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Fish removal planned as disease detected in McCallum salmon cages

Cold Ocean Salmon says infectious salmon anemia detected by animal health surveillance program

A New Brunswick-based seafood giant says it has received a positive test result for infectious salmon anemia virus at one of its marine cage sites in Newfoundland.

Cold Ocean Salmon, a division of Cooke Aquaculture, says the virus, which is not a human health or food safety concern, was detected as a result of the Atlantic salmon aquatic animal health surveillance program.

In a statement released Monday, the company said it is making plans to remove the fish, which it says is the most successful method for managing the virus.

The virus was detected at its North of Killbuck Cove marine cage site, which is located near McCallum on Newfoundland’s south coast. Cold Ocean Salmon says the site contains six cages that are stocked with about 340,000 Atlantic salmon.

“The company has taken all the responsible steps under the oversight of the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Fisheries and Land Resources and is following government-approved policies,” says the company’s statement.

Joel Richardson, Cooke’s vice-president of public relations, said just one salmon tested positive for the virus.

“No farmed salmon have perished as a result of the confirmed test and we had been planning to harvest the farm site as they are market size,” Richardson said in an email to CBC News.