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CANADA PRESS – 1APR2012: According to a news release from Nova Scotia Department of Aquaculture, the Nova Scotia government has teamed up with members of the Nova Scotia Salmon Farmers Association to market salmon removed from industrial fish farms as a result of the recent harvesting of salmon affected by infectious salmon anemia (ISA).

Marketed as "ISA Certified" the new salmon brand will create opportunity to sell ISA-infected salmon in supermarkets and seafood stores in Nova Scotia, across Canada and in the USA, said the release.

The department will commit $240,000 in "promotional" monies from the Industrial Development Fund, which will be matched by $32,000 from the salmon farming industry. "We think it is important," says Aquaculture Minister Sterling Belliveau, "that the millions of pounds of salmon which will have to be harvested and slaughtered because of the growing ISA infection in Shelburne and other Nova Scotia farms not go to waste."

The senior aquatic disease specialist with the Canadia Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced last week that there will be more fish from the Shelburne operation of Cooke Aquaculture ordered destroyed and that, as soon as Cooke can prove that a clear "bio-security path" can be created, the firm will be allowed to process and market the ISA fish to consumers.

The CFIA, Nova Scotia government and salmon farming industry spokespersons have stressed repeatedly that the disease which has killed millions of salmon in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Norway and Chile over the past decade "poses absolutely no risk to humans." The ISA Certified brand will be using the slogan "Deadly to fish – safe for you!" 

The project, says Belliveau, is an example of the commitment to innovation that the current NDP government is so very proud of. He stressed that the recent announcements by the federal goverment of the massive reduction in funding for marine science and federal food inspectors, combined with the certainty that further ISA outbreaks are assured,  creates a "perfect storm" of opportunity for this partnership between the Aquaculture Department and the salmon farming industry.

When CFIA orders the removal of fish from a farm due to ISA, the release stated, the salmon farm company is compensated for all of the slaughtered fish. "If we can then sell those same fish on the open market," added Belliveau, "then it’s a win-win situation for everyone."