Feds to compensate fish farm for ISA losses

Jonathan Riley, Digby Courier
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Cooke Aquaculture has salmon cages, like these in Brier Island, in several different parts of Nova Scotia, in part they say to control spread of disease.

The federal government will compensate Cooke Aquaculture for the hundreds of thousands of salmon ordered destroyed in Shelburne this week.

The Canadian Food and Inspection Agency order the New Brunswick-based salmon farming company to destroy all the remaining fish on a farm of cages just outside Shelburne Harbour after the CFIA confirmed "additional cases" of infectious salmon anaemia.

Two pens of fish had already been destroyed in February when officials first suspected and later confirmed ISA in those cages. ISA poses no known danger to humans.

CFIA spokesman Guy Gravelle says an assessment team has visited the site to begin the process of determining the amount of compensation.

He says the team will use information from an independent business publisher to determine market value and combine that with the age and weight of the fish.

"The amounts are intended to reflect the reasonable market value that an owner could expect to receive for the fish up to the maximum of $30, as set out in the Compensation for Destroyed Animals Regulations," he said. "In addition, compensation may include costs related to the destruction and disposal of the fish."

The assessment team consisted of an industry representative, two CFIA economists and a CFIA veterinarian, said Gravelle.

The Shelburne Harbour fish farm will remain under quarantine for several months while all the fish are removed to a compost facility, and all the pens, cages and nets are cleaned and disinfected.

Nell Halse, spokesperson for Cooke Aquaculture says the site and all the sites in the Shelburne area will lie fallow until probably this time next year.

She says this situation is one reason why Cooke's likes to have several farm locations.

"It's only one farm, but this is why we have farms in New Brunswick and in different areas around Nova Scotia, and farms in Newfoundland," says Halse. "It's a lot of fish, it's a setback, but that's why we're not putting all our fish in one area."

Halse says the company's plans for further expansion in Nova Scotia remain unchanged.

"We are still hopefully going forward in the near future with plans for the hatchery for the Digby area and expanding the feedmill , and making some applications for new sites."



Organizations: Canadian Food and Inspection Agency

Geographic location: Shelburne Harbour, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick Newfoundland Digby

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Recent comments

  • Bob Waters
    July 09, 2013 - 19:58

    A waist of tax payers money to pay Cook Aquaculture for losses let them pay..They can well afford it Will Cook Aquaculture pay for the down turn in the salmon fishing & lobster, clam industry?.Will the Gov. help out?No look at the Pacific coast wild salmon or what is left of them. The same could happen in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick.

  • Davey Jones Locker
    May 12, 2013 - 23:45

    I don;t understand why we Canadians have to pay compensation to muti-national fish farms for ANY, REAL, EXPECTED or OTHERWISE financial losses from fish diseases? Are farmers being compensated for swine flues, bird flues, weather conditions, etc? Be serious. Agriculture or Aquaculture, it doesn't matter. The final bill on this iissue to Cooke was $100 million dollars! What a complete waste of money! Why not send the farms home and take that kind of financial payout to local fishing industry stakeholders. I'm sure 100 million can be used to improve local fish rearing hatcheries, sport fishing opportunities, and local commercial fishing strategies! PS: ISA virus is a known problem in pens and originated from Norwegian sources. Why are we on the hook for the losses? This virus is not under control, continues to attack west coast feedlots and exposes ALL wild stocks that pass by infested farm pens! Will we be on the hook to EVERY fish farm we allowed into Canada? Davey ISA virus comes from a Norwegian source. That fact has been proven. They brought it to Canada via fish feedlots and it is now showing up in wat coast fish feedlots.

  • Chris
    May 02, 2012 - 20:36

    So, according to JC, "global warming" does exist. And here I thought it was "climate change". How silly. KFC anyone?

  • JC
    April 30, 2012 - 07:32

    "As environmental science has advanced, it has become apparent that the human appetite for animal flesh is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage now threatening the human future: deforestation, erosion, fresh water scarcity, air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, social injustice, the destabilization of communities, and the spread of disease." Worldwatch Institute, "Is Meat Sustainable?" "The livestock sector emerges as one of the top contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global. The findings of this report suggest that it should be a major policy focus when dealing with problems of land degradation, climate change and air pollution, water shortage and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity. Livestock’s contribution to environmental problems is on a massive scale and its potential contribution to their solution is equally large. The impact is so significant that it needs to be addressed with urgency." UN Food and Agricultural Organization's report "Livestock's Long Shadow" “If every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetables and grains... the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off of U.S. roads.” Environmental Defense Fund Why would someone choose to be vegan? To slow global warming for one! Here are two uplifting videos to help everyone understand why so many people are making this life affirming choice: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKr4HZ7ukSE and http://www.veganvideo.org

    • Chris
      May 04, 2012 - 00:48

      I'm surprised that the "politically correct" subscribe to such: "ranting nonsense" from this author. It's fine if you don't want to post my response. I would really like to know why you post this garbage??? Please explain!

  • digbychick
    April 29, 2012 - 15:11

    I am of course unfamiliar with the contract signed between the Federal Government and Cooke Aquaculture, but am quite certain that the compensation being paid to Cooke's as a result of the order to destroy is far in excess of the 2011 Nova Scotia payroll for all staff working on this project.