PRV not killing British Columbia’s sockeye or Atlantic salmon even when it is injected in high doses, say scientists

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However, there is more to learn about the disease.

Scientists from Fisheries and Oceans Canada were among 33 members of a peer review panel who looked at the data and risk assessment of PRV. The said that the risk to British Columbia’s Fraser River sockeye salmon was minimal, according to cbc.ca.

The comes after a ruling overturned a policy that smolts do not have to be tested for Piscine Orthoreovirus (PRV) or Heart and Skeletal Muscle Inflammation (HSMI) in order for fish farmers to release them into open-water aquaculture pens. The ruling was done on behalf Ecojustice, Canada’s largest environmental law charity, representing anti-salmon farming advocates.

Gilles Olivier, who co-chaired the review, told the publication that while the virus is causing mortality in fish in Norway, it’s not killing British Columbia’s sockeye or Atlantic salmon even when it is injected in high doses.

“It doesn’t seem to have the same effect in our Atlantic salmon here in B.C. than it does in Norway,” he said. “There is no evidence to suggest that PRV causes disease and mortality in sockeye salmon.”

Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Jonathan Wilkinson still must reconsider the ruling within four months.