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Salmon killed after ‘unusual’ outbreak at two Nova Scotia fish farms

FILE - In this Thursday, July 13, 2017 photo, workers position their boats at a Cooke Aquaculture salmon farm near Blacks Harbour, New Brunswick.
FILE - In this Thursday, July 13, 2017 photo, workers position their boats at a Cooke Aquaculture salmon farm near Blacks Harbour, New Brunswick. AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

Nova Scotia Fisheries Minister Keith Colwell says 600,000 salmon smolts have been killed following an outbreak of infectious salmon anemia at two land-based aquaculture facilities last month.

Colwell says the small, independently owned fish farms are close to each other, but he would not name them or say where they are located.

READ MORE: New study shows B.C. wild salmon are being infected by virus coming from fish farms

He says it was almost a complete loss for one company, but the other lost only part of its stock.

Colwell says there are no health concerns for humans because the virus only affects salmon.

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Virus threatens B.C.’s fragile salmon population

He said it’s highly unusual to have an outbreak of infectious salmon anemia at a land-based facility.

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Colwell says his department will be investigating how the smolts became infected.