April 12, 2017
Disease-reduction programme for Chile salmon farms initiated
Salmonid rickettsial septicaemia has caused considerable damages to the farmed salmon industry, providing the impetus for an initiative in Chile to combat the bacterium. Together with Multiexport Foods and Mitsui, the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) introduces a programme that would employ the principles of integrated health management.
The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA), together with Multiexport Foods SA, Mitsui & Co. Ltd. (Mitsui Tokyo) and the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch® programme, is spearheading an initiative in Chile aimed at contributing to a reduction in the incidence of salmonid rickettsial septicaemia (SRS) in farmed salmon.
The Piscirickettsia salmonis, or SRS, an endemic intercellular bacterium, has reportedly cost the farmed salmon industry more than $300 million annually. SRS can spread quickly, causing high mortalities if not treated quickly.
Announced at the Seafood Expo North America on March 21, the initiative, when implemented, would apply the principles of integrated health management, including the implementation of GAA's newly developed biosecurity area management standards, together with an array of health management tools such as vaccines, functional feeds and genetic selection, among others.
A key element of this initiative is close coordination of biosecurity management among farms within a production area and physical separation from nearby zones. This project would also monitor a variety of other factors including water quality and the presence of harmful algae blooms, said GAA the leading standards-setting organisation for farmed seafood.
Multiexport's farmed salmon producer subsidiary, which is jointly owned with Mitsui Tokyo, will manage every activity related to this initiative.
Andres Lyon, CEO of Multiexport Foods and CEO of Salmones Multiexport SA said, "We are committed to providing our value clients the highest standards of quality and sustainability now and in the future. Accordingly, we will be always collaborating, promoting and working towards securing our customers the sustainability of the farmed salmon industry, in all its aspects, wherever we operate. This initiative goes in the direction [of] enhancing our goal of providing a highly sustainable source of healthy protein, with a minimal environmental footprint".
GAA President George Chamberlain also said his group was pleased to collaborate on "this unique opportunity to apply the principles of integrated health management and biosecurity area management to reduce the use of antibiotics in controlling an otherwise intractable disease".
For his part, Yasushi Takahashi, COO of Mitsui & Co., Ltd.'s Americas Business Unit and CEO of Mitsui & Co. (USA) Inc., said, "We are honored to participate in the organisation of this initiative with great partners both in Chile and the US, which will contribute to strengthening ecological sustainability in salmon farming in Chile. We hope this initiative will establish a new integrated management system as an advanced farming standard in Chile for a better environment, better sustainability, and better-quality salmon".