The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) is spearheading an initiative in Chile aimed at contributing to a reduction in the incidence of salmonid rickettsial septicaemia (SRS) in farmed salmon.
To carry out this initiative, which was announced during Seafood Expo North America in Boston, GAA has joined forces with several firms such as Multiexport Foods S.A., Mitsui & Co., Ltd. and the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch® program.
The SRS is caused by Piscirickettsia salmonis, an endemic intercellular bacterium, and has reportedly cost the farmed salmon industry more than USD 300 million annually. SRS can spread quickly, causing high mortalities if not treated quickly.
If this project is implemented, it 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.
“The results of this project will have far reaching benefits to producers, consumers and the environment,” said GAA President George Chamberlain.
If implemented, Multiexport’s farmed salmon producer subsidiary, which is jointly owned with Mitsui Tokyo, will manage every activity related to this initiative.
“This initiative goes in the direction, enhancing, our goal of providing a highly sustainable source of healthy protein, with a minimal environmental footprint. It is a great opportunity, with highly valuable partners, to even improve our standards and to contribute to a better fish health and environment,” commented Andres Lyon, CEO of Multiexport Foods S.A. and CEO of Salmones Multiexport S.A.
For his part, Yasushi Takahashi, COO of Mitsui & Co., Ltd.’s Americas Business Unit and CEO of Mitsui & Co. welcomed the move, stating it was an honour to participate in the organization 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,” Takahashi concluded.