May 23, 2022
The National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service of Chile (Sernapesca) recently reported that they registered an increase of 34% in the use of antibiotics in the salmon industry during 2021.
This, in the stage of fattening in the sea, in the regions of Aysén and Los Lagos, mainly for the treatment of Septicemia Rickettsial Salmonídea (SRS) in the Atlantic salmon.
At “El Agro”, we spoke with Sebastián Decap, he is a veterinarian and Manager of the Animal Health category at Plantae Labs, about the effects of this situation in the industry, and how the companies are working to reduce the use of antibiotics.
According to Decap, “you can see a general trend in the last 10 years of a small decrease in the use of antibiotics, however this year there was an increase of more than 30%, compared to the previous year. The big problem is when we compare ourselves with other countries”.
Decap points out that “in Chile, we use around 400 tons of antibiotics to produce salmon, while in countries like Norway, United Kingdom, or Canada, they use 2 thousand times fewer antibiotics per fish, so it is a problem from the environmental point of view and sanitary”.
The veterinarian explains that one of the main reasons for this bigger use of antibiotics has to do with a geographical issue. “Salmon is not an endemic animal in Chile, this creates some problems. However, there are many ways and procedures to reduce the use of antibiotics, such as the density of the population, that way they can be less stressed, among others cultural practices.”
He adds that “one of the main risks of the use of antibiotic is due to its fall into the seabed, so it can be consumed by other fishes, this can arise the famous issue of antibiotic resistance because superbacteria could be generated, this kind of bacterias loses the fear of the antibiotic, and have a great impact on public health”.
Decap points out that at Plantae Labs “we develop natural solutions to control diseases in salmon and other animals. We take plants or other compounds from nature, we identify their elements that can be good for the animal, and through biotechnological processes, we generate solutions that are replacing antibiotics in animals”.
He adds that “in salmon, we have specialized products for SRS and we have done validations with several research centers around the world.”
“We have had good results, with our technology and natural compounds we are attacking the bacteria and improving the immune system, so today it is a very interesting alternative to replace antibiotics, with similar results and the advantage of being a natural solution.”
Finally, he pointed out that “we see a large and sustained growth for companies like us that develop natural solutions.”
(Machine translation made by Google)