The presence of the pathogenic strain of ISA at a salmon site run by Bakkafrost in the Faroe Islands has now been confirmed.
The Faroese company issued a statement today saying the strain had been confirmed at their site A-73 Hvannasund Norður, which has been under increased surveillance since July 2016, when a routine surveillance test resulted in suspicion of fish being infected.
Particular concerns about 2 cages at the site had already led to the premature harvest of 190,000 salmon at around 2.8kg, just over half their projected harvest weight. However, the confirmation of the pathogenic strain of the virus means that the harvest of the remaining one million fish will now be brought forward too – meaning that the site’s yield will be 2000 tonnes lower than originally projected. This accelerated harvest is expected to be finished in the middle of April, but the fish will still be safe for human consumption.
The confirmation of the virus will also result in a prolonged fallowing period of a minimum of 6 months for the site after the final fish are harvested.
Despite this setback, the company expects its harvest volumes for 2017 will be 53,500 tonnes gutted weight.