Authorities suspend Nova Austral’s antibiotic-free certification

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Chilean fishing authority Sernapesca has taken measures to temporarily suspend salmon farmer’s certification due to an ongoing investigation over fraud allegations.

On Friday, the National Service of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Sernapesca) decided to suspend Nova Austral’s antibiotic-free certification during the course of its investigation, reports EL Diario Finaciero.

Chile now has 110 sites with the certification.

Nova Austral, a Norwegian-owned salmon farmer which operates in far southern Chile is currently being investigated over alleged misreporting of salmon mortality numbers prompted by an investigative piece by the news site El Mostrador entitled “Salmon Leaks”.

Though temporary, it’s a blow for the salmon farmer. Nova Austral’s USP is that its salmon are raised in such isolation in far southern Chile that this allows salmon to be raised without antibiotics or anti-pest treatments.

The investigation could see results in two weeks, reported the publication.

Nova Austral – which is chaired by Norwegian Yngve Myhre, a former Nofima board member (last chaired in 2017) who is also on the board of Andromeda and Benchmark Holdings – rebutted El Mostrador’s findings. The company has also opened an internal investigation over the allegations which it says are unsubstantiated.