Icelandic salmon farmer hit by second ISA outbreak

Icelandic salmon farming company Laxar Fiskeldi has been hit by an ISA outbreak for the second time in five weeks.

Laxar is currently finalising plans to merge with its sister company Ice Fish Farm. Both businesses are owned by Måsøval of Norway.

The business disclosed the outbreak of infectious salmon anaemia at the weekend in an announcement to the Oslo Stock Exchange, warning that the consequences could stretch into next year.

The site at Vattarnes in eastern Iceland contains around a million fish with an average weight of 2.748 kilos.

The announcement said: “The consequences of the disease detection are difficult to estimate now, but it will probably reduce Laxar’s expected harvest volume for 2022 and 2023.

Laxar said it is continuing to analyse the consequences and will return with more information once it is available.

The trend could be worrying for the industry as a whole, as Iceland has managed to escape serious ISA outbreaks until relatively recently.

Last month another Laxar site in the east of the country, also containing around a million fish, but with a much lower average weight, was hit by an ISA-related virus which resulted in a large slaughter.

That incident was reported as the board of Ice Fish Farm approved a draft agreement to take over Laxar Fiskeldi this summer.

That move will not be affected, but earlier expectations of a combined 36,800 tonne biomass this year are likely to prove highly optimistic.

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