Escape overestimated

It is now thought that in the region of 10,000 salmon – not the 100,000 quoted by the Chilean authorities – escaped from Nova Austral’s Aracena 3 site at the weekend. 

Published Last updated

As Nicos Nicolaides, Nova Austral’s General Manager, told Salmonexpert Magazine, Saturday July 17th saw a storm which featured unusually strong winds in the region of Magallanes. This led to minor damage to a number of sites and major damage to Aracena 3.

"On Monday when the storm blew over, we were able to make a full assessment of the damage. The site has 22 cages, 5 of which were damaged by the wind and waves. Of these five only three contained salmon – in total around 100,000 fish between them,” he explained.

“The weather caused a partial rupture of the cages, which meant that some of the fish escaped and we estimate that around 10% of the fish from these three cages have been lost – ie about 10,000 5.5 kg salmon,” said Nicolaides.

“However, there is no way of knowing the exact number of escapes until we’ve counted the number left inside, which we plan to do within the next ten days. In the meantime, we will continue to recapture escaped fish,” he added.

“There are protocols and contingency plans for these cases," he continued, "and any escapees usually stay near the site due to the possibility of obtaining food. We hope to recapture the maximum number, both through our staff and using the help of local fishermen – all of which is being monitored and controlled directly by Sernapesca."