April 1, 2010


Chilean seafood firm invests in salmon centre



Trusal, Chilean-based seafood firm, plans on building a complex of 15 hectares that will annually produce 4,600 tonnes of salmon in Region XII.


The Riesco Island Piscicultural Centre project was already submitted last Thursday to the Environmental Impact Evaluation System (SEIA), for its processing.


The company anticipates a total investment of CLP790 million (US$1.5 million) to start up the salmon farming centre. With the concretion of this project, it seeks to satisfy the present need for spaces for industry development given the projections of demand growth in the international market.


These solid prospects have arisen following productive, sanitary and labour crises sustained by salmon farming as a result of the outbreak of the infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) virus in 2007 in several centres around the country.


Trusal said that the Riesco Island sector fulfils the advantages of access, logistics and the easily obtained raw materials with which to operate. Once the project is approved, the construction work would begin in the second half of the year.


"The objective of the centre is to spur the growth and fattening of salmonid species to commercial size, in confined systems of raft-cages at sea, and at an annual production of 4,600 tonnes by the fifth year of operation," according to reports. The project will also entail risk assessment work and disease transmission and contagion control so as to limit antibiotics use in the centre to an absolute minimum.


However, according to AquaChile president Victor Hugo Puchi, the recovery of Chile's hard-hit salmon industry will still take a little more than a year.