There’s a 20% discrepancy between what the authorities are saying and what the fish farmers are reporting.
The dispute between the Chile’s national fishing authority, Sernapesca, and the salmon farmers, Marine Harvest is still ongoing vis-a-vis recapture numbers.
According to the site biobiochile, in a 200 page report, Marine Harvest say that it’s recaptured more than 187,000 salmon , representing 27% of July’s escape of 680,000 salmon. However, Sernapesca say that number is far lower, 38,000 in fact, representing 5.5% of the overall number.
Sernapesca’s version of events appears to be swaying some of Chile’s authorities and political class. The company has also missed the imposed deadline to capture all of the escaped fish.
However if authorities accept the figure, Marine Harvest would avoid a fines of up to £6.2 million for causing environmental damage.
The president of the Committee on Fisheries in the Senate, Rabindranath Quinteros, told the publication that he believed the real figure was the one given by the inspection body.
Alejandro Bernales, a politician from the Partido Liberal party, said he that he was surprised by the 20% difference between what was disclosed by the public body and the private company.
In a previous article, Eivind Nævdal-Bolstad, Public Affairs Manager for Marine Harvest, told SalmonBusiness that “the catch is so far 38,000 fish (…) We still have a number boats, which constantly search for the escaped salmon.”
SalmonBusiness has contacted Marine Harvest for a response.
EDIT: Ola Helge Hjetland, Communications Manager for Marine Harvest contacted SalmonBusiness with the following information:
“After the escape July 5th, we collaborated with local fishermen to recapture as much salmon as possible.
38 000 fish were caught and registered.
At the same time, other fishermen caught salmon and sold fish at local markets rather than registering the fish with the company.
These fish were not registered and counted for in the authorities official number.
We are now awaiting the authorities decision whether or not the sold fish can be counted for as recaptured.”