Chilean Salmon Health Improving but New Trout Disease Detected

21 August 2014, at 1:00am

CHILE - The National Director of Sernapesca, Jos Miguel Burgos, has presented the Marine Centers Health Report, for the first half of 2014. Although the report shows that fish health is under control, a new disease of trout has been identified.

Regarding the performance of aquaculture during these six months, Mr Burgos said that there has been a major health improvement.

The authority added that in terms of production for 2014, results will be similar to last year, "with a significant increase in Atlantic salmon and a significant reduction in trout production."

Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA)

The Director of Sernapesca described the ISA situation as "absolute control", as the last case, which was detected in Traiguén Center (central Chiloé), was handled and contained properly which stopped the spread in the area.

Mr Burgos also said that the Veterinary Service of the European Union qualified Chile's specific program for Control and Monitoring of the ISA Virus as a programme of world standard that meets all requirements for disease control.

Sea Lice

According to the report, there have been significant reductions in the number of sea lice in the regions of Magallanes, Los Lagos and Aysén.

The reasons for this decline, according to Mr Burgos, can be attributed to an improvement in environmental conditions, to better management by the industry and the improvement of the control programme.

"Rotation of treatments has also been prominent," the official added.


Salmon Rickettsial Septicemia (SRS), or Piscirickettsiosis, is now the leading cause of mortality in the salmon industry, particularly in trout farming.

In this regard, the report indicates that although trout mortalities have decline somewhat, it is far from being a good health status.

The Director of Sernapesca also expressed concern for the appearance of a syndrome that has appeared in trout, and for which does not correspond to any of the diseases of Schedule 1 of the OIE (increased risk of disease).

"We coined the name Syndrome Idiopathic Trout (SIT) and we are still investigating this issue, but I want to be emphatic in reiterating that all analysis we have done in Chile and Europe have been quite negative for the diseases of greatest risk, so it would be a different agent having enough epidemiological and milder disease mortality than other behaviors," said Mr Burgos.

Antibiotic Use

Regarding the use of antibiotics by industry, Mr Burgos recalled that in 2010 a working group was established with producers and that commitments have been met.

"We understand that we are now entering a second phase, that takes the industry a step further, because this commitment requires a second level to advance a program to reduce the use of antibiotics."