Chile’s salmon farms lose $800m as algal bloom

Chilean workers process farmed salmon in a plant in Puerto Ibanez near the town of Aysen, in the Chilean Patagonia region, some 1660 km (1031 miles) south of Santiago, in this May 24, 2006 file photo.

A deadly algal bloom has hit the world’s second biggest salmon exporter, Chile, where nearly 23 million fish have already died and the economic impact from lost production is seen soaring to $800 million, industry and government sources told Reuters.

There are so many dead fish, they could easily fill 14 olympic-size swimming pools, said Jose Miguel Burgos, the head of the government’s Sernapesca fisheries body.

Unusually high ocean temperatures, due in large part to the El NiƱo weather phenomenon, have fueled the algal bloom that has affected 37 of the nearly 415 salmon farms operating in southern Chile. Most of the farms are in ocean enclosures or in estuaries.

Read the full article on Reuters

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