CALL WDFW TODAY
Tell the agency that testing for Atlantic salmon net pen virus must be
impartial and conducted by the state, not a private consultant
Our Sound, Our Salmon Supporters,
There's been a lot happening with Piscine Reovirus (PRV) lately, the dangerous virus found in every tested, escaped farmed Atlantic salmon from the Cypress Island escape last summer.
A groundbreaking paper released last week by a team of scientists from the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and the University of British Columbia (UBC) reported that PRV can cause cell rupture of red blood cells resulting in anemia, potentially causing lethal kidney and liver disease in Chinook salmon.
Prior to this groundbreaking news, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) finally agreed to test Atlantic salmon net pens and ready-to-transport Atlantic salmon smolts for the virus in Washington, and finally agreed to exclude any PRV-infected Atlantic salmon from public waters.
It's good news that WDFW has decided to test for PRV in Puget Sound's Atlantic salmon net pens and hatcheries. The virus is highly contagious, and there is a mountain of evidence (including last week's groundbreaking paper) to suggest that the virus poses a significant risk to wild Pacific salmon and steelhead.
But there's a problem.
Unbelievably, WDFW is willing to allow Cooke Aquaculture to use their own private consultant for the viral testing of PRV. This is a serious conflict of interest - the public deserves more transparency.
Last week, twenty-six members and partners of the Our Sound, Our Salmon coalition delivered a letter to WDFW Acting Director Joe Stohr, requesting the department to test for PRV impartially, in a state run lab.
Now, it's your turn to help.