- Benchmark Holdings has announced that Iceland's national Marine Research Institute has detected a strain of viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus ("VHS") in its lumpfish stock which are held at its dedicated facility in Iceland, and, as a precaution, the Chilean National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service (Sernapesca), has temporarily suspended imports of all aquatic biological products from Iceland.

Stofnfiskur, which is based in Iceland and forms part of Benchmark's Breeding and Genetics division, exports salmon eggs from its production facilities to customers worldwide, including in Chile.

The virus has not caused the expression of disease in the Institute's lumpfish stock, and according to EU regulation Atlantic salmon is neither susceptible to, or a host species for, VHS.

Stofnfiskur has held discussions with Sernapesca and there are procedures in place which should allow re-opening of the Chilean border to imports from Stofnfiskur. The company expects imports to resume before the end of the year.

Sales of Stofnfiskur's salmon eggs into Chile follow a cyclical annual trend and it is not currently the main season for sales of salmon eggs into Chile. While short-term disruption and delays to sales are anticipated, the company expects to continue to trade in line with market expectations.

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