NS Hatcheries with ISA were Growers for Farmer Marine Harvest is Buying


Canadian hatcheries hit with ISA are growers for farmer Marine Harvest is buying
By Tom Seaman March 2, 2018

The two Canadian hatcheries hit with infectious salmon anemia (ISA) are growers for Northern Harvest Sea Farms, which is being bought by Marine Harvest, sources told Undercurrent News.

According to multiple sources, the two Nova Scotia hatcheries are Dartek and the Little Harbor Hatchery.

The two grow fish for Northern Harvest, which Bergen, Norway-based Marine Harvest, the largest salmon farmer in the world, is buying for CAD 315 million ($244.42m), subject to approval from Canada’s competition authority.

Keith Colwell, Nova Scotia’s aquaculture minister, said Thursday that the two facilities are located close to each other, and the loss amounted to almost all of one company's stock. The other company was not as badly affected, according to a report from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). However, Colwell did not name the companies.

Also, Undercurrent’s sources have given a level of as much as 750,000 fish, higher than the 600,000 quoted by CBC.

According to sources, 200,000 fish had been transferred from Dartek to Little Harbor and also had to be slaughtered, hence the total of around 750,000.

Larry Ingalls and his brothers David and Neil could not be reached on the phone by Undercurrent and did not immediately respond to an email asking for comment.

Undercurrent also could not reach Dartek’s Doug MacEachern and executives with Little Harbor for comment.

According to one source, who declined to be quoted by name, the eggs came from Northern Harvest’s broodstock operation in Dover, Prince Edward Island.

Northern Harvest supplies the eggs to Dartek and Little Harbor and then pays them to raise the salmon, he said.

Getting ISA in a land-based, fresh-water facility is “odd”, even “unheard of”, sources said.

According to sources, the outbreak was self-reported by Dartek and Little Harbor and they are working with the Nova Scotia government on cleanup.

"The affected fish were euthanized and removed in a secure manner," the Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture said in a press release. "The process followed protocols and was supervised by veterinarians who will continue ongoing monitoring."

The ISA virus does not pose a risk to humans, the department stressed.

The virus is native to Atlantic Canada and was first detected there in 1996, according to the article. The most recent prior incident in Nova Scotia happened in 2012 at a Cooke Aquaculture site. However, there were at least four separate incidents in 2016 in New Brunswick, according to the article.

Contact the author tom.seaman@undercurrentnews.com