A DFO biologist at a fish farm in the Okisollo Channel, northeast of Quadra Island, on Oct. 31, 2018. File photo

Ottawa won’t appeal Federal Court ruling on farmed salmon virus

Review of piscine orthoreovirus policy ongoing, says DFO

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) says it won’t appeal a recent Federal Court decision on piscine orthoreovirus, or PRV.

In early February, Justice Cecily Strickland overturned a DFO policy that allows for the transfer of juvenile Atlantic salmon into open-net fish farms without screening for the virus. The court also ruled that DFO had breached its duty to consult ‘Namgis First Nation about PRV policy.

This followed lawsuits by ‘Namgis First Nation and Alexandra Morton, a marine biologist and outspoken industry critic.

READ MORE: Alexandra Morton, ‘Namgis First Nation win Federal Court ruling

In a statement released on Tuesday night, DFO said the government had completed its review of the ruling and “will not be appealing.”

The court found DFO’s threshold for harm to wild salmon was too high and that its policy didn’t comply with the precautionary principle. It gave DFO four months to review its PRV policy.

READ MORE: Federal fisheries minister calls for precautionary approach to fish farming

That review is ongoing, and its results “will be communicated publicly in spring 2019,” according to the March 12 statement.

DFO stressed that the Federal Court “did not order DFO to test for PRV” before transferring smolts into fish farms or releasing them into the wild.

READ MORE: Dissenter says effects of fish farm virus ‘extremely uncertain’

The statement also noted the court “did not make any decision or statement concerning whether the failure to test for PRV in hatchery smolts poses a risk to wild salmon.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Jury trial underway regarding March 2019 shooting in Williams Lake

A B.C. Supreme Court jury will determine the fate of a woman… Continue reading

Upwards of 200 people take part in first 150 Mile Elementary Family Ice Fishing Derby

“The public support was more than we could have imagined,” she said.

WEEKEND ROUNDUP: Busy end of the week for the lakecity

The Chilcotin Road’s 9th Annual Ladies Night is this Friday along with a handful of concerts

Mother Sun performing live at arts centre Friday night

A psychedelic sound fresh from Kamloops will make its lakecity debut on Friday, Feb. 21

UPDATE: One dead after multi-vehicle collision involving logging truck on Highway 97

DriveBC says highway expected to remain closed until 8 p.m.

Fashion Fridays: The 8 best quality online stores! Shop the ultimate sales

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Trudeau promises update on blockades as Wet’suwet’en chiefs meet Mohawk supporters

B.C. hereditary chiefs are thanking the Mohawks for supporting them in opposition to Coastal GasLink

Petition seeks to remove local police department from Lindsay Buziak murder case

American woman starts online petition in hopes of helping Buziak family

Health officials confirm sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

COLUMN: Not an expert on First Nations government structures? Then maybe you should calm down

Consider your knowledge about First Nations governance structures before getting really, really mad

Meet the Wet’suwet’en who want the Coastal GasLink pipeline

Supporters of the pipeline are upset only one side is being heard nationwide

Most Read