Saturday, February 18, 2012

Suspected outbreak of salmon virus at Nova Scotia fish farming operation

HALIFAX - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is investigating after seafood company Cooke Aquaculture reported a possible virus outbreak at one of its fish farms in Nova Scotia.

The New Brunswick-based company said Friday it killed salmon in two cages after a suspected outbreak of the infectious salmon anemia virus at one of its farms, though it did not say where it occurred.

The private company did not return a message seeking comment, but instead issued a statement saying it killed the fish after routine tests of its stocks on Feb. 10. It referred questions to the federal and provincial governments.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said it was investigating the suspected outbreak, but it too declined to say which fish farm is involved.

Con Kiley, director of the agency's aquatic animal health program, said that information can't be made public because of privacy concerns.

"We do not confirm the exact location or the owners of facilities," said Kiley, though he added the company killed thousands of fish as a pre-emptive measure and is under quarantine.

He said the virus is not a human health or food risk, but the agency's website says it can kill up to 90 per cent of infected fish, depending on its strain. Read More