Chile has a 800,000 salmon processing bottleneck while 320 tonnes of fish rots away

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Industry body SalmonChile posts update of country’s dire situation. Says it “must address the health conflict urgently to avoid environmental damage in the area”.

In a press release on Mundo Acuicola, SalmonChile writes of the impact of the country’s spate of protests that have rocked it since late October.

“As salmon farmers, from the outset we have empathized with the social crisis in the country. We want to be a bridge for dialogue and solutions, keeping in mind the desires of our workers,” wrote its president Arturo Clement .

Chile produces salmon from Puerto Montt and all the way to Terra del Fuego in the south.

We want to be a bridge for dialogue and solutions” says Arturo Clement. PHOTO: Owen Evans

It declared on Monday that:

The closure of a vital salmon route San Antonio in Quellón by protesters for nine days “is generating an imminent health emergency, because they are prohibiting the access of workers and service providers to tasks, process plants and collection centres”.

That in Quellón, the situation is “critical” since the stoppage of the works may generate “imminent environmental damage” because there are 800,000 fish waiting to be processed and another 320 tons of products are in the process of decomposition.

Chile’s salmon farming region. Google Maps

To date, affected processing plants in the region include Salmones Austral, Salmones Camanchaca, Ventisquero, Marine Farm and Australis Seafoods.

Furthermore, BioBioChile writes that more than 400 people are out of work in the region.

A spokesperson for Mowi Chile – which is not a part of SalmonChile – emailed SalmonBusiness to say that its two processing plants in Calbuco and Puerto Chacabuco are working normally.