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Infectious Salmon Aneamia Hits the Shetlands

SHETLAND, UK - A fish disease that has previously proven very serious for salmon fisheries has been confirmed in Shetland, Scotland.

Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA) was detected on one salmon farm site that has been empty of fish since December 21 and is suspected at a further two sites (one of which has also been empty of fish for six weeks) in the Burra area.

ISA does not affect humans but can cause serious damage to stocks of farmed Atlantic salmon in seawater.


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"Whilst this disease is serious, much was learned from the successfully contained outbreak in 1998/99"
Environment Minister Michael Russell

The Scottish Government has immediately set up a National Disease Control Centre and is taking action to control the spread of the disease. In order to achieve this it claims to have put in place statutory movement restrictions on all sites in the control zone and wider surveillance zone.

To aid the process of eradication Scotland's Fisheries Research Services is sending a team of fish health inspectors to Shetland to investigate the affected sites and to advise industry on their operations under control arrangements. Investigations into the potential source and potential spread of the disease will be carried out

Environment Minister Michael Russell, who has spoken to the company involved, to local representatives, and to other salmon farming interests in the last 24 hours , said:

"Whilst this disease is serious, much was learned from the successfully contained outbreak in 1998/99.

"We will be applying those lessons vigorously with the clear aim of containing and then eradicating the disease from the current affected site, which in fact is now laying fallow.

"To prevent the spread of any disease present, the harvesting of fish from neighbouring sites will be conducted under biosecure conditions and supervised by the Fisheries Research Services."

Ministers are being kept fully briefed by those working to control the disease and links with the local authority have already been established.

 

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