Close X
Thursday, July 18, 2019
ADVT 
National

Federal Court Rules Farmed Salmon Must Be Tested For Deadly Virus In B.C.

The Canadian Press, 05 Feb, 2019
  • Federal Court Rules Farmed Salmon Must Be Tested For Deadly Virus In B.C.

VANCOUVER — The Federal Court has struck down a Fisheries and Oceans Canada policy regarding a lethal virus that has the potential to infect wild chinook salmon in British Columbia waters.


Piscine orthoreovirus, or PRV, is highly contagious and often found in fish farms off the B.C. coast, many of which are positioned along wild salmon migration routes.


In her ruling issued Monday, Justice Cecily Strickland says the federal policy unlawfully allows young farmed Atlantic salmon to be transferred into open net pens without testing for the virus.


She has given the department four months to begin testing for the disease.


PRV causes fatal heart and skeletal muscle inflammation in Atlantic salmon but a 2018 study led by a Fisheries and Oceans Canada scientist found it is linked to an equally deadly type of anemia in at least one species of wild B.C. salmon.


Marine biologist Alexandra Morton is celebrating the victory after working with the Namgis First Nation and Ecojustice to convince the Fisheries Department to test farmed salmon before they are put in open net pens.


She says the problem is that PRV screening could dramatically reduce profits in the aquaculture industry.


"If the minister of fisheries follows the law of Canada and screens these fish and does not allow the infected ones to go into the water, I don't think the fish farm industry has enough fish to keep farming in these waters, and I think that is the crux of the problem," Morton says.


Morton and the Namgis filed a lawsuit last year against the policy.


Strickland's judgement, released Monday, says the federal policy of not testing for the virus "perpetuates a state of wilful blindness on the part of the minister with respect to the extend of PRV infection in hatcheries and fish farms."


An emailed statement from Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Jonathan Wilkinson says the court ruling is being reviewed.


"Our government understands that a strong, science-based approach to regulating the aquaculture industry is essential and that is why we have and will continue to conduct extensive research which informs our policies and regulations," Wilkinson says in the statement.

MORE National ARTICLES

New Gun-Control Recommendations Due 'In The Coming Weeks,' Minister Says

New Gun-Control Recommendations Due 'In The Coming Weeks,' Minister Says

OTTAWA — Federal minister Bill Blair says his ideas for new gun-control rules might come within weeks.

 

 

New Gun-Control Recommendations Due 'In The Coming Weeks,' Minister Says

Quebec Education Department Admits To Surveying Schools On Religious Symbols

Quebec Education Department Admits To Surveying Schools On Religious Symbols

MONTREAL — Quebec's Education Department is admitting it began surveying schools months ago about how many employees wear religious symbols on the job.

Quebec Education Department Admits To Surveying Schools On Religious Symbols

Khadr Trying New Way To Get Out From Under 'Indefinite' Sentence And Bail

Khadr Trying New Way To Get Out From Under 'Indefinite' Sentence And Bail

In a separate application before Federal Court, Khadr is attempting to force national parole authorities to grant him a hearing at which he would argue for release.

Khadr Trying New Way To Get Out From Under 'Indefinite' Sentence And Bail

Controversial Gatineau City Councillor Questions Whether The Earth Is Round

Controversial Gatineau City Councillor Questions Whether The Earth Is Round

Nathalie Lemieux of Gatineau, Que. created a controversy last week after she told a reporter the word "Islamophobia'' doesn't exist for her.

Controversial Gatineau City Councillor Questions Whether The Earth Is Round

B.C. Aims To Reduce Wait Times For Parkinson'S Patients Needing Brain Surgery

B.C. Aims To Reduce Wait Times For Parkinson'S Patients Needing Brain Surgery

The Health Ministry says 72 surgeries will be performed in the current fiscal year, up from 36 operations, as part of a program starting in April.

B.C. Aims To Reduce Wait Times For Parkinson'S Patients Needing Brain Surgery

Bring Transparency Reforms To B.C. Legislature, Say Independent Officers

Bring Transparency Reforms To B.C. Legislature, Say Independent Officers

A report alleging "flagrant" overspending by two top officials at British Columbia's legislature has prompted a call for major accountability and transparency reforms.

Bring Transparency Reforms To B.C. Legislature, Say Independent Officers

PrevNext