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Hurricane Dorian earlier today, with Florida to its left. Photo: NOAA / AP / CNN.
Hurricane Dorian earlier today, with Florida to its left. Photo: NOAA / AP / CNN.

Chilean salmon farmers have rescheduled exports to Miami in response to the approach of powerful Hurricane Dorian, which has already ripped the roofs off homes and caused severe flooding in the Bahamas.

165mph winds

The slow-moving, category five Dorian - the second-strongest Atlantic hurricane on record - is bringing sustained winds of up to 165mph and may cause a storm surge of up to 23 feet (7 metres), damaging or destroying thousands of homes.

The BBC, Dorian is forecast to make a gradual turn north or north-west, taking it along the eastern US seaboard, making its landfall point, if any, uncertain.

According to the US National Hurricane Centre it will slowly weaken but remain a powerful hurricane during the next couple of days and would “move dangerously close to the Florida east coast” on Monday night through to Wednesday evening.

James Griffin: production plants closed.
James Griffin: production plants closed.

Employees sent home

James Griffin, director of the Chilean Salmon Marketing Council, told Fish Farming Expert’s Chilean sister site, “Our Chilean companies with production plants in the United States have closed while the hurricane passes: they’ve sent their employees home and companies that export their products to the country are delaying doing so until Wednesday.”

Sebastián Goycoolea, chief executive of US-based BluGlacier, the joint venture of Blumar and Ventisqueros, said: “We lowered production in Chile, because the idea is not to have inventory in Miami on Monday, and what will arrive will be referred to other airports in the United States.

“The next decisions we implement will depend on how Hurricane Dorian evolves. Nothing’s happened yet, it is expected to hit this Monday afternoon or Tuesday in the United States and we will see the damage caused to know when we can resume the volumes to Miami.

“In fact, for the moment, we have a process plant in Miami that cannot operate.”

Joint planning

Andrés Lyon, general manager of Multiexport Foods, said: “We are addressing this issue in joint planning with the airlines. They will not arrive in Miami for a couple of days, this process will be normalised, in theory, on Tuesday of this week, so this Monday’s production for that destination will resume.”

Manuel Arriagada, general manager of Salmones Camanchaca, said: “Shipments have been scheduled so as not to have impacts due to Hurricane Dorian.”

Salmon shipments from Scotland are unlikely to be affected as they are flown into more northerly destinations.