875,000 salmon in storm hit cages are not fit for human consumption

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Salmon from Blumar’s storm-ravaged site were undergoing undergoing treatment for piscirickettsiosis disease with the antibacterial treatment Florfenicol.

On Monday, SalmonBusiness reported that a storm hit the cages belonging to the major Chilean salmon farmer Blumar containing up to 875,144 salmon average weight of 3.8kg.

Battered by Storm Puelche, the site is based in the Hualaihué commune, Los Lagos, southern Chile.

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With the Chilean fishing and aquaculture authority Sernapesca, the company is currently implementing a fish recapture plan, working with fishermen’s unions in the Los Lagos region.

However due to rough sea conditions which are still ongoing, it has not been possible to assess the full damage/escape to stock.

As of writing, Blumar did not respond to SalmonBusiness’ request for a comment. It has since released a press release on its site.

Blumar Salmon Manager Pedro Pablo Laporte commented that there is still no certainty of the extent of the escape, because it cannot yet access the site: “Adverse weather conditions still don’t allow us to check metal cages, so we don’t know exactly if there’s live, dead, or escaped salmon.”

“We will have certainty when we have access to the centre,” he said.

Sernapesca also recently revealed in an update that at the time the salmon farm collapsed, fish at the site were undergoing treatment for piscirickettsiosis disease with the antimicrobial Florfenicol.

“When the fish are in treatment, they are not suitable for human consumption, so the recaptured fish must be sent to a disposal facility,” wrote Sernapesca.