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Greig Seafood Newfoundland delays fish transfer until spring 2022


August 6, 2021
By Hatchery International Staff

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After finding a positive sample of infectious salmon anemia (ISA) at its smolt site located in Newfoundland and Labrador, Grieg Seafood Newfoundland has decided to cull one million fish, and postpone the first transfer of fish to sea, until spring 2022.

Since the first detection of ISA at the company’s Marystown facility this summer, 295 additional samples have been collected and analyzed by the Provincial Veterinary Authorities and all samples have come up with negative results, with no further ISA detected. All the sampled fish were in the same recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) as the one fish with the ISA detection, but the company would not have been able to maintain its fish health and welfare standard in sea, should the virus have existed in the fish group.

Looking to take a ‘precautionary approach’ after discovering the virus, Grieg’s decision to postpone the fish’s release will reduce risk to its stock and wild stock, as the company plans to develop salmon farming operations in Placentia Bay in a gradual and responsible way. Placentia Bay is known to be ideal for salmon farming, but with no history of ISA, Grieg Seafood Newfoundland does not want to risk introducing the virus into the environment.

Throughout the spring and summer of 2022, about three million fish are due to be transferred to the sea, in accordance with the original schedule. The eggs and fish are currently growing well in a separate building in the Marystown facility, and will be harvested in 2023 and 2024. While the stocking has been delayed, Grieg’s 2025 harvesting target has not changed.

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