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Fisheries and Oceans Canada launches assessment to examine the risk of Piscine Reovirus transfer from farmed Atlantic salmon aquaculture

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By Milthon Lujan

Ottawa, Canada.- The Government of Canada is committed to using sound, scientific advice to protect our aquatic ecosystems and to support sustainable fisheries and aquaculture.

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The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister for Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced today that Fisheries and Oceans Canada has launched a science review to assess risks associated with Piscine Reovirus (PRV) transfer from Atlantic salmon farms.

The results of the assessment will support decision making on sustainable aquaculture and aquatic animal health in Canada, including in the Discovery Islands and Broughton Archipelago.

The Minister announced that the review will include domestic and international scientific experts including those from government, academia, Indigenous communities, ENGOs, and industry. The review will be generated through DFO’s Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat and a final report will be publically available in early 2019.

This is one of ten risk assessments that the Department is undertaking to understand the risk of pathogen transfer associated with aquaculture activities, including in the Discovery Islands area to pacific sockeye. DFO remains on track to complete all ten risk assessments by 2020 as recommended in the Cohen report.

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Quotes
“Our government is committed to using best available science to protect wild Pacific salmon, including Fraser River sockeye… This scientific assessment will be undertaken by a diverse group of independent experts, and will inform thoughtful, science-based decisions on sustainable aquaculture.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Ocean and the Canadian Coast Guard

Quick facts
The risk assessment responds to one of the Commission of Inquiry into the Decline of Sockeye Salmon in the Fraser River (Cohen Commission) recommendations.

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There is ongoing research in Canada to evaluate the impact on salmon of infection with PRV found in Canada.

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