June 7, 2016
Chile's Sernapesca fisheries body was ordered by the country's appeals court to release information concerning antibiotic usage by salmon producers, Reuters reported.
Farmers' uses of antibiotics to combat the SRS bacteria apparently reached record levels, an issue significant enough for some US retailers to shun Chilean salmon.
Arguing that disclosure would spur "competition and commercial risk", 37 salmon producers, as well as Sernapesca and Chile's transparency council, withheld details of antibiotic use in 2014.
However, the court's ruling demanded Sernapesca to disaggregate the antibiotics use by company for 2014. Liesbeth van der Meer, interim executive director of Oceana's Chile office, expected the decision to "set a precedent" by which salmon farms must comply and be transparent about the application of antibiotics in operations.
The Oceana environmental group filed the claim which was upheld by the court.
The failure to discover a potent vaccine against SRS had prompted Chilean farmers to increase antibiotic use.
About 895,000 tonnes of fish were produced in Chile during 2014, along 563,200kg of antibiotics employed, based on government and industry data. From 2013, antibiotic use spiked 25%.
Farmed-salmon producers operating in Chile include Marine Harvest, Australis Seafoods, Compania Pesquera Camanchaca, Blumar, Multiexport Foods, Cermaq Group AS and Empresas AquaChile.