Salmon harvest. (Photo: SIGES)
Salmon industry advocates health risk reduction
Friday, September 28, 2012, 23:10 (GMT + 9)
All companies producing salmon and trout grouped in the Association of Salmon Industry AG of Chile (SalmonChile), the Association of Coho Salmon and Trout (Acotruch) and the Association of Salmon and Trout Producers from Magallanes developed a joint proposal to reduce the health risk.
The document, which was delivered to the head of the Undersecretariat of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Subpesca), Pablo Galilea, suggests placing restrictions on the number of salmon specimens in farms according to their performance.
As reported by Aqua, this is a first step before the implementation of the Density Rules, based on the carrying capacity of the water bodies of the Regions X, XI and XII, and on the health risk of each production unit [risk score].
The initiative specifies that "the industry is concerned about the evolution of some health indicators, in a context of increasing production and where a number of measures designed to prevent and control future health crises have not been fully implemented."
Therefore, the signatories call on the government to act urgently so as to protect the health asset, "which is the basis of salmon farming."
In addition, the government is asked to "take immediate measures, which do not require major policy changes and are adopted as part of the exercise of the powers that the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service (Sernapesca) and Subpesca have."
SalmonChile president, Maria Eugenia Wagner, stressed that "this broad agreement of all the salmon industry first seeks to protect the health asset of the entire sector."
"A major concern is that there is a deterioration in the health status as production has increased, which should be controlled promptly and efficiently," explained Wagner.
Meanwhile, Julio Traub, Acotruch president said they consider "the urgent need for a standard that facilitates the simple control or punishment of those actors or concessions that have shown a poor health performance."
"This agreement reflects an important milestone of unity and joint efforts towards the sustainability of the sector," he stated.
Furthermore, in April 2013 it is expected that the final report, which was issued by the law firm Claro y Asociados on the Chilean salmon farming situation after the crisis caused by the outbreak of the infectious salmon anemia (ISA) virus taking place in 2007, is handed in.
In 2010, the Association of Banks, the Chilean Production Development Corporation (Corfo) and salmon companies contributed USD 1 million and created a health consortium to closely monitor the ISA crisis evolution in the salmon industry. While this consortium sent regular reports on the health status, the final text will also include the compliance with sanitary measures and their effects, apart from reports on the effectiveness of vaccines, which have been made in conjunction with Sernapesca and Subpesca, Diario Financiero reported.
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