Bakkafrost harvests site over ISA suspicion
Undercurrent News, 10 Feb 2014
Bakkafrost said routine tests suggested the presence of the infectious salmon anemia (ISA) virus at one of its salmon farms in Selatrad, on the west coast of the Faroese island Eysturoy.
Although there have been no pathological signs of the disease, all fish at the site will be harvested within days as a precaution measure, said the company. “The farm will be empty within some days. The average weight pr fish is estimated to be approx 5.0 kg. gwt.”
The tests were not linked to increase in mortality of the fish, “and there is no impact on fish health or fish welfare”, said Bakkafrost in a stock exchange announcement.
Bakkafrost is the Faroe Islands’ largest salmon farmer, and trades on the Oslo stock exchange.
“Three of the routine surveillance samples for RT-PCR analyses taken at farm A80, Selatrad by the veterinary authority, have been tested ISAV-positive,” said the company on Feb. 9.
“Further sequencing of these three ISA-virus positive samples showed a deletion in the HPR-region in one sample. However, post-mortem examination of fish in the farm did not show any pathological signs of ISA.”
“Bakkafrost has decided to activate the ISA-contingency plan immediately and hence enforced slaughtering of the last cage on the farming site A-80 Selatrad.”
PCR-analyses on new samples from the farm showed the same deletions in the HPR-region and hence a possibility of the presence of an ISA-pathogenic virus.
The farming companies and the authorities have put a lot of work into maintaining the good biological status in the Faroe Islands. Regular surveillance tests for ISA-viruses have been performed at all farms during the last approx 10 years in sea sites in the Faroes.