Salmon Virus Detected at Yet Another Norwegian Fish Farm in Clayoquot Sound


Read this story from Tofino’s Westerly News on the discovery of IHN virus – known to cause fatal heart and skeletal muscular disease – in another of Norwegian company Cermaq-Mainstream’s farms in the Clayoquot Sound region on west Vancouver Island this past Friday. The announcement comes as the same company is pushing to open a new salmon farm at nearby Plover Point. (July 31, 2012)

The Infectious Haematopoietic Necrosis virus (IHN) was detected at Mainstream Canada’s Millar Channel farm, near Tofino, on July 27.

The company was made aware of the detection on Friday evening by the provincial animal health lab.

Mainstream has stepped up monitoring efforts at its Clayoqout farm sites since an IHN outbreak occurred at the company’s Dixon Bay location in May.

As was reported in the Westerly News May 24, the IHN outbreak at Dixon lead to the culling of the farm’s population-about 550,000 fish.

Millar is Mainstream’s closest site to Dixon with about 6.5 kilometres between the two farms. Despite this proximity, Mainstream is confident the Millar virus did not originate from Dixon and cites the length of time between the two cases, as well as the company’s following of strict biosecurity measures, as reasons for this confidence.

Mainstream is pointing at migrating wild salmon as a more likely source of the virus because, according to the company’s media release, wild salmon carry the IHN virus naturally.

Millar is now isolated and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is set to conduct an investigation at the site to determine the fate of its fish population.

Millar’s fish are smallish weighing in at an approximate average of 400 grams each. “Unfortunately, our Millar Channel farm has tested positive in qPCR tests for the IHN

Virus…We are waiting for results from confirmatory tests,” the Mainstream’s managing director Fernando Villarroel says.

Mainstream Canada operates 17 farms in the Tofino area.

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