New study suggests fish farms raise risk of exposure to infectious disease for wild B.C. salmon

A recent research has shown that successful fish farms are found in B.C.

Waters will find genes from viruses causing illness in wild salmon rather than twice the odds.

In three years of study, scientists found that DNA is 2,72 times greater in the vicinity of highly involved aquaculture operations from viruses , bacteria and other microscopic species that infect salmon.

"It is clear that salmon farms are not clearly controlled and wild salmon are protected," said Dylan Shea, University of Toronto lead writer on the new report.

"The protection of wild salmon in decisions pertaining to salmon aquaculture should be taken into consideration."

The study's writers were also including scientists from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, reported on Wednesday in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

The study takes place at a crucial moment for federal wild salmon and B.C administration.

Fish farms.-Fish farms.

Only last month, the administration found that the B.C. Discovery Islands open-net fish farms pose "minimum risk" for wild salmon, which fulfilled the 2012 Cohen Commission deadline.

As long as there was no evidence that they presented "a minimale possibility of severe damage to the welfare of spawning salmon in the Fraser River," the Committee also called for a moratorium on fish farms in this region by 30 Sept. 2020.

The authorities are still working with local First Nations until the definitive agreement on the Discovery Islands aquaculture licenses — between the island of Vancouver and mainland B.C. — is implemented by the end of the year.

Issue of 'Notoriously rough'

Shea study investigated the possibility of pathogenic DNA identification in 58 active and inactive farm sites.

"That was famously challenging to determine, since it wasn't since straightforward as visualizing outdoors sea lice [a fish]," Shea said.

Shea agrees that the existence of genetic material in the water does not inherently suggest that there are still viable diseases, but it means that wild salmon are more at risk of contagion around active fish farms.

The researchers investigated and observed the existence of 22 distinct microorganisms capable of infecting Salmon.

Bacteria such as Moritella viscosa, which causes skin lesions that contribute to lifelong salmon health problems, and Tenacibaculum maritimum that causes mouth redness, are included.

Other research pathogens can trigger less serious infections.

Samson / Radio-Canada Claudiane

"The effect of any of those less serious pathogens on the infection is not really understood, since it is in migratory salmon that has hundreds to thousands of kilometers of open water to be protected, and so the infection has time to grow," said Shea.

Study co-author Martin Krkosek, a professor of biology at the University of Toronto, said that in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the findings are especially important.

It is confirmed that the latest coronavirus epidemic began with wild animal-to-human transmission.

"There is a sufficient variety of pathogens between domesticated and wild animals that are passed on to one of these key mechanisms," said Krkosek.

"As we think about stuff like fisheries control, mechanisms behind the proliferation about COVID and other human contagious diseases remain at risk. We have in this region a variety of pathogens whose mechanisms of transmittal are enhanced by the arrival in British Columbia of domesticated fish."