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Effective Fish Health Management

Salmonids Health Politics +2 more

CANADA - The British Columbian Fish Health Programme is effective in monitoring, reporting and governing fish diseases, according to an audit carried out by the British Columbian Ministry of Agriculture and Land (BCMAL).

The audit report released by the BCMAL, assesses compliance and performance of the comprehensive health management plan for salmon aquaculture.

In 2008, 119 salmon farm audits were carried out. Diagnostic samples for disease analysis from 588 fish that had recently died were also completed.

For Atlantic salmon, 80 per cent of the audit cases found ‘no infectious disease’ (at the farm-level). Of the infectious disease cases, the main diagnoses were mouth myxobacteriosis (11 per cent) and bacterial kidney disease (four per cent). For farmed Pacific salmon, 50 per cent of the audits cases found ‘no infectious disease’ (at the farm-level), and the main disease diagnoses were bacterial kidney disease (45 per cent) and vibriosis (five per cent). All of these diseases are endemic in wild salmon in British Columbia and it is expected that these diseases would also occur in farmed fish.

The Fish Health Audit and Surveillance Programme found the same endemic diseases as those reported by industry. The Ministry surveillance programme detected no pathogens in farmed salmon that would affect the trade or export from BC or Canada.

Live counts were conducted at 71 farms and over 4,200 fish were assessed.

Audits of sea lice abundance at Atlantic salmon farms confirm that the aquaculture industry is complying with the sea lice management strategy, which can be viewed here.