Chile’s largest salmon farmer ends lake hatchery operations

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AquaChile first to halt smolt production at lake sites. Others follow suit.

The world’s second-largest salmon farmer AquaChile has announced that it will no longer produce smolt in lakes. It closed all its 12 lake operations in the third week of May, reports La Tercera.

The salmon farmer is investing USD 35 million to install land-based hatcheries instead.

AquaChile began operating as a new company, following the integration with Los Fiordos, Salmones Magallanes, and Friosur on April the 1st. The publication wrote that the salmon farmer had voluntarily modified its production model and stopped using its 12 lakes concessions, which were located in the regions of Los Lagos and Aysén.

“Our focus is on working hard to make salmon production more efficient and sustainable. Therefore, this measure, which we already materialize, means a definitive step for the protection and care of the lakes of Chile. We hope and wish that others follow this same route,” explained CEO Sady Delgado, who took on the role in April.

In the case of lake concessions no longer used, environmental monitoring will begin to be carried out on their waters, allowing their recovery and protection.

Rivals Multiexport added that it will phase out its own lake hatchery operations by 2020.