Scottish Government, 10 Dec 2013: Confirmed Designation Notice of Viral Haemorrhagic Septicaemia in Salmon Farms

Scottish Government: Confirmed Designation Notice of Viral Haemorrhagic Septicaemia in Salmon Farms

10 Dec 2013

The presence of Viral Haemorrhagic Septicaemia (VHS) virus has been confirmed, in wrasse at six aquaculture sites in Shetland.

One site is a land based aquaculture research unit at the North Atlantic Fisheries College, Scalloway, Shetland, where all the wrasse at the site were culled voluntarily.

The other five are marine pen aquaculture sites involved in the production of Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar. These are situated in three different production areas of Shetland and were using wrasse as a means of biological control for ectoparasites.

The wrasse stocks at the marine pen aquaculture sites have been removed. Two of the sites have also harvested all Atlantic salmon stocks, whilst the remaining three continue to on-grow their Atlantic salmon to a harvestable size.

Statutory controls have been placed on the six confirmed sites. The controls have been placed to minimise the risk of disease spread.

Marine Scotland’s Fish Health Inspectors have been working in Shetland and in other parts of Scotland as part of the investigation and to advise industry on their operations under control arrangements.
Marine Scotland Science has concluded epidemiological investigations into the outbreak of the listed disease Viral Haemorrhagic Septicaemia (VHS) in wrasse in Shetland.

Marine Scotland is working with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and industry to develop an agreed strategy that should result in the regaining of disease free status for VHS for affected areas in Shetland.

VHS is a disease listed under the European Directive 2006/88 which concerns fish diseases. Atlantic salmon are not listed as a species susceptible to the disease under the Directive, and all Atlantic salmon populations have tested negative for VHS at the affected marine pen aquaculture sites.
It does not affect humans and there is no risk to human health.

The outbreak has been confined to Shetland.

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