Monday, 28 November 2011

KEY BC NEWS - ISA Disease in BC, Nov 30, 2011

DFO Has Known That ISA has been in BC Since 2002

There was very sad news this morning, Nov 30, 2011. Research conducted by DFO and other scientists, throughout BC, Alaska and the Bering Sea showed that ISA has been in BC and Alaska salmon since 2002.

See this:


Now seven wild salmon have tested positive for ISA in BC

ISA is not a Pacific Ocean disease. The only plausible source is imports of eggs/embryos of Atlantic salmon to BC fish farms. BC will have a serious problem with its 10 species of salmon and salmonids, depending on the RNA sequencing. Fish farms need to be out of the ocean.

Sockeye Fry, Rivers Inlet. The first two salmon identified were sockeye fry from Rivers Inlet. The Fred Kibenge lab in PEI did the PCR testing and found 2 of 48 fry positive for ISA. Are Nylund from Norway retested these, and one of 32 reruns gave a positive ISA result. His comments were that the samples were degraded (as they were not collected specifically for ISA testing) but "... do suggest ... that an ISA virus is present in wild populations of O. nerka (Pacific sockeye)." The Seattle Times.

See Fred Kibenge, world expert on ISA, in his lab:
See the Kibenge table:
See the Nylund Nov 2, 2011 table:

Coho, Chum and Chinook Adults, Fraser River. The next three salmon identified were adult salmon of three species. Kibenge tested 10 adult salmon of three species from the Fraser River. He found ISA in coho, chum and chinook salmon.

See the Kibenge Table:

Sockeye Adults, Fraser River.
The following two salmon bring the total to seven wild BC salmon testing positive for ISA.

See the Nylund table, Nov:

Are Nylund, head of the Fish Diseases Group at the University of Bergen, Norway, has stated: “… based on 20 years of experience, I can guarantee that if British Columbia continues to import salmon eggs from the eastern Atlantic infectious salmon diseases, such as ISA, will arrive in Western Canada”. Dr. Laura Richards, DFO, let the eggs/embryos into BC.

Monday, 21 November 2011

KEY DOCUMENTS - High Levels of PCBs, POPs and other Chemicals in Farmed Fish - Updated April 25, 2012

Go to the post on how fish farm companies neutralized a Science article, Jan 9, 2004 about poisonous chemicals in farmed Atlantic salmon: .

This is the 2004 Science article:

This is a following, 2006, study on chemicals in farmed and wild fish: The title is: 'Consumption advisories for salmon based on risk of cancer and non-cancer health effects'. The chemicals found in farmed fish include: PCBs, dioxins/furans and chlorinated pesticides. PCBs and other chemical families can have more than 100 different metabolites and affect multiple locations in the body.

"We found that contaminant levels were about an order of magnitude higher in farmed and market samples than in wild Pacific salmon." The study has a good discussion of the different advisory guidelines and that farmed and wild salmon contain other organic chemicals for which there are non-cancer advisories. See Table 2: Non-cancer effects of chlorinated pesticides, PCBs, and dioxins.

The study found that farmed fish from northern Europe should be eaten only once in five months based on USEPA guidelines. North and South America farmed fish should ONLY be eaten 0.4 to 1 per month.

In comparison, and adding all the chemicals together, wild salmon should be eaten between 1 and 5 times per month. But with only one chemical, the rate could be as high as eating wild salmon 47 times per month. That stat says it all. Eat wild salmon.

Another quote: 'While dioxin-like activity is found in almost all animal food products that contain fat, the levels in the farmed and market salmon that we have analyzed are higher than those in almost all other foods.'

See this 2005 article:
'Risk-based consumption advice for farmed Atlantic and wild Pacific salmon contaminated with dioxins and dioxin-like compounds.'

See this 2008 study: 'Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in farmed and wild salmon marketed in the Northeastern United States.'

See this 2009 study:
'A Simplified Method to Distinguish Farmed (Salmo salar) from Wild Salmon: Fatty Acid Ratios Versus Astaxanthin Chiral Isomers.' Farmed salmon is often mis-labelled as to source and salmon species, for ex. marketed as wild chinook.

See this 2005 link: 'Lipid Composition and Contaminants in Farmed and Wild Salmon.' The current diet of western world people is already excessive in consumption of Omega 6s and a full complement of Omega 3s can be obtained from vegetable oils and meats.

FYI, the lipid level in fatty fish accounts for the greater concentrations of organic chemicals, as well as Omega 3ths and 6s. Farmed salmon are higher in body fats because of their feed and so they are higher in organic pollution.

Kris-Etherton et al. (37), speaking for the American Heart Association, states, “The fish recommendation must be balanced with concerns about environmental pollutants, in particularPCBandmethylmercury, described in state and federal advisories.”

See this, 2011, link for a Swedish study that finds European, including Norwegian, farmed fish have organic chemicals 61 times above the legal limit: See Google to translate, but here is a reference: Conservation Association writes on its website , it found the content of pollutants in salmon that is 61 times higher than the EU's proposed limit.

