Winter wounds issue is a concern, says Seafood Norway

Karoline-pressebilde-384x256-13745hpba

The salmon “winter wound” problem is becoming a challenging issue that requires special attention, the employer organisation Seafood Norway has said.

CEO Geir Ove Ystmark said Seafood Norway plans to strengthen co-operation with the relevant professional authorities.

Winter wounds or sores affect salmon skin and as the name suggests, are most prevalent in the colder months. Seafood Norway believes that much of the problem can be linked to the handling of salmon lice and the increasing use of treatment methods. Preventive measures have therefore been implemented to reduce the need for handling the fish, including of these is the use of laser technology to kill lice.

Seen in isolation, wound challenges are a big problem, he says. Primarily this is because it causes suffering in the fish, but also financially due to the loss of fish and the downgrading of slaughter.

Seafood Norway says it has long prioritised the development of a system for internal control to safeguard fish welfare in aquaculture. Systematics is the key to understanding causal relationships, the organisation maintains, uncovering adverse developments and taking measures in time.

Ystmark argued that another important reason for the increase is that the old vaccines do not work well enough. New vaccines will be introduced continuously. Several vaccines are under development, but there is a need to speed up the process of approval. Strategic use of bacteriophages, probiotics and special feed are further contributors to reducing risk.

Karoline Skaar Amthor (pictured), veterinarian and head of health and environment at Seafood Norway, said: “Like other biological challenges, it is about understanding causal relationships and managing risks.

“To do this, you have to work systematically. Although trends and similarities are seen in ulcer outbreaks, there is also variation when it comes to underlying or contributing factors.

“It is not the case that ‘wounds are wounds’. Follow-up of each individual case represents an important contribution to increased knowledge”, she added.

Karoline Skaar Amthor

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