NDP: Government Must Take Swift Action to Test Salmon for Infectious Salmon Anemia

OTTAWA - The potential threat of an Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) outbreak in British Columbia requires immediate action from the Conservative government, according to NDP Fisheries and Oceans critic Fin Donnelly.

“I strongly urge the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to fast-track the testing of BC salmon for ISA,” said Donnelly. “Concern is mounting both in British Columbia and the United States that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is not taking this threat seriously.”

Recent media reports in the United States have blasted Canadian officials for not taking quick action on ISA. Yesterday, an article in the Seattle Post Intelligencer stated, “Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans, a long-time promoter of fish farms that raise salmon in pens, can be trusted about as far as you can hand-roll a purse seine”.

In July, Donnelly wrote to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, asking what measures were in place to determine and detect if ISA, salmon leukemia, marine anemia or any other disease harmful to Canada’s wild salmon were present in BC or any stage of the industrial process.

He also questioned the Minister in Question Period several times on what plan of action the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has in place in the event that ISA is found in wild salmon.

“The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans must take immediate steps to identify if in fact ISA has entered BC waters and what plans the department has in place to deal with this potentially deadly virus,” said Donnelly.