This link will take you to the DFO Minister, Keith Ashfield's comments on recent ISA results for wild Pacific salmon: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/statement-from-the-federal-minister-of-fisheries-and-oceans-canada-keith-ashfield-and-british-columbia-minister-of-agriculture-don-mcrae-2011-11-09.
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: http://alexandramorton.typepad.com/Alexandra%20Morton%20Samples%20%28SOCKEYE%20CHINOOK%20and%20COHO%29_VT10142001_OCTOBER20%202011.pdf
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, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11411649, 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.