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Marine Harvest revealed this morning that it has lost nearly 3 million fish due to a severe algal bloom that has affected three of its sites in Chile’s Region X, while other companies have also reported devastating mortalities.  

The company had announced on March 1 that the algae had killed roughly 1.2 million fish at Punta Redonda, Huar Sur and Huar Norte, but it now believes that at least 2.7 million, and possibly the entire biomass (2.9 million salmon), have perished.

The fish were in the 1.5-2.5 kg range, with a combined value of tens of millions, but the company is fortunate enough to be insured against such events.

MH is by no means the only company to have suffered from the algal outbreaks - La Tercera estimates that a total of over 12,000 tonnes of fish, from 19 different producers, have died as a result of the blooms.

The newspaper states that Camanchaca has lost in the region of 1.5 million fish – around half of the firm’s total three million salmon crop – valued at around $22.2 million; while AquaChile has reported the death of 2.3 million salmon, at an estimated value of $15 million.