Following the 2017 Cypress Island collapse, viral sampling by Wild Fish Conservancy revealed that 100% of sampled escaped Atlantic salmon were infected with an exotic virus, Piscine Reovirus (PRV) that originated from Iceland where Cooke Aquaculture sources their eggs. After public outcry, WA Fish and Wildlife agreed to require viral testing of the hatchery that receives all Atlantic salmon eggs but would allow the testing to be completed by a third-party hired by Cooke Aquaculture.
In the following petition, to the agency’s Acting Director Joe Stohr, 26 organizations under the banner of the Our Sound, Our Salmon campaign expressed concerns over this conflict of interest and called for impartial, state-conducted testing for the virus.
An excerpt: “A fundamental principle of good resource management is to ensure the public that the outcome of consequential testing is the result of rigorous science conducted by independent investigators free from any reasonable perception of bias and/or conflict of interest. Following this principle, the signees of this letter urge WDFW to conduct PRV testing internally, using appropriately qualified staff.”
Read the full letter below.