The Chilean Fisheries Directorate, Sernapesca, detected bad practices in the management of dead salmon during an inspection at the salmon farmer Invermar in Chiloé, Los Lagos region. The mass mortality was neither reported in advance.
Sernapesca said the inspectors detected the presence of large sacks with dead salmon, contrary to what the protocol indicates, exposing the rest of the fish and the personnel to risk.
Eduardo Aguilera, regional director of Sernapesca, said that the possible cause of mortality is an environmental issue, which caused a drop of oxygen
“Unfortunately we have had several centres -especially in the Aysén region- with this type of problem, but it is a situation that has to be reported to the authority, which the company did not do,” Aguilera said.
The number of dead salmon is still unknown.
Sernapesca has forwarded a complaint about the incident to the Superintendency of the Environment, an organization of Chilean State, under supervision of the Ministry of Environment.
“We are working with them in order to incorporate provisional measures as soon as possible,” Aguilera said, adding:
“We do not rule out other types of actions because eventually, we could have also some kind of damage or environmental crime that we are verifying.”
The National Director, Alicia Gallardo, indicated that “it is unpresentable that this type of bad practices continue to be present in the industry, since these situations put in risk the sanitary and environmental condition, for which the corresponding denunciations will be made, staying an exhaustive monitoring of the centre to ensure that the situation detected is corrected.”
There has been no official statement from Invermar about the incident.