The Norwegian salmon company Midt-Norsk Havbruk is facing a potentially serious threat over a suspected infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) outbreak at one of its largest sites.
Investigations are currently under way at the MNH Kvingra farm in central Norway which has close on a million fish, according to reports.
The suspicions are yet to be confirmed, but if they prove correct the cost could be very large as the site is home to 925,000 salmon with an average weight of 3.6kg. Infected cages will have to be emptied and the fish culled.
Further tests will be carried out, and if ISA is present then travel and other restrictions will come into force to prevent further spread.
It is hoped that any infection can be contained. MNH said it is waiting for confirmation from the new tests, adding that the consequences were difficult to estimate. It will continue to map the possible extent of any infection.
MNH was established in 1992 and is an important part of the NTS group which now includes Norway Royal Salmon and Arctic Fish in Iceland. MNH controls the entire production line from roe to plate.
A suspected ISA case was reported at a Norway Royal Salmon site in the Troms and Finnmark region at the end of last month. Confirmation is awaited.
After a period of several weeks without an outbreak, ISA appears to be returning to parts of Norway with a vengeance.
Despite investigations going back months, the cause of the disease remains unclear, although some blame pollution and sea warming.