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From the first indications of a possible outbreak of the ISA virus in AquaChile located in the region of Magallanes (Chile), the National Service of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Sernapesca) has followed all the protocols to ensure the control of the virus. As of March 21, these protocols are still being followed and the virus has not been disseminated.

The Sub-director of Aquaculture, Constanza Silva Hernández, and the Head of the Animal Health Department of the Service were in the Magallanes Region visiting the Hollemberg fish farm, Punta Entrada Center, and processing plants in Puerto Natales. This visit ensured the adoption of biosecurity measures and monitoring actions, also collecting epidemiological data for further investigation.

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Thus, there is only 1 out of 9 total cages pending harvest, representing 89,000 fish. Once the harvest at the Punta Entrada center is completed, the protocols will continue to ensure the eradication of ISA. First, the center has a maximum of 21 days to clean and disinfect. Then, after 3 months, the infected area and the planting restriction in the sector will be withdrawn.

AquaChile reportedly failed to follow protocols

As a result of the ISA’s records, Sernapesca reported that the AquaChile company had already been summoned to court. The company did not perform the protocol correctly. AquaChile should have carried out the Veterinary Medical Prescription before starting the injectable treatment at the Punta Entrada center.

These protocols are of the utmost relevance, as demonstrated in this outbreak in Magallanes. The execution of all the actions required by the ISA Program has kept ISA at bay. Following the defined protocol timelines, the risk of dissemination in Punta Estrada has been reduced. The rapid collection of infected fish in a biosecure method was a key factor, and although no new cases are being detected, Sernapesca has maintained a higher frequency of monitoring in the area.

Nearby centers out of risk

The ISA sanitary verification campaign carried out by Sernapesca veterinarians has revealed positive results under the circumstances.

In the 9 centers of the infected zone, low mortalities without clinical signs of ISA in the fish examined were observed. To date, laboratory results have also failed to detect the pathogenic variant of the virus.

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