SalmonChile: ISA under control

The infectious salmon anemia (ISA) farmed salmon crisis in Chile appears to have passed, according to officials connected to aquaculture groups in the country.

SalmonChile, the Chilean salmon farming association, has said the crisis, which peaked between 2007 and 2010, has ebbed, with the 14 percent per month mortality rate experienced during those years dropping to less than two percent per month average.

“This situation today is not comparable to the previous ISA crisis,” said Maria Eugenia Wagner, President of SalmonChile. “While the ISA virus cannot be eradicated, occurrences are normal and can be expected from time to time. All salmon farming industries have periodic occurrences of ISA.  What is important is how the situation is addressed.”

The association said the two companies that reported ISA are in remote regions, and have “taken strong measures” to control the situation, based on standards set by a new ISA control program in Chile. Among other actions, the methods include early harvests; special monitoring in affected areas to minimize the health risk to other fish; the establishment of a surveillance zone of 16 miles; sampling every two weeks; a prohibition to put more smolts in the water; and a banning of transit of vessels within 5.4 nautical miles of the affected areas.

“We are working as an industry in a coordinated way with our national fisheries agency, Sernapesca, to monitor and control this situation,” the association said in its statement.


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