ISA in B.C.: a response video

We were just emailed this interesting video comparing statements made by SFU Prof. Rick Routledge, who claims ISA has been found in two samples of B.C. sockeye smolts, and Clare Backman of Marine Harvest. We leave it to our readers to compare, but our first impression is that it is surprising Prof. Routledge apparently had no idea that salmon farms have tested for ISA for years! How did he overlook that, and with that glaring omission, how can he say the disease came from salmon farms, if it is even really in B.C.?


2 thoughts on “ISA in B.C.: a response video”

  1. If the ISA virus is indeed in BC waters it’s not something that can be “turned off” as aquatic pathogens are impossible to eradicate due to the nature of the aquatic environment. Regardless, the usefulness of pointing a finger at current salmon farms is ignoring the fact that many millions of Atlantic salmon eggs and alevins were purposefully brought to BC waters and planted in attempts, spanning from 1905 – 1934 to establish angling sport fisheries in our waters. Washington, Oregon, California, and New Mexico also attempted this introduction, with wild releases occurring as late as 1984 in Oregon. Pathogens don’t magically materialize and if it arrived, it is just as likely (if not more likely because of a lack of biosecurity) to have arrived during this period. During those transfers, there was no testing for ISA and there were no tests to look for it as the disease had not yet been described. So perhaps the disease is here, until extensive further testing occurs there is no definitive proof, but if it is, perhaps it has been here for 100 years and we just didn’t know it because, perhaps similar to IHNV, it is not as virulent towards Pacific salmon. Until the science is performed, we just don’t know and any conclusions are just speculative.

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