02 November 2011

Salmon Anemia Hits West Coast Fishery

” This past week, the disease Infectious Salmon Anemia (or ISA) was first discovered in wild salmon off the coast of British Columbia.This was something people in the anti-farmed salmon camp have been anticipating, perhaps even greeting the news as validation. In the last decade ISA mutated from its benign wild state in densely-packed populations of farmed salmon until it finally became a virulent epidemic.

"The disease has done serious damage to the European farmed salmon industry; the Chilean salmon industry was leveled and is only now starting to hobble back to life. Until now, though, ISA had not reached the heartland of the world’s last truly robust wild salmon populations. British Columbia and Alaska are home to wild runs of hundreds of millions fish a year and contribute billions of dollars to the region’s economy. Should ISA make the jump from the farm to the wild in those parts we will be facing a serious economic as well as a potential ecological catastrophe.”

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