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The 12-cage module at the Punta Islotes site was severely damaged in bad weather. Photo: Castro Maritime Government.
The 12-cage module at the Punta Islotes site was severely damaged in bad weather. Photo: Castro Maritime Government.

Chilean fish farmer Salmones Camanchaca has said that around 85,000 salmon died when a 12-cage module was wrecked during bad weather but believes a relatively small number of fish escaped.

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The damage occurred at the Punta Islotes site near Chaitén, Los Lagos when the module containing 850,000 Atlantic salmon with an average weight of 2.8 kg was badly distorted by strong currents from rivers swollen by heavy rain.

Camanchaca reported that there were no breaks in the cage nets, which ruled out any large-scale escapes.

Transferring fish

It has begun transferring fish to another cage module on site, an operation that will take five or six days.

As part of its standard measures after a fish escape it has deployed two purse seine vessels in the area which to date have caught 186 fish.

Camanchaca declared the damaged module unusable and has already shipped a new module that should be fully operational in three to four weeks.

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