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Chile approves the first salmon compartment free of ISA, in accordance with OIE recommendations

Information submitted by Marcela Lara F. Head of Animal Health Department, Alicia Gallardo L. Aquaculture Subdirector, José Miguel Burgos, National Director, National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service (SERNAPESCA), Chile.

The first health salmon compartment was approved under the framework of the health management model implemented in salmon production in Chile by the official Veterinarian Service (National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service, SERNAPESCA). The compartment is comprised by an Atlantic Salmon broodstock fish farm located in the Araucanía Region, declared free from the Infectious Salmon Anemia virus (ISA), HPR0 and deleted HPR, as established in the OIE aquatic animal code (Chapter 10.4). The compartment also includes the preventive reinforcement of exotic diseases in Chile, such as: Viral Haemorrhagic Septicaemia, Infectious Haematopoietic Necrosis, Infection by Totivirus and Epizootic Haematopoietic Necrosis.

The validation process involved the joint work between the public and private sectors and considered various phases, starting with the presentation and development of a biosecurity plan by the Company, in which the potential pathways for introduction and spread of ISA were identified in the compartment and describing the mitigation actions. The farm was subject to a thorough documentary evaluation to review biosecurity procedures, health surveillance, diagnosis capacity, traceability and contingency plans. The process ended with official inspections in situ to ensure that the fish farm maintains a sub-population of fish free from ISA, and other diseases considered in the compartment.

Considering the relevance of these health and trade aspects related to aquatic species, Sernapesca has made available the information that companies require to obtain this certification in its website.

This new standard ratifies the appropriate control and health prevention that Chile has applied in domestic salmon farming, considering the recommendations set forth in the OIE code and animal health manual. This effort is reflected in the production recovery levels following the ISA virus crisis of 2007. Today salmon production reached 955 thousand harvested tons in 2014, positioning Chile as the second Atlantic Salmon producer, and the first Trout producer in the world, maintaining an economic activity that is vital for the country.

The health management model covers the complete production cycle, from pre-border risk analysis and post-border controls with strict biosecurity standards, epidemiological surveillance, disease control and veterinarian inspections in salmon processing plants. As a result, Chile presently has high health standards in salmon farming. 

The comprehensive health management across the salmon production chain ensures the safety of products exported to various markets such as the European Union, Japan, Euroasian Economic Union, Brazil and the United States, among others. Safety controls comprise robust prevention plans and chemical residue analysis performed by official inspectors on a routine basis, across the entire salmon production and processing chain.

Committed to continuous improvement, Sernapesca recently developed a program to strengthen the controls over the use of antimicrobial products on the basis of OIE recommendations on the responsible and prudent use of antimicrobials (Program in Spanish on line), and made available a Manual of good practices in the use of antimicrobials and antiparasitic treatments in Chilean salmon farming (Download the Manual).

The above health related actions are part of a comprehensive aquaculture strategic program developed by Chile to ensure that salmon farming continues to support the growing global demand for safe and healthy food. 

Salmon is an important source of protein for human consumption, possessing healthy properties such as low calorie contents and high levels of fatty acids, Omega 3 (DHA and EPA) and Omega 6. The consumption of both acids has important health benefits for the entire population and all ages. 


Bibliographic References

OIE Animal Health Code 2015. [online] [Query: 11/09/15].


Food and Drugs Administration. 2014. Judicious Use of Antimicrobials for Aquatic Veterinarians. [online] [consulta: 07/09/15].

Guide for the prudent use of antimicrobials in Veterinary Medicine, European Union. [online]  

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization 2010. Joint Meeting FAO/WHO/OIE of experts on the use of antimicrobials of critical importance. Report of the meeting of experts at FAO headquarters, Rome (Italy) November 26 – 30 2007.

Salmonchile propiedades nutricionales del salmón en

Valenzuela, A. El salmón un banquete para la salud. Rev Chil Nutr Vol. 32, Nº1, Abril 2005