Cohen Aquaculture Daily: August 31, 2011

Resource: Cohen Aquaculture Daily: August 31, 2011

Transcript: August 31, 2011 Hearing Transcript


The second Aquaculture Regulatory Panel was comprised of federal, provincial and industry employees and was cross-examined today on subjects that included fish health management plans, disease data collection, and egg importation. The panel was referred to various documents including fish health management plans, audits and data.

Questioning of Regulatory Panel 2 included discussion about:

  • The fish health management plans of various companies and how they dictate the manner in which the salmon aquaculture industry does business.
  • The ethical duty of a fish health professional towards the fish and potential conflicts of interest regarding the health of wild fish. Fish health veterinarians have a provincial code of ethics.
  • Whether the three motile sea lice trigger on farm fish was politically mandated or scientifically instituted.
  • Mr. Swerdfager’s comments about the “next batch” of new farm licences which may begin to be processed in December 2012.
  • Concern about egg imports and the risk of importing a disease such as ISA, and whether the risk of importation of such diseases by the industry are too great. Mr. Swerdfager representing DFO is confident the regulations are very rigorous.
  • Dr. Marty’s reference to ISA in various disease databases. He referenced the disease because there is interest in the issue of importation of such exotic diseases.
  • The provincial farm audit data records are “snapshots” of the more voluminous records sampled by the various salmon farming companies.
  • The disease databases, and the fact they contain a large number of “open” diagnoses at the farm level—which means that a conclusion about the disease present at that farm has not been made.
  • Occurrence of disease on farms each year, despite the fish health management plans of the aquaculture industry.
  • Mainstream, a subsidiary of Cermaq which has been hypothesized to be the transfer mechanism of Infectious Salmon Anemia from Norway to Chile, which was published in a peer-reviewed scientific paper.
  • DFO admits Slice would not be captured under the deleterious substance section in the Fisheries Act.
  • The three motile trigger of sea lice and the associated treatments of the pesticide Slice.
  • A DFO communications overview, which included a summary of a census conducted of DFO staff and industry opinions on the issues related to aquaculture.


Witnesses – Aquaculture:

  • Dr. Gary Marty – Fish Pathologist, Animal Health Centre, Ministry of Agriculture
  • Dr. Peter McKenzie – Veterinarian and Fish Health Manager, Mainstream Canada
  • Dr. Mark Sheppard – Lead Veterinarian, Aquaculture Environmental Operations, DFO
  • Trevor Swerdfager – formerly Director General, Aquaculture Management Directorate, DFO (NHQ)


See evidentiary documents page for a listing of key exhibits discussed at the hearings.

News Coverage resulting from August 31st Cohen hearings: List is updated as additional media is published.


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