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Two Chilean salmon farmers allowed back into Russia

Companies such as Yadran, Mowi, Camanchaca and Blumar are still blocked by the Russian veterinary authority. Image: Salmonexpert.
Companies such as Yadran, Mowi, Camanchaca and Blumar are still blocked by the Russian veterinary authority. Image: Salmonexpert.

A Russian ban on fish from Chilean salmon producers Australis Seafoods and Nova Austral has been lifted after a visit to Moscow by the head of Chile’s aquaculture service, Sernapesca.

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But some other companies remain frozen out pending more talks between Sernapesca and Russia’s veterinary service, Rosselkhoznadzor.

The ban follows the alleged detection of substances such as crystal violet (a moderate-strength disinfectant also known as gentian violet) and the antibiotic oxytetracycline in fish samples tested by Rosselkhoznadzor.

The national director of Sernapesca, Alicia Gallardo, right, meeting with the Russian veterinary authority. Photo: Sernapesca.
The national director of Sernapesca, Alicia Gallardo, right, meeting with the Russian veterinary authority. Photo: Sernapesca.

Moscow meeting

Sernapesca chief Alicia Gallardo met with Rosselkhoznadzor director Sergey Dankvert in Moscow on February 27 in an effort to resolve the matter, and on Friday restrictions on four processing plants linked to Australis and Nova Austral were lifted.

Companies such as Yadran, Mowi, Camanchaca and Blumar, which have claimed that they did not use oxytetracycline in their production chain, remain unable to sell their fish in Russia until further meetings between Sernapesca and Rosselkhoznadzor to resolve what are being called “technical differences”.

Australis Seafoods told Fish Farming Expert’s Chilean sister site, Salmonexpert.cl: “Last year we were the second largest salmon exporter to Russia, we have a solid network of customers and we aspire to continue maintaining good relations with them. 

“The most important thing is to emphasise that our priority is that our plants comply with the highest world standards and thus continue to supply the main markets with high quality and safe products.”

‘High standard’

Nova Austral said: “The reactivation of our shipments to Russia is good news, since it ratifies that our products comply with a high standard and allows us to continue supplying quality salmon to our customers in that market, which strengthens our global operation and contributes value to the company. ” 

According to salmon industry statistics firm Datasalmon, AquaChile was the biggest exporter to Russia last year, shipping approximately 15,000 tonnes for returns of more than $75 million. 

Australis Seafoods was in second place, exporting almost 11,000 tonnes worth $60m, and Cermaq was third, exporting 7,500 tonnes worth $41m.

Salmones Camanchaca was in fourth place with about 7,000 tonnes worth $42m, followed by Mowi Chile with 3,800 tonnes worth $20m.

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