IHN confirmed at two Canadian salmon farms in BC – Fishfarmer Magazine

IHN confirmed at two Canadian salmon farms in BC10 August, 2012 –

SUSPECTED outbreaks of IHN (Infectious Haematopoietic Necrosis) have now been confirmed at two salmon farming sites in British Columbia.

The sites in question are Mainstream Canada’s Millar Channel farm north of Tofino and Grieg Seafood’s Culloden Point farm site in Jervis Inlet, Sunshine Coast.

Mainstream Canada and Grieg Seafood have both received official orders from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to remove all fish from these sites. The CFIA will have to approve all stages of the depopulation process including transportation, offloading and rendering.

“The first priority for these companies is to work with CFIA to ensure that any depopulation is done quickly and safely,” said Mary Ellen Walling, Executive Director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association.

IHN is a natural virus of the Pacific Ocean, which can be carried regularly by wild fish who have a natural resistance to it, studies show. They can carry the virus their whole lives without any negative impacts on their health. The health of Atlantic salmon, however, can be affected by IHN as they have not developed immunity to it. The virus has no effect on human health.

Both companies found preliminary positives on these sites in the past 10 days during their routine fish health sampling programmes and follow-up testing by independent laboratories confirmed the findings. A management committee made up of representatives from the BCSFA has been meeting regularly since the first preliminary findings. Increased biosecurity measures and testing are underway at all farms in BC.

In May this year, a farm in the north Tofino-area was diagnosed with IHN. Those fish were culled and composted and increased monitoring was put in place at other farms across British Columbia. These findings are the first of their kind in British Columbia in nearly 10 years.