According to a leaked email, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (“DFO”) had knowledge of the presence of Infections Salmon Anemia Virus (“ISAv”) in 2004. However, authorities took no action until October 2011, after a non-government scientist discovered ISAv off the B.C. coast in October 2011.
In a press release, the Wild Fish Conservancy Northwest (“WFC”), a U.S. organization, states that dual action between Canadian and U.S. agencies is immediately needed because of the “near certainty that ISAv will also be found in Washington state.” And, according to Kurt Beardslee, Executive Director of WFC, the collaboration must include independent, non-government scientists in order to be effective.
Beardslee: “The DFO has a split mandate, one that includes the promotion of aquaculture and which has interfered with their responsibility to protect wild salmon. Unfortunately, we have a similar situation in the U.S. – NOAA also has a pro-aquaculture division that works at odds with the scientists studying salmon conservation.”