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Courts Reject Chilean Salmon Company's Immunity from Harvesting

7 May 2014, at 1:00am

CHILE - The Court of Appeals of Valparaso has refused the application for protection filed by the salmon company Invermar SA.

The ruling also overturned the injunction ordered in early March, which prevented the early harvest of twenty fish farm cages in Traiguén I, where an outbreak of Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA) virus was confirmed in February.

The court unanimously welcomed the thesis of National Fisheries and Aquaculture (Sernapesca), which held that the order was for an early crop under the Health Emergency Declaration.

It may be recalled that on 20 February Sernapesca ordered a health emergency for the entire Macrozone 3, central Chiloé, after detecting ISA virus in six cages in Traiguén I center.

The health emergency rule empowers Sernapesca to request the removal or early harvest of all fish in a declared outbreak. However, the resolution was resisted by the company, claiming economic damages and questioning the lab reports.

Assistant Director for Legal Sernapesca, Ana Maria Ramirez, said the Court of Appeals of Valparaíso confirmed the legality of the emergency action and that it is a valuable legal precedent in this area, which will serve as a reference for any similar actions that may arise in the future.

The Deputy Director of Aquaculture, Alicia Gallardo, praised the court's decision that it recognises the role of Sernapesca as a health authority "responsible for ensuring health equity in aquaculture and to make timely containment measures where appropriate."

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