ISA Virus Found in Pacific Salmon (Updated)

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Dire news was announced recently in the media release from Simon Fraser University Lethal Atlantic Virus found in Pacific Salmon.  The release states that “The highly contagious marine influenza virus, Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA) has for the first time been officially reported after being found in the Pacific on BC’s central coast.”  The virus was discovered as part of a long-term study led by Dr. Rick Routledge, SFU, on the collapse of Rivers Inlet sockeye populations.

“The potential impact of ISA cannot be taken lightly,” said Routledge. “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.”

Watershed Watch Salmon Society issued its own media release Deadly virus found in BC’s wild sockeye, same strain as found in European salmon farming industry.  “This is a confirmation of heightened disease concerns raised at the Cohen sockeye Inquiry and a condemnation of patronizing government assurances that they are doing their best to protect wild salmon and the public interest,” said Dr. Craig Orr, Executive Director of Watershed Watch Salmon Society.

“Net-cage salmon farming has threatened BC’s wild fish populations for too long, and this new threat emphasizes the dire need for the federal government to clear all farms from wild salmon migration routes immediately to prevent amplification and spread of this deadly virus, before it’s too late,” said Watershed Watch biologist, Stan Proboszcz.

UPDATE: On November 8, 2011, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced that their “tests have found no confirmed cases of the infectious salmon anaemia ISA virus.” However, CFIA officials have stated that these results must be considered inconclusive because of the poor quality of the samples.

For more information see the following media on this issue:


For more information on the Cohen Inquiry, see Watershed Watch’s Salmon Leaks series and the Cohen Aquaculture Daily.

One Response to ISA Virus Found in Pacific Salmon (Updated)

  1. Andrew Johnson says:

    Andrew Johnson, Wuikinuxv Nation Marine Use Plan/Wuikinuxv Land Use Plan,River Inlet BC.
    The Wuikinuxv Nation would like to know when, where, what, and who is held accountable for the out break ot the ISA virus, as the River’s Inlet System is the Third Largest in BC for All Species that Spawn in out Wuikinuxv Lake, which is a 45 mile long lake that incubation field for all Species of Salmon, this must be a priorty besides the Frazer River and The Skeena River.

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