Salmones Austral says its Los Arrayanes RAS will change how it farms salmon

The interior of Salmones Austral's new salmon RAS.

Los Ángeles, Chile-based salmon farmer Salmones Austral has opened a cutting-edge recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) at its Los Arrayanes farming center.

The facility, situated in the Reloncavi estuary in the municipality of Cochamó in southern Chile’s Los Lagos region, cost an estimated USD 35 million (EUR 32.5 million) to build. Salmones Austral said it has a number of innnovations that will change the way it farms salmon,  including a 1,250-cubic-meter salinity ponds designed to grow post-smolt to a larger size, shortening their grow-out stage at sea by two months.

This will allow us to cut down on the time spent at sea, with the benefit of the fish not being exposed to weather inclemency that, unfortunately, climate change is causing these days,” Salmones Austral CEO Gaston Cortez said during the launch. “This center is vital for us to respond to the challenges of the future.”

The process results in more-robust fish, allowing for a reduction in the use of antibiotics and in the fish’s exposure to health risks at sea such as salmon rickettsial septicaemia (SRS), and to environmental risks such as harmful algal blooms, the company said.

The new system recirculates 99.5 percent of the water it uses, allowing the company to spend less money and energy pumping new fresh water, Salmones Austral Chair Pedro Hurtado said. He calling the new system “a technological leap."

“This center puts us in the pole position in the industry,” he said during the event launch. “With this center, we won’t ...

Photo courtesy of Salmones Austral

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