Officers from Chilean aquaculture agency Sernapesca are supervising work at salmon farms affected by HABs. Photo: Sernapesca.

Camanchaca fish death toll rises to 1.3 million

Chilean fish farmer Salmones Camanchaca has now lost 1.3 million salmon to due a harmful algal bloom (HAB), it said in a market announcement yesterday.

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The HAB in the Comau fjord in Los Lagos region has caused the deaths of 11% of the company’s total number of fish, with a volume of 2,250 tonnes.

On March 31 the company announced that 500,000 salmon had been killed by the HAB at three sites - Leptepu, Porcelana and Loncochalgua. That figure has now been revised upwards.

Manuel Arriagada: Updated market on losses.

Transferring survivors

In yesterday’s announcement, Camanchaca chief executive Manuel Arriagada said it was “necessary to supplement the information on the impacts that this phenomenon is causing on biomass”.

“The appearance of harmful algae in the Comau fjord, Los Lagos region, which affects the Leptepu, Porcelana and Loncochalgua cultivation centres, has generated an accumulated mortality to date of 1.3 million of fish, equivalent to 2,250 tonnes of biomass, with weights between 450 grams and 2.5 kilos depending on the affected centre, and 1.2 kilos in total average. This mortality corresponds to 11% of the total fish of the company,” stated Arriagada.

The executive added that “the company is carrying out work to transfer the surviving fish to centres outside the Comau fjord, work that is expected to be completed soon”.