11% of Chilean growers seeing more “morts”, as algae fears grow

Aslak Berge

Recent weeks have seen increasing signs that a bloom of the poisonous algae Alexandrium catanella , known as Red Tide, could continue to menace the Chilean coastline.

It’s the same algae that incurred on Chilean aquaculture losses of an astronomical 25 million dead salmon in the spring of 2016. It nearly singlehandedly caused a price explosion in salmon markets.

Read Algae growth menacing Chile’s salmon region
Read Chileans cut losses, as new algae bloom sweeps in 

Large potential losses
The algae has now caused losses on salmon grow-outs in the three production regions of Los Lagos, Aysen and Magallanes in southern Chile. According to Biobiochile, the news page of a Chilean radio station, Arturo Clement, the president of industry advocacy, SalmonChile, has confirmed indications that 11 percent of salmon grow-outs have seen signs of increased fish mortality.

Clement reportedly pointed to sea temperature increases and humidity as reasons for the poisonous microalgae’s growth (a nod to the heavy rainfalls that coincided with the disastrous 2016 Red Tide).


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