El Niño nightmare looms for Chilean salmon farmers

Editorial staff

A deadly algal bloom outbreak in 2016 cost Chilean producers an estimated $800 million.

Chilean environmental authority, La Superintendencia del Medio Ambiente (SMA) has cautioned the country’s salmon producers about the potential impact of the El Niño phenomenon on Chile’s coasts.

The weather pattern which typically carries with it warmer sea temperatures, is back after three years of its cooler sister, La Niña, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) confirmed in July.

In light of the increasing signs of El Niño’s return, the SMA’s directive emphasises the need for preventative measures.

The last major El Niño was in 2016, which was the hottest year on record.

That year, a deadly algal bloom outbreak cost Chilean producers an estimated $800 million (€739 million), according to media reports at the time.

Essential measures include enforcing contingency and emergency plans, training salmon farm staff, ensuring facilities for fish removal, and maintaining infrastructure critical to vessel docking operations, according to the agency.


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