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Mowi to cull 2.26m salmon at Stephenville hatchery after latest ISA outbreak

The salmon to be destroyed weight an average of 104 grams, and the confirmation of infectious salmon anemia (ISA) was recorded during routine sampling at the hatchery in the western Newfoundland town.

The information on the infected salmon was disclosed in a statement published on the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association webpage.

“All Canadian farmers will understand the despair felt when animals under your care succumb to health challenges — it is disappointing to all those involved, especially our dedicated teams in Stephenville,” said Alan Cook, Managing Director at Mowi Canada East, in the prepared statement.

"We have assembled a team of international Mowi experts to assist us in investigating this situation and developing plans for preventing a repeat in future groups.”

Mowi Canada East has farms across New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. Mowi Canada East is part of the Mowi ASA group, the world’s largest producer of Atlantic salmon.

In January, Mowi detected fish with ISA in two cages containing about 165,000 salmon.

ISA (which does not pose a human health issue or food safety issue) has been a problem with multiple salmon farms in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Grieg Seafood Newfoundland culled one million salmon, and delayed the first transfer of fish to sea until this coming spring after finding a positive sample of ISA at its smolt site.

Mowi lost at least 1.3 million salmon at its Newfoundland operations in the last four months of 2021 due to sea lice, treatment, and poor weather.

Mowi reported in September 2021 that it had experienced a 450,000 fish mortality event at one of its Newfoundland sites, almost five times the number earlier reported.

In August 2019 Mowi suffered a massive 2.6 million salmon die-off that cost the company $5.5 million in damages and led to intense criticism and negative press.

Ryan Cleary,

Executive Director, SEA-NL

To read more about SEA-NL, and for owner-operators to join please visit our website or e-mail Sign SEA-NL's petition to the House of Commons on non-core commercial fishing licences here.

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