05/18/2012 12:27 EDT | Updated 07/17/2012 05:12 EDT

B.C. salmon farm to depopulate, cull fish after virus detected

VANCOUVER - A fish farm off Vancouver Island's west coast says it plans to cull Atlantic salmon after federal officials quarantined a facility over fears of a virus.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it's investigating a suspected finding of an infectious virus (haematopoietic necrosis) in a B.C. aquaculture facility.

The agency says the virus poses risk to aquatic animal health but does not affect human health or food safety and the facility is under quarantine.

Mainstream Canada says it has begun to depopulate an Atlantic salmon farm near Tofino, B.C.

The Norwegian owned company says the fish will be removed, euthanized and transported to a composting facility.

Tofino's Friends of Clayoquot Sound says while the virus is endemic to wild Pacific fish, farms tend to amplify diseases much like crowded hospitals.