Intesal presented its findings to the media in Chile yesterday. Photo: Karla Faundez, Salmonexpert.

Chile fish health and growth best in five years

The Chilean salmon industry has recorded its best performance in the last five years, according to data from the Salmon Technology Institute (Intesal).

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Mortalities decreased from 16% in 2013 to 9% last year, and harvest weights have shown a positive evolution, going from 4.2 kg in 2013, to 5.2 kg in 2018.

The production cycle has also shown an improvement, having decreased from 18 months in 2013 to 16.5 months in 2018, said Intesal, which is part of salmon producers’ organisation SalmonChile.

Antibiotic use reduced

With regard to antibiotics, which the industry has previously relied upon to tackle SRS (salmon rickettsial syndrome or piscirickettsiosis), Intesal said the amount used per tonne of salmon harvested had been dropping since 2015. Last year the total amount of antibiotics used was 322.7 tonnes, a decrease of 18% compared to 2017 and the lowest figure for six years.

Three harmful algal blooms have occurred this year, all in March, causing the deaths of 245 tonnes of fish.