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ISA Virus in Wild Salmon Update

For those of you who missed it, a few weeks ago a lab on Prince Edward Island in British Columbia discovered and infectious salmon anemia (ISA) virus in juvenile wild sockeye. According to this article, more ISA has been found, this time in chum, coho, and chinook adults. An independent Norwegian lab also tested tissue from the two juvenile sockeye that tested positive but did not find conclusive evidence in one of the two samples. In the other sample ISA was detected but at very low levels, close to the detection limit. One concern raised by both labs was the quality of the sample upon arrival in Norway.

Now for the editorial part: As a scientist working in an analytical lab (in addition to guiding and photography) this is serious. Detecting ISA virus in a degraded sample that has been flown around the world makes me think there may have been more. Even only one positive result confirmed by two independent labs is enough to make me very, very worried about our wild salmon runs. We need to start screening a lot more fish, including farmed fish, for ISA. The evidence seems to be saying it's out there, and we better figure out how much and where, fast.

Full article below:

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