While a major earthquake occurred off the coast of Chile on 25 December, no major damage to salmon farming operations or deaths have yet been reported.
However, officials and major salmon companies are still evaluating the extent of the damage. The magnitude 7.6 quake hit about 25 miles from Puerto Quellon, near the salmon-farming areas off the island of Chiloe, and thousands of people evacuated coastal areas.
A statement issued 27 December by Chile’s Undersecretariat of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Subpesca, indicated no harm to local ports or fishing vessels had been reported. Subpesca has also been coordinating an evaluation of the safety of workers in marine industries near the quake’s epicenter, in conjunction with trade organization SalmonChile.
According to Subpesca, mussel companies with a presence in the region in which the earthquake occurred reported that their workers were evacuated and that there was damage to infrastructure or casualties.
Subpesca said it would perform an aerial fly-by to obtain a more comprehensive appraisal of any possible damage caused by the quake.
A spokesperson for salmon farming company Marine Harvest Chile confirmed the company did not suffer any loss of infrastructure as a result of the quake.
“We had to evacuate our sites, but there was no major damage sustained by the quake,” Ola Helge Hjetland, chief communications officer for Marine Harvest, told SeafoodSource.