Grieg Seafood confirms ISA outbreak
Grieg Seafood has been hit by another confirmed outbreak of infectious salmon anaemia (ISA).
A suspected case of the disease was detected at a sea-based farm at Kleppenes in the Troms and Finnmark region two weeks ago.
The Norwegian Food Safety Authority took samples of the fish and, following analysis, ISA has now been confirmed.
The Authority said it will now order the site to be emptied and in order to limit the spread of the infection, the site has been subject to a number of restrictions including a ban on the movement of fish without a special permit.
The Authority said: “Everyone who travels in the area and conducts activities related to fish farming must show the necessary care so that the spread of disease is avoided.”
There has been a marked increase in ISA outbreaks along the Norwegian coast this year. While ISA is not harmful to humans, it can be costly for salmon companies who usually have to destroy stocks at infected farms.
It has not been a good month for Grieg, which has operations in Shetland. Its shares fell sharply on the Oslo Stock Exchange last week after the company issued a warning of a third quarter operating profit loss.
The company also said it was postponing part of its planned CAN $60 million investment in Newfoundland due to market uncertainty.
Grieg is closing its activities on Skye in a move which is also likely to add to costs. Financial analysts in Oslo say the next few months are likely to be very challenging for Grieg, particularly if salmon prices remain at their present level or if the company faces further biological problems.