SFU Media Release: Lethal Atlantic Virus found in Pacific Salmon

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A media release from Simon Fraser University announces a 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.”

Biologist Alexandra Morton is calling for removal of Atlantic salmon from B.C. salmon farms. “Loosing a virus as lethal and contagious as ISA into the North Pacific is a cataclysmic biological threat to life,” said Morton. “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.”

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