April 18, 2024


Chilean salmon industry launches project to combat bacterial infections in farmed fish


Inspired by the fight against COVID-19, Chilean salmon producers have partnered with the government to address bacterial infection challenges in farmed fish through the "Yelcho" initiative, Fish Farmer reported.


Eleven leading salmon farming companies, along with the Salmon Council and SalmonChile's Salmon Technological Institute (Intesal), have collaborated on Project Yelcho, supported by Aquabench, a Chile-based research and analysis firm.


The project recently formalised collaboration with Chile's Agricultural and Livestock Service (SAG) and the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service (Sernapesca), aiming to promote innovation and technical collaboration between authorities and the private sector.


Described as a "precompetitive initiative," Yelcho focuses on implementing new solutions to prevent bacterial diseases and reduce antibiotic usage in salmon farming.


Yelcho partners closely with pharmaceutical companies to develop solutions for common bacterial diseases, such as salmon Rickettsial syndrome (SRS), with upcoming partnerships set to be announced.


Named after the Chilean navy cutter that rescued the crew of polar explorer Ernest Shackleton's ship in 1916, Yelcho represents a commitment to overcoming challenges against the odds.


David Farcas, director of Yelcho, underscored the project's significance in reducing antibiotic usage, aligning with global antimicrobial resistance efforts.


Esteban Ramírez, general manager of Intesal, highlighted the positive response from the pharmaceutical industry, emphasizing the importance of public-private collaboration.


Project Yelcho's immediate plans include establishing a Technical-Scientific Committee working group, comprising renowned scientists and representatives from SAG and Sernapesca, to drive innovation forward.


-      Fish Farmer