See this link for ten pages of short abstracts on polluting chemical agents in farmed salmon:

See this link for a 2011 article: The Role of Persistent Organic Pollutants in he Worldwide Epidemic of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and the Possible Connection to Farmed Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar)

Here is one conclusion: the PCBs you get from one meal of farmed salmon will not be fully cleared out of the body for between 50 and 75 years.

See this link for a 2012 article on drugs in [chicken-based] feather meal, commonly used in fish farm feed, that results in bacteria, including eLink-coli, that are resistant to the antibiotics we use to treat humans for disease: 12 feather meal samples, which were collected from six states and China, they found 59 pharmaceuticals and personal care products. Each sample was found to contain antibiotic residues (testing positive for between 2 and 10 different drugs).

Keeve Nachman, at Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, said they were shocked at the variety of pharmaceuticals they were able to detect.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

ISA Breaks Out In Chile Again, Nov 3 - Updated Dec 2, 2011

After only coming out of an ISA outbreak that resulted in $2 billion in damage last year in 2010, Chile has 23 farms sequenced for ISA again (the mutations have resulted in 28 strains of ISA in Chile) and an outbreak has resulted in a farm having to destroy its farmed salmon.


In BC, we have five positive ISA results in wild salmon of four of five species. The typical infection cycle starts as much as 10 years before a major infection breaks out. And ISA and other aquaculture diseases are cyclical over time.

The Association of Chilean Salmon Industry AG, which is the Chilean salmon farmers association, explained in a statement: "While this is the first case of the year 2011, we know that the ISA virus is not possible to eradicate so we must live with it and there will be new events in the future."

This suggests an eery possibility once DFO accepts that ISA is here. If I were refining a fish farm communications strategy, I would ask for protection from wild salmon on the grounds that ISA never goes away - and testing has shown 4,726 times that fish farms don't have ISA. Then I would explain that we have to learn to live with ISA because it can't be eradicated.


Fish Farm Spin Cycle - Chile

Read the thread in this Chilean news on ISA:

You will find, when you read this article and follow the links below it, that the fish farm denied there was a problem, gave assurances that it was following the law, and in fact, surpassing them, then being caught failing to report a new ISA cycle. The next stage will be it saying it is introducing all the measures required and will be better and so on. This is a very common pattern with fish farms. In BC Marine Harvest has just plead guilty to several charges and thus making the story go away, though it had been protesting its innocence for two years. And Cooke Aquaculture on the east coast, saying for two years it was innocent of using an illegal drug, Cypermethrin, then once charges were brought is going to pay them. And so on.

Fish Farm Diseases Pass Genes to Human Diseases, Nov 24, 2011

Of the 75 or so world press articles that I have read on ISA, many of them make the point that it cannot be passed to humans. I would have expected this as it is a cold, water-borne virus and making the change to being in air and in warm blooded animals is a stretch.

However, you should know that in Chile scientists have just shown that fish farm bacteria can pass drug resistance genes to mammalian bacteria - dogs then humans. See this link:

This results from overuse of antimicrobial chemicals to prevent Atlantic salmon from getting diseases. Genes for chemical resistance - for example, to tetracyclines, pass between pathogens and thus to humans, making the antibiotics we use useless.

Also, farmed salmon were shown to retain residual levels of drugs, and this could negatively affect common broad spectrum antibiotics used in humans who eat the fish - ones for salmonella for instance. Much of Chilean farmed salmon is sold in the USA. See: Rev Med Chil. 2011 Jan;139(1):107-18. Epub 2011 Apr 11.

You may want to refrain from eating farmed salmon. As the illegal cypermethrin - for killing sea lice, a different kind of chemical - was apparently used for years by Cooke Aquaculture in Nova Scotia - court case pending, this means farmed salmon from more than one country may have chemicals you may not want to eat.

Also: See: Rev Med Chil. 2004 Aug;132(8):1001-6.

One abstract says: "The passage of antibiotic resistance genes from aquatic bacteria to human and animal pathogens has been demonstrated, indicating that industrial use of antibiotics in aquaculture affects negatively the antibiotic therapy of human and animal bacterial infections."

LinkSee:, for a 2010 paper on this subject.
See:, for a 2003 paper on this subject.

See: For a 2011 paper. "Researchers from Tufts University School of Medicine agree on the controversial, non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in food animals and fish farming as a cause of antibiotic resistance." The report's main conclusions can be found in the linked article.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

MINISTER Ashfield Denies BC ISA - Nov 9, 2011 - Updated Nov, 17, 2011

This link will take you to the DFO Minister, Keith Ashfield's comments on recent ISA results for wild Pacific salmon:

Here are some comments on the release:

1. Most importantly the news release denies there is ISA in BC, and fails to recognize all the evidence, or put the information fairly.

