A Sernapesca official overseeing recapture operations at the site.
A Sernapesca official overseeing recapture operations at the site.

60,000 fish escape after sabotage at Chilean farms

Trout and coho salmon released in criminal act


More than 60,000 salmon and small trout escaped from two fish farms in Chile after pen nets were deliberately damaged by a third party.

Caleta Bay Agua Dulce told Fish Farming Expert’s Chilean sister site, Salmonexpert.cl, that it was the victim of sabotage at its Phillipi and Puerto Phillipi sites, located in the Totoral sector, Llanquihue commune, in Los Lagos region.

“The attack caused by third parties resulted in cuts in three nets that contained fish inside, which caused an escape of approximately 60,000 units, of which about 40,000 correspond to the coho salmon species and 20,000 to rainbow trout,” said the company.

“This is the consequence of a criminal act attributed to third parties, according to what we were able to verify in our security systems, and the competent authorities, including the police and the prosecutor’s office, were notified.”

10,000 recaptured

A total of 60,023 fish escaped last week, of which 20,780 were trout with an average weight of 23.2 grams and 39,243 were coho salmon with an average weight of 419. 4 grams.

Caleta Bay activated an escape contingency plan after the sabotage was discovered and said that as of Friday more than 10,000 fish had been recaptured.

Rodrigo Salgado, the company’s freshwater production manager, said: “We are working together with the authorities to manage the situation, to recapture as many fish as possible within our reach.

“It is unfortunate to have to go through situations like these, in which third-party attacks only seek to cause damage and also cause reputational damage to the industry.”

State aquaculture agency Sernapesca is overseeing the recapture process.