The Chilean National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service, in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism and the Chilean Salmon Industry Association, implemented a Programme for Sanitary Management in Aquaculture from 2016 to 2019.
Salmon farming is of particular importance in Chile because it is, among non-mining exports, the third most valuable economic activity in the country and the first in the southern zone. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) , Chile accounts for about 30% of the world’s production of farmed salmon, being the second largest global producer, and, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs , revenues from Chilean salmon exports reached US$ 4.728 billion in 2018. However, the growth of salmon farming has been associated with various diseases, with piscirickettsiosis and infestation with Caligus sea lice currently having the greatest impact on the health of the fish, given the high costs associated with their management and control.
The objective of this public–private partnership is to promote the development of knowledge on the most important challenges in Chilean aquaculture: piscirickettsiosis and Caligus sea lice
Such diseases are difficult to control, and there are significant knowledge and technology gaps that limit the ability to manage salmon farming to ensure sustainability. In response, this programme seeks to promote and improve research, innovation and the development of strategic knowledge, with a multidisciplinary approach to address current gaps in the research on both piscirickettsiosis and Caligus sea lice. It also aims to generate public awareness and improve regulations for official sanitary management, through the modification of current sanitary programmes and the creation of new certifications, promoting good practices within the industry, and generating new business opportunities and lines of research.
The overall aim of the programme is to maintain sustainability and enhance productivity within the Chilean salmon and aquaculture industry.