Industry Guidance for Growers of Finfish

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You will need to start getting prepared at least 2 months ahead of the planned movement

This guidance document is for finfish culturists who will:

  • receive a declared wild finfish, live or dead, harvested directly from the natural waterways of Canada for the purpose of culture or feed for finfish;
  • send declared finfish, live or dead, for the purpose of culture, feed for finfish, release into natural waterways, and research. This includes sending germplasm from a cryopreservation and storage facility.
  • send a declared thing for the purpose of culture, repair, or research.

A permit from the CFIA may be required

  • if the finfish, finfish carcass or thing is coming from an area with a different reportable aquatic animal disease status than the area where the culture facility is located.
  • when sending a finfish, finfish carcass or thing to an area with a different reportable aquatic animal disease status than the area where the culture facility is located.

For more information, please review the declarations.

Culturists have three options when sending or receiving a declared finfish, live or dead, or declared thing:

  1. Receive the animal or thing with an unknown disease status into a biocontained culture facility; or
  2. Send or receive in healthy animals as long as:
    • they have been inspected and tested by the CFIA;
    • the test results are determined to be negative; and
    • they have been kept segregated to prevent their exposure to the reportable diseases.
  3. Send or receive a thing as long as:
    • it has been decontaminated; and
    • it has been kept segregated to prevent exposure to the reportable diseases.

A Movement Permit to a Closed Premises (CFIA/ACIA 5749) is required when receiving wild finfish, including their germplasm or fertilized eggs, that are harvested directly from the natural waterways of Canada, or receiving cultured finfish, including their germplasm or fertilized eggs and the disease status is unknown. If the animals or things are subsequently going to be moved out of the biocontained facility, permission from the CFIA is required to do so.

If the animals, carcasses or things require to be segregated, inspected and tested before they are moved to your facility, you should request that their owner apply for a Movement Permit for Finfish and Things (CFIA/ACIA 5743). A permit will also be issued to the facility that is receiving finfish germplasm for the purpose of culture.

You will need to apply for a Movement Permit for Finfish and Things (CFIA/ACIA 5743) if you are sending declared finfish, carcasses or things from your culture facility for purpose of culture, feed for finfish, release into natural waterways, repair, or research.

The period of time that the permit is valid is flexible depending on the needs of the planned movement. Please indicate your movement needs on the application and discuss them with the CFIA Inspector who will work with you to verify your compliance with the permit conditions.

In addition to a CFIA permit, culturists may also require authorization to move finfish by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and/or the province or territory in which your culture facility is located. For more information, visit the Introductions and Transfers web site.

There are five sets of permit conditions for culturists to comply with depending on the planned movement. Choose the movement scenario that is applicable to review the conditions.

Additional information:

Permit Conditions to Receive Finfish and their Carcasses or Things into a Biocontained Facility

  1. The permit holder controls and handles the movement of the animal or thing in a manner that prevents the spread of diseases, toxic substances and vectors;
  2. The permit holder keeps, for two years after the movement of the animal or thing, a copy of the permit and a record of the date of movement and the name and address of the place from which the animal or thing is moved, as well as the quantity or volume of the animals or things;
  3. The permit holder makes that copy and those records available for inspection by a CFIA inspector on request;
  4. The animal or thing to be covered by this permit is not under any other movement restriction imposed under a law of Canada or a province, and is not intended for destruction for disease control purposes;
  5. The reportable disease status of the animal and thing described in Section C remains the same as declared for the area of origin of the animal or thing. The permit holder must notify the CFIA of any change in the reportable disease status of the animal or thing;
  6. The destination premises described in Section B has physical, operational and decontamination measures documented in a preventive control planFootnote 1 to prevent the spread of any of the reportable diseases from the destination premises and these measures are implemented;
  7. The permit holder must notify the CFIA of any breach in implementation of the preventive control plan that may result in spread of any of the reportable diseases from the destination premises described in Section B;
  8. The permit holder must notify the CFIA of any loss of integrity of packaging during transport of the animal or thing described in Section C to the destination premises described in Section B;
  9. No transfer or shipping from the destination premises described in Section B of the animal or thing described in Section C, or anything derived from that aquatic animal or thing that is still infectious, can occur without the prior written consent of, or a permit issued by the CFIA.

