Friday, 20 December 2013

Key Document: Cohen Commission Website, Updated Dec 20, 2013

You can find the Cohen Commission Website at:

DFO sent the address on my request, after I found no document on their site about having archived the site.

Cohen has been stored on Archives Canada website. Do use the URL as I spent a long time on the site looking for the website and found only scattered documents, perhaps 1% of the Cohen documents.

Here, from Feb 7, 2012 is an example of the documents regarding the deficiencies of ISA testing regs:

A Critique on Infectious Salmon Anemia Virus Detection Capabilities of the Canadian Fish Health Protection Regulations S.A. Goldes, MSc. 2011


Atlantic salmon eyed eggs have been imported almost yearly into British Columbia during the period 1985 until 2010 from a number of countries including the USA, UK , Iceland and also from Atlantic Canada (BC Atlantic Imports). Source aquaculture facilities, except for more recent imports from Iceland (where the definition of lot was not achieved, however the rest of the procedures were the same) were certified free of specified piscine pathogens of concern according to testing protocols mandated in the Canadian Fish Health Protection Regulations (CFHPR). Immediately prior to shipment, eyed eggs were disinfected according to the CFHPR iodophor disinfection protocol. Certification and iodine egg disinfection together are the pillar’s of Canada’s defense against the introduction of exotic piscine diseases such as Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA). In order to protect British Columbia’s wild aquatic ecosystems and aquaculture industries these measures must provide a high level of security. Close scientific examination of these regulatory measures however raises concerns that in‐practice, these measures fail to provide the high level of protection required. This discussion focuses on issues with (1) ISA detection using cell culture, (2) sample size, and (3) iodine surface disinfection, however there remain many other weaknesses.



Here is the first paragraph of the article. Pretty damning stuff:


Infectious salmon anemia was first reported in Norway in 1984 (Plarre et al., 2005), coincidentally one year prior to the first importation of Atlantic salmon eyed eggs into BC from Scotland in 1985. Atlantic salmon eyed eggs were imported into BC almost yearly from the UK from 1985 to 1993, despite the fact that Norwegian ISAV epizootics were ongoing and also with the knowledge that detecting ISAV by cell culture was not possible (Mjaaland et al., 1997). Thus during the early years of Atlantic salmon imports (1985 to 1995) the Canadian government understood that the CFHPR protocols were incapable of detecting ISAV. At that time it was naively thought that ISA was limited to Norway alone and that Scotland was sufficiently distant. Later this assumption was proven erroneous, because shortly after ISAV cell culture became possible in 1995 (Dannevig et al., 1995a; Dannevig et al., 2 1995b), ISAV was detected in: New Brunswick in 1997 (Mullins et al., 1998), Scotland in 1998 (Rodger et al., 1998) and Maine, USA in 2001 (Bouchard et al., 2001), as well as several other countries. It is also worth mentioning,
that despite the devastation ISA has caused aquaculture elsewhere, ISA is still not listed in the current CFHPR as a pathogen of concern. The CFHPR specifies that the...


  1. Infectious salmon anemia or anaemia (ISA) is a viral disease of Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) that affects fish farms in Canada, Norway, Scotland and Chile, causing severe losses to infected farms.[1] The disease is listed as a non-exotic disease of the EU and is therefore watched closely by the European Community Reference Laboratory for Fish Diseases.
    although this diseases is not so serious as before, but the drug development
    of this aspect should be paid more attention.

  2. ISA is always a serious disease as it wipes out millions of salmon if not caught quickly enough. Chile and Norway are seldom without ISA or other diseases. Bringing farms out of the ocean is the solution because it will be a complete disaster if ISA gets a start in the Pacific Ocean where the five species of Pacific salmon call home.

    The OIE only receives the info from the testing bodies. In Canada it is the CFIA that was shown to be in conflict of interest with fish farms, and that they went after Dr. Fred Kibenge and got his status as a world expert taken away at the OIE that it is a member of. This is not a benign disease, nor are the bodies that deal with it immune from criticism.

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