Salmones Camanchaca doesn’t believe that the Chilean industry will grow in 2019

Andreas Witzøe

The company believes that growth over the past two years will slow down.

Chilean aquaculture industry saw a 16% growth in the harvest of Atlantic salmon in 2018 compared to 2017. The last two years have seen significant growth in the Chilean market. If, on the other hand, you look at the last five years, we see that the harvest is now back at 2014 levels.

Unlike consensus in the market, Salmones Camanchaca does not believe in further growth in the Chilean fish farming industry in 2019.

“The growth we have seen has come through larger fish, better production and lower mortality. We do not see that these factors will improve in 2019,” said Vice Chairman Salmones Camanchaca Ricardo García on Tuesday’s Q4 2018 quarterly presentation at Hotel Continental in Oslo.

Read more: Salmones Camanchaca’s operating profit went up 86 per cent last quarter

Depending on more fish
García said they believe the potential has been taken out of the production that is in Chile today. In the fourth quarter, Salmones Camanchaca had 0.6 percent mortality in the biomass.

“In order to grow we are dependent on more fish. And that fish doesn’t exist to date,” he said.

He hopes and believes the government in Chile will continue and facilitate the industry.

“The government has been very supportive and proactive in changing the regulations to ensure that biology and fish health are stable. And they are taking steps to ensure that growth does not go beyond sustainability production,” said García.

Farming must be more socially accepted
Talking to SalmonBusiness, García told us that long-term growth in Chile is dependent on developments in technology and science.

“We are well on the way, but we must solve the problems we have with disease through vaccines, which will allow us to produce completely without the use of antibiotics. We also have problems with lice in Chile, as you have here in Norway,” he said.

García pointed out a third point. Reputation.

“The industry must be more accepted in society in order for us to have the opportunity to expand production further,” he said.