AquaChile responds to allegations of wrongdoing during algae bloom crisis
AquaChile is denying wrongdoing in how it has managed salmon mortalities during Chile’s algae bloom crisis, which has gripped the country’s Region X for over a month.
The company's declaration comes after press reports arose stating that the company was notified by Chile’s National Service of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Sernapesca), along with three other regional salmon farmers, for an alleged breach of environmental regulations during the height of the toxic bloom. In its statement, AquaChile denies hearing from Sernapesca.
“AquaChile has not received any notifications regarding this,” said the company in an official statement. “As a company, we are surprised and shocked to learn in the media that Sernapesca has filed a case against AquaChile.”
The note sent by Sernapesca alleges that AquaChile and the three other operations did not remove salmon mortalities in a timely manner, and did not take steps to "prevent the dumping of waste and solid and liquid waste, having as cause the activity, including mortalities," per a report from Chilean newspaper El Pulso. According to El Pulso’s reporting on the Sernapesca note, the companies risk being fined 3,000 tax units (UTM) or losing their regional licenses altogether.
“All our affected centers have been subject to continuous assessments throughout this period, and the company has never been notified of any infractions,” AquaChile said.
AquaChile requested that Sernapesca make available information about the specific centers subjected to possible sanctions. No company has been fined as of this time, Sernapesca confirmed to AquaChile.