High numbers of antibiotics used within Salmon farming

When we consume salmon there is a high possibility that it came from Chile as they are the world’s second-largest farmed salmon producer after Norway (Oceana report, 2017). Tons of antibiotics are used each year within Chile and in 2016 fish farmers used 843,300 pounds of antimicrobials within their fish pens. Compare this to Norway where they use just 1,153.02 pounds to produce twice as much salmon and it is undeniable that there is a need to monitor antimicrobial residues in Chile.

Recently the Chilean supreme court ordered salmon farmers to disclose their antibiotic use per company to take the first major step into reducing the amount of antibiotics used.

“The numbers we are announcing show the extensive use of antibiotics in the salmon farming industry; information that we requested for years through long legal procedures and that are finally being revealed today, for the first time,” said Liesbeth van der Meer, Executive Director of Oceana Chile. “In simple terms, the global average annual use of antimicrobials per ton produced in the cattle industry is 45 gm; meanwhile, there are salmon farms in Chile that have gone as far as using 950 gm per ton of salmon produced,” added van der Meer.

This serves to highlight the point that the need to use antimicrobials in production does not outweigh the need to ensure effective testing is carried out that results in a quality and safe product for the consumer.
To help the industry to improve surveillance and the safety of their products, Randox Food Diagnostics created the Evidence Investigator drug residue analyser. The Investigator uses Biochip Array Technology (BAT), a technology that was developed by Randox, to detect multiple residues (up to 45) from a single sample (various sample types can be screened).

Using the Biochip kits supplied by Randox in conjunction with the Evidence Investigator analyser food processers can run analysis for the detection of Chloramphenicol, Fluoroquinolones, Nitrofurans, Quinolones, Malachite green and many more. For more information please contact us at:

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