2. Ashfield does not establish an armslength multinational lab on the west coast to test wild salmon for ISA with our American friends. The Cohen testimony suggests conflicts of interest - staff and resources - in DFO, other government, industry and academics. It is important that the multinational lab be public and free to report without interference from DFO and so on.

3. The release should have said that the sockeye samples were degraded and that the Moncton lab did not confirm ISA in them. That is all that could be reported.
4. Getting the Moncton lab to test the fry is not 'confirmation'. The Kibenge lab is the world designated expert in ISA. One does not reconfirm the best. That's just spin.

5. Dr. Are Nylund at the University of Bergen, Norway, also found ISA in one of the sockeye fry. His notes also say that it is likely that ISA is in the North Pacific.

6. Ashfield continually uses the phrase: fishing industry. Fish farms are not the fishing industry. That phrase would be the commercial, recreational and processing sector. The fishing industries are four times larger than fish farms.

7. Ashfield fails to mention that ISA has been confirmed by Kibenge in coho, chinook and chum from the Fraser River. A previous communication suggested the possibilitiy that the collection of those samples could have resulted in cross contamination. That is a fair comment; however, it is also fair comment to note that a fish with ISA would infect the Fraser River itself. Note: in case the reader does not know this, ISA is an Atlantic Ocean virus, it is not in the Pacific and plausibly only got here in imported egg/embryos from the Atlantic. This is the coho/chum/chinook table:

8. That the Kibenge lab can confirm ISA in five salmon of four of the five species of Pacific salmon in short order, suggests there is an issue with the provincial system that tested 4,726 farmed salmon, with 1,100 symptoms of ISA, but zero ISA reported. Either the test or the reporting arrangement. This needs to be checked.

9. Google: ISA in coho in Chile. The first article, by Kibenge, 2001,, shows how deadly it can be for coho, even when Atlantic salmon are not affected.

10. In a different communication, Dr. Laura Richards has confirmed that Dr. Kristi Miller has been given the money to test farmed and wild fish with her genomic signature research. Good thing.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

ISA - Current Press - Updated Dec 3, 2011

1. See this link for quotes from the news conference on the Rivers Inlet Sockeye by DFO and CFIA. Instead of negative results as claimed by DFO and the CFIA, the telephone conversation news release showed that the Moncton tests were inconclusive because of the degradation of the sample: This example, and there are many more, is why most commentators no longer believe DFO. If DFO changes inconclusive to negative, where else is it saying things it knows not to be true?

On November 9th the CFIA announced that their test “found no sign of infectious salmon anemia” but that “these supplementary results must be considered inconclusive because of the poor quality of the samples.” Peter Wright, manager of the Fisheries and Oceans lab in Moncton where the test was conducted then went on to say: “…we call things inconclusive – because the degradation is so bad you cannot form an opinion from a test standpoint as to whether or not you are capable or not capable. The fact that they come up negative doesn’t really mean anything because they are so badly degraded.”

2. See this link for November 8 news stories on ISA in Pacific Salmon in BC:

Sunday, 6 November 2011

CHILE Wants Compensation from Norway and Norwegian Fish Farms

Chile sustained a $2 billion loss in its fish farm industry when Norwegian fish farms brought ISA to Chile and after a number of years an epidemic broke out. The outbreak ended in 2010, and since, 23 sites have been sequenced for ISA again.

Typically, fish farms say that they can't have problems because the regulatory system in the country they are in is the most stringent in the world - they say this in Scotland, Norway and Canada at the moment - then when ISA breaks out, they want slaughter compensation and say the problem lay with the government and they may sue. They got $40 million from the feds for the NB ISA breakout; Norway has not gotten rid of ISA in 26 years.

The real loser here will be the Province of BC because it operates the disease testing regime. With five wild Pacific salmon of four of five species testing ISA positive in short order recently, it suggests there is something wrong with the provincial system - either its test or the reporting system - when they tested 4726 farm fish, with 1100 symptoms of ISA, but zero cases of ISA. At this point fish farms are still saying they have no ISA, but their strategy will unfold in the coming months, as more ISA is confirmed in wild Pacific salmon.

This link will take you to more than 50 articles on ISA:

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Fish Farm Deaths - 29 Million Dead Fish

The BC Province's fish test tables show 29 million fish farm fish dead from all causes since 2003. Some deaths are legitimate such as 20K of smolts dying per fish farm plant on being put in saltwater.

Mary Ellen Willing, from fish farms, says fish deaths are about 1.5%. That comes out to about 10 million since 2003. That implies that the provincial percentage is 4.35% of fish farm fish die. Whether 10 million dead fish, or 29 million dead fish, a lot of fish are killed in in-ocean fish farming in BC.

The fish death figures from Norway are far higher: 16% in central Norway in 2009 (Trøndelag and Møre og Romsdal), or 10.6 million of 65.6 million.

The figure in 2008 for this area from disease was 22%, less than for Norway as a whole. This suggests that the BC deaths will increase dramatically over time for in-ocean fish farms.

This link is in Norwegian, but you can translate it at Google: