Constituent policy

The salmon farming industry responds to Magallanes despite the policy envisaged by President Boric — MercoPress

The salmon farming industry responds to Magallanes despite the policy planned by President Boric

Wednesday, August 10, 2022 – 09:42 UTC


President Boric’s administration has planned a move of the salmon industry from the Magallanes region

“Salmon farming industries must leave protected areas”, was the controversial phrase of Chilean President Gabriel Boric during his last visit to the region of Magallanes, in the far south of the country.

The declaration had its impact not only in the Chilean regions entirely dedicated to salmon farming, but also because Boric grew up in Punta Arenas, capital of Magallanes, where his father was a staff member of ENAP, the company Chilean oil.

“The policy remains, no changes, only minor nuances,” admitted Deputy Environment Minister Maximiliano Proanios after a meeting with companies in the salmon industry, adding that “the exit of Salmon farming ventures in the region will be incremental and planned, not overnight.”

But the industry was quick to react. Magallanes Salmon Industries President Carlos Odebret made a public statement on the facts of the industry and their economic significance for several Chilean regions. “The industry is consolidating, last year in the Magallanes region some 140,000 tonnes of salmon were harvested and this year we estimate a higher volume; which means full-time direct employment for four thousand families, from Punta Arenas, Puerto Natales and Porvernir”.

Odebret added that the salmon farming activity has become a strong reference for the regional economy and today represents 40% of the total exports of Magallanes, and together with fishing, they represent 26% of the region’s GDP, “that it this is the fourth component of the economic activity of Magallanes”. ”.

Since 2015, the industry has grown and consolidated, with relevant investments, for example at the Entrevientos treatment plant, Punta Arenas; Australis is planning a factory in Puerto Natales, and there is an approved environmental qualification resolution for a factory which is planned to help eliminate the industry’s waste problem, essentially turning viscera into oil.

Odebret was asked if he was not surprised that among the thirty associates of the newly formed Magallanes Corporation, it did not include the salmon industry. He replied that “the decision was up to the governor of the region, Jorge Flies, and it is up to him to decide who is and who leaves this society, because we are always open to dialogue and we consider ourselves part of the region and over time I am sure we will contribute in the same direction”.

Asked about the recent sanctions and fines imposed on Nova Austral by the environmental secretariat which rejected three requests for breeding farms, Odebret replied that even when Nova Austral is not a member of the association of which he is president , “the company has committed extremely serious environmental offenses and a sanctions procedure has been initiated, which has consequences and sanctions and obviously the company will have arguments to defend what happened”.