Chile’s Marine Harvest accused of environmental damage from leakage of 690,000 salmon

SANTIAGO – The Chilean Superintendency of the Environment (SMA) has filed charges against the company Marine Harvest Chile, owner of the Salmon Feed Center (CES) Punta Redonda on Guar Island, for non-compliance with the conditions, rules and measures established in said resolutions.

It should be recalled that on July 5, 2018, more than 690 thousand copies of Atlantic Salmon escaped from that center.

As a conclusion of the results of the recapture operations until September 15, 2018, and according to the reports of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service, they amounted to 38,286 specimens, which is equivalent to 5.54% of the registered escape, being configured, therefore, the presumption of environmental damage established in article 118 of the Chilean Fisheries and Aquaculture Law.

Thus, the main infractions detected by this Superintendency were found from the audits carried out are:

-Do not keep the appropriate safety conditions or elements of optimal quality and resistance according to the RCA N 2040/2001 at CES Punta Redonda and RCA No. 539/2011, whose consequence was the massive escape of copies from the center.

– Maintain and operate support facilities on land not intended for silage operation.

“The first of the infractions was classified as very serious, as it constitutes environmental damage that cannot be repaired, so the owner risks the revocation of the RCA, closure or fine of up to 10 thousand Annual Tax Units (UTA). Without prejudice to the sanction that may be imposed, for the repair of the environmental damage caused, Article 43 of the LO-SMA establishes the origin of a Reparation Plan. While the second offense was classified as mild, the owner could be subject to a written warning or a fine of up to one thousand UTA,” the SMA indicated.

Upon notification of this formulation of charges, Marine Harvest Chile will have a term of 10 working days to submit a Compliance Program for the case of the second infraction, and 15 working days to formulate their respective disclaimers.

The CES located in the southern sector of Punta Redonda in Guar Island, Calbuco district, Los Lagos Region, corresponds to a center for fattening salmon in an aquaculture concession of 14.05 hectares, for the installation of rafts-cages, a habitable pontoon, and a silage system. The maximum production authorized is 6,500 tons.–MercoPress