PD spreading in northern Norway, tests show

A Nova Sea farm

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority has reported that another case of pancreatic disease (PD) has been detected at a fish farm in the north of the country.

The facility is operated by salmon farmer Nova Sea, which has been told that it will have to empty the facility quickly in order to reduce the risk of further infection.

PD was also reported at two Mowi farms in the region around the same time.

To prevent the virus from establishing itself, the authority is currently taking further action in the north as it says there are currently around three million fish infected with PD at various locations.

Nova Sea notified the Norwegian Food Safety Authority of the suspicion of PD on 29 November after the results of its analysis were positive for PD virus. The authority took its own samples a day later and the disease was confirmed.

The authority says it takes PD detection seriously, as it is a highly contagious salmon disease that leads to poor health and welfare for the fish.

Geir Arne Ystmark, the Food Safety Authority’s regional northern director, added that the area must be free of the disease as it also leads to greater losses for the industry.

He said: “Everyone who travels in the area or carries out activities related to fish farming must show the necessary care so that the risk of the spread of disease is reduced. It is important to quickly map the infection status in the area.

Regulations on PD control require that farm sites within a radius of 30 kilometres from the localities with proven PD must be followed up with extended sampling within seven days.

Pancreatic disease (PD) is a viral disease that causes the fish to stop eating, leading to low growth. It can result in high mortality. Farmed salmon also become more susceptible to other diseases.

However, PD has no impact on human health, and it is safe to eat the fish.

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