Virus fish to be rendered

Mainstream Canada's farm quarantined after virus outbreak.

Mainstream Canada announced last week that it will remove all fish from its Millar Channel farm.

The company announced the drastic move after the IHN (Infectious Haematopoetic Necrosis) virus was detected and the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) delivered an official order to remove all stock from the site.

All fish are to be removed from the farm and sent to a rendering facility, with strict biosecurity measures being followed at all stages of depopulation, transportation, offloading, and rendering.

The farm, located northwest of Tofino , was quarantined by the CFIA after a positive test for the virus on July 27. There are currently no other active farms nearby.

Usually confirmatory tests can take weeks to get results but, in this case, CFIA made these tests a top priority and was able to get results within days.

The IHN virus was first detected in May at another farm north of Millar Channel. In both cases, the virus was detected while in its early stages of infection.

Farms are routinely tested for common fish viruses and diseases. Since the IHN virus was first detected, Mainstream Canada has been doing additional sampling at all farms and sending them a third-party lab for testing.

As quarantine measures are in place, traffic around the farms will be restricted

to help prevent the spread of virus to any other farm sites.

Migrating wild salmon are natural carriers of the IHN virus, and are most likely the source of the virus infection at both farms, Mainstream said in a press release.