Marine Harvest to slash antibiotic use by well over 50 percent in Chile next year

Published on
December 22, 2016

By the end of 2017, Norwegian salmon farming giant Marine Harvest aims to cut back on the use of antibiotics across its Chilean locations by as much as 70 percent, the company reported to Economia y Negocios.

The company will go from using 450 grams of antibiotics per metric ton of harvested salmon in Chile to 150 grams of antibiotics per metric ton of farmed fish, according to the report. A new drug developed by Pharmaq will be administered as a vaccine for all species, said Marine Harvest’s Jorge Mancilla, the health and nutrition manager for the company in Chile.

The decision considers biosecurity and animal health, two key elements integral to Marine Harvest’s business strategy, said Mancilla. "Marine Harvest is the company in Chile that produces [salmon] with the lowest densities compared to other producers," he explained.

Marine Harvest is also pursuing a sea lice program at the Huenquillahue testing center, which delves into salmon’s resistance to certain drugs and doses geared toward fighting diseases. One concept being studied by the company involves introducing lice-eating fish species into the salmon pens, to live and feed alongside them.

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