The BC Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences has received International Standards Organization accreditation, meaning the lab is now certified to the world standard.

Campbell River fish lab receives international recognition

‘Anybody in the world can send us samples now and the results are defensible in court’

Local Campbell River fish health laboratory, the BC Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences (BC CAHS) has officially attained International Standards Organization (ISO) accreditation, meaning the lab is now certified to the worldwide standard, according to BC CAHS CEO Dr. Jim Powell.

“Four virus assays (detecting procedures) — including Piscine Orthoreovirus (PRV) — are now conducted to a recognized international standard,” Powell says. “This assures all salmon resource interests that our work is conducted to the highest standard and the results are accurate and defensible.”

It’s not that they’re doing anything differently in their testing than they were before, Powell says, it’s that their results are now considered incontrovertible.

“Anybody in the world can send us samples now and the results are defensible in court, meaning it’s been monitored, it’s been reviewed, and it’s been adjudicated by a third party,” Powell says.

The standards are such that samples being tested in the Campbell River lab are tested by more than one scientist within the lab – using the same machines to negate the possibility of the equipment being used being a factor in the results – but that they also are independently tested at another lab somewhere else in the world – and the same results are found.

“It also signifies that our staff has taken a certain amount of training and that training has been documented,” Powell says. “And the third aspect is that our management and quality systems have been tested, documented and approved. The public can trust that accurate and defensible detection of viruses such as PRV is available.”

“It’s only logical that when you report on viruses affecting salmon, that the procedures are done to the highest standard,” says BC CAHS lab manager Garnet Martens. “It took years of preparation, training and documentation to achieve ISO/IEC 17025:2017 accreditation, but it’s worth it. Now our clients know that our results are reliable, relevant and trustworthy according to the international standard requirements.”

So what does that mean for “Joe Public,” who probably isn’t looking for a place to test fish?

Well, Powell says, with B.C. witnessing alarming declines in wild salmon stocks, everyone should be concerned and want to know that places like the CAHS is doing its part in the fight.

“Knowing that the tests we’re performing, the results we’re publishing, and most importantly, probably, that the fish that we’re testing that are going into their local waters are tested to that international standard for those viruses, that’s important,” Powell says. “What this gives us is confidence from the public that when we’re testing fish, we’re investigating that. That’s what we can do; that’s our part in the recovery of salmon. What we do well is look at fish health, and if we can solve a piece of that puzzle by producing the best quality information in fish health, we will.”

And that’s not all their doing in their attempts to get the best information available. The BC CAHS was also recently awarded a grant through the BC Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund to create a wet lab facility here in Campbell River to allow them to eliminate another variable from their testing.

“It’ll be an on-land containment facility to test exactly what we’re talking about here: the impact of diseases on salmon recovery,” Powell says. “The tanks will be under controlled conditions so we’ll be able to eliminate the environment as a factor in what we’re trying to explore.”

Powell says there are a lot of things to be worked out still, including a possible location – other than the fact that it will be in Campbell River – “but we are hoping to cut the ribbon on it in June 2021.”

Watch the Mirror for updates on the wet lab when they become available.



miked@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Campbell River athletes return from BC Winter Games with 9 medals

Judo competitors earned 4 medals, while Karate athletes took home 5 medals

WATCH: Timberline brings puppets alive for musical production of Avenue Q

‘It’s the kind of musical you would go see if you’re not usually a fan of musicals,’ says actor

Campbell River Storm to face Nanaimo Buccaneers in round one of VIJHL playoffs

Game 1 is set for Campbell River’s Rod Brind’Amour Arena on Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m.

Campbell River nurse looks to grace the cover of Inked magazine

‘I’m at the point in my life where I don’t care what anybody thinks anymore. I’m just going to be me.’

Witnesses assist Campbell River woman in danger

The Campbell River RCMP were called to a report of violence in… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Royals, Elvis, Captain Cook: Hundreds of wax figures find new life in B.C. man’s home

Former director of Victoria’s Royal London Wax Museum still hopes to revive wax figure tourism

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Okanagan man swims across Columbia River to evade Trail police

RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says the incident began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20

‘Hilariously bad’: RCMP looking for couple with forged, paper Alberta licence plate

Mounties said the car crashed when it lost a wheel but the duo ran away as police arrived

Most Read