85,000 fish killed but “minimal escapes” from flood-ravaged Salmones Camanchaca site

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Floods hit sites had around 1.8 million x 2.8-kilo fish overall.

Last week the Chilean salmon farmer Salmones Camanchaca reported that it had activated protocols and contingency after torrential rains hit one of its farms in the Palena Province, Los Lagos, southern Chile.

12 cages in it contained in total around 1.8 million salmon.

On Twitter initially, Chilean aquaculture authority Sernapesca wrote that after two overflights, a close up inspection with a ROV, it concluded that “fortunately, so far no escape of salmon has been detected in the affected salmon farm”.

PHOTO: Sernapesca

This was in reponse to some users doubting the information. “There was no escape of fish? I see the images and it seems to me a miracle,” wrote one Twitter user.

“During underwater inspection, no breaks were detected in the cages, and during the flyby, no predators were observed around the cages, nor were fishing nets set at shoreline, which are common indicators of salmon escape,” Sernapesca added.

In a recent press release on Monday in the publication Mundo Acuicola, Salmones Camanchaca reported there there has been “no massive escapes”. To date, two purse seine vessels in the area have caught a total of 186 fish.

The salmon farmer declared the affected module unusable and has already dispatched a new one that should be fully operational for three to four more weeks, it wrote.

As of Friday it has been able estimate a mortality close to 10% of the affected module, ie, approximately 85,000 fish.