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CONTRIBUTION · 18th October 2011
Public deserves answers about Liberal plan to address serious threat to salmon

New Democrats are calling on the Liberal government to release any and all information and reports they have received about a virus that is threatening wild and farmed salmon in British Columbian waters.

“If the Liberal government received information describing classic infectious salmon anemia (ISA) like lesions on salmon samples gathered in our waters, the public deserves to know what steps were taken to investigate this grave threat to our wild salmon and the ecosystems that depend on them,” said New Democrat environment critic, Rob Fleming.

Fleming and New Democrat agriculture critic Lana Popham have written to the Liberal minister of Agriculture, asking for the government to come clean with British Columbians about any previous knowledge they had of this threat to our wild and farmed salmon.

The virus, which was detected by Canada’s ISA reference lab, is the European strain of ISA, the same virus that devastated the Chilean fish farming industry, causing $2 billion in losses, and ending more than 25,000 jobs.

“If we do have an outbreak of infectious salmon anemia here in British Columbia we need to act quickly to assess the spread of this disease and come up with strategies to contain it,” said Popham. “Anything less than decisive action could spell disaster for wild Pacific salmon.”

Fleming said that Adrian Dix and the New Democrats will hold the government to account on its stewardship of the environment and protection of wild salmon.