Call for ban on sale of salmon infected with ISA virus


Lawmakers and environmentalists are demanding that the Chilean Health
Ministry (Minsal) prohibit the marketing of more than 100 tonnes of
salmon for human consumption, which is infected with the infectious
salmon anemia (ISA) virus.

The petition was filed by Senators of Magallane, Pedro Munoz, Guido
Girardi and Alejandro Navarro, the council of Punta Arenas, Mario
Pascual, and organizations like the Centro Ecocéanos,
the Latin American Observatory for Environmental Conflicts (OLCA),
Citizens Defense League for the Consumer and International Consumers.

A few weeks ago, the National Fisheries Service (Sernapesca) reported that it had detected an outbreak of ISA in facilities belonging to the Acuimag company, located in the Magallanes region.

In total, some 230 tonnes of salmon were infected by the virus, of
which only 50 were destroyed. The remaining 180 tonnes are being
processed for human consumption in the plant of Pesquera Edén.

The director of Centro Ecocéanos, Juan Carlos Cardenas, beleives that
“it is urgent that policy actions and the system for sanitary control
of the industry are strengthened to ensure the safety of the industry’s
aquaculture production.”

While both the Ministry of Health and Sernapesca say the virus does
not cause problems for humans, but rather a high mortality rate for
fish, the Ecocéanos specialist warned that the virus comes from the same
family that produces the human flu and therefore has a great capacity
for mutation and adaptation to new hosts.”

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About Damien Gillis

Damien Gillis is a Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker with a focus on environmental and social justice issues - especially relating to water, energy, and saving Canada's wild salmon - working with many environmental organizations in BC and around the world. He is the co-founder, along with Rafe Mair, of The Common Sense Canadian, and a board member of both the BC Environmental Network and the Haig-Brown Institute.