Chile increasing its scrutiny of USD 7 billion salmon industry

Officials with Sernapesca monitoring a salmon escape in Llanquihue Lake, in the Los Lagos region.

Chile’s government is stepping up its regulation of the country’s USD 6.6 billion (EUR 6.1 billion) a year salmon sector.

In recent months, the government has stepped up its regulatory oversight of overproduction and fish escapes across the country's salmon-farming industry.

Chile’s Superintendency of the Environment (SMA) has been more-actively investigating the country's salmon farmers and the amount of fish they are producing, levying steep penalties on companies found to have breached the parameters of their permits. In its latest move, in late February, the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service (Sernapesca) passed on information regarding overproduction to SMA, which subsequently initiated a sanctioning process against two salmon firms in the Aysén and Magallanes regions. Nova Austral was accused of overproduction at two grow-out centers within the Alberto de Agostini de National Park in the Magallanes region, and Multiexport was accused of overproduction at a grow-out center in the Las Guaitecas National Reserve, in the Aysén region. 

Commercial salmon overproduction carries a fine of up to CLP 3.7 billion (USD 4.5 million, EUR 4.2 million) – the fine is levied in an inflation-based unit.

In the case of Nova Austral, the charge is for exceeding its maximum authorized production by 11 percent at the Aracena 1 center, and by 24.4 percent at the Aracena 13 center, both during the 2019-2021 production cycle. 

Multiexport, the other company facing sanctions, reportedly surpassed its maximum production level at its May grow-out center, located in the Chaffers Canal, by 13.2 percent during the 2018-2020 production cycle.

Other companies have been feeling increased pressure from the Chielan government for alleged overproduction and escape issues ... 

Photo courtesy of Sernapesca

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