, , ,

Chilean aquaculture giant Invermar’s successful appeal of a court order to harvest a farm affected by infectious salmon anemia (ISA) is outrageous and puts the entire sector at risk, commented Chile’s new undersecretary of the fisheries and aquaculture directorate (Subpesca), Raul Sunico, during a three-day tour in Los Lagos region.

“It seems outrageous that a company puts in risk to all the sector, in one of the most important areas, with the purpose of keeping these fish in water through legal actions whose sole purpose is to recover invesment,” said Sunico.

In January, an Invermar farm in Chiloe was found to be infected with ISA. A court ordered the company to cull the fish, but Invermar successfully appealed the order, which it said would have cost it $17.7 million.

In its appeal, Invermar argued that only two cages containing some 108,000 Atlantic salmon out of a total volume of one million fish were found to have a strain of the ISA virus. The court subsequently agreed with Invermar that the oubreak had minor consequences.

The appeal, however, has drawn strong condemnation from the industry. Subpesca challenged the appeal on April 24, and said it would set up a working team with other salmon farmers in the region to review their logistics and cut down risks.