ISA discovered at Cooke farm in Newfoundland

Cooke Aquaculture, already under fire for the escapement of thousands of salmon in Washington state this summer, now faces another challenge: Infectious salmon anemia (ISA), which was found in some Atlantic salmon at one of the company's farms in Newfoundland, Canada.

Recent test results from the Newfoundland government’s routine surveillance program showed five fish to be positive for ISA at one of its farms, Nell Halse, vice president of communications for Cooke, told SeafoodSource.

“We immediately notified Newfoundland DFA [Department of Fisheries and Agriculture] and other farmers,” Halse said. “The company is taking all the responsible steps to control the virus and protect fish health. Infectious salmon anemia is not a human health concern.”

ISA, which is deadly to salmon, may have been spread from wild salmon in the area, Halse confirmed.

"As soon as it was identified, we issued a quarantine order to that site," Gerry Byrne, fisheries minister for Newfoundland, told CBC News. Cooke harvested the 50,000 fish in the cage in which ISA was identified, according to Byrne.

The harvested fish, which were market size, will be sold to Cooke’s customers, since ISA is not harmful to human health. 

The Cooke incident is the first time since 2013 that ISA has been discovered in Newfoundland’s aquaculture industry, according to Byrne.

After harvesting the ISA-positive cage, Cooke will continue to harvest the entire farm’s salmon over the next few months. 


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