Environment
10:51 am
Wed November 2, 2011

Sen. Cantwell wants U.S. to confirm salmon virus

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell is calling on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to independently confirm the presence of a deadly virus found in two Pacific salmon in British Columbia.

Canadian researchers recently announced they detected infectious salmon anemia disease in two juvenile sockeye salmon for the first time on the West Coast. Canadian government officials are awaiting tests to confirm the results. The virus has caused losses at fish farms in Chile and elsewhere.

Cantwell, a Democrat from Washington, and Alaska Senators Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, and Mark Begich, a Democrat, sent a letter Wednesday to the chairwomen of the Appropriations commerce subcommittee asking them to prioritize research into the virus. The senators also urged NOAA to run its own tests on the salmon.

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