Scottish and Chilean governments have the last few days published measures to offset challenges in farm management, harvesting and processing by reducing constraints. Giving the industry much needed flexibility to meet the full consequence of disease outbreak and quarantines.

IMGP0474 In Chile, Sernapesca presented an emergency scheme in 14 points addressing possible consequences of closures of process plant due to possible quarantine by Coronavirus.

Focusing on safeguarding the health of staff and fearing temporary loss of markets another concern is the welfare of the fish already in holding pens at the processing plans, the fear of disease a mass mortality looms. In order to ameliorate this, Sernapesca will consider allowing moving fish from affected processors to others that are not affected by quarantine or shut down.

Other actions of note are reduction in time constraints, allowing longer production time in each area, thus delaying onset of harvesting, prolonged holding time at processors, delayed and extended period of smolt transfer. Sernapesca even opens the door for feeding fish already in holding pens to meet animal welfare demands and avoid losing fish to diseases and hunger. The time frame for obligatory cleaning and disinfection of farming infrastructure in situ will also be extended meeting the possibility of reduces staff due to illness or quarantine.

There are also some concessions given for efficient health and environment surveillance, the most important being that some sampling (Pisciricettiosis and ISA) can be done by company vets, health certificates are valid for longer, HAB surveillance will be made more flexible with either on board certifier or samples brought to shore.

The indicated measures do not exempt the owners of the farming centers from fulfillment of their action plans in the event of a contingency due to escape or massive mortality.

Scottish measures also aim to offset some of the potential staff constraints due to quarantine or outbreak of corona related diseases.

SEPA specially addresses site monitoring duties as one acknowledges this can become difficult due to the circumstances. The new conditions specify that sites that are operating under SEPA´s new regulatory framework, sites where biomass limits are exceeded in accordance with this regulatory position and sites not previously monitored or failed environmental standards when last monitored should be prioritized.

Further, temporary breaches of biomass limits will not be treated as non-compliance, however operators should take all practical steps to minimize the scale of exceedance o the limits, including adjusted feeding, relocating fish if possible and grading out when feasible. Sites where exceedance of biomass limits is likely to cause environmental harm are to keep biomass within set limits.

Companies are to use available harvesting capacity on such sites as where exceeding biomass limits is likely to impact adversely on the environment