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Description of oceanographic conditions within Hermitage Bay, NL, at sites with and without the occurrence of ISA outbreak



Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) is one of the most important diseases of the farmed salmon industry. A disease brought about by infection with a virus, ISA has also been found on wild fish and its transmission to farmed fish can occur through a number of vectors. The first reported case of ISA in a Newfoundland salmon farm was in 2012 and various cases of ISA outbreaks have been reported in the region since that time. The optimum survival conditions of ISA coincide with farmed rearing conditions and stressors to farmed species can lead to increased infection rates.

This project aims to understand the variability of the oceanographic conditions in Hermitage Bay, NL, and assesses the potential link between these conditions (temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen) and the occurrence of ISA outbreaks. Different farming sites in the region have reported different levels of ISA infection, and it is believed that differences in the physical parameters surrounding these sites might exist, which would allow for an outbreak of the virus. This research project will address the physical properties of the water and analyze the conditions before and during ISA outbreaks, in order to identify the environmental conditions associated with the outbreak. Should there be a correlation between environmental parameters and the occurrence of the ISA outbreak, the results of this project will help identify other areas of the region when there is a potential risk of outbreak. This would provide the aquaculture industry with an anticipatory tool on how to mitigate the risk and improve the sustainability of salmon farming.

This project supports the optimal fish health objective of the Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP), and pertains to the 2014-15 national ACRDP priority to manage and control pests and pathogens through the understanding of how pests and pathogens can affect the environment and cultured species, and how to manage their impact.

Program Name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


2014 - 2015


Atlantic: Newfoundland, Labrador Shelves

Principal Investigator(s)

Andry Ratsimandresy

Collaborative Partner(s)

Cold Ocean Salmon Inc.

Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association

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