Infectious salmon anemia: Getting the jump on a disease of 'devastating quickness'

By:  Joel Connelly
Source: SeattlePI.com

West Coast senators, promoted by discovery of a virus in British Columbia salmon, are telling federal fisheries agencies:  Get moving on Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) before it moves on us.

"In the past, it has moved through salmon populations with devastating quickness . . . The mistakes made in Norway and Chile were not to respond quickly enough," Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Seattle, said in Seattle on Sunday after meeting with federal, state and tribal fisheries officials.

"What is particularly important is that the U.S. has its own scientific evidence so we can have our own response plan," Cantwell added.  "To have our own response plan, we need to have our own scientific evaluation."

Salmon are not only an iconic presence in the Northwest, but remain a big deal economically -- despite decimation of runs by dam construction, overfishing and shoddy logging practices.