Fish Health

Minister Colwell pictured with Roland Cusack, provincial fish health veteranarian.

Department staff offer veterinary services to help maintain and monitor aquatic animal health in aquaculture. Veterinary health programs are key for the maintenance and growth of the sector. Services also include supporting animal welfare, as well as preventing, diagnosing and treating aquatic animals when necessary.

The program is based in the Veterinary Pathology Building on the campus of the Dalhousie University - Faculty of Agricultural, in Truro. Aquatic species undergo autopsies at this facility, and appropriate tests are run to determine health status.

On-site surveillance at provincial aquaculture sites is also provided. The fish are observed and tested as required. For example, fish may be tested for the presence of viruses, bacteria, fungus, parasites, etc.

Similar services are also available to fish hatchery and nursery sites.

The Aquatic Animal Health Program is tied to regulatory oversight of the industry through the Nova Scotia Coastal Resources Act Aquaculture Regulations.

List of Reportable Fish Health Disease

The following is a list of reportable disease. Under the Nova Scotia Aquaculture Management Regulations an aquaculture license holder, a member of the personnel of an aquaculture operation, a veterinarian, and/or a member of the personnel of a laboratory must immediately report to the Chief Aquatic Animal Health Veterinarian the knowledge or suspicion of a reportable disease listed below. The report should be made by calling 902-893-5359. The call must be followed by a written report no later than 24 hours and submitted to

Aeromonas salmonicida (typical and atypical furunculosis)
Renibacterium salmoninarum (bacterial kidney disease)
Yersina rusckeri (enteric red mouth disease)

Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis (IHN) Virus
Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis (IPN) Virus
Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) Virus
Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) Virus
Nodavirus (Viral encephalopathy retinopathy)
Pancreas Disease (PD)