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ISA-INFECTED SALMON

ISA INFECTED SALMON PROCESSED FOR CONSUMERS?

The deadly infectious salmon anemia (ISA) seems to follow Cooke Aquaculture wherever they try to grow farmed salmon in their massive industrial fish pens.

Chile’s National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service (Sernapesca) confirmed on February 24 that ISA has been confirmed at a Cooke farm in Aysen region of that country.

In October, 2014, Sernapesca announced that ISA had been confirmed in 3 of 16 cages at the Ballena 4 site, operated by Cooke. 600,000 salmon were harvested there, according to the Chilean government news announcement at the time.

HISTORY OF ISA OUTBREAKS AT  COOKE FARMS IN CHILE & CANADA
The affected farm belongs to Cooke’s Chilean subsidiary Salmones Cupquelan, which has had several ISA outbreaks at a variety of their Chilean farms since purchasing them in the wake of the massive salmon kill-off in 2008, which virtually destroyed the farmed salmon industry in that country.

Cooke has also been forced to slaughter millions of salmon at their open pen industrial farms in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland, some of which have been reported to have entered the consumer food chain..

This latest outbreak was first reported as “suspected” by Sernapesca in October, 2014, close to the time when the Balena 4 outbreak was confirmed. At that time, a Cooke official told reporters that ”

“In collaboration with SERNAPESCA, we will make an epidemiological study to determine the origin of the virus, allowing us to improve bioexclusion measures, according to the commitment of our directory to maintain full compliance with applicable regulations, working closely with the relevant authorities.”

In the current outbreak, the HPR 3 variant of the virus was found in a salmon from the center Mentas 2, located in the Aysen region, Sernapesca said.

EUROPEAN UNION CONCERNED
The EU regulators expressed concern in 2013 about the serial outbreaks of ISA and sea lice in Chilean farms, sending a team of inspectors to the country to verify Chilean claims that ISA control measures were in place. Chile exports of farmed salmon in 2013 amounted to 205,000 tonnes, with a value of $2.2 US billion. Exports to the EU and Russia figured prominently in those values. In 2013, Russia imported 63 700 tonnes of salmon and trout from Chile, a rise of 127% from the previous year.

ISA SALMON PROCESSED FOR SALE?
Cooke harvested hundreds of thousands of 5.5 kilo salmon from the site last weekend and, as an additional measure, the remaining six cages at the centers will be harvested before March 15. The site contains 600,000 fish, amounting to 30,000 tonnes of commercial product.

There is no record of how many of the ISA-infected salmon have been processed and distributed to consumer markets in the USA and Europe.
Sernapesca says it plans to maintain official surveillance on the center Mentas 2, as well as on other farms from the area.
OTHER STORIES ABOUT THE PREVALANCE CHILEAN SALMON DISEASE ISSUES

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