Canadian fish farm quarantined due to lethal virus

The farm's entire stock of 560,000 salmon will be destroyed to prevent the disease from spreading

TOFINO, British Columbia | May 18, 2012



"We will contain this however way we can"

—Laurie Jensen


A salmon farm in British Columbia, Canada, is under quarantine after the discovery of a lethal fish virus, government officials said.

The farm at Dixon Bay on the west coast of Vancouver Island is run by Mainstream Canada, which said the farm's entire stock of 560,000 salmon will be destroyed to prevent the disease from spreading, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Thursday.

The virus known as Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis was detected during routine testing May 14, company officials said.

IHN usually kills a fish within a week of exposure and can kill up to 100 percent of an infected population.

It spreads rapidly.

This is code red," Mainstream spokeswoman Laurie Jensen said. ""This is not good news for the fish or for the companies.

"We will contain this however way we can. We will lose money, it's in the millions. There's a lot of money at stake, but money is not our issue right now," she said.

The farmed fish were likely infected by wild salmon, which carry IHN but have developed resistance to the virus. "So the likelihood that this has any impact on wild salmon is very, very low," Gary Marty, fish pathologist for the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture said.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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