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Norway’s use of antibiotics in aquaculture at lowest level since late 1970s

Staff writer ▼ | July 22, 2015
Use of antibiotics in Norwegian fish farming, dominated by salmon aquaculture, was last year the lowest since the late 1970s in 2014, according to a new report.
Norway fish
Health   The Fish Health Report 2014
The Fish Health Report 2014 from the Norwegian Veterinary Institute shows the diseases caused by bacteria are under good control, said Atle Lillehaug, researcher and project manager at the Oslo-based organization. This comes as antibiotic use in Chilean aquaculture is on the increase.

"Consumption of antibacterial agents in 2014 is the smallest volume reported since fish farming began to have a certain scale in the late 1970s. It provides a basis for asserting that diseases caused by bacteria are under good control in Norwegian aquaculture," he said.

There was, however, a sharp increase in 2014 in pancreas disease (PD), the highest number of registered cases of PD so far, said Lillehaug.

As well as the increase in PD, there is also registered a moderate increase of infectious salmon anemia (ISA). According to the report, ISA was diagnosed in salmon on ten locations in 2014 and 2013, while in 2012 there were only two outbreaks.

Sea lice are the biggest challenge for Norwegian salmon farming, and development of resistance to drugs is the most difficult issue to deal with.

Amoebic gill disease (AGD) has continued to spread in 2014, and the disease has resulted in increased losses and a substantial need for treatment. In the report the researchers point out the lack of knowledge about the risk of infection, necessary preventive measures and optimal treatment strategies against AGD.