The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has quarantined an aquaculture facility on the south coast of Newfoundland.

An outbreak of infectious salmon anaemia or ISA is suspected in a salmon aquaculture pen in the St. Alban's area.

Miranda Pryor, the executive director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Aquaculture Industry Association, said provincial veterinarians found evidence of the virus during routine testing at the site.

"In the ocean, there's a lot of naturally occurring viruses and bacteria and other things that can impact our farming situations," remarked Prior. "And unfortunately it appears that this may be the case at this site right now, maybe impacted by something it caught from the wild."

Virus not a threat to humans

The disease does not affect human health or food safety, but it does pose a risk to aquatic animal health.

Prior added that the aquaculture pen in question has been quarantined to minimize the risk of spreading the virus. She noted that this is the first time an aquaculture facility has been quarantined in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has taken samples that it will give to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for testing.

It could take weeks before the results are returned to the CFIA.

If ISA is confirmed, the agency may take further action.

The agency will not release the name of the company that runs the quarantined facility, but Cooke Aquaculture said it's not one of its sites.