ISA suspected at SalMar site

Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA) is feared at two more companies in Norway, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority has reported, while a suspected case discovered at the end of last month has now been confirmed.

These latest incidents follow a high number of cases in June with farms in Vestland and Trondelag counties bearing the brunt. At least six or seven confirmed or suspected cases were reported, including one owned by Grieg Seafood.

It now looks as if this unwelcome trend is continuing into July. These latest cases include sites operated by the salmon giant SalMar and Norsk Sjomat Oppdrett, the farming arm of Norsk Sjomat.

The area, where both companies have farms, is in Heim municipality, Trondelag County.

The Food Safety Authority was notified by SalMar on Wednesday that the company suspected ISA following the analysis of samples of fish.

The suspicion is based on the results of PCR analysis carried out by PatoGen after sampling fish at the location.

The authority said it planned an inspection of the site where it will take follow-up samples which will be sent to the Veterinary Institute, for possible confirmation of the disease.

The authority has put in place the usual measures to limit the spread of infection which include a ban on moving fish around without special permission and restrictions on the movement of vehicles and personnel.

If the suspicions are confirmed some or all of the fish at both companies may have to be slaughtered.

In the third case a suspected outbreak at Øygarden municipality in Vestland a week ago where three companies are based, was confirmed earlier this week.

Although a viral disease, ISA is not harmful to humans and is not a risk to food safety. But the cost to companies who are forced to slaughter infected fish can be high, especially if they have not reached maturity.



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