SalMar facing new ISA threat

Fish farming in Norway with floating cages and ship aerial view blue sea

Fish farming giant SalMar may have been hit by a second outbreak of infectious salmon anaemia in less than a month, it is feared.

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority is reporting that a suspected outbreak has been detected at a site in Frøya municipality. The site is owned by SalMar although the fish is owned by Refsnes Laks, in which SalMar has a major stake.

The Food Safety Authority said: “Salmar Oppdrett AS notified the Norwegian Food Safety Authority on 14 June of suspected ILA at site 33737 Olausskjæret [on the central Norwegian coast near Trondheim]. The suspicion is based on the results of a PCR analysis carried out after sampling at the site.”

The Authority said it is planning an immediate inspection of the plant to take follow-up samples which will be sent to the Norwegian Veterinary Institute, in order to confirm whether the disease is ISA.

ISA has since been confirmed at a SalMar location in Alta municipality, following suspicions based on PCR samples taken at the end of May.

Around the same time possible ISA was detected at a Mowi site in Trondelag county and a suspected case at a Måsøval site was also confirmed.

There has been a worrying rise in ISA outbreaks in Norway over the past few weeks although the authorities point that it only affects the fish and is in no way harmful to humans.

However, when the disease is confirmed companies are usually ordered to empty the infected farms which often proves expensive especially if the fish are below slaughter weight.

 

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