Salmon losses at Connemara Fish Farms caused by Jellyfish

Salmon losses at Connemara Fish Farms caused by Jellyfish. Pic Credit David Branigan

The Marine Institute has confirmed that recent media reporting suggesting that Cardiomyopathy Syndrome was responsible for salmon mortalities earlier this year at a number of Irish organic farmed salmon sites is untrue.

While this non-listed disease was diagnosed on a salmon farm in the south- west of the country earlier this year, it was not responsible for mortalities at sites in Connemara. This disease has no impact on human health and is not listed as a disease which should be subject to control measures either under EU Regulations (Council Directive 2006/88/EC) or by the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health). Clinical cases of Cardiomyopathy Syndrome have only been reported in farmed Atlantic salmon.

Earlier this year, during August and September, stinger jellyfish swarms resulted in significant mortalities at three aquaculture sites in the West, and one in the south-west of the country. Such jelly fish incursions are natural phenomena, which occur without warning and which can result in significant mortalities of both farmed and wild fish. Appropriate veterinary intervention occurred on each site which was affected by these jelly fish swarms and dead fish were removed and disposed of in compliance with Animal By-Product Regulations.

The Marine Institute is monitoring the situation as the Competent Authority for the implementation of Council Directive 2006/88/EC and as the designated National Reference Laboratory for finfish diseases under that legislation.