Algae bloom has claimed 23 million fish in Chile; Blumar faces 100 percent mortality at salmon farm

Published on
March 15, 2016

Blumar’s Caicura salmon fattening center has suffered 100 percent mortality as a result of the algal bloom affecting Chile’s Region X, resulting in the loss of more than 1 million farmed Atlantic salmon, according to Chile’s Diario Financiero.

Since 29 February, when the algal bloom increased in size and began affecting Chilean salmon farmers, Blumar’s total losses related to the algae are 1,152,563 fish worth USD 8.02 million (EUR 7.22 million), according to the report. The company was carrying insurance on the Caicura salmon, but the 14 percent deductible on the policy will cost Blumar USD 1.12 million (EUR 1 million).

In a separate report, The Guardian (UK) reported Chile’s total losses as a result of the algal bloom at 23 million Atlantic and coho salmon and trout, with lost production valued at more than USD 800 million (EUR 720.2 million). The total is between 15 and 20 percent of Chile’s total production for the year, and the 2015 production estimate for Chile has been downgraded from 750,000 to 760,000 tons to 650,000 tons, according to The Guardian.

While the massive amounts of dead fish will not be used for human consumption, some of the product is being converted into fishmeal, which will help the affected companies recoup some of their losses.

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