Cermaq uncovers ISA virus at southern Chile pen

Cermaq has detected an ISA virus at one of its pens at the Ensenada Rys seawater site, located in southern Chile’s Magallanes Region (XII).

In a release, Cermaq said the virus was found during a routine sampling, but “there have been no signs of disease or elevated mortality.”

“There are 680,000 fish just above 1 kilogram average weight at the site at present. The company will harvest any specific pens that are positive as a preventive measure, even though they show no sign of disease,” Cermaq Chile Managing Director Steven Rafferty, who took the Chilean subsidiary’s reigns in March this year, said. The company added it would work closely with Chilean aquaculture authority Sernapesca to manage the situation, with more tests due in the next few days.

The incident is the second of this type in under a month, with Sernapesca announcing it had notified AquaChile of suspected ISA at the company’s Caheuldao center in the Los Lagos region. The presence of the virus was detected by the authority’s ISA Virus Surveillance and Control Program, and 120,000 salmon were reportedly removed and an exclusion zone created around the aquaculture center.

At the time, the authority said a campaign would be implemented to monitor the condition of ISA at the centers close to the AquaChile site.  

Oslo, Norway-headquartered Cermaq is a fully-owned subsidiary of the Mitsubishi Corporation.

Earlier this year, Cermaq signed a contract with Sea Farm Innovations to deploy SFI’s delousing systems to fight sea lice infestations at its farms in Chile. The mechanical system flushes clean sea water with ambient temperature over the salmon to remove sea lice in 90 percent of the cases, without the use of chemicals, hot water or freshwater treatments.

Photo courtesy of Cermaq


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