Authorities slap salmon farmer with $95,000 reoffending fine over improper antibiotic use

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Court ruling is precedent, enabling more punitive measures to companies that reoffend in Chile.

In a press release, Chilean aquaculture authority Sernapesca writes that the salmon farmer Pacific Star has been hit with a USD 95,000 fine.

The Supreme Court’s ruling case is a significant precedent, as it applied a reoffending (recidivism) fine to a salmon farming company.

Chiles highest court rejected Pacific Star’s appeal for having established infringement of the General Law on Fisheries and Aquaculture and for having received prior conviction in 2016, in violation of the same Law.

In 2018, the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service filed a complaint in Tribunals for the discovery of waste under the facilities under one of Pacific Star sites.

In 2016, the same company was convicted in the court, on the charge of improper use of antibiotics in a salmon farm. In accordance with section 108a of the General Law on Fisheries and Aquaculture, the court proved recidivism and ordered it pay a fine of 1500 UTM (USD 95,000).

The National Director of Sernapesca, Alicia Gallardo, said: “We value the Supreme Court’s ruling regarding recidivism in compliance with the General Law on Fisheries and Aquaculture, as this is a precedent in the control of aquaculture. This means that if any company fails to comply with any article of the Fisheries Act within two years, the penalty is doubled. Therefore, for us this is a deterrent effect to prevent non-compliance with environmental and health regulations and promote the sustainability of this activity. Finally, I would like to congratulate the audit team and the legal team on their efforts to achieve this important ruling.”