News

Salmon virus not confirmed: DFO

The infectious salmon anemia virus (ISAV) has reportedly been found in a coho from Weaver Creek which flows into the Fraser River near Harrison Mills.

According to a document obtained by opponents to commercial fish farms, the Weaver Creek coho tested positive for the virus, along with another from Rivers Inlet on B.C.’s central coast.

However, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency document goes on to say the positive ISAV detection is not confirmed and is “suspect” because of “chain of custody” issues.

But if the virus from fish farmed salmon has entered wild stocks, it could play havoc with B.C.’s salmon industry.

The virus reportedly caused $2 billion in damages to Chilean fish stocks.

Further tests to confirm the virus are underway and results are expected in the next four or five weeks, a federal fisheries spokesperson said Wednesday.

But fish-farm critics say they have lost confidence in the DFO, and fear the worst if the virus is loose in wild stocks.

“The name of the game is containment now,” said Ernie Crey, a local fisheries critic, because the virus can’t be destroyed and can mutate into other forms.

Crey said it is “folly” to leave regular testing of farmed salmon to companies.

“It’s a conflict of interest,” he said. “It should be done by the DFO or an independent lab.”

Dr. Alexandra Morton, who found the Weaver Creek coho, agreed with Crey’s call for independent testing.

“Salmon farms break the natural laws, and viruses, bacteria and parasites are the beneficiaries of the behaviour,” she wrote in an internet blog.

If viruses are allowed to flourish in fish farms, she said, “you get pestilence. There is no other outcome.”

Meanwhile, Federal fisheries minister Keith Ashfield is calling for public calm until the tests are finalized.

“Public debate and any forward action on this issue must be based on the best science,” he said.

rfreeman@theprogress.com

twitter.com/paperboy2

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Arrests of pipeline protesters in Burnaby signal start of long battle
 
RCMP members recognized for bravery
 
Chilliwack and beyond challenged to share their next meal
Man charged in downtown Chilliwack crash
 
Funding for middle school playgrounds confusing
 
Trails society to start with trail rehab in Chilliwack River Valley
Q&A: Ex-transportation ministers criticize referendum, discuss TransLink
 
Operation Red Nose ready to hit the road for another season
 
Jim Cuddy riding rails with CP Holiday Train

Community Events, November 2014

Add an Event


Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Nov 21 edition online now. Browse the archives.