In­fec­tion wipes out 500 tonnes of fish

Fish Farmer - - News -

MA­RINE Har­vest has con­firmed that the out­break of a bac­te­rial in­fec­tion at one of its Lewis farms has re­sulted in the loss of 500 tonnes of fish.

Some 125,000 sal­mon of around 4kg each have died so far, with lor­ries car­ry­ing the car­casses from the is­land.

Steve Bracken, the com­pany’s busi­ness sup­port man­ager, said: ‘The health is­sues we have had at Loch Erisort since the end of Au­gust are the re­sult of a bac­te­rial in­fec­tion called Pas­teurella skyen­sis which only af­fects fish and is com­pletely harm­less to hu­mans.

‘Strains of the Pas­teurella bac­te­ria are present in many species of fish and out­breaks of in­fec­tion oc­cur from time to time.

‘In the sal­mon farm­ing in­dus­try we are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing on­go­ing changes in the sea con­di­tions, due to fac­tors such as cli­mate change and global warm­ing, which mean we have to mon­i­tor our fish even more care­fully and be ready to re­spond ac­cord­ingly.

‘The sal­mon are re­spond­ing well to treat­ment from our team of vets and we hope that we are close to re­solv­ing the prob­lem. So far, 500 tonnes or ap­prox­i­mately 125,000 fish have died.’ He said the fish are be­ing treated with an­tibi­otics, which now seem to be work­ing, and the farm is ‘through the worst of it’.

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