Farmed Atlantic Salmon and Wild Salmon Could be Both Affected by Common Virus

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A virus that is common when it comes to farmed Atlantic salmon looks like it is spreading around at a rapid rate. Fish farmers and fisheries in Canada are encourage to help stop this rapid spread. This finding is supported by a recent study which found out that the virus common to farmed salmon may also be starting to affect Chinook salmon, a wild species of salmon.

More about the study and what is uncovered

The study was done as a collaboration project between Genome BG, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Pacific Salmon Foundation. It found out that the common PRV-1 virus may be greatly affecting the Chinook salmon by causing jaundice.

However, farmers report that while their fish may be infected with PRV they still look healthy and they do not have heard for bone inflammation to indicate that something is wrong. They seem to have wrongfully understood the study. The problem is not that farmed salmon is infected with this virus but that wild salmon is starting to get infected as well.

Live salmon are already threatened by a number of natural predators, such as orcas which hunt these fish, but the fact that now it may also get infected by this virus is troubling. Moreover, farmed fish are not as stressed as wild salmon that have to fight for themselves in order to survive, which could make them more susceptible to getting sick or contracting this virus and showing the conditions rather than farmed salmon.

The problem with this study is that there is no clear evidence or data out there which looks at the mortality rates of wild salmon so while this study does address a number of concerns it is still not backed up by enough data to showcase the extend of the damage.

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Brad is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. His writing has appeared in many of the Canada’s most respected and credible publications, including the Toronto Star, CBC News and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, he is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children. Brad is a contributing journalist to Advocator.ca


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