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ISA disease and 'open ocean' bill pose threats to Chlie's industry

by the Fish Site Editor
06 August 2007, at 1:00am

CHILE - Americans may soon be paying more for their farmed salmon due to a reported outbreak of Infectious Salmon Anemia, says the Chilean National Fisheries Service (Sernapesca).

The Service recently reported a potential outbreak of the ISA disease in Lemuy Island, Central Chiloe, Chile. It could force the slaughter of slaughter millions of chiliean farmed fish. The organisation is expected to provide an update announcing that Marine Harvest is not the only company involved.

ISA is a major global threat to open net cage salmon farms with far-reaching economic and environmental consequences. Sernapesca says that the disease has always been a wild card when it comes to fish farming and current industry practices, such as dumping vast amounts of chemicals into coastal waters, often does little to stop infections or parasites

This ISA outbreak is particularly topical, given the Bush administration's recently renewed push to its open ocean aquaculture bill in Congress. If the this bill does not incorporate measures to prevent major environmental threats like this from happening, then the consequences of the US expansion into aquaculture could prove disastrous says Sernapesca.

The Chilean salmon farming industry is being urged to adopt urgent measures to protect itself, its workers and the marine environment on which it depends.

Closed containment technology is an obvious solution to combat infectious diseases, sea lice and other serious environmental problems associated with salmon farming and the industry is investigating the options

the Fish Site Editor