Chilean minister accuses Marine Harvest of having “the highest percentage of escapes”

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Around 3.3 million salmon have escaped from different farms in the last eight years in Chile according to the Chilean National Fisheries Service (Sernapesca).

The Economy minister secretary of Los Lagos, Francisco Muñoz said that Marine Harvest “represented the highest percentage of escapes.” In the economiaynegocios.cl site, Francisco Muñoz said in the region, combined with the last escape, Marine Harvest would “reach one million 900 thousand units,” adding that the firm “represented the highest percentage of escapes.”

However, the Norwegian company deny this.

“Regarding the leak statistics of the company Aquinova, in the Region of Aysén, it is important to clarify that it is not correct to add them to those of Marine Harvest, as it is public knowledge that our company only acquired assets of that company in the year 2015,” said Marine Harvest Chile general manager, Fernando Villarroel.

Eivind Nævdal-Bolstad, public affairs manager for Marine Harvest told SalmonBusiness:
“Every year Marine Harvest publish our numbers of escapes, and the numbers of escapes for the period 2010 to 2017 is in total approx. 26 000. These numbers are public for both authorities and other stakeholders, also this number match with the official records from Sernapesca for the same period.”

Chile’s environment agency recently used an Urgent and Transitory Measure to close down operations at Marine Harvest’s Punta Redonda fish farm for 30 days.

In response to the SMA’s news Eivind Nævdal-Bolstad said:
“When it comes to the notification from the SMA, we have received the letter regarding different measures to be taken by the company. We have a dialogue with the authorities regarding this notification, and we have already executed several of the recommendations before we got the notification. This will not affect the site and our operations, since the site is already empty. In addition we still have agreements with artisanal fishermen who still is helping us to capture the salmon escaped during the winter storm. Our priority is now to work with suppliers and authorities to investigate how this incident could occur.”