Viral diseases in salmonid aquaculture : quantifying economic losses associated with three viral diseases affecting norwegian salmonid aquaculture
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- Master Thesis 
The salmonid aquaculture industry has a unique level of commercialization and technological development relative to other aquaculture industries. Even so, diseases and other biological challenges are still a key concern for the industry, and limit the industry’s ability to grow. One of the most important disease challenges are those presented by viral diseases. A lack of aggregated estimates for economics losses associated with outbreaks of some viral diseases motivated the definition of the problem researched in this thesis: “How large are the aggregated economic losses associated with viral disease outbreaks in Norwegian salmonid aquaculture”. The required data is at the time of writing only available for Norway. The research problem was analyzed through a simulation model built on a partial budgeting framework. The model’s framework was based on published literature within animal health economics, and similar exercises. Costs related to outbreaks was divided into biological losses, cost of prevention, -treatment, other extraordinary costs, and insurance payout. Actual reported biomass- and feeding data from all Norwegian salmonid farming sites was utilized in the model, in addition to both primary- and secondary sources for other model inputs. Based on available and obtained data, outbreaks between 2012 and 2016 of Pancreas disease (PD), Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) and Cardiomyopathy Syndrome (CMS) was included in the simulation model. The study had full coverage of outbreaks in Norway for 2014 and 2015. The simulations show that PD caused direct costs for Norwegian farmers in 2015 of 2366 – 2775 NOKm, ISA 873 – 936 NOKm and CMS 647 – 848 NOKm. The simulation results show that the total aggregated direct costs associated with these viral disease outbreaks are an important source of economic losses in Norwegian salmonid aquaculture. The combined simulated losses from the three analyzed diseases are of a magnitude where they equate to four-fifths of previously published estimates on the direct costs associated with salmon sea lice in Norway. The results vary by year, but the study displays that particularly direct costs associated with PD are stable year-over-year. The study further analyzes the implications of secondary infections with PD and CMS, and explores and discuss time- and geographic differences between outbreaks of each disease. Finally, the study analyze biological implications of outbreak using the production data. The methodology applied in this thesis can be extended to cover more diseases and countries.