ISA Related Information

July 8, 2012

Fact Sheet on Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA)

CLICK HERE to download this information sheet as a pdf.


Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) is a serious but manageable virus that occurs in nature and can also affect salmon farms. A recent confirmation by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) of ISA in Newfoundland and Labrador is the first of its kind in this province and has sparked media attention and some discussion and confusion in the community.

While all salmon farming companies view ISA as a serious virus, they have lived with and managed ISA for many years.  This recent confirmation by CFIA of the presence of ISA on the Butter Cove site owned and operated by Gray Aqua Group shows that the surveillance and fish health program is working.  Both levels of government and all companies are taking the necessary actions to manage the virus and to prevent its spread.

Here are quick facts on ISA:

  • ISA is a natural virus, not something created by salmon farming
  • ISA can be a serious threat but since we know it is in the environment we have learned how to test for it and manage it
  • Although this is the first case in Newfoundland and Labrador, ISA has been confirmed recently in Nova Scotia, and through effective management strategies in New Brunswick, it has not been detected since 2006
  • The confirmation of ISA in Newfoundland and Labrador shows that fish health monitoring is effective
  • There remains no clinical signs of the virus on this site and so early detection allows the company to take precautionary and preventative measures to minimize the potential spread to other farming sites
  • Ongoing monitoring and fish health sampling continues on all farms in the region.  If further cases of ISA are detected, the same aggressive and proactive steps will be taken by industry in collaboration with the Province of NL and CFIA
  • This confirmation of ISA in Newfoundland and Labrador is viewed as a part of farming on the East Coast – industry does not take this virus lightly but are confident it can be managed
  • The aquaculture industry remains committed to its expansion and development plans on the South Coast of Newfoundland and Labrador

For more information, the following Q&A provides answers to some of the most common questions about ISA…

1. What is ISA?

Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) is a naturally occurring virus that spreads slowly and is present in wild fish in many parts of the world, including eastern Canada and the United States.  While ISA is harmful to salmon, it poses no risks to human health.

2. Is the ISA virus harmful to humans?

No. While ISA is harmful to salmon, it poses no risks to human health.

3. Does ISA pose a threat to fish species other than salmon?

No.  Veterinarians and scientists say that ISA poses no known threat to other fish species such as lobster, herring or cod. Although herring and cod can carry the virus, there is no adverse affect.

4. Doesn’t the fact that we suspect ISA prove that farming salmon is not safe?

No. Like all farmers we are affected by environmental conditions and the natural presence of parasites, viruses and pathogens. ISA is a virus that spreads slowly and is present in wild fish in many parts of the world, including eastern Canada and the United States.  Rigorous testing and monitoring is in place to detect the presence of viruses as quickly as possible.  That is what happened in NL recently.

5. What is industry doing to control ISA?

Evidence of ISA has existed in the wild fishery on the east coast for over 100 years. Since 1996 when ISA was first identified on New Brunswick salmon farms, farmers have worked with scientists, veterinarians and government to manage and prevent outbreaks and stop the virus from spreading.  Through effective management strategies in New Brunswick, it has not been detected since 2006.

The New Brunswick salmon farming industry responded to the threat of ISA by developing a bay management area system and strict bio-security protocols for all farming, processing and fish transportation operations as well as the designation of wharves for specific activities and guidelines for vessel traffic.  The Newfoundland and Labrador industry is learning from the experiences in other regions and are implementing strict bio-security protocols to minimize the potential threat of ISA in this province.

6. How do salmon farmers manage ISA?

Company veterinarians, biologists and oceanographic specialists and Provincial and Federal veterinarians and regulators provide advice and oversight on our everyday farming practices. Farmers follow innovative farming techniques such as area management, single year stocking, crop rotation, fallowing of farms between crops and strict bio-security protocols to keep fish healthy until they are ready for harvest.  If ISA is suspected they take aggressive measures like culling a cage as a preventative measure.

7. What does this ISA virus detection mean for the public? Are the fish in the area at risk?

ISA is a naturally occurring virus that exists in the wild fishery and can also affect salmon farms. While it is harmful to salmon, ISA poses no risk to humans or to other species such as lobster, herring and cod. The ongoing testing and surveillance work of the CFIA and the provincial regulators make sure any new evidence of the virus is detected immediately and proactive measures are taken to prevent spread.

8. What does this ISA virus detection and the loss of the fish on this site mean for the development plans in NL?

While this is an unfortunate event, it is part of the farming business and industry has managed through many challenges like ISA over the years while remaining a successful Atlantic Canadian industry.  The industry has strategically diversified in terms of geography, products and markets and is therefore in a strong position to deal with business and farming challenges.  All companies remain committed to their NL expansion plans.

9. Why is Salmon Farming Important to NL and to Atlantic Canada for that matter?

Salmon farming has become critical to the social and economic fabric of rural Atlantic Canada.  We already provide thousands of good direct and indirect jobs and have the capacity to do so much more. We not only offer high quality, healthy and nutritious food for the Canadian and US marketplace, we offer stability to a region that has been hard hit by economic decline and job losses.  Aquaculture is building on the region’s marine and agriculture heritage and is becoming the new ‘traditional’ food sector.



