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«FOREWORD This Code of Practice (CoP) represents the culmination of months of effort by a dedicated number of individuals from within the industry and ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

A CODE OF PRACTICE

TO AVOID AND MINIMISE THE IMPACT OF

INFECTIOUS SALMON ANAEMIA (ISA)

A CODE OF PRACTICE TO AVOID AND MINIMISE THE IMPACT OF INFECTIOUS SALMON ANAEMIA (ISA)

FOREWORD

This Code of Practice (CoP) represents the culmination of months of effort by a dedicated number of individuals

from within the industry and Government. The sole aim of the CoP is to help to provide a more secure and positive future for our salmon farming industry by creating a framework to minimise the threat from infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) and other diseases. I, and my colleagues in the working group, firmly believe that the contents of the CoP will deliver that security, provided ALL salmon farmers do their utmost to follow its recommendations.

I fully appreciate that for a number of companies, large and small, there will be challenges in adopting every recom- mendation in the CoP. However, it is vital that all companies continuously strive to do so in order to ensure that the risk of ISA is curtailed. We must demonstrate our commitment to this objective at every opportunity. However, the Government, too, must play a role to develop further an aquaculture infrastructure and regulatory environment that helps to promote good husbandry practices.

Today, fish health stands at a very high level within Scottish salmon farms, however there are recommendations within the CoP, which if followed, could lead to further benefits. Furthermore, this CoP should not be seen as the final word on ISA or fish health management. It is, and should remain, a living document that will be updated by the Aquaculture Health Joint Working Group to reflect changing technical achievements and advancements in fish health management.

Finally, I would like to thank all the contributors and editors who have put in so much effort to see this project come to fruition. To all salmon farmers I would say that their efforts can be your rewards.

Dr Graeme Dear Vice Chairman, Joint Government/Industry Working Group on ISA August 2000 1

A CODE OF PRACTICE TO AVOID AND MINIMISE THE IMPACT OF INFECTIOUS SALMON ANAEMIA (ISA)

INTRODUCTION

The Final Report of the Joint Government/Industry Working Group (JWG) on Infectious Salmon Anaemia1 (ISA) was published in January 2000. It recommends practical measures for salmon farms to minimise the risk of their becoming infected and developing ISA. While some of the recommendations may require new legislation, many can be implemented immediately. These measures, representing good practice, are valid for the control of any fish disease and this Code of Practice, which covers each phase of salmon farming from hatchery to processing plant, should be adopted by all salmon farmers.

1. VERTICAL TRANSMISSION AND OVA DISINFECTION

What are the risk factors?

It is recognised that there are three ways in which infected broodstock may transmit ISA virus (ISAV) to their

progeny by:

• True vertical transmission i.e. within the contents of the eggs and sperm;

• External transmission on the surface of the eggs and sperm and in natural secretions and excretions from the parents, for example, ovarian and seminal fluids, mucus;

• Transmission via contamination from infected water, personnel, clothing and equipment associated with stripping broodfish and fertilising ova.

How can the risks of contamination be minimised?

Assessment of the current scientific and technical information indicates that the risk from vertical transmission is

unlikely, but as a precaution and as part of good husbandry practice, the following steps are recommended:

• Gametes should not be used from ISAV infected broodstock populations.

When healthy broodfish are being stripped the following protocols should be adopted:

• Avoid contamination of eggs and milt with urine, faeces and blood during stripping;

• Disinfect pre-hardened eggs as soon after fertilisation as possible, using iodophor volume for volume in 0.9% isotonic saline solution to give a free iodine concentration of 100 ppm. Thoroughly rinse disinfected, fertilised eggs using clean isotonic saline followed by fresh water;

• Disinfect eyed eggs using iodophor solution to give a free iodine concentration of 100 ppm, prior to hatch or movement to another water supply;

• Strict protocols and high standards of hygiene with respect to personnel, clothing and equipment used must be maintained during each stage of the stripping and fertilisation process2.

–  –  –

2. HORIZONTAL (SITE-TO-SITE) TRANSMISSION What are the risks to and from freshwater farms?

The greatest risks of infection are from the movement of fish, from equipment that has been in contact with marinereared fish and from contaminated seawater.

How can the risks of contamination be minimised?

• Do not use sea water at any stage in the production phase in fresh water.





• Equipment, personnel and protective clothing should be site specific as far as is practicable. Where transfer between sites is unavoidable cleaning and disinfection in accordance with the Standard Disinfection Protocols (SDP)2 must be followed.

• Helicopter buckets and road transport equipment used for fish transfer should be operated to the recommended protocols and disinfected according to the SDP.2 To minimise any associated disease risk, it is necessary for empty returned helicopter bins to be disinfected and rinsed before re-use. To maintain continuity of smolt transfer, additional bins may be required. Account should also be taken of the location of the disinfection point in relation to the remainder of the freshwater site. On land-based sites a ‘quarantine’ area should be operated around the disinfection point, but in freshwater cages an on-shore location in the vicinity would be necessary. A similar procedure should be conducted on road transport equipment.

Appropriate disinfection protocols are contained in the Disinfection Guide.2

• Wellboats should be operated in accordance with this Code of Practice (see pages 4-6).

• Bus stop deliveries may only be made to an empty site or series of empty sites. This does not preclude delivery to a site containing fish as long as the vessel does not subsequently proceed to another site.

• Stress on smolts should be minimised and smolts should be transferred to sea only in good physical condition and when in optimal physiological state. It should be the joint responsibility of the supplier and the purchaser to ensure that this is the case.

