The ISA virus was detected on Thursday in three cages installed in Perales Bay, northwest of Puerto Natales. (Photo: Stock File/Sernapesca/FIS)
Company begins to process 180 tonnes of salmon with ISA virus
Wednesday, November 24, 2010, 01:30 (GMT + 9)
The company Acuimag has begun harvesting salmon with the infectious salmon anemia (ISA) virus in Eden Puerto Natales, under the supervision of the National Fisheries Service (Sernapesca).
In total, the company will process around 180 tonnes in a 15-day period. A further 50 tonnes have already been destroyed in the municipal landfill at Punta Arenas.
The ISA virus was detected last Thursday in three of the ten cages installed in the center at Perales Bay. The company began the harvest of salmon with weights ranging from 800 grams to 1.5 kilograms, far below what would be ideal (which is between 4 and 5 kg) to get good values on the market.
Sernapesca staff are supervising all the processes on the farm, from harvest until they leave the plant.
The super-intendant, Liliana Kusanovic, visited Ultima Esperanza, where she expressed her concern over the issue. She said that "from the beginning we knew that there had been an outbreak of the ISA virus, so the inspections have corresponded with provisions of waste in accordance with the law," reports La Prensa Austral.
Kusanovic stressed that preventing the disease is the responsibility of the companies themselves, as they are directly affected by the significant losses.
For its part, the regional director of Sernapesca, Patricio Diaz, said the procedures used to treat the waste of salmon, "are governed by the relevant legislation in this case." The official was responding to a complaint from Councillor Mario Pascual, who called on transparent procedures regarding the transport of infected fish waste.
"It is fitting to remove the salmon from the tanks if it has been confirmed that they carry the ISA virus, a process that is taking place in different ways," Diaz told Radio Polar.
The first step was the removal of 50 tonnes in landfills and the other is the process at the plant, a phase that began last Thursday. Also, a small amount of the fish were insinerated.
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By Silvina Corniola