Cold Harvest 2013

July 1, 2012




20th Annual Conference & Trade Show

February 19th – 21st


Cold Harvest 2013 – Draft Agenda (subject to change)

Schedule of Events:
Tuesday, February 19th: Opening Reception (Evening)
Wednesday, February 20th: Plenary Sessions, NAIA AGM
Thursday, February 21st: Plenary Sessions, Conference & Tradeshow end, Aquaculture Banquet, John Shehann Entertainment
Industry Sessions will Include:
  • Industry-led Discussions of Both Shellfish and Finfish Aquaculture in NL
  • Provincial Programs Update from the NL Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture
  • Shellfish and Finfish Technical Sessions and much more!
Other Exciting Events Include:
  • Luncheon with Guest Speaker
  • 2013 Aquaculturist of the Year Award Presentation
  • Annual Joe Brown Silent Auction, Social Events and more!
Join us for another successful Conference & Trade Show as we continue to work together to advance the aquaculture industry in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Register before January 21st and enter to win the early bird prize draw for a $100 Visa Gift Card!
Congratulations to Todd Hickey of HSF Ocean Products Ltd. Todd is the lucky Early Bird Winner of the $100 Visa Gift Card!
NAIA has confirmed a block of rooms at the Albatross Hotel at 1-800-563-4900 and the Gander Hotel at 1-800-563-2988. Please request the NAIA room rate: $97 (plus applicable taxes).
NAIA’s Cold Harvester magazine will be distributed during the conference and will include the conference program and highlights. Anyone interested in purchasing an ad in this edition, please download the Cold Harvester advertising package: Cold Harvester Pkg – Conf 2013 or contact Roberta at 709-538-3454, via email Deadline for ad submissions: Friday, January 11th, 2013.
Sponsorship represents an integral part of the success of NAIA Cold Harvest 2013 and provides a valuable advertising opportunity for your organization.
Any support that you are able to provide would greatly benefit these events. Download the: Sponsorship Package – Cold Harvest 2013
EXHIBITOR REGISTRATION – Exhibitors are entitled to:
  • Two conference registration passes (does not include banquet tickets).
  • Business profile and a business card size color ad in the Cold Harvester magazine – conference program. (If space is booked before January 11th)
  • Scheduled visits/networking breaks in the trade show area.
  • Visitors from the Joe Brown Silent Auction which will also be held in the trade show area.
  • Acknowledgement on NAIA website.
To obtain an exhibitors information package, click here: Exhibitor Package – Cold Harvest 2013 or please contact Roberta at 709-538-3454 or via email at
Early Bird Prize Draw! Register and pay before Monday, January 21st to be entered in the early bird draw for your chance to win a $100 Visa Gift Card!
Registration fee covers tradeshow, presentations, reception, and coffee breaks. * Member rate is limited to 3 registrations per Company/Organization. (HST not included in prices)
Pre-Registration Fee – Before Jan 21st: NAIA Member $150* Non-Member $250 Student – Free
Pre-Registration Fee – After Jan 21st: NAIA Member $200* Non-Member $300 Student – Free
Registration Fee – After Feb 15th: NAIA Member $250* Non-Member $350 Student – Free
A Hot and Cold Gala Style Buffet will be served on Thursday evening, February 21st, followed by entertainment by comedian John Sheehan! Tickets are available at a cost of $35 + hst (Tickets can be purchased on delegate registration form)
To download our entire conference package click here: NAIA Cold Harvest – Conference Package 2013
Annual Joe Brown Silent Auction:
During the conference, NAIA staff and volunteers will be organizing the Annual Dr.  Joe Brown Silent Auction where funds raised will be distributed to a student who currently is or will be enrolled into an aquaculture program.
Dr. Joe Brown, Research Scientist at the Ocean Sciences Centre from 1984 to 2005, established a unique reputation both for his scholarly work in the areas of behavioural ecology of fishes and cold-water aquaculture and for his radiant, passionate sense of humour, humanity and empathy, particularly concerning students. Auction items can be dropped off at either of the NAIA offices or the registration desk during the conference. All items are greatly appreciated!


Hoskin Scientific
Department of Fisheries & Aquaculture – Aquaculture Branch
Department of Innovation Business & Rural Development
Fisheries & Oceans Canada – Aquaculture Research Section
Silk Stevens Ltd.
Workplace, Health, Safety & Compensation Commission
Marine Institute of Memorial University of NL
Trinav Fisheries Consultants Inc.
(Check back soon for updates)




Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Department of Fisheries & Aquaculture



Northern Harvest Sea Farms



Barry Group Inc.
Cold Ocean Salmon Inc.



Town of Grand Falls-Windsor
Marine Atlantic

Canadian Center for Fisheries Innovation
Gray Aqua Group Ltd.
Newfoundland Styro
Hoskin Scientific

Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance/Agriculture and Agrifoods Canada


Go Deep International
Grant Thornton
Novartis Animal Health Canada Inc.
Gray Aqua Group (2)
Northeast Nutrition
Norlantic Processors
International Enterprises
Gray Aqua Group Ltd.
Northern Harvest Sea Farms
Cooke Aquaculture/Cold Ocean Salmon
Nova Fish Farms

LBA Enterprises

Check back soon for updates!

Special Thanks to Cold Harvest 2013 Organizing Committee!
Chris Hendry, Paul Rose, Danny Boyce, Leonard House, Gail Hoskins, Allison Stagg, Brooks Pilgrim, Sean Macneill, Janelle Aresnault, Rebecca White, Laura Halfyard, Judy Dobson, Miranda Pryor, Cyr Couturier, Darrell Green, Roberta Collier, Katie Collins, Danielle Farrell and Tammy Stewart
To exhibit, register or sponsor an event or session at NAIA’s Conference & Tradeshow or for more information, please contact Roberta Collier at: 709-538-3454 or via email roberta@

Investments Support a Rapidly Growing Aquaculture Industry

May 25, 2011

Investments Support a Rapidly Growing Aquaculture Industry

“As the aquaculture industry sets record production values, the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association (NAIA) will use a $200,633 investment from the Provincial Government to continue workforce training and skill development. The continued development of a highly-skilled workforce creates a solid foundation on which the industry can continue to grow and prosper.”

Click HERE to read the full release

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