Discovery of HSMI on BC Salmon Farm

The Strategic Salmon Health Initiative (SSHI) was initiated by the Pacific Salmon Foundation, Genome BC and Fisheries and Oceans Canada to investigate issues related to the survival of juvenile salmon during their ocean migration. The overall goal of SSHI is to discover the microbes present in BC’s Pacific salmon that may reduce the productivity and performance of our wild Pacific salmon. As part of that, it will try to clarify the debate about the presence of microbes in wild, hatchery, and aquaculture fish and the potential interactions of open net-pen salmon farming and migrating Pacific salmon.  Recently, as part of the SSHI, something was discovered in the tissues of some aquaculture salmon that were being sampled. It was an outbreak of Heart and Skeletal Muscle Inflammation (or HSMI) in fish from one farm. The lesions in the fish are the same as those previously identified by the same histopathologist in farm audit samples collected from  farms during 2011-2013. The HSMI finding was formally reported to the industry and Fisheries and Oceans Canada as per the scientific protocol for the project and announced by Fisheries and Oceans Canada – click here for the release. As HSMI is not an OIE reportable disease, it was not reported to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.  Below are a series of power point slides used by lead DFO Scientist Dr. Kristi Miller which outline the HSMI finding and how it was discovered.