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Carlos Odebret, SalmonChile general manager, ensures salmon industry is recovering. (Photo: SalmonChile/Fipasur)

Salmon farmer estimated ISA loss was USD 5,000 million

Click on the flag for more information about Chile CHILE
Thursday, September 29, 2011, 23:10 (GMT + 9)

The spread of the infectious salmon anemia (ISA) virus between 2007 and 2009 might have cost the country between USD 3,000 and USD 5,000 million, as it was estimated by the president of the Association of the Chilean Salmon Industry AG (SalmonChile), José Ramón Gutiérrez.

However, the businessperson said that "what is important is to have learnt a lesson."

For the leader, the self-regulations that the Salmon Bureau is considering to set will prevent this type of events – the spread of the ISA virus in farms of the country -- from happening again.

Nevertheless, he stressed that it is necessary to continue working especially on issues related to the regulatory framework, the production model, the institutional character of the industry and investment on research.

The general manager of SalmonChile, Carlos Odebret, highlighted the increase in breeding. He said that in August this year 9 million smolts were achieved, with a peak in January of about 11 million smolts of Atlantic salmon, El Mercurio reported.

"Therefore, the status is really recovering and the risk perception on the part of the actors has improved," added Odebret.

He also recalled that in 2009 there was a high mortality of Atlantic salmon associated with the ISA virus, and the following month there was a boom of algae in summer, which resulted in a mortality rate of about 14 per cent per month.

"So far today that has changed. The Atlantic salmon has a mortality rate close to 0.4 per cent monthly with final closed cycles of 7-8 per cent of cumulative mortality, which is better than previous cycles to the ISA virus, when we had closed cycles of about 15-16 per cent," added Odebret.

With respect to costs that the industry must face to implement the new regulations, Odebret and Gutiérrez indicated that although they have increased, they will not represent loss. They explained that as the mortality rate is lower, production will be higher and, hence, revenues will grow too.

SalmonChile aims to "develop a sustainable salmon industry with sanitary, environmental and social sustainability, which is understood as an economic activity that does not generate negative impacts but that helps and facilitates the further development of the territories," added Gutiérrez, Diario Financiero reported.

Last July, the head of the National Fisheries Service (Sernapesca), Juan Luis Ansoleaga Bengoechea, signed the resolution approving the new Specific Health Programme for Monitoring and Controlling ISA Virus.

This programme is primarily aimed at improving the effectiveness of early detection of ISA virus and of the timely control of the disease.

Related article:

ISA virus new monitoring programme approved

By Analia Murias
[email protected]
www.fis.com

 


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