The National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service (Sernapesca) confirmed the detection of an outbreak of infectious salmon anemia (ISA) in a farming centre of the Aysen region and immediately implemented, rigorous control procedures put  in place after the massive ISA outbreak in 2009.

“ISA has an endemic presence in Chile, so isolated events are expected to occur in areas having the highest concentration of susceptible species from time to time.”

Sernapesca national director, Juan Luis Ansoleaga, stated that according to the protocols of the ISA Surveillance and Control Programme, the Service was informed about “the detection of ISA signs in fish from a cage of the Garrao Centre located in the Group of Concessions No. 18D of the Aysen region” by the firm Los Fiordos.

After receiving this notification, Sernapesca immediately activated strict control and biosecurity measures.

“On Friday 5 [April] we took the corresponding samples, confirming the presence of ISA virus on Saturday, thus setting the condition of the outbreak,” the official pointed out.

“Laboratory tests were negative for HPR-0 and in the coming days we will check the sequencing of the acting strain,” the official added.

The Biosafety Protocol provides that, given the condition of ISA virus outbreak, it is suitable to implement it to the immediate harvest.

On Friday, the salmon firm Los Fiordos resolved to begin the harvest of potentially infected fish in a precautionary manner, with the supervision of the staff from the Service.

Ansoleaga explained that the entire production chain was monitored, “controlling from the origin of the fish harvest in the farming centre to the processing plant located in Quellón, with Sernapesca officials from the Aysen and Los Lagos regions.”

On Saturday, the fish were landed at the plant and Sernapesca officials were there at the time.

The next step, according to Sernapesca, is to verify the disinfection procedures of the facilities.

“In addition, Sernapesca activated a control preventive health campaign in neighbouring areas in Melinka, from Sunday 7, considering verification samples for ISA virus,” Ansoleaga added.

Furthermore, he assured that monitoring will increase at the centre as well at all the others from the Group of Concessions No. 18D.

Finally, Ansoleaga reported that the ISA virus is considered harmless to humans, and has an endemic presence in Chile “so isolated events are expected to occur in areas having the highest concentration of susceptible species from time to time.”