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Salmon Farming in Canada - a Challenge?

14 March 2012

CANADA - Salmon farming in Canada has created a great deal of controversy over the years. While the country is one of the world's largest salmon producers, the industry is constantly battling against adverse public opinion, writes Charlotte Johnston, TheFishSite editor.

Opposition to farmed salmon

This week, 51 organisations have expressed their concern towards Nova Scotia's commitment to expand open net pen salmon aquaculture.

The groups believe that increasing open pen aquaculture will have significant environmental and economic consequences for tourism, commercial fisheries, coastal water quality and wild Atlantic salmon populations.

ISA management

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has confirmed infectious salmon anaemia at a commercial aquaculture facility in Nova Scotia.

Back in February, Cooke Aquaculture voluntarily culled two cages of salmon after routine testing raised suspicion of the ISA virus.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has now ordered a third cage of salmon to be humanely killed and destroyed.

On the other side of Canada, tests in British Columbia suspect ISA. The tests have not been confirmed though using internationally recognised standards, and are unlikely to, due to original samples not being preserved correctly.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is working on a surveillance initiative to ascertain the status of various aquatic animal diseases such as ISA on the west coast, starting this Spring.

On February 24, 2012, the CFIA announced the surveillance plan and is seeking comments. Under this programme, fish will be tested for three diseases: infectious haematopoietic necrosis, infectious pancreatic necrosis and infectious salmon anaemia.

Promoting Canadian aquaculture

Atlantic Canada’s salmon farming industry plans to take advantage of the worldwide growth in aquaculture to promote their products and educate visitors at this week's International Boston Seafood Show.

To help educate buyers and visitors who attend the annual show, the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association (ACFFA) will distribute a new video about salmon farming on Canada’s east coast.

A recent meeting of the Atlantic Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers focussed on tackling issues important to Canadian fish harvesters, including access to global seafood markets.

Charlotte Johnston, Editor

Charlotte Johnston - Editor

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