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While Camanchaca saw the health of its farmed salmon improve in the second half of 2013, the mortality rates of its farmed trout soared in the fourth quarter of the year. The Chilean producer said it would temporarily suspend trout farming due to struggles to contain Piscirickettsia salmonis (SRS). Rival Blumar has made a similar announcement.
The disease has seen mortality rates for trout spiral to 12.3% in the fourth quarter of the year, up from levels of 4.5%, 2.3% and 6.6% in the preceding quarters (see chart).
The mortality rate had been as low as 1.2% at the end of 2011.
In closed containment farms, the mortality rate is as high as 17.6%, said Camanchaca.
The development is in contrast to its salmon farms, which saw improved health in the second half of the year. The mortality rate for salmon was 1.6% by the end of last year, slightly down from a year ago, and more or less stable from the previous quarter.
The company harvested 33,478 metric tons of salmon in 2013, up 7.6% or 2,357t from the previous year.
In contrast, trout harvest was down by 37% or 2,861t to 4,827t.