Norway’s Food Safety Authority has established a strict control area in the Stavanger region to help prevent the further spread of infectious salmon anaemia (ISA).
The Rogoland area is in the southern part of Norway which up to now has remained relatively ISA-free.
The move follows a confirmed ISA outbreak earlier this month at the Rossholmen sea site which is operated by Rogaland Fjordbruk AS and Ewos Innovation AS. Rossenholme is also close to two existing control areas for ISA in the Stavanger area.
Several Norwegian salmon farms have been hit by a spate of ISA outbreaks over the past ten months, making it one of the worst years on record. Most, however, have been in the Troms and Finnmark region further north. Now, it appears that infections have moved to the southern half of the country.
In order to limit the spread of infection, the site has been subject to restrictions, including a ban on the movement of fish without special permission.
The heartbreaking and often costly task of emptying the site through the slaughter of fish has already begun.
The Food Safety Authority said: “The purpose of the proposed (control area) regulation is to prevent, limit and combat the disease ISA in fish after an outbreak of the disease in the scope of the regulations.”
The regulations place restrictions on activity in the area.
The high number of ISA cases has puzzled marine biologists and an official investigation into possible causes is currently under way. Some have suggested that sea warming may be playing a part.