Permit Conditions to Receive Live Finfish Germplasm from a Premises where Segregation, Inspection and Testing was Conducted

  1. The disease status of the area of origin that is named in this permit does not change between the time of issuance of this permit and the time of the movement;
  2. The permit holder controls and handles the movement of the animal in a manner that prevents the spread of diseases, toxic substances and vectors;
  3. The permit holder keeps, for two years after the movement of the animal, a copy of the permit and a record of the date of movement and the name and address of the place from which the animal is moved, as well as the quantity or volume of the animals;
  4. The permit holder makes that copy and those records available for inspection by a CFIA Inspector on request;
  5. The animal to be covered by this permit is not under any other movement restriction imposed under a law of Canada or a province, and is not intended for destruction for disease control purposes;
  6. The permit holder must notify the CFIA of any loss of integrity of packaging during transport of the animal described in Section C to the destination premises described in Section B;
  7. The animal holding unit used to move the animal described in Section C is handled and disposed of in a manner that prevents the spread of any of the reportable diseases and vectors from the unit;
  8. The fertilized egg derived from the animal described in Section C must be decontaminated in a manner that will inactivate or remove any of the reportable diseases and vectors according to a CFIA-recognized protocol. The permit holder must notify the CFIA if any deviation in the protocol occurs;
  9. Any equipment and materials that the animal described in Section C comes in contact with prior to decontamination of the fertilized egg must be decontaminated or disposed of in a manner that prevents the spread of any of the reportable diseases and vectors;
  10. The waste water generated during the fertilization process and decontamination protocol is treated or disposed of in a manner that prevents the spread of any of the reportable diseases and vectors.

Permit Conditions if Sending Finfish (pre-hatch life stage), Live or Dead, from a Culture Facility that Requires Segregation, Inspection and Testing

Not all the permit conditions will apply as some depend on the type of animal being sent.

Note that testing requirements may be met if the culture facility received certification under the Fish Health Protection Regulations (enabled by the Fisheries Act). See the section on How to comply with the permit conditions.

  1. The disease status of the area of origin that is named in this permit does not change between the time of issuance of this permit and the time of the movement;
  2. The permit holder controls and handles the movement of the animal in a manner that prevents the spread of diseases, toxic substances and vectors;
  3. The permit holder keeps, for two years after the movement of the animal, a copy of the permit and a record of the date of movement and the name and address of the place from which the animal is moved, as well as the quantity or volume of the animals;
  4. The permit holder makes that copy and those records available for inspection by a CFIA inspector on request;
  5. The animal to be covered by this permit is not under any other movement restriction imposed under a law of Canada or a province, and is not intended for destruction for disease control purposes;
  6. The animal described in Section C that is a live gamete or a live fertilized egg is cryopreserved in a medium that is free of any of the reportable diseases and vectors or the medium is treated in a manner that removes or inactivates any of the reportable diseases and vectors;
  7. The broodstock animals, from which the animal described in Section C is derived, are not vaccinated for any of the reportable diseases if the vaccine will interfere with the determination of the reportable disease status of the animal by a CFIA Inspector;
  8. The animal described in Section C must not come into direct or indirect contact with any animal that is not part of the population for which the reportable disease status has been established from the time of inspection of the broodstock animals by the CFIA until the animal described in Section C is moved;
  9. A representative sample from broodstock animals that the animal described in Section C was derived from was taken by the CFIA, submitted for testing by NAAHLSFootnote 2, and determined by the CFIA to be negative for any of the reportable diseases;
  10. The broodstock animals were inspected by the CFIA at the time of sampling for clinical signs and/or lesions of any of the reportable diseases and none were observed;
  11. The permit holder must notify the CFIA of any morbidity shown by or mortality of the broodstock animals that can be attributed to any of the reportable diseases after inspection by the CFIA but prior to the shipment of the animal described in Section C;
  12. The animal described in Section C that is a fertilized or eyed egg, live or dead, or the animal described in Section C that is a dead unfertilized egg must be decontaminated in a manner that will inactivate or remove any of the reportable diseases and vectors prior to the movement according to a CFIA-recognized protocol. The permit holder must notify the CFIA if any deviation in the protocol occurs;
  13. The shipping container, animal holding unit, shipping material, equipment and conveyance to be used during the movement are new or are decontaminated in a manner that removes or inactivates any of the reportable diseases and vectors;
  14. The new or decontaminated shipping container, animal holding unit, shipping material, equipment and conveyance must not come into direct or indirect contact with an animal or thing that will not be moved to the location of the destination described in Section B;
  15. The water, including ice, or other medium used during the shipment is free of any of the reportable diseases and vectors or is treated in a manner that removes or inactivates any of the reportable diseases and vectors.

