has imported millions of salmon eggs

since 1986.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency was informed of the

suspect case over the weekend and will run its own tests and analysis at a

federal laboratory in New Brunswick, said Dr. Cornelius Kiley, a veterinarian

with the agency. It may be weeks before that's complete, he said

Tuesday.

"It's very important to ensure that the test was carried

out properly and done under the proper condition," Kiley said. "If you can

repeat it, then your level of confidence will increase."

Morton on Monday called for the removal of Atlantic

salmon from British Columbia salmon farms. And the Washington-based Wild Fish

Conservancy on Tuesday called for a halt to more net pen salmon aquaculture on

the West Coast. It also wanted widespread testing of wild and hatchery salmon

and a halt to fish farms in British Columbia until those results are

known.

But Kiley said, "We have no indication at this time that

there's any involvement with the aquaculture industry."

In

Washington state, Kerwin said one company raises Atlantic salmon in western

Washington and has not detected the virus.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/deadly-salmon-virus-raises-concerns-us-canada-14765021

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/industries/washington-state-scientists-worried-about-salmon-killing-virus-found-in-british-columbia/2011/10/18/gIQApfjPvL_story.html

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/10/18/ap/business/main20122243.shtml

CBC, 18th October 2011

Aquaculture follow

A

second opinion on whether fish farms can be linked to salmon diseases. B.C. fish

pathologist Gary Marty clarifies his own research.

Listen online (also

includes Alexandra Morton) via: http://www.cbc.ca/informationmorningns/2011/10/18/acquaculture-follow/

Wild Fish Conservancy, 18th October 2011

Wild Fish Conservancy Response to ISAv Detection in

B.C.

WILD FISH CONSERVANCY

PO Box 402 Duvall, WA 98019 ·

Tel 425-788-1167 · Fax 425-788-9634 ·

info@wildfishconservancy.org

Contact: Todd Sandell, Wild Fish Conservancy,

206-707-2979

Dr. James Winton, U.S. Geological Survey - Western Fisheries

Research Center, 206-526-6587

Dr. Fred Kibenge, Atlantic Veterinary College

- University of Prince Edward Island, 902-566-0967

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, October 18,

2011

News that Infectious Salmon Anemia Virus (ISAv) was

detected in coastal British Columbia sockeye salmon is greatly alarming. The

results were reported by the laboratory of Dr. Fred Kibenge at the Atlantic

Veterinary College, which serves as the World Organization for Animal Health's

ISAv reference laboratory. The presence of this virus, never before detected in

the Pacific Northwest, poses a serious threat to native salmon species that are

already in decline or endangered. The discovery was referred to as a disease

emergency with "global implications" by Dr. James Winton, fish health section

chief of the U.S. Geological Survey's Western Fisheries Research Center. The

virus is not infectious to humans.

Although previous research indicated that ISAv was not

as virulent for Pacific salmonids as for Atlantic salmon, the virus can readily

mutate and was recently implicated in widespread mortalities among farmed coho

salmon in Chile and is likely involved in the recent declines of sockeye salmon

in British Columbia. The strain of ISAv detected is of European origin,

suggesting that the virus was introduced to western Canada via the importation

of infected Atlantic salmon eggs by the salmon aquaculture

industry.

Assurances that these fish did not harbor ISAv, voiced

by both the source countries and the aquaculture industry, were inadequate and

misleading; given the findings of the recent Cohen commission, it also appears

that oversight of the aquaculture industry in B.C. has been compromised.

Immediate steps need to be taken by both Canadian and U.S. officials to ensure

that the spread of the virus is contained and to carefully investigate the

extent of the threat. The Wild Fish Conservancy recommends the following steps

be taken as soon as possible:

Points of Action:

1)

Immediately halt plans to allow additional net pen salmon aquaculture,

particularly for non-native salmonids, on the west coast of North America. As

stocking of non-native species can no longer be justified, production of

Atlantic salmon at hatcheries should also cease.

2)

Immediately test freshly-collected and frozen, archival samples for ISAv in

sockeye and other Pacific salmonids of wild, hatchery, and net pen origin, as

well as marine species that may act as a reservoir for the virus. As this issue

poses a threat to U.S. and Canadian salmon populations, the testing needs to be

conducted by impartial U.S. and Canadian labs, using accepted fish health

protocols. We recommend that Dr. James Winton be given oversight of this process

and an independent scientific advisory panel be established whose members are

not limited to governmental organizations. Emergency funding to conduct this

investigation needs to be set aside by both the Canadian and U.S.

government.

3)

Halt and fallow net pen aquaculture farms in British Columbia until the testing

results are known. Current fish production at sites that test positive for ISAv

should be humanely destroyed to prevent transfer of the virus to other stocks

and species of native fish.

4)

The Department of Fisheries And Oceans, which assumed oversight of aquaculture

operations in 2010, needs a mandate that focuses on the preservation of a public

resource (wild salmon) rather than one that focuses on developing the

aquaculture industry.

5)

Both the U.S. and Canadian governments need to develop and implement better

oversight of both land- and sea-based aquaculture, with a focus on pathogen

transfer and risks to native species.

6)

Future aquaculture operations should be land-based, where the escape of

non-native species can be successfully prevented and the effluent from such

operations (which can allow for the transfer of pathogens) can be sterilized if

great care is exercised. Although this will raise the cost of product, the

increase will reflect the true cost of doing business in an environmentally

responsible manner.

