The Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Chile’s National Congress, has unanimously approved an in-principle change in the law in order require the total removal of sediment by fish farmers. The change will also have to be approved by the Senate, the Congress’s upper house.
Although details remain to be worked out, Jorge Brito, a Deputy for the Valparaiso region has made a series of indications, or proposals, about the initiative. These include prohibiting the deposit of both organic and inorganic waste on the seabed, something which has generated widespread debate in the salmon farming industry.
It is understood organic material refers to fish faeces, as well uneaten feed or any other compound not consumed by the salmon, that remains on the seabed.
The transport, storage and final disposal of this waste must be carried out correctly and in authorised places, Brito’s indications state.
At the end of each production cycle, a benthic assessment report must be presented to the regulator, Sernapesca, to confirm that there are no unfavourable changes to the environment.
The bill will remain under discussion this week in the Chamber of Deputies, before moving on to the Senate.