Chile Ousts Head of Fisheries Service

March 5, 2008 - Chile has declined to extend the term of the head of its National Fishing Service (SERNAPESCA), which oversees the country's fisheries and aquaculture operations, the Santiago Times reported yesterday.

Ines Montalva was under pressure for the way she handled last year's outbreak of infectious salmon anemia, which has stymied Chile's salmon-farming industry. She was replaced this week with Felix Inostroza Cortes.

Some members of Chile's Congress say the federal government isn't doing enough to prevent the salmon-farming industry from harming the environment and mistreating its workers.

"The SERNAPESCA director didn't even come close to showing the kind of impartiality we require of our government authorities," Socialist Party Deputy Fidel Espinoza told the Patagonia Times, the Santiago Times' sister newspaper.

U.S. imports of Atlantic salmon fillets from Chile topped 226 million pounds last year, representing about half of total U.S. Atlantic salmon imports.


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