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GOAL Conference 2013: Is Chile's Aquaculture Sector in Control of ISA?

Salmonids Health Biosecurity +4 more

FRANCE - After recovering from the devastating Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA)outbreaks in 2007-2010, the new outbreaks of ISA this year have questioned Chile's control of the virus, writes Lucy Towers, TheFishSite Editor, live from the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) GOAL conference in Paris, France.

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Aquatic environments prove challenging to disease control as there is no barrier between wild and farmed fish, said Fred Kibenge, Professor at the University of Prince Edward Island, Canada, during his presentation at GOAL.

ISA has proved a devastating virus. The outbreaks in Chile between 2007 and 2010 caused losses of $1 billion (50 per cent of production).

Despite the huge losses, Chile's salmon industry has started to recover. However, in April this year, two new outbreaks of ISA were reported.

With many questioning whether these new outbreaks are a cause for concern, Mr Kibenge said that Chile proved that it had learnt well from its past experience of ISA. The outbreaks were contained and there was no further spread.

In a fight against ISA, Chile has been vaccinating salmon since 2010 and this does seem to have been effective. Mr Kibenge did note however, that the efficacy of vaccines on the non-pathogenic variant of ISA (HRPO) is not known.

After demonstrating that the country is now in control, the biggest challenge is now how to deal with the ISA HRPO variant.

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