aquaculture in Chile

At a salmon farm in southern Chile, a worker pulls in fish for processing. image from www.tucsoncitizen.comAccording to a speech presented at Aquavision 2002, the profile of the salmon industry in Chile is extensive:

• Modern salmon aquaculture first appeared in Chile around 1980 and has been developed in the southern Regions.

• Today, aquaculture is Chile’s fourth largest exporter, making Chile the world’s leading trout farming country and world number two in salmon farming. In 2001, the Chilean salmon industry exports were worth close to US $964 millions.

• Chile offers optimal environmental conditions: the temperature of the water, the quality of the water, geography, availability of fishmeal, and availability of suitable production sites.

• Aquaculture has a huge potential for development in Chile and investigations are progressing with several new species.

• The success of salmon farming has led to a number of social and economic effects. The southern regions now have some of the highest levels of employment in the country; currently 40,000 direct and indirect jobs result from the industry. These developments have also led to cultural changes as aquaculture requires trained people, at all levels.

The School of Aquaculture of the Catholic University of Temuco has hatchery and fish farming facilities, and offers aquaculture technician and degree courses. The web site offers content in spanish and english.

The FAO has published a profile of fisheries in Chile, (2000) which includes aquaculture. The FOA observe:

In Chile, this sector has been characterized for being one with bigger dynamics and importance of the national fishing sector, and for having reached a high development which began in the 80’s, mainly based in the culture of salmonoids and, at a lower level, molluscs, clams and seaweeds.


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