Aquaculture experts from Scotland and Chile are working together in the fight against complex gill disease (CGD) in farmed salmon.
Following a rapid outbreak at a salmon farm in Chile, researchers from Hendrix Genetics, the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute and the Institute of Aquaculture at the University of Stirling collected and analysed samples.
The results could help the researchers to work out how to breed fish with enhanced resistance in the future.
CGD is caused by a range of bacteria, viruses, parasites, algae and zooplankton and causes stock losses at fish farms worldwide.
Funding for the project was provided by the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC).
Dr Sophie Fridman, a gill health expert at the Institute of Aquaculture, said: “Due to the growing concern about the increasing occurrences and severity of gill diseases in the Chilean Atlantic salmon farming industry, diagnostic work and case studies are vital in the estimation of impact and the planning of mitigation strategies to optimise respiratory health and welfare of fish.
“This opportunity for international collaboration offered a very valuable knowledge exchange between leading researchers in the field of gill health in the UK and Chile. Our findings will have far-reaching implications leading to enhancements in early detection and treatment outcomes, resulting in significant improvements in fish health and welfare, as well as the prevention of serious stock losses in the field.”
Polly Douglas, aquaculture innovation manager at SAIC, said: “The results of this partnership underline the highly positive outcomes that can come from bringing international experts together to tackle some of the aquaculture industry’s most significant challenges.
“Whether you are operating in South America or Northern Europe, salmon farmers face many of the same issues and it is by working together, sharing knowledge, and developing new skills that we can drive innovation and find new ways of enhancing fish health and wellbeing.”