Permit Conditions if Sending Finfish (post-hatch life stage), live or dead, from a Culture Facility that Requires Segregation, Inspection and Testing

Not all the permit conditions will apply as some depend on the type of animal being sent.

Note that testing requirements may be met if a culture facility received certification under the Fish Health Protection Regulations (enabled by the Fisheries Act). See the section on How to comply with the permit conditions.

  1. The disease status of the area of origin that is named in this permit does not change between the time of issuance of this permit and the time of the movement;
  2. The permit holder controls and handles the movement of the animal in a manner that prevents the spread of diseases, toxic substances and vectors;
  3. The permit holder keeps, for two years after the movement of the animal, a copy of the permit and a record of the date of movement and the name and address of the place from which the animal is moved, as well as the quantity or volume of the animals;
  4. The permit holder makes that copy and those records available for inspection by a CFIA inspector on request;
  5. The animal to be covered by this permit is not under any other movement restriction imposed under a law of Canada or a province, and is not intended for destruction for disease control purposes;
  6. The animal described in Section C is not vaccinated for any of the reportable diseases if the vaccine will interfere with the determination of the reportable disease status of the vaccinated animal by a CFIA Inspector;
  7. The animal that moves under this permit must not come into direct or indirect contact with any animal that is not part of the population for which the reportable disease status has been established from the time of inspection by the CFIA until the animal is moved;
  8. A representative sample from the population of animals that is to be moved under this permit was taken by the CFIA, submitted for testing by NAAHLSFootnote 3, and determined by the CFIA to be negative for any of the reportable diseases;
  9. The population of animals that is to be moved under this permit was inspected by the CFIA at the time of sampling for clinical signs and/or lesions of any of the reportable diseases and none were observed;
  10. The permit holder must notify the CFIA of any morbidity shown by or mortality of the animal noticed after the inspection by the CFIA but prior to the movement of the animal that can be attributed to a reportable disease;
  11. The shipping container, animal holding unit, shipping material, equipment and conveyance used during the movement are new or are decontaminated in a manner that removes or inactivates any of the reportable diseases and vectors;
  12. The new or decontaminated shipping container, animal holding unit, shipping material, equipment and conveyance must not come into direct or indirect contact with an animal or thing that will not be moved to the location of the destination described in Section B;
  13. The water, including ice, used during the shipment is free of any of the reportable diseases and vectors or is treated in a manner that removes or inactivates any of the reportable diseases and vectors.

Permit Conditions if Sending Things from a Culture Facility

  1. The disease status of the area of origin that is named in this permit does not change between the time of issuance of this permit and the time of the movement;
  2. The permit holder controls and handles the movement of the animal or thing in a manner that prevents the spread of diseases, toxic substances and vectors;
  3. The permit holder keeps, for two years after the movement of the thing, a copy of the permit and a record of the date of movement and the name and address of the place from which the thing is moved, as well as the quantity or volume of the things;
  4. The permit holder makes that copy and those records available for inspection by a CFIA inspector on request;
  5. The thing to be covered by this permit is not under any other movement restriction imposed under a law of Canada or a province, and is not intended for destruction for disease control purposes;
  6. The thing described in Section C is decontaminated for any of the reportable diseases and vectors in a manner that removes or inactivates any of the reportable diseases and vectors prior to the movement according to a CFIA-recognized protocol. The permit holder must notify the CFIA if any deviation in the protocol occurs.
  7. After decontamination, the thing described in Section C must not come into direct or indirect contact with an animal, or with a thing that was not decontaminated.
  8. The shipping container, shipping material, equipment and conveyance used during the movement of the thing described in Section C are new, or are decontaminated prior to the movement in a manner that removes or inactivates any of the reportable diseases and vectors.
  9. The new or decontaminated shipping container, shipping material, equipment and conveyance must not come into direct or indirect contact with an animal or thing that will not be moved to the location of the destination described in Section B.

