Sernapesca intervenes as 76 tons of fish die at Chilean salmon farm

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Mass mortalities at fish an Australis Mar salmon farm in Magallanes.

The Regional Office of Sernapesca Magallanes said that have activated a mass mortality contingency plan, due to an increase in salmon mortality at the “Morgan” Farming Center, code 120136, of the company Australis Mar, located in the Canal Valdés area, in the Province of Ultima Esperanza.

Australis Mar – whose main activities comprise fish fattening in sea water, as well as marketing and exportation – is a subisdary of Australis Seafoods. At the begining of the week, SalmonBusiness reported that the Chinese giant, Joyvio inked to a deal to buy Australis Seafood for US $ 880 million.

The mass mortality is believed to be down to a drop in oxygen levels.

The farm was in the process of harvesting approximately 1.1 million units of salmon, weighing 5.6 kg each.

Last Thursday, November 15, the farm exceeded 15 tons of accumulated mortality in 7 consecutive days and gave notice to Sernapesca within 24 hours. By Monday November 19, 76 tons of salmon were reported dead (13,600 units).

During the weekend, Sernapesca officials arrived at the farm to monitor the health and environmental situation,verifying the application of the contingency plan, which involved removing and disposing of the dead fish.

According to what was verified by Sernapesca, this mortality was a drop in oxygen levels, which are being monitored. Authorities said that mortality numbers will gradually decrease.

On its site, The company said it had big ambitions in the cold southern waters of Chile, expecting the Magallanes region to represent over 50% of the company’s total production.