Food inspection agency quarantines south coast salmon farm

Daniel
Daniel MacEachern
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Darin King — Photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has quarantined a Newfoundland aquaculture site due to a salmon virus.

Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Darin King, in a written statement issued by department spokesman Bradly Power, said the agency quarantined an aquaculture site on the south coast because of a suspected case of infectious salmon anemia. “This quarantine restricts movement of people, fish, vessels and equipment, with strict biosecurity measures in place while final testing by CFIA takes place.”

According to the provincial government, which has not identified which site has been quarantined, testing done by the aquatic animal health division raised suspicions of the virus. The food inspection agency was notified, and further testing June 29 revealed similar results.

The government notes that the virus is not harmful to people, and occurs naturally in the wild. Nell Halse, spokeswoman for Cooke Aquaculture, said it’s not a Cooke farm — the New Brunswick-based company has a farm in St. Alban’s — where the virus is suspected. In Nova Scotia earlier this year, Cooke had to euthanize salmon at its Nova Scotia operations after the virus was found there. “We are very concerned because there are different companies working in the same area, and we are certainly very eager to see the company involved be very aggressive and proactive like we have been in Nova Scotia,” she said. “This is a virus. We have learned from experience you need to remove the fish as quickly as possible.”

Halse said the agency requires all test results to be in before a diagnosis is confirmed and a company ordered to take action, but that can take weeks. “If it was our site, we would have removed the fish without waiting for that order because it’s an important way of managing it, especially when you have other farms in the area that are at risk.”

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has not returned a request for comment.

dmaceachern@thetelegram.com, Twitter: TelegramDaniel

Organizations: Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Newfoundland

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Recent comments

  • Just one thing
    July 06, 2012 - 10:30

    Anything food grown in the wild is better for you than farmed foods. The only problem is the wild cannot produce enough food to feed the population.

  • Paul
    July 06, 2012 - 10:17

    the ignorance of people (as seen in comments here) re: farmed salmon is astounding but not surprising. the industry needs to do a better job of providing factual information debunking the baloney myths going around about the salmon farming industry...I can guarantee you that the misinformation is provided by 'anti-salmon farming' lobby who have a clear agenda, and its not about balanced debate or honest effort to 'inform' people of the issues.

  • FINTiP
    July 06, 2012 - 08:04

    The nutritional value of food from animals harvested in the wild is inherently greater than from those grown in captivity. Moose and caribou, for example, far surpass beef in terms of food safety, nutritional balance, and taste appeal. The same can be said of wild birds versus chicken. Anyone who has ever eaten wild Atlantic salmon can attest to its superiority over the much paler, less robust flavoured farm version. Farmed salmon not only has a lower percentage of useable omega-3 fatty acids but a much higher level of toxicity - i.e. PCBs and pesticides. Moreover, there is a significant, persistent risk to the recovery of wild salmon stocks in the Atlantic from cross-contamination with inferior farmed salmon. This includes the transmission of disease and the genetic impairment of wild salmon. The 'tragedy of the commons' is that, because nations could not agree on a shared harvesting of finite marine biomasses, wild fish stocks are rapidly being replaced by cultivated versions. Inevitably this will hasten the demise of the remaining wild species. ........... A note to Eli. The sale of supplements that claim an optimal balance of omega-3 and omega-6 is little more than a marketing scam and should be outlawed. It is the ratio of dietary fats to each other - not the absolute quantities - that is the underlying cause of numerous medical conditions. Our diets already contain excessive quantities of omega-6, especially in relation to the very low levels of omega-3. Intentionally ingesting even more omega-6 is therefore counterproductive. Anyone serious about correcting this imbalance should consider seal oil. Omega-3s available from the Harp seal are superior for a number of reasons to those available from fish and plant life. How ironic that this one remaining nutritionally valuable and utilitarian natural resource, which in numbers are well past their carrying capacity, is eschewed by a large number of people brainwashed into believing that man-made products are superior to those provided by nature.

  • Eli
    July 05, 2012 - 18:29

    Cod or salmon, I wouldn't touch a piece of farmed fish for all the tea in China. It's wild or nothing. It's why I supplement with organic fish oils for my Omega 3&6. David Suzuki did a detailed investigation some years ago, it wasn't favourable to aquaculture.

  • Robert
    July 05, 2012 - 14:35

    Quarantined? Those fish need to be removed. ISA is highly contagious and the threat goes beyond just the farmed fish. If this disease infects our wild salmon populations you can kiss them goodbye. It's been almost a week since retesting. The minister needs to take action on this now before it's too late.

    • RR
      July 06, 2012 - 05:35

      Wait until you see the taxpayers money that will be paid to the aquaculture owners to compensate them for their diseased fish. Cooke received $30. per fish for their diseased batch - at 700,000 fish, they racked in approximately $21 million from taxpayers. So the salmon farmers mess up and they get paid for it. Bottom line is that there is no free lunch with aquaculture - the fish waste pollutes our waterways, the fish is dyed to colour it and we pay them huge amounts of money in start-up fees and for their diseased fish.