Marine Harvest reports USD 3.5 million reduction in wake of salmon escape

Published on
August 27, 2018

An escape of 650,000 salmon after a storm in July will result in a USD 3.5 million (EUR 3 million) reduction in Marine Harvest’s Chile operational earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) for the second half of 2018, according to the company. A deadline to catch 10 percent of the escaped fish or risk facing further penalties is set to expire on 3 September.

The company reported the reduction in its earnings report for the first half of 2018. The company also expects its costs to increase and production numbers to fall as well.

“Due to intensive recovery efforts, including cooperation with local fishermen, approximately 40,000 fish have been recaptured and disposed of. As a consequence of the escape incident, estimated volumes for Chile have been reduced by 2,500 GWT [gross weight tonnage] for 2018,” the company reported.

Following the escape on 5 July, Chilean fisheries and aquaculture service authority Sernapesca gave Marine Harvest 30 days to catch 10 percent of the escaped fish. The company employed independent fisherman, offering an award per fish, but seems to be short of the mandated recapture by its own accounts and other local press reports.

Marine Harvest Chile received a 30 day extension of the period that ends 3 September, and is then required to file a report within 10 days outlining its results to authorities.

If it fails to reach the 10 percent mark, it will face penalties. This could include a monetary fine, but an official with the government’s economic inspection agency, Francisco Muñoz, recently told Radio BioBio that the firm would also lose its concession where the escape occurred in Southern Chile. 

Reporting from Santiago, Chile

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