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Salmon Health Experts Meet In Belfast

by the Fish Site Editor
03 March 2011, at 12:00am

NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) will host a meeting of fish health experts from Ireland, Norway, Scotland, USA and Chile on 23 and 24 March 2011 at its Newforge Lane headquarters. This will be the 11th meeting of the Pancreas Disease Trination Forum.

The forum was established in 2005 to bring together aquaculture companies, universities, veterinary institutes, veterinary practitioners, official veterinary services, fish health biologists, and pharmaceutical and feed companies to share experiences and rapidly disseminate the results of research on practical solutions to Pancreas Disease (PD) of salmon.

Dr Marian McLoughlin, an independent fish health consultant and Chair of the local organising committee said: “Pancreas disease is a serious economically important disease of farmed salmon, which was first recognised in Scotland in 1976 and subsequently detected in Ireland and Norway.

"The cause of this disease was discovered by scientists in DARD’s Veterinary Sciences Division - now AFBI - in 1993. We isolated the first alphavirus of fish and showed that it was the cause of pancreas disease. The disease re-emerged as a serious threat to salmon production in Europe in 2004, resulting in significant mortality and reduced performance in surviving fish. The disease can affect other salmonid fish but cannot be transmitted to humans or any other species.”

Chairman of the PD Trination Committee, Dr Gordon Ritchie of Marine Harvest added: “The PD Trination Forum has made major contributions to the development of a fuller understanding of PD and related conditions of fish over the past five years. It has encouraged new and collaborative research, and the sharing of results as quickly as possible. As a result, new control and mitigation strategies have been tested and implemented to the benefit of the farmed Atlantic salmon industry.”

AFBI scientists are proud of the contribution they have made to research on PD over the past 20 years. Following their identification and isolation of the virus that causes PD, they worked with a major international animal health company in the development of a vaccine which has been successful in controlling PD in salmon. AFBI also offers a disease testing service to the aquaculture industry for a range of conditions in fish.

the Fish Site Editor

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