In

response to this news, the salmon aquaculture industry will herald that they

brought much needed jobs to rural British Columbia. While jobs are clearly

needed in such difficult economic times, it is important to recognize that the

net pen aquaculture of non-native species presents a threat to the survival of

wild salmon populations and the fishing-related jobs which have benefited the

region for generations. These corporations seek to extract a profit from

non-native salmon aquaculture while endangering a public resource and a way of

life for First Nations people. It is time that this practice is

stopped.

###

Wild Fish Conservancy is a non-profit organization

dedicated to the recovery and conservation of the Northwest region's wild-fish

ecosystems, with over 2,500 members. Wild Fish Conservancy's staff of over 20

professional scientists, advocates, and educators works to promote technically

and socially responsible habitat, hatchery, and harvest management to better

sustain the region's wild fish heritage. For more information, visit us at

wildfishconservancy.org or follow us on Facebook at

facebook.com/wildfishconservancy.

http://www.flyrodreel.com/blogs/tedwilliams/2011/october/conservancy-detection

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 18th October 2011

Deadly salmon virus raises concerns in Wash.

PHUONG LE,

Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) —

Scientists in Washington state are concerned about a deadly, contagious virus

recently detected in wild salmon in British Columbia.

Researchers in

British Columbia announced Monday they had found the influenza virus in two

juvenile sockeye salmon on B.C.'s central coast, the first time in the Pacific

Northwest. The virus has caused devastating losses at fish farms in

Chile.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's John Kerwin <http://www.seattlepi.com/?controllerName=search&amp;action=search&amp;channel=news&amp;search=1&amp;inlineLink=1&amp;query=%22John+Kerwin%22>

on Tuesday said his agency wants to refine its testing methods to improve

detection of the virus. The state tested about 56,000 fish last year and so far

has not found signs of infectious salmon anemia.

U.S. Geological Survey

scientist James Winton <http://www.seattlepi.com/?controllerName=search&amp;action=search&amp;channel=news&amp;search=1&amp;inlineLink=1&amp;query=%22James+Winton%22>

calls the news a disease emergency. He says officials on both side of the

border should step up research, surveillance and testing.

http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Deadly-salmon-virus-raises-concerns-in-Wash-2224582.php

Chilliwack

Progress, 18th October 2011

Red flags raised over yellow salmon

This yellow chinook raised the red flag for a local

angler.

SUBMITTED PHOTO

By Jennifer Feinberg - Chilliwack

Progress <mailto:jfeinberg@theprogress.com?subject=Chilliwack%20Progress%20-%20Red%20flags%20raised%20over%20yellow%20salmon>

Yellow-tinged salmon carcasses showing up in local rivers this fall

are raising red flags.

Longtime Chilliwack angler Chris Gadsden said he was

shocked to find a yellow coloured chinook salmon recently in the Vedder Canal <http://www.bclocalnews.com/news/132061188.html>

'‹.

"I'd never seen one like that before, in my 30 plus years of fishing the

Vedder," he said.

He was so concerned, he sent some samples to DFO by

Greyhound bus for analysis.

Gadsden, 68, has a growing number of questions

about what he found, especially in light of biologist Alexandra Morton's

decision to sound the alarm on yellow salmon recently, suggesting they may be

suffering from a form of jaundice.

But the yellow colouring of the carcass

found in the Vedder is "not particularly" unusual, according to Lara Sloan, DFO

media spokesperson, in an e-mailed response to the Progress.

"Even live fall

or white Chinook have variation including gold and reddish colours," she

said.

DFO technicicans regularly "assess and collect various biological

information" from Vedder River <http://www.bclocalnews.com/news/132061188.html> '‹

chinook carcasses, from the hatchery to Keith Wilson Bridge. Included in those

details would be evidence of prespawn mortality.

"We will also collect

carcass condition, lengths, scales, otoliths and heads for CWT purposes," Sloan

reported. "The crew just started on Tuesday and have seen very few

carcasses.

"There have has been no reports of anything unusual at this

time.

Gadsden said he started asking questions after hearing that Morton had

been in the Fraser Valley recently looking into reports of pre-spawn mortality

of sockeye and coho in Fraser River tributaries feeding into the Harrison River.

Dr. Morton reported on the yellow salmon she found on Oct 5.

"I am now

examining the brains of these dying salmon myself, because I have lost all

confidence in DFO," wrote Dr. Morton on her blog last week. "On my trip up the

Fraser River two days ago I also found four yellow pink salmon.

Even the

cartilage inside the fish's head was yellow.

Dr. Laura Richards, DFO's

director general of science for the Pacific region, was asked some very specific

questions in an open letter by Morton to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, about

links between the dying salmon and a disease in farmed salmon caused by a type

of salmon leukemia.

"I want your report on these jaundice farm salmon and the

jaundice pink salmon that DFO must be aware of — why are they yellow, why are

there so many of them, is this the Chilean virus Dr. Marty notes and how would

such a virus get here?

"We know some of the fish farmers in B.C. also have

operations in Chile," wrote Morton. "Funding provided by the public is currently

being used to study jaundice that is killing farm Chinook salmon. Please send a

progress report to us."

Morton asserted that contrary to DFO's reassurance,

that "there's something very wrong here."

"I am forwarding this letter to the

over 20,000 people on my mailing list and we want your report on what DFO is

doing and who is doing it.

"We want the diagnosis on the yellow salmon. We

want to know if we a getting a side order of brain tumour in the salmon we are

eating," Morton added.

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

http://www.bclocalnews.com/news/132061188.html

Grist,

18th October 2011

Is the company behind GMO salmon the next

Solyndra?

by Tom Laskawy <http://www.grist.org/people/Tom+Laskawy>

</SPAN

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