A salmon farm in the Magallanes region. Senators are examining a bill that proposes a ban on new farms until 2030. Photo: Salmonexpert archive.

Bid to put freeze on new salmon farms in Chile

Members of the Chilean Senate have resumed examination of a bill that seeks to extend a block on the approval of new salmon farms until 2030.

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The bill was first presented last year by parliamentarians Ximena Órdenes and Alfonso de Urresti, “taking into special consideration the fragility of ecosystems, in a climate change scenario that is having effects on the environment”.

The establishment of new salmon farms was previously blocked for 10 years between April 8, 2010, and April 8, 2020.

10-year block

The bill states that “the objectives projected by law have not been met, particularly that of regularising the new coastal area for aquaculture activities and reducing the socio-cultural, environmental and health impacts in these regions”.

Its proposers want a ban on farms for 10 years from January 31, 2020. Once that period has expired, the holders of applications that have been frozen must update their technical reports, with projections for global temperature increase scenarios of 2.5°C, 3°C and 4°C.

Current law states that new fish farm concessions will only be granted for areas made available by the “resignation or declaration of centres (farms)”. The bill proposes that any sites that become available are instead used for the relocation of salmon farms, previously pending salmon farm applications and for aquaculture that does not include fish.