The worst and saddest thing that could happen to Pacific Ocean salmonids has happened. The viral disease ISA has been confirmed in BC.
This Atlantic Ocean disease devastated the industry in Chile to a $2billion loss, 2007 - 2010. The Norwegian fish farms in Norway have not been free of this lethal disease for the 27 years since the first outbreak in 1984.
ISA was brought to the south Pacific by the Norwegian derivative fish farms. It has now been brought from the Atlantic to Norwegian derivative fish farms in BC in eggs/embryos. They, the Province and DFO said that this could not happen in BC - even though it has infected fish farms in NB, NS and PEI, Scotland, The Shetland Islands, The Faroe Islands and the USA (Maine). Yet it is now here.
This disease has the potential to make all ten species of Pacific Ocean anadromous salmonids become extinct, as well as some saltwater species like herring and pilchards.
DFO needs to take two actions immediately: take fish farms out of the ocean and put them in on-land facilities; and, identify all ISA in wild salmonids in BC.
The best new presentation on the global reach and cost of ISA is by Dr. Kibenge who heads the world disease centre for ISA in PEI: http://www.oie.int/eng/A_aquatic/Docs/Presentations/1.11Kibenge.ppt.
The first conclusion of the Kibenge report, slide 36, is: 'Aquatic animal disease is part and parcel of aquaculture.' The report states that disease destroys 1/3 to 1/2 of all aquaculture products. The potential cost is: $32 to $49 billion.every year.
ISA is only one of several dozen salmonid infections.