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Final Balance: Almost 40,000 tons of Dead Salmon Removed from Chilean Farms

31 March 2016

CHILE - The National Director of Sernapesca, José Miguel Burgos, has announced that 25 million fish, equivalent to 39,942 tons of dead biomass, was the final balance removed due to the emergency caused by the harmful algae bloom in 45 farms in the region of Los Lagos, specifically in the Reloncaví and the north of Chiloe.

According to the authority, the removal of fish ended on March 24 and the process was overseen by Sernapesca to ensure compliance with biosecurity measures.

Mr Burgos explained that 57 per cent of the salmon were processed in fishmeal processing plants, while another 30.3 per cent was discarded in landfills.

It also reported that Sernapesca dumped some salmon at sea in the safe zone authorized by the Navy - around 75 miles 140 kilometers - from the coast of the region of Los Lagos.

Mr Burgos stated that "control of this situation was only possible thanks to timely action Sernapesca in coordination with other state institutions, such as the Undersecretary of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Maritime Authority, the Municipality of the region of Los Lagos and SEREMI Health and collaboration of much of the industry to the deadlines."

In that sense, Sernapesca reported that only a farming center - owned company Australis Mar - failed to meet the deadlines set by the entity, which forced the withdrawal of mortalities within five days.

This action adds to previously filed complaints against two farms of the company AquaChile and the center of Australis Mar, for breach of Article 5 of the Environmental Regulation for Aquaculture, specifically by the failure to execute contingency plans.

In this regard, Mr Burgos said that "it is necessary to pay attention to the problems that became apparent during the course of this event, especially related to the logistics industry, so we will open a table of public-private partnership working to address this issue comprehensively, in order to be more responsive to similar environmental or health events that might happen in the future. "

TheFishSite News Desk

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