OCCURRENCE OF INFECTIOUS SALMON ANAEMIA CONFIRMED IN SHETLAND, JANUARY 2009 Published: 05 January, 2009
An occurrence of a fish disease, Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA), has been confirmed on one salmon farm site, which has been empty of fish since December 21, and is suspected at a further two sites (one of which has also been empty of fish for six weeks) in the Burra area west of Shetland.
ISA does not affect humans but can cause serious damage to stocks of farmed Atlantic salmon in seawater.
The Scottish government has immediately set up a National Disease Control Centre and is taking action to control the spread of the disease.
Statutory movement restrictions have been placed on all sites in the control zone and wider surveillance zone, and Scotland’s Fisheries Research Services is sending a team of fish health inspectors to Shetland to investigate the affected sites and to advise industry on their operations under control arrangements.
Investigations into the potential source and potential spread of the disease will be carried out.
Environment minister Michael Russell , who has spoken to the company involved, to local representatives, and to other salmon farming interests in the last 24 hours, said: ‘Whilst this disease is serious, much was learned from the successfully contained outbreak in 1998/99.
‘We will be applying those lessons vigorously with the clear aim of containing and then eradicating the disease from the current affected site, which in fact is now laying fallow.
‘To prevent the spread of any disease present, the harvesting of fish from neighbouring sites will be conducted under biosecure conditions and supervised by the Fisheries Research Services.’
Ministers are being kept fully briefed by those working to control the disease and links with the local authority have already been established.
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