Nets at the Playa Maqui farm in the commune of Frutillar were deliberately slashed. Photo: Salmones Camanchaca.

90,000 fish escape after vandalism at salmon farm

Chilean fish farmer Salmones Camanchaca has blamed deliberate sabotage for the escape of 90,000 salmon from one of its sites.

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Nets on three of the seven cages at the Playa Maqui site in Frutillar commune, Puerto Varas were discovered to have been cut at the weekend.

Salmones Camanchaca said the existence of linear cuts in the nylon nets left no doubt that the damage was deliberate.

Emergency protocols

Once the escape was discovered, Salmones Camanchaca informed the sectoral and local authorities and activated emergency protocols to recapture the fish. So far, 8,000 of the 90,000 escaped fish have been caught.

The fish farmer has filed a complaint with the police for criminal damage and other infractions of the Fishing Law.

“The criminal action of third parties not only caused property damage, but also involves damage to the environment, for which reason [we] decided to file a criminal complaint,” stated the company.

It wants to see judicial authorities “rigorously impose the sanctions that our law contemplates against those responsible for these crimes”.

Last month the company revealed that 388,000 fish died when a 12-cage module was crushed by flood tides at its Islotes site in Chaitén.