Chilean authorities put brakes on Ventisqueros’ Billund Aquaculture-designed RAS hatchery

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Environmental authorities have temporary halted construction.

In January, Ventisqueros inked a deal with Billund – specialists in (RAS) recirculation aquaculture systems – to build hatchery to produce six million salmon a year, in the hope to receive its first roe by the end of 2019.

At the time, Billund Aquaculture Chile’s General Manager Marcelo Varela wrote that the project represents an important milestone for both companies, as the plant “is designed using high levels of automation and control in all processes, making it one-of-a-kind in Chile and one of the most advanced fish farms in the world.”

However, the SMA (Superintendencia del Medio Ambiente) has now put a temporary ban on construction at the Piscicultura Cocule site in Cocule, Los Lagos region, Chile, the authority wrote in a press release.

The SMA requested the measure after receiving complaints that the construction of the Ventisqueros operation began without giving proper notice of the large-scale barrier work, which they said – is “not environmentally authorised and generates a situation of environmental risk.”

They allege that the project, which is in its digging phase, has built a flood barrier 30m from the Bueno River, which not not been authorised.

When built, the project will consist of two hatchery units, two start-feeding systems, two fry systems and two smolt systems, as well as affluent and effluent treatment units.