• Broodstock and juvenile stock in fresh water must never share the same water mass.

• The risk associated with birds and other predators is reduced by adherence to the recommended predator control measures and mortality disposal procedures.

• Operators should carry out a risk assesssment before transferring smolts to sea water. Stocking smolts from multiple freshwater sources should be minimised.

–  –  –

What are the risks associated with seawater (SW) to seawater fish movements?

Due to the high risk associated with SW to SW fish movements there is now a general presumption against them.

However, it is accepted that some movements are essential and the risks from movements of fish between or within

areas has been assessed and their acceptability determined. The movements that are acceptable are listed below:

Movements between Management Areas (Fig. 2.1)

• Movements from one Management Area to many. Where there is a sole operator, movements of fish from one pre-fallowed Management Area to another fallowed area or areas which hold no fish are acceptable.

Where there is more than one operator, a written agreement between operators is required.

• Movements from more than one area into a single Management Area. These should only occur for broodstock or harvesting purposes as outlined below.

Broodstock. Live fish may be moved into a SW broodstock farm from another SW farm, but the broodstock farm must be situated at least 5 km or one tidal excursion (whichever is the greatest) from another farm, harvesting station or processing plant. Broodfish must not leave the site for on-growing elsewhere. Movements of live broodfish to freshwater (FW) sites are allowed.

Harvesting stations. Live fish may be moved into a harvest station, but live fish must not leave a harvest station. Harvest stations should be 5 km or one tidal excursion (whichever is the greatest) from any other farm.

Movements within Management Areas (Fig. 2.2)

• Movements within a Management Area where there is only one operator are acceptable.

• Movements within a Management Area where there is more than one operator and a single year class may be allowed by agreement between the operators.

• Movements within a Management Area where there is more than one operator and multi-year classes may be allowed by agreement between the operators, however, such movements are considered to increase the likelihood of spread of ISA.

–  –  –

What are the risks from wellboats?

It is recognised that the biggest risk associated with the use of wellboats lies with contamination from the fish they carry rather than the wellboats. The highest risks arise from those areas of the boat that come into direct contact with the fish and are the hardest to clean, such as pumps, intakes and outlet grids.

–  –  –

How are these risks minimised?

Cleaning and disinfection procedure for wellboats The cleaning and disinfection procedure for wellboats has three stages. The requirement for different stages will depend on operational circumstances as indicated in Table 1. The most rigorous protocols are required when leaving a Surveillance Zone for a new area, leaving a confirmed or suspicious site, and on entry to Scottish waters.

Table 1 Disinfection stages required for wellboats under different operating circumstances.

–  –  –

NB not all sites will have equal status within a Surveillance Zone Stage 1 (daily hygiene when working with fish) Brush/clean solids from all surfaces.

Hot-water pressure clean (with detergent) the following areas:

• deck;

• wells;

• equipment;

• protective clothing;

• pumps.

Follow the instructions given in the Disinfection Guide.2 Stage 2

Complete Stage 1 and carry out the following additional tasks:

• internally inspect and disinfect the fish pump** and remove and clean all organic material from it before carrying out the normal disinfection procedure;

• steam clean and disinfect with iodophor, the deck, well and hull above the waterline;

• complete the checklist (Appendix I)

• sign the checklist (Appendix I) with duplicates for each party. Copies should be retained at reception site for auditing.

* As defined in Directive 91/67/EEC **The design of pumps must enable routine inspection and disinfection to take place.

–  –  –

Stage 3

Complete all of Stages 1 and 2 and carry out the following additional task:

• Slip the vessel, clean and disinfect the hull below the waterline.

• Every wellboat operator should carry out an assessment of the design of each of their wellboats, with regard to the practicalities of efficient cleaning and disinfection. Each wellboat should have its own copy of the current edition of the SDP2, including any supplements, to take account of particular design features;

• Bus stop deliveries may only be made to an empty site or series of empty sites. This does not preclude delivery to a site containing fish as long as the vessel does not subsequently proceed to another site;

• Wellboats must travel closed (ie with no water exchange) when located within 5km of any fin fish farm site;

• Ballast water must not be discharged within 5km or one tidal excursion (whichever is greater) of a farm site.

This means that ballasting and pump cleaning need to be part of a vessel’s passage plan, and are sequential operations;

• Compliance with the above procedures should be audited by the receiving site management using the wellboat movement records, the disinfection logs and the corresponding fish movement records.

–  –  –

What are the risks associated with the movement of other equipment?

The risks from other equipment are due to contamination by organic material.

How can these risks be minimised?

• Workboats and other vessels. The inter-site movement of any vessels should be kept to a minimum and where such movements are required, suitable disinfection procedures should be followed.

It is strongly recommended that the operators of any such vessels entering the area of a farm should be contacted and made aware of the potential risk that their action may pose with a view to minimising the contact.

• Equipment and personnel. Equipment, personnel and protective clothing should be site specific as far as is practicable. Where transfer between sites is unavoidable, cleaning and disinfection in accordance with the SDP2 must be followed.

When equipment is transferred from one site to another, the receiving site is responsible for auditing and signing-off equipment disinfection while it remains on the donor site. Further disinfection on arrival at the new site should also be considered. The frequency of equipment movement should be kept to a minimum to reduce the risk of disease transmission.

7

A CODE OF PRACTICE TO AVOID AND MINIMISE THE IMPACT OF INFECTIOUS SALMON ANAEMIA (ISA)



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