Scientists roll out ISA monitoring plan
Scientists in British Columbia, Washington state and Alaska are developing separate surveillance plans for a salmon virus that has yet to be officially detected in North Pacific waters.
Cornelius Kiley, director of National Aquatic Animal Health at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, said Friday that while his agency can’t confirm the presence of infectious salmon anaemia in B.C. waters, the surveillance plan will add to the knowledge around diseases and viruses in fish and fish health.
Ted Meyers, Alaska’s chief fish pathologist, said several federal agencies and laboratories in the U.S. Pacific Northwest are developing their own surveillance plan to test for the virus.
“We’re working on a plan, a surveillance plan,” he said. “I’m sure most folks will probably want to have that plan in place by next fall and fit that into the routine surveillance of other fish pathogens, and we’ll probably start to do at least a low-key look for ISAV in our own wild stock salmon.”
Canadian officials have scrambled to offer assurances that Pacific salmon are untouched by the virus, a strain of which has devastated stocks in Europe and Chile.