Top Chilean politician Gabriel Ascencio Mansilla says: “Marine Harvest must take responsibility for the escape”

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A senior politician had strong words for the Norwegian salmon producers on last Friday’s escape – one of the industry’s biggest on record.

Yesterday SalmonBusiness confirmed that 680,000 fish had escaped from Marine Harvest’s Punta Redonda farm in Chile.

A huge storm had ripped through the farm leading to major damage.

Today Gabriel Ascencio Mansilla, head of the State Fisheries and Aquaculture Committee in the Chamber of Deputies in Chile, went all out against Marine Harvest and other salmon farms in the country.

“Marine Harvest must take responsibility for the escape. This is not just a warning to this company, but to the entire aquaculture industry. They can not continue to work the way they do, this is enormously irresponsible because they create sanitary and environmental challenges,” Mansilla told Chilean newspaper El Clarin.

He explains that on this basis, the Commission will investigate the cause of the escape, adding that he did not know about Marine Harvest’s safety routines.

Mansilla also believes that other health authorities and the Chilean fisheries directorate, Sernapesca (National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service, Chile) should be involved.

Need an explanation
Estefanía González, coordinator of Oceans Greenpeace, called the escape of “an environmental disaster with serious and unhealthy consequences,” Diasilogo Sur writes.

“Not only is this one of the biggest escapees in Chile’s history, but the fish that have escaped have a high level of antibiotics, so they pose a danger and can not be eaten,” she said.

She remains sceptical that a storm alone should have caused so much damage.

“It is clear that there are safety and environmental conditions that have not been met,” she continued.

González also pointed out that there were no personnel available to activate contingency plans, and that they arrived only two days after the emergency occurred.

Throughout 2017, 212,000 fish escaped in Chile.