Washington state scientist refutes NGO claims farmed fish affects native fish populations
Genetic specialist says the Wild Fish Conservancy has ‘misused scientific literature
to exaggerate risks.’, reports intrafish.com
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is refuting claims made by the Wild
Fish Conservancy (WFC) that there is any serious risk to wild salmon populations from escaped farmed Atlantic salmon.
Similar unproven claims have been made in British Columbia.
WDFW Fish Health and Genetic Specialist Kenneth Warheit said the WFC’s recent press
release in reaction to the escape of salmon from Cooke Aquaculture’s Puget Sound farm,
confuses the virus PRV with the virus HSMI, misuses the scientific literature to exaggerate
risks to native salmon and fails to find a single study to support the claim that PRV from openwater pens will harm wild fish, reported intrafish.com
“The Conservancy asserts – without evidence – that HSMI will harm wild salmon,” wrote
Warheit. “However, HSMI has never been detected in our native salmon or any other fish
except farmed Atlantic salmon.
“PRV occurs naturally and was first confirmed in the Salish Sea from fish samples taken in
1987,” he said. “The Conservancy provides no data or scientific research to support its claim
that the PRV found in escaped fish originated in Norway.”
WDFW said it methodically and objectively investigates PRV and other fish health issues and
is increasing surveillance for the virus in both Atlantic salmon and in its own hatcheries, reported intrafish.com