The company is trying to recapture the fish it lost and recover farm infrastructure. Photo: Blumar

Mass escape in Chile as storm wrecks farm

Chilean salmon farmer Blumar lost nearly 900,000 fish during a storm over the weekend, it has been confirmed.

Published Last updated

Sernapesca, the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service, said ‘adverse climatic conditions’ affected 16 out of 18 pens at the farm in the Los Lagos region.

Some 875,144 fish with an average weight of 3,828 kg are believed to have escaped in the incident, which occurred on Saturday.

Blumar said that the 13 staff working at the farm were rescued after a ‘rapid’ evacuation, and safely transferred to Puerto Montt.

The company activated contingency plans to recover the infrastructure and recapture the fish, but it has not been able to establish yet how many fish escaped and how many died.

Environmental impact

Gerardo Balbontín, general manager of Blumar, said the main concern was ‘to mitigate the environmental impact that this fish flight represents’, reported Fish Farming Expert’s sister site, Salmon Expert.

‘From the first minute, the contingency protocols stipulated by law were activated, and our team, to the extent that weather and security permit, will advance in this, in addition to recovering structures,’ he added. 

‘We are hit hard by what happened because the company had been working with the complexities that the world health crisis, caused by the coronavirus, has presented.’

The farm was insured and the insurance company has already been notified.