How to comply with the permit conditions

Before the CFIA issues a permit, a CFIA inspector will work with the applicant to verify that the facility can meet the permit conditions, and to verify their ongoing compliance with the permit conditions during the time that the permit is valid. In order to verify the ability to meet and ongoing compliance with the permit conditions, the CFIA may inspect documents and records, the physical layout of the facility and how it operates, the animals (including sampling) or observe your decontamination of a thing.

The following are examples of ways to comply with permit conditions:

Inspection and sampling of finfish and carcasses

  • Make an appointment with the CFIA Inspector and provide inventory and location information of all the animals or carcasses to be inspected and sampled. Several appointments may be required if broodstock are to be inspected and sampled. If broodstock are sampled because their germplasm or fertilized eggs are to be moved, milt or ovarian fluid will be collected from ALL the broodstock that contribute to the pre-hatch population to be moved.
  • Make sure the finfish or finfish carcasses to be moved under the permit are segregated from those that will not be moved. This can be done before or right after the inspection or when the fertilized eggs are placed in the incubators. Sampled broodstock that will not be moved under the permit do not require segregation but their location must be known so that they can continue to be observed for signs of disease.
  • Make sure that staff can assist in the process and provide all equipment required to gain access to the animals or carcasses for selection of samples by the CFIA. Expect that finfish and carcasses will be sampled from each holding unit (or a selection of them if there are many).

Non-interference of vaccines with testing results

  • If a vaccine against a declared disease has been used, please provide information that demonstrates the vaccine will not affect test results. The vaccine company should be able to provide this information.
  • If the vaccine company cannot provide this information, then search for research articles.
  • If there is no available information, the permit will not be issued and those animals can only be moved to destinations where a permit is not required from the CFIA.

Egg decontamination protocol

  • Submit a written protocol to the CFIA.
  • Depending on the disinfectant used, the protocol should be consistent with manufacturer's recommendations.
  • For decontamination of newly fertilized or eyed salmon and trout eggs, the protocol should be consistent with current World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) recommendations.
  • If international or manufacturer's recommendations are not suitable for the finfish species, another protocol should be documented with available scientific evidence that demonstrates the efficacy of the disinfectant. The CFIA may conduct a scientific evaluation of the protocol before issuing a permit.

Decontamination protocol for a thing (fomite)

  • Submit a written protocol to the CFIA. The protocol for decontamination typically includes:
    • a procedure for cleaning the thing prior to disinfection if required,
    • rinsing the thing after cleaning if required,
    • applying the disinfectant, and
    • rinsing the thing after disinfection if required.
  • Consider the following items, as appropriate:
    • cleaner compatibility with the disinfectant,
    • efficacy of the disinfectant for the declared disease(s) in the area (dose and contact time),
    • proper storage of the disinfectant,
    • not using expired product, and
    • water quality parameters that need to be taken into account when diluting the disinfectant (for example, temperature and pH).
  • These considerations are usually addressed in the manufacturer's directions for use but you will need to provide written notes to explain any deviation from recommended directions. The CFIA may conduct a scientific evaluation of the protocol before issuing a permit.

Preventive control plan for a biocontained facility

  • You are required to demonstrate to the CFIA that disease will not spread if you are bringing potentially infected finfish or carcasses or contaminated things into a facility designed to be an isolation or quarantine facility.
  • Written documentation is required to show the physical, operational and decontamination measures employed to mitigate the risk of disease spreading. You must address this risk for any animal, water, feed, fomites or vectors that will leave the facility, including the people that work or visit the facility.
  • If disinfectant foot baths are employed, the CFIA will verify that measures are in place so that the foot baths do not contribute to spread of disease.

