Canada - Another year of healthy fish on BC salmon farms
The latest in audited fish health reports from the provincial government has been released to the public -showing another year of healthy fish on BC's salmon farms.
"We know that our farms are well-managed and that our fish as well-cared for - so it's good to see the province confirm that information for the public," said Mary Ellen Walling, Executive Director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association. "It's another year to add to a strong record of good fish health."
The 2009 Annual Fish Health Report from the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands' animal health branch confirms that farms are following their fish health management plans, that their reports are accurate reflections of the status of farms and that farms are well-managed for disease and sea lice.
There were no cases of exotic disease such as ISA. Any causes of death were found to be naturally occurring pathogens from the natural environment. Sea lice numbers prove that farms are managing them according to provincial regulation, ensuring that lice levels are very low, particularly during the wild salmon migration.
"Our consistent farm operations throughout years of fluctuations in wild salmon returns show that it is not salmon farming that is responsible for record returns or failures of wild stocks," said Walling. "These fish health reports simply show that a well-managed industry can operate in harmony with the natural environment."
The 2009 record which the provincial government recently posted reports on their own samples and auditing of the industry's records. The industry continues to monitor, sample and report as required and the provincial government continues to receive those reports.
In the spring of this year, industry decided to move to a third party audit system in order to maintain consistency during transition of regulatory authority to the federal government. Despite a request to participate from industry, the provincial government has chosen to not take part in the new audit program, which is now underway. Their site inspections continue.