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Salmon farm. (Photo: Sernapesca)

SERNAPESCA to implement stricter approach to salmon farming in Magallanes

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Friday, November 10, 2017, 02:30 (GMT + 9)

The National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service (SERNAPESCA) has decided to act in the event of the possible growth of the aquaculture industry in Magallanes in order to preserve its sanitary and environmental standards.

According to the entity, there are 126 approved concessions in the region, of which 35 are currently operating.

Regarding the participation of the firms according to the number of specimens being farmed, Australis leads with 40 per cent, followed by Nova Austral, Acuimag and Cermaq. However, Blumar and Multiexport have already announced their presence in the area, which would increase salmon production.

Given this scenario, national SERNAPESCA director José Miguel Burgos said that the entity will implement a stricter plan in order to preserve the positive environmental and health standards of the area.

"What one can see in Magallanes is that health indicators are markedly better than in the rest of the country, a condition that we want to maintain," he said.

According to Burgos, this new control model for salmon farming in Magallanes will include the massive use of vaccines, especially against SRS (bacterial disease) and BKD, the latter being an endemic disease in the area. In addition, if an event occurs, the deadlines to notify the fishing authority will be more limited in order to implement measures more quickly. There will also be a more demanding risk calculation for stockings compared to other regions.

"The approach that we are giving is much stricter to avoid diseases from developing and have the impact offered by, for example, the SRS in the rest of the country," Burgos added.

The authority maintained that it is an area where there have been no ISA outbreaks for a long time and caligus levels are very low. However, he explained that the BKD -- which attacks the fish’s kidneys -- requires a different treatment.

The national director of the entity ensured he has not yet had meetings with the industry to address this issue. However, he announced that he will present the complete plan during the second half of November in order to exchange opinions. In addition, companies can make observations on the measures.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the objective of the authority is to implement the program from January 1 next year.

Source: Luis Musquiz / El Mercurio

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