From left: Fernando Villarroel, Mowi; Sady Delgado, AquaChile; Steven Rafferty, Cermaq.

Salmon giants form new force in Chile

The four biggest hitters in the Chilean salmon industry have announced the formation of a new group that seeks to bring “new visions” to the sector.

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The Chilean Salmon Council has been created by AquaChile, Cermaq and Mowi, along with coho salmon farming giant Salmones Aysén.

The Council’s aims are increased collaboration, sustainability, environmental protection, and promotion of a responsible and competitive industry worldwide.

Chief executives

Its directors are the chief executives of the companies: Sady Delgado (AquaChile); Steven Rafferty (Cermaq Chile); Fernando Villarroel (Mowi Chile); and Pablo Baraona (Salmones Aysén).

A fifth, independent member will also be appointed.

In a press release, the Chilean Salmon Council said it had been created with the aim of developing concrete plans and projects to strengthen salmon farming in Chile, together with contributing and adding to the efforts of other organisations in the field.

Improving sustainability

In this first stage, the specific actions of the Chilean Salmon Council are aimed at improving the sustainability of the industry in all areas, promoting free competition and helping Chile become a world leader in this area.

In the future, goals include laying the foundations for a long-term aquaculture policy, which allows for transparency, sustainable growth, and respect for the nature and communities and the general environment.

“We are part of an industry that started working from a small beginning and that over the years developed, grew and is constantly professionalising, in a path that has had learnings, mistakes and challenges,” said the board.

Benchmark for innovation

“Therefore, with a long-term vision, participating companies are committed to being a benchmark for innovation, adherence to current regulations, respect for their employees and the communities where they are integrated, and the availability to implement the best production practices available, which allow us to position the Chilean industry as a world leader in salmon production.”

AquaChile and Cermaq are both members of existing salmon industry organisation Salmon Chile. AquaChile is the country’s biggest salmon producer and theoretically the world’s second largest after Mowi, assuming all its allowed capacity is used. Salmones Aysén is the country’s biggest coho producer, harvesting 211,000 tonnes whole fish equivalent last year.

Cermaq boss Steven Rafferty told Fish Farmiong Expert’s Chilean sister site,, that “participating in the Salmon Council does not exclude us from SalmonChile and we will be part of both institutions”. 

He added: “In addition, we will continue to support the Committed to the South initiative promoted by SalmonChile, which brings together companies from the industry to go directly to the communities in which it operates in the context of Covid-19.” Cermaq will also continue participation in other union associations, such as Salmonicultores de Magallanes.