Salmon vaccination. (Photo Credit: Salmovac)
Salmon firms tighten measures for fear of ISA virus
Monday, April 15, 2013, 01:00 (GMT + 9)
While all of the salmon in the country are vaccinated against the virus of infectious salmon anemia (ISA), the companies are increasing the intensity of the search for possible outbreaks, stated the chairperson of the Association of Salmon Industry AG (SalmonChile), Maria Eugenia Wagner.
In recent days, ISA virus findings have been confirmed in two farms of the Aysen Region: Garrao, belonging to Los Fiordos, and King, to Multiexport Foods.
It had been 17 months since the disease did not occur in the country, so the government declared the area of Aysén in sanitary emergency, the newspaper La Tercera reported.
Salmon producing companies routinely sample the specimens to assess the health of the fish but now they decided to strengthen security procedures.
There are 10 companies with operating centres in Aysén: Los Fiordos, Multiexport, AquaChile, Australis Mar, Blumar, Camanchaca, Cultivos Yadrán, Frioaysén, Granja Marina Tornagaleones and Southern Cross Seafood.
AquaChile ensured "it remains vigilant and alert to any changes in the health conditions of its farms" and said it had not detected "signs associated with the ISAv (more complex variant) so far," Diario Financiero reported.
AquaChile has 48 concessions in the macro zone 6, but none in the district 18 D, where the virus was detected in a cage belonging to Los Fiordos.
In order to control the situation, the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service (Sernapesca) intensified the audits in the areas of risk, which involves taking a larger number of samples and deploying more staff in the farms.
Wagner said, "We also are strengthening biosafety procedures, restricting visits and boats, among other measures."
Sernapesca and the firms are required to report when an increase in the mortality rate takes place or when there are clinical findings of the disease.
"The district that is currently affected is soon to enter a sanitary rest period, which is a significant barrier to stop the pathogen cycle, both of the ISA and the caligus or other disease," added Wagner.
According to Sernapesca deputy director of Aquaculture, German Iglesias, the fish from the centres which were asked to harvest beforehand had the marketable size.
The official estimated that the harvest process will not last more than 45 days.
For his part, the Minister of Economy, Pablo Longueira, stressed the importance of not causing alarm over the ISA virus outbreak and emphasized that the companies are adhering to Sernapesca’s decisions.
But while the authorities stress that the ISA outbreak "is quite localized," the securities of the sector companies listed on the Santiago Stock Exchange fell sharply on Thursday.
The 'Salmon Index ' of the Santiago Stock Exchange has already registered a 14 per cent decline in the last six sessions, and changed from accumulated profits for over 33 per cent in the year, to only 2.3 per cent on Thursday, Economía y Negocios reported.
- ISA outbreak 'is quite localized', says the government
- Multiexport detects ISA virus in salmon farm; Sernapesca strengthens controls
By Analia Murias