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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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Cantwell irked with Canadians for withholding unpublished salmon virus study

A salmon jumps in a saltwater farm pen near Eastport. (Robert Bukaty / The Spokesman-Review)
A salmon jumps in a saltwater farm pen near Eastport. (Robert Bukaty / The Spokesman-Review)

FISHERIES -- Officials north of the border had reason to suspect viruses in Pacific salmon a decade ago, but kept it under their tukes.

Sen. Maria Cantwell this week is calling for stronger communication between American and Canadian officials following the disclosure that Canada failed to reveal the results of tests that appear to show the presence of a potentially deadly salmon virus nearly a decade before a salmon-virus scare this fall, the Associated Press reports.

A Canadian researcher’s work surfaced this week after she sought and was denied permission by a Canadian official to try to have her old data published.

Researchers with Simon Fraser University in British Columbia announced in October they had detected infectious salmon anemia, or ISA, in two wild juvenile Pacific salmon collected from the province’s central coast, prompting fears the influenza-like virus could wreck the Pacific Northwest salmon fishing industry.

U.S. scientists say they’re disappointed the Canadians never mentioned the researcher’s earlier, 2002 work.

Read a more detailed story from the Seattle Times.

Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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