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Quarantine on salmon farm lifted after tests for virus

Jun 04 2012

The quarantine on a salmon farm near Sechelt has been lifted and the majority of B.C. fish farms tested so far have proved negative for the infectious haematopoietic necrosis (IHN) virus, says B.C. Salmon Farmers Association.

Last month, Mainstream Canada killed more than 560,000 fish from its Dixon Bay farm in Clayoquot Sound after tests came up positive for IHN. Tests are continuing on fish from Mainstream's Bawden Point farm, north of Tofino where there was a positive test result last week.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency had also quarantined the Grieg Seafoods B.C. site near Sechelt, which grows coho salmon, after one weak positive test was found, but tests now show that farm is clear.

"Our fish remain healthy and show no signs of ill health," said spokesman Stewart Hawthorn.

IHN, which poses no risk to humans, kills Atlantic salmon, grown by most fish farms, but can be carried by Pacific salmon without harming them.

So far, 49 B.C. farms have tested negative for IHN and samples from another seven farms are awaiting testing.

In Washington state, IHN has been found in farms owned by Seattle-based American Gold Seafoods and Icicle Seafoods and fish are now being culled from 120 pens in Puget Sound.

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