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Fish Health Report Confirms BC Industry's High Standards

CANADA - The British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture and Lands' 2007 Fish Health Report published this week confirms salmon farmers' high degree of commitment to meeting regulations and to maintaining high fish health management standards, according to the BC Salmon Farmers Association.

The comprehensive provincial fish health management programme includes on-farm health management plans, mandatory monitoring, reporting of disease events and an audit of industry reported information, all of which ensures that salmon farmers operate in a sustainable manner that protects wild salmon stocks and the environment.

The report is based on 118 government audits representing a 10 per cent increase over last year's audit number.

On average, every actively producing farm is assessed for fish health twice annually. In 2007, approximately 19 per cent more fish were examined than in 2006.

Audit results show that sea lice counts were at their lowest level since the inception of the monitoring program in 2003.

These assessments included examination of 3,380 live fish by ministry staff.

This number is in addition to the approximately 38,000 fish examined by salmon farm employees and fish health staff.

Regarding sea lice assessments, the report states that the "management etriggers in BC are set at three lice per fish, one of the most stringent triggers in the world." Lower lice levels in 2007 corresponded with reduced use of the anti-sea lice treatment, SLICE.

As per previous reports, the audit found no exotic bacterial or viral diseases.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.