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

Just Posted

Spring street sweeping starts

Vernon’s street sweeping and flushing will occur every day for the next four to six weeks.

PHOTOS: Spring has sprung in the Okanagan-Shuswap

The new season is bringing warm weather across the region

Vernon RCMP kick off impaired driving prevention week with drunk driving arrest

Impaired Driving Prevention Week encourages Canadians to drive sober.

Dust advisory continues for a third day

It is recommended that persons with chronic underlying medical conditions postpone strenuous exercise until the advisory is lifted.

VIDEO: Sunny skies in the forecast makes for a great start to spring

Mostly sunny skies with a chance of rain by Friday evening in the Okanagan Valley

B.C. man sentenced for tying up, assaulting and robbing another man at hotel

Gabriel Stephen Nelson robbed and assaulted travelling businessman in Nanaimo in 2017

Deadline extended through April to nominate top B.C. educators

Second year of Premier John Horgan’s awards offers $3,000 bursary

B.C. girl and her toy monkey make videos to fight negativity on Facebook

Ava Ast created the Ava and Cello’s Good Deed Page last month

Detective dog, from Nelson, joins fight to combat invasive mussels

K9 Major will be on the road starting this month, hunting for quagga and zebra mussels

No cause yet for grassfire near Kamloops

Fire was about 1.8 hectares in size

Paramedic staff shortage at critical level: B.C. union

A number of units were out of service due to lack of staffing in Lower Mainland, union says

B.C. lottery winner being sued by Surrey co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Case made for free tampon dispensers in schools

Advocate says access, anonymity key to providing less stressful experience for female students

Most Read