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

Lord Tweedsmuir tops Tamanawis in all-cat fight for Surrey RCMP Classic title

Panthers’ Jaeden Reid was named MVP at all-Surrey boys tournament

Surrey hosts grand-opening ceremony of North Surrey arena complex

‘Accessible’ facility features three sheets of ice

Trade to hometown team a ‘blessing in disguise’ for Surrey Eagles defenceman

Kieran O’Hearn gets to play in front of family, who live just minutes from South Surrey Arena

White Rock solid waste open house scheduled

Event to take place next month

U-Haul truck hits hydro pole, causes power outage in Surrey

Vehicle driving westbound on Fraser Highway

Vancouver police probe second homicide in less than 24 hours

Woman was found dead in her Gastown home

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Vancouver police investigate after man found dead in vehicle

Man has not been identified and no one has been arrested

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

Most Read