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Marine Harvest Canada response to IHN detection at Mainstream Canada's salmon farm
Campbell River, May 16th, 2012
Mainstream Canada (a BC salmon farming company not affiliated with Marine Harvest Canada) has confirmed the presence of Infectious Haematopoietic Necrosis (IHN) at an Atlantic salmon farm on the West coast of Vancouver Island.
IHN is commonly referred to as 'sockeye disease' and is naturally present in almost all stocks of sockeye salmon. While Pacific salmon (genus Oncorhynchus) are known to be resistant to the IHN virus, it can be fatal to Atlantic salmon (genus Salmo).
"BC's major salmon farming companies have developed an agreement (MOU) for coordinated response in the case of viral disease presence," says Clare Backman, Marine Harvest's Sustainability Programs Director. "Mainstream Canada is following the best husbandry practices of the MOU and all companies are fully cooperating to avoid any spread of the virus. MHC is prohibiting the movement of equipment, vessels and staff to our sites from the affected area."
The last diagnosis of IHN in BC farm-raised salmon was in 2003. The presence of IHN does not pose a risk to human health.
"MHC has, since 2007, vaccinated all of its fish to protect against IHN," says Dr. Diane Morrison, Marine Harvest's Fish Health Director, "Our regular fish health testing results confirm that IHN is not present at any of our farms."
MHC will continue to monitor carefully for any sign of IHN virus or related disease at its farm sites.
Marine Harvest Canada is British Columbia's largest salmon aquaculture company with 500 employees. Its' processing plants, marine and land based operations are located on and around northern Vancouver Island and the village of Klemtu.
Media contact: Clare Backman, Sustainability Programs Director - 250-850-3276 (7258)