Bakkafrost: No further traces of ISA virus found, acquisition approved

Published on
July 25, 2016

Extensive testing by veterinarians is yet to find any further evidence suggesting the presence of the pathogenic Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA) virus at a salmon farming site owned and operated by the Bakkafrost Group.

The Faroese producer had issued an alert after a routine Veterinary Authority surveillance test found salmon were infected by the HPR-del ISA-virus in a cage at farming site A-73 Hvannasund Nordur. The site contained 1.2 million fish with an average weight of approximately 0.54 kg whole fish equivalent (WFE). Total biomass was approximately 665 metric tons (MT) WFE.

“During the last week, the Veterinary Authority has undertaken two extensive tests at the farming site with the purpose of confirming the suspicion of pathogenic ISA virus. The results from these tests have all been negative and do not prove the presence of pathogenic ISA virus. The Veterinary Authority has affirmed that the virus, which was indicated present, is a variant that is not very virulent, and this may be a possible explanation to the difficulty in finding the virus again,” said Bakkafrost in a statement.

“The farming site has not had any signs of disease and the biological performance has been good, both before the routine surveillance test by the Veterinary Authority and during the last week; no unusual mortality has occurred.”

Nevertheless, the Veterinary Authority has increased its surveillance for the coming period at the farming site and will also carry out extra tests on neighboring farm sites.

Meanwhile, Bakkafrost has received approval from the Faroese Registry and the Competition Authorities to complete the acquisition of 51 percent of the shares in salmon farming company P/F Faroe Farming, which operates in Suduroy, in the southern part of the islands.

The DKK 75 million (USD 11.1 million, EUR 10.1 million) deal means Bakkafrost’s now owns 100 percent of the shares in the company.

Daily operations of P/F Faroe Farming will continue unchanged, though from 1 January, 2017 it will merge into Bakkafrost Farming.

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

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