For more information on how to comply with these or other permit conditions, contact the nearest CFIA Area Office.

Once a permit is issued, check if the declarations have changed for the origin and destination prior to each movement to ensure that the permit still applies to the planned movement. Please consider bookmarking the Declarations page for easy access.

General information related to movements

The permit and its conditions may be amended only by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food or by an inspector who is designated for the purposes of the Health of Animals Act. The permit and its conditions may not be amended with respect to a specific movement after it has already occurred. If an amendment is required to a valid movement permit that has already been issued under this program, or if a change to permit conditions is desired, submit a new application and check the Amendment or Derogation box in Section A.

The permit holder must meet all of the conditions specified in documents attached to the permit, or else the movement of the animal or thing is not permitted. The permit holder is also required to notify the CFIA when they suspect or detect any reportable disease in an animal.

The CFIA may dispose of an animal or thing, or order that it be disposed of, when it:

  • is suspected of being affected or contaminated by a disease or toxic substance;
  • has been in contact with an animal or thing that is, or is suspected of being affected or contaminated by a disease or toxic substance; or
  • is suspected of being a vector or the causative agent of a disease or a toxic substance.

The CFIA inspector may also order that that an animal or thing be treated if they consider that the treatment will effectively eliminate the disease or prevent it from spreading. Although compensation may be awarded in respect of disposal or treatment costs, the Government of Canada is not liable for any costs incurred by a person required to do anything under the animal health legislation.

If a designated animal is moved into an area that either violates the conditions of the permit or contravenes the Health of Animals Act or Health of Animals Regulations, the CFIA may order the animal returned without delay to the area from which it was moved or to an area of equal or lesser health status.

Those who transport live aquatic animals by air should comply with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Live Animals Regulations, approved by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). For all forms of transport, suitable arrangements must be made for water quality, ambient temperature, oxygenation and general care of the animal during transportation. An animal must be fit to be transported and should not suffer stress that renders them infirm, ill, injured or fatigued during the journey.

The permit and its conditions cover all persons who are moving the animal or thing on behalf of the permit holder. The permit holder remains responsible for the shipment's continued compliance with the conditions of the permit.

Important definitions

Culture:
refers to the end use of keeping or holding of live aquatic animals for sale, or enhancement, restoration or stocking that may or may not employ some method of intervention in the process, such as feeding or collection of germplasm. This definition excludes live aquatic animals kept in aquaria for the end use of education, display or retail (private or public).
Decontamination:
refers to the process of cleaning and/or disinfection of a fomite or the surface of eggs of aquatic animals to remove or inactivate the declared diseases.
Enhancement:
means live finfish that will be put directly into natural waterways, including the territorial seas and contiguous zones for the purpose of augmenting commercial fisheries.
Feed for Finfish:
refers to the end use of feeding live or dead finfish, including finfish germplasm or fertilized eggs, directly to live finfish.
Fomite:
refers to an inanimate object capable of transmitting a disease.
Release into Natural Waterways:
means the end use of release of live aquatic animals into the Canadian fisheries waters and the contiguous zone of Canada. This definition does not include aquatic animals that are kept or held in the natural waterways. Canadian fisheries waters means all waters in the fishing zones of Canada, all waters in the territorial sea of Canada and all internal waters of Canada (section 2 of the Fisheries Act).
Repair:
includes maintenance.
Research:
refers to the end use of aquatic animals, aquatic animal carcasses or things for scientific research or experimentation.
Restoration:
means live finfish that will be put directly into natural waterways, including the territorial seas and contiguous zones, for the purpose of bringing back a species into the ecosystem; the purpose may include restoration of recreational or commercial fishing opportunities.
Stocking:
means live finfish that will be put directly into natural waterways, including the territorial seas and contiguous zones or ponds with access to natural waterways, for the purpose of augmenting recreational fishing.
Vector:
refers to a living animal that has the potential to transmit a disease, directly or indirectly, from one animal or its excreta to another animal.
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