2012/747 Study tour to Chile
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2012/747 Study tour to Chile


By Brad Evans



The Tasmanian Atlantic Salmon Selective Breeding Program (SBP) operates in an environment in which there is no current high level threat of viral disease, and as such, the biosecurity level within the industry is generally low when compared to world standards. The Chilean industry has suffered from one of the greatest and most catastrophic viral outbreaks in the history of aquaculture and has since rebuilt with much greater government and industry self-regulation, leading to stringent biosecurity requirements which are monitored and enforced by government, and independent testing laboratories. The goal of this visit was to determine which areas of biosecurity are essential to protect the Australian industry from biological threats, and how can we most effectively integrate them into our commercial systems in order to avoid the potentially catastrophic results of a viral outbreak within the Tasmanian industry.


Mr Evans visited seven sites across Chile, ranging from very modern purpose built facilities with stringent biosecurity procedures built in during construction, to facilities that are greater than 20 years old that have undergone a retrofit to meet new regulations.


In addition, the Chilean industry has produced the world’s experts in the application of ultrasound technology for sex discrimination in small Atlantic Salmon, as well as gonadal staging of larger Atlantic Salmon for more effective photoperiod manipulation in freshwater based broodstock. Mr Evans was able to see the technology being used and gain experience in operational requirements that will be beneficial in the